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Old 08-03-2017, 09:22 AM   #1
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Special Toilet Paper needed?

Getting back to boating after a few years... The last boat I had pumped the head directly overboard (of course you couldn't really swim off the boat in the harbor back then).

Do I "need" a special toilet paper to use so as no not cause problems further down the line? (so to speak)

At home I use a "septic tank safe" product, but I notice that there is a special product for boats (Pure Oceans Marine Toilet Tissue)

Didn't know of the necessity, or the advisability of using an R/V product.
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Old 08-03-2017, 09:26 AM   #2
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I think any cheap, single ply TP works fine.
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Old 08-03-2017, 09:27 AM   #3
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Somewhat depends on your toilet. What's your flush mechanism... or even better, for Peggie's benefit (HeadMistress answers always count for more), what toilet brand/model do you have.

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Old 08-03-2017, 09:39 AM   #4
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Get several buckets. Fill them w water and put various TP in each one. After a time (one hour to maybe several days) I suspect it will be obvious what TP to use. We never use anything but marine TP.
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:05 AM   #5
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On my boat, the rule is that if it does not naturally come out of your body, it does not go into the toilet. We have a small, sealed garbage can in each head for everything else. I also notate the location of a lovely, single stall bathroom at the market near the marina for anyone that may need to, uhh, deposit solid waste. Because the other rule is that if you stop it up, you will be taking it apart with me. My 12 year old son gets that pleasure next time we're at the boat. Bet he visits the market next time...
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:32 AM   #6
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Was advised by local poop guru sorting out our system to only use supermarket own brand 'eco' paper which dissolves fast. never had a problem since and use the same stuff at home also. Only caveat is to file your fingernails smooth regularly
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:41 AM   #7
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"Marine/RV" TP is just cheap flimsy TP that dissolves quickly repackaged with a much higher price tag. Any "institutional grade" or no-name TP will work just fine in limited amounts in any marine toilet. A lot of boat owners by Scott sold at Sams and Costco by the case.If you're used to using big wads, you'll have to learn to cut back to 5-6 sheets 'cuz too much will clog the plumbing. If your toilet is one of the high end all china macerating electric "thrones," it can chew up any toilet paper, but again in limited amounts. NO WET WIPES IN ANY MARINE TOILET!!! No paper towels or tampons either. Those have to go in a waste basket...be sure to impress on your guests that even one will clog the toilet.. The rule of thumb is, nothing goes into the bowl that hasn't passed through you except quick-dissolve TP.

Eric was on the right track with his advice to dissolve a few sheets in water, but it's actually a lot easier than that: tear off a sheet or two and put it in a mason jar, large glass or a bowl of water. If, in an hour or two you stir the water or shake the jar and all you see is "snow" in milky water, it'll work just fine in any marine toilet. But if it's still an intact or mostly intact sheet, try another brand.

Shameless self-promotion alert: Although my book is titled "Get Rid of Boat Odors" (my publisher thought that title would attract more buyers than "Flush With Success") it's actually a comprehensive "marine toilets, holding tanks and everything related to marine sanitation 101" manual that answers at least 95% of the questions you're bound to have and more you haven't thought of yet. And I'm always glad to answer any it doesn't. The title in my signature is a link to it on Amazon...available in both hard copy and kindle. (end shameless self promotion).

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Old 08-03-2017, 10:54 AM   #8
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Chris,
The head is a Jabsco Model 37010-Series and the macerator pump is Model 18590-Series.

Somebody did a test, I'm trying to locate it.

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Old 08-03-2017, 11:01 AM   #9
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Peggy, if it were up to me I'd say go right ahead and promote yourself (shamelessly or otherwise) whenever you want! Your universally acknowledged expertise is even more valued by your willingness to get on this forum and frequently lend your knowledge to this heady subject. Thank you for your input!
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Old 08-03-2017, 11:54 AM   #10
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Just spent a couple of hours over the weekend pulling the Tecma and disassembling the pump to remove a wad of Kleenex tissue, which took on the consistency of 3/8" rope after a few revolutions of the pump. I'd feel comfortable towing the dinghy the stuff was so strongly wound up. Second time this has happened. First time was non marine TP and this time a young lady guest ran out of the rolled TP, so grabbed a wad of Kleenex.

I will never use anything other than marine TP.
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Old 08-03-2017, 11:56 AM   #11
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Peggy, if it were up to me I'd say go right ahead and promote yourself (shamelessly or otherwise) whenever you want! Your universally acknowledged expertise is even more valued by your willingness to get on this forum and frequently lend your knowledge to this heady subject. Thank you for your input!
+1

BTW, not germane to the topic, but Darren your recent youtube video on Kingston was excellent (as usual). I've been meaning to mention it.

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Old 08-03-2017, 12:27 PM   #12
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Just spent a couple of hours over the weekend pulling the Tecma and disassembling the pump to remove a wad of Kleenex tissue, which took on the consistency of 3/8" rope after a few revolutions of the pump.

That must have been a huge wad of Kleenex! There's a much easier way: if you reverse the wiring, that makes the toilet run backward, which causes it "spit up" clogs. Call Thetford (they own Tecma) for instructions on how to do that.

