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Old 03-23-2010, 07:20 AM   #1
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Waste Lines

Well it finally happened...this weekend we took the boat out on a short shakedown and the Raritan PHII toilet quit pumping.* My first thought was the joker valve so I removed it and found it OK.* The next step was to start removing waste lines and I found them virtually plugged.

We have owned the boat for almost seven years so I am estimating that the waste lines have been in place for at least ten or twelve years.* One of the previous owners had plumbed it with a combination of white sanitary waste hose and ABS black*plastic pipe.* When I removed the connection from the toilet to the holding tank both the hose and the ABS pipe were fully caked with only a small, half inch in diameter hole in the middle of the line.*

Our PHII uses sea water to flush so am I corect in assuming a large portion of the clogging can be attributed to salt build up in the lines?* Does anyone (Peggie?) have a suggestion for a replacement schedule...five years?* Three years?* Is there anything that can be done to help prevent build up?* Vinegar?*

Fresh water pumping isn't a real alternative since the boat only has 180 gallons of potable water storage and sometimes finding good water on the inside passage to Alaska can be a problem.**When cruising full time in the PNW we can get about 10 days use out of the 180 gallons of potable water onboard.* A fresh water toilet would probably reduce that to five or six days between needing water.

Next week I am going to inspect the rest of the lines (overboard through the macerator and the deck pumpout line) to see if I need to replace ABS and hose from the bottom of the waste tank.*

Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:43 PM   #2
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RE: Waste Lines

It sounds like you are not using enough water and flushing it clean/through, when not used for a period of time.* Even if connect to raw water you can still flush with fresh water, by closing the raw water through hull, which you should be closing anyway when not in use, and pour fresh water into the toilet.* I use the shower long hose nozzle.* You could try some drain clog stuff to see if you can clean/clear the hose.* We use a lot of Clorox spray to kill the smell/growth, but we get pumped out every week.


*
I would replace the hose by plugging both ends to cut down on the smell and mess and pull it out in one piece.* *


*
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:48 PM   #3
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Waste Lines

Steppen, The problem is a calcium build up due to the salt water and urine. It will close the hoses AND the thru-hull. Muriatic acid will desolve it, but you must take extreme care and know what you are doing. On hoses of this age I would replace them all. Once new, a weekly treatment of white vinegar allowed to sit for a while followed by a flush with vegetable oil will keep them open and lubricated. Just don't pump this into your holding tank. In the past we have had to remove the hoses and beat them against pilings to break out the calcium build up.

-- Edited by Capn Chuck on Tuesday 23rd of March 2010 02:49:11 PM
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:34 PM   #4
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RE: Waste Lines

No need to replace the hoses unless a) they stink...or b) they're so old that they've become hard and brittle. From your description, though, it sounds like replacement is indicated. Use Trident 101 for 1" and 1.5" runs...Shields or Trident #148 for tank vent line and head intake.

You can clear the sea water mineral buildup with muriatic acid...just pour a few oz. down the toilet and flush, it will NOT harm the plumbing or the toilet...you may have to do this several times to clear out all the buildup.

To prevent future buildup, flush a cupful--no more--of undiluted distilled white vinegar once a week. Do NOT leave it sitting in the bowl...flush it ALL the way through the system. Do it once a week, not just every few months. And use only distilled white vinegar, not cider.

Does your head sink drain above or below waterline? If below, I have a idea for you.
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:56 PM   #5
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RE: Waste Lines

Both the head sink and the black water drain below the waterline. I'll try the white vinegar suggestion. Next week I will inspect the macerator line and a portion of the deck pumpout line to see how bad they are. The line from the toilet to the tank is now replaced using 1.5" #148.

Thanks all for the inputs.
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:27 PM   #6
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RE: Waste Lines

Quote:
Steppen wrote:
Both the head sink and the black water drain below the waterline.




Oh good... Here's my idea for you:

If the head sink drain thru-hull is below the waterline, theres certainly no reason why the sink and the toilet intake cant share the same through-hull, provided the toilet and sink are on the same side of the boat.

And its a simple matter to tee or wye the the head intake hose into the sink drain hose next to the seacock, 'cuz on most boats, both hoses are typically the same size: ID. Why would you want to do that? 'Cuz it gives you a means to flush the sea water out of the entire sanitation system--intake line, pump, channel in the rim of the bow, and head discharge line--safely. After youve closed the head intake seacock in preparation to close up the boat, fill the sink with fresh clean water and flush the toilet. Because the seacock is closed, the toilet will draw the water out of the sink, rinsing the sea water out of the entire system. If your toilet is electric, be careful not to let it run drydoing so can burn out the intake impeller.

It will also be necessary to keep the sink plugged except when in use, either by installing a conveniently located shut-off valve in the drain hose or with a rubber sink plug. Otherwise the toilet will pull air through the sink, preventing it from priming.

Do this any time the boat will sit, or as often as you think may be necessary to deal with head intake sea water odors.
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