I first learned about it from a brand new Selene owner in who'd tied up next to the boat I'd been brought to Alaska to solve some problems on (URSA Major) in 2006. Of course I had to ask 'em what toilets were on the boat and how they liked 'em. Tecma...they loved 'em! Any problems? Yes, one...they'd had their teenage granddaughters aboard for a week...when the girls ran out of TP, they used paper towels instead of asking for more. Took 'em 3 days to clog the toilet. Granddad called the dealer in Seattle who told 'em how to fix it...it worked! I've since heard of it working on other electric macerating toilets too.
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Old 08-03-2017, 12:36 PM   #13
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Btw...the best way to prevent the need for having to do that is by removing everything from the head but the quick-dissolve TP when guests are expected and also instructing them to use nothing else.
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadMistress View Post
"Marine/RV" TP is just cheap flimsy TP that dissolves quickly repackaged with a much higher price tag. Any "institutional grade" or no-name TP will work just fine in limited amounts in any marine toilet. A lot of boat owners by Scott sold at Sams and Costco by the case.If you're used to using big wads, you'll have to learn to cut back to 5-6 sheets 'cuz too much will clog the plumbing. If your toilet is one of the high end all china macerating electric "thrones," it can chew up any toilet paper, but again in limited amounts. NO WET WIPES IN ANY MARINE TOILET!!! No paper towels or tampons either. Those have to go in a waste basket...be sure to impress on your guests that even one will clog the toilet.. The rule of thumb is, nothing goes into the bowl that hasn't passed through you except quick-dissolve TP.

Eric was on the right track with his advice to dissolve a few sheets in water, but it's actually a lot easier than that: tear off a sheet or two and put it in a mason jar, large glass or a bowl of water. If, in an hour or two you stir the water or shake the jar and all you see is "snow" in milky water, it'll work just fine in any marine toilet. But if it's still an intact or mostly intact sheet, try another brand.

Shameless self-promotion alert: Although my book is titled "Get Rid of Boat Odors" (my publisher thought that title would attract more buyers than "Flush With Success") it's actually a comprehensive "marine toilets, holding tanks and everything related to marine sanitation 101" manual that answers at least 95% of the questions you're bound to have and more you haven't thought of yet. And I'm always glad to answer any it doesn't. The title in my signature is a link to it on Amazon...available in both hard copy and kindle. (end shameless self promotion).

Peggie
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I love 'flush with success' as a title.

I was also taught to be frugal. as in One up, one down and one to 'polish',
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:40 PM   #15
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Hey Folks,

Thanks for all the replies - very helpful.

I did learn that the guru of Pilgrim 40's did a test and determined that Scott 1000's worked just fine.

I did discuss with a cruising friend about the "what you eat first" rule. He said that yes, it was generally true, but did not apply to raw green beans. ( aka string beans)

on to my next issue.

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Old 08-03-2017, 02:49 PM   #16
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Having spent more than my share of quality time disassembling heads, hoses, and valves on previous boats to remove obstructions, we err on the side of caution now. Nothing goes into the head that we didn't eat. Everything else goes in a waste can.
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:32 PM   #17
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4 ply kills ours
2 ply works fine - sorbent silky white for us.
Using a bum gun first requires less paper plus the water pre softens the paper making for easy chopping.

TMC toilets x 2. - daily use, only clogged with 4 ply.
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Old 08-03-2017, 04:01 PM   #18
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4 ply kills ours
2 ply works fine - sorbent silky white for us.
Using a bum gun first requires less paper plus the water pre softens the paper making for easy chopping.

TMC toilets x 2. - daily use, only clogged with 4 ply.
Wifey B: I went like forever before ever using a Bidet and first time was totally curiosity. Now I don't understand why they're not the standard, why all toilets don't have them, why all homes don't. It just seems logical vs paper only.

And Peggie's book is great. Only toilet guru I know so promote promote promote. No one else dared take on this dirty subject.
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Old 08-03-2017, 04:55 PM   #19
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Just spent a couple of hours over the weekend pulling the Tecma and disassembling the pump to remove a wad of Kleenex tissue, which took on the consistency of 3/8" rope after a few revolutions of the pump.

That must have been a huge wad of Kleenex! There's a much easier way: if you reverse the wiring, that makes the toilet run backward, which causes it "spit up" clogs. Call Thetford (they own Tecma) for instructions on how to do that.

I first learned about it from a brand new Selene owner in who'd tied up next to the boat I'd been brought to Alaska to solve some problems on (URSA Major) in 2006. Of course I had to ask 'em what toilets were on the boat and how they liked 'em. Tecma...they loved 'em! Any problems? Yes, one...they'd had their teenage granddaughters aboard for a week...when the girls ran out of TP, they used paper towels instead of asking for more. Took 'em 3 days to clog the toilet. Granddad called the dealer in Seattle who told 'em how to fix it...it worked! I've since heard of it working on other electric macerating toilets too.
That's brilliant, Peggy - if there is a next time, I will certainly try that. And yes, it was a rather impressive handful of Kleenex. Thorough young lady, I must say.

I also love this unit. I have read of others having problems when a little tube between loops in the discharge line gets clogged. I assume this prevents air locking. The complaints were that the tube was too small, but mine is quite big so I assume they fixed it, and it has never clogged. I especially like the manual, which is titled "Tecma - A World of Toilet". Sounds a bit like an attraction at Disneyland, but I think it was because they got a discount on the Italian to English translation.

One nice feature is that you can set the amount of water that flows into the bowl after the two stages of flushing - the first a flow of water plus the macerator pump, and the second just the pump to completely empty the bowl. The valve then opens up for a user adjustable period of time to refill the bowl. To save water, we refill to a minimum, then squirt San-x into the bowl between flushes, assuming liquids only. 6 squirts equals the dosage for the type II MSD Dometic used to sell. We only discharge where appropriate, but I sill like the idea of treating the effluent before it goes overboard, and this allows us to use the unit many times before flushing without much nastiness, and reduces fresh water usage quite a bit. With 250 gallons of black water storage we can go a very long time without pumping out. Keeps the bowl and lines clean as well, or so I think.
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Old 08-03-2017, 04:57 PM   #20
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Btw...the best way to prevent the need for having to do that is by removing everything from the head but the quick-dissolve TP when guests are expected and also instructing them to use nothing else.
Now you tell me.
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