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Old 08-05-2015, 11:17 AM   #21
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I also tried to pump out while underway offshore and couldn't get it to pump. The macerator would run for about 10 seconds and shut off. Tried it a few times then quit before I blew something up. Macerator is new.
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Next step after you clear the pump out problem is to get rid of that POS macerator and replace it with a Sealand diaphragm pump. You will be very happy you did down the road.

How would that be an improvement? And what macerator does he have and why is it a POS?

-Chris
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:50 AM   #22
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Next step after you clear the pump out problem is to get rid of that POS macerator and replace it with a Sealand diaphragm pump. You will be very happy you did down the road.
Come to think of it mine is a diaphragm pump not a macerator pump . It makes sense , waste should already macerated from toilet before heading to tank .
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:18 PM   #23
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The problem I have is I never get a chance to check out this side of my waste system because it's illegal to discharge waste underway here . I have to keep y-valve locked off . I know systems always work best when used on regular basis . Anyone have an idea how I could legally check this side of my waste system out say once a month or so? If I ever needed it in an emergency I would like to know that it works .
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:20 PM   #24
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In order for this to work, you need to have the tank empty and the deck pump out access open. The air/water/blockage that's you're trying to push back into the tank needs a vent/escape. If the tank is sealed your fighting a closed container as you blow back thru the vent line.
Ever notice that a pumpout can always remove at least a gallon before the pump pulls a vacuum? Unless you're trying to fill up a tank via the vent line, there's enough air space in the tank for the quart or so of water in a blast from a hose to make it through the line to the tank. Remember, this is PREVENTIVE maintenance, not the cure for a blocked vent.
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:24 PM   #25
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Before you blast water through the vent line, be sure you don't have a charcoal filter inline.
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Old 08-05-2015, 02:14 PM   #26
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The problem I have is I never get a chance to check out this side of my waste system because it's illegal to discharge waste underway here . I have to keep y-valve locked off . I know systems always work best when used on regular basis . Anyone have an idea how I could legally check this side of my waste system out say once a month or so? If I ever needed it in an emergency I would like to know that it works .
If you ever bothered to rinse out your holding tank (which should be done 2-3 x year, and especially in preparation for winter or other extended layup to clear out any sludge), there's nothing illegal about filling a tank half full of clean water and dumping it through the macerator pump...which should be done as part of rinsing out the system anyway.

However, since you can't use it, I'd remove it....it's not that hard to put a new one in if you're ever in waters where you can use it....and testing it every month or so--which we both know would turn into MAYBE once a year--won't keep any machinery in reliable working condition. Besides, there is no holding tank or toilet "emergency" on an inland lake or river that can't be met with a bucket till you can get to a pumpout facility...which you'd prob'ly have to use anyway because that's when the pump would decide not to work.
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Old 08-05-2015, 02:30 PM   #27
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If you ever bothered to rinse out your holding tank (which should be done 2-3 x year, and especially in preparation for winter or other extended layup to clear out any sludge), there's nothing illegal about filling a tank half full of clean water and dumping it through the macerator pump...which should be done as part of rinsing out the system anyway.

However, since you can't use it, I'd remove it....it's not that hard to put a new one in if you're ever in waters where you can use it....and testing it every month or so--which we both know would turn into MAYBE once a year--won't keep any machinery in reliable working condition. Besides, there is no holding tank or toilet "emergency" on an inland lake or river that can't be met with a bucket till you can get to a pumpout facility...which you'd prob'ly have to use anyway because that's when the pump would decide not to work.
I rinse out tank several times a year but just thru the pump out station . I think I would have a hard time convincing the TWRA officers here that I was discharging clean water from my holding tank. Removing the system would be best . Thanks Peggy
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Old 08-05-2015, 10:12 PM   #28
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Most boats have either a surface mount or recessed mount vent with screens, like the picture. When they plug, and they always plug, I just take a 1/8" drill bit and drill the shiny stainless face of the unit. Too small for most bugs, big enough for air.Click image for larger version

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Old 08-05-2015, 10:52 PM   #29
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Hard to pump out black tank

That looks exactly like what I have on the stern.

I don't understand where you are drilling them out.
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:14 PM   #30
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So far, my monthly pump-out guy hasn't mentioned a problem. (I'm keeping fingers crossed.) He leaves a small packet of white crystals to be flushed down the toilet.
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:32 PM   #31
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Most boats have either a surface mount or recessed mount vent with screens, like the picture. When they plug, and they always plug, I just take a 1/8" drill bit and drill the shiny stainless face of the unit. Too small for most bugs, big enough for air.Attachment 42878
Those are actually fuel vent thru-hulls...boat builders use 'em on every vent line--fuel, water and waste--because they can buy the same ones in bulk cheaper than they can buy the best ones for each use.

They're ok for water tanks, but not for waste tanks 'cuz they don't allow enough air exchange via the vent. I'd replace it with an open bulkhead thru-hull that will allow you to back flush the vent line every time you wash the boat. The occasional bug that manages to get into it will be washed into the tank....and unlike your fresh water supply, a bug or two can't contaminate sewage. They only plug up the vent line if you neglect back flushing it..
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:50 PM   #32
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On the subject of flushing the vent line with a hose from the thru hull fitting..... if you are blowing water in through the vent, where will the back pressure in the tank escape? It will be pushed back towards the toilets and/or push poop up the pump-out pickup tubes. Both sound potentially fraught with trauma. What's the safest way to do this?
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Old 08-06-2015, 12:15 AM   #33
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We shoot water from a hose up the vent lines for our holding tanks every couple of months or so. Never had a problem with the water going anywhere else but the tank and no waste goes back to the head.

We simply aim the nozzle on the hose into the vent through hulls on the side of the boat from an inch or so away. It's not a tight connection between the hose and the through hull. So if pressure did build up in the tank it can escape back out the vent line even though there's water flowing up it.

One person squirts the water up the vent line and the other listens at the tank to make sure the water's going in. It only takes a couple of seconds to do this-- either the water's going in or it isn't and it's instantly apparent which one it is. So I doubt we send enough water up the vent line to build up any pressure at all even if the hose was solidly screwed into the vent line through hull. Which of course, it isn't.
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Old 08-06-2015, 12:20 AM   #34
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We shoot water from a hose up the vent lines for our holding tanks every couple of months or so. Never had a problem with the water going anywhere else but the tank and no waste goes back to the head.

We simply aim the nozzle on the hose into the vent through hulls on the side of the boat from an inch or so away. It's not a tight connection between the hose and the through hull. So if pressure did build up in the tank it can escape back out the vent line even though there's water flowing up it.

One person squirts the water up the vent line and the other listens at the tank to make sure the water's going in. It only takes a couple of seconds to do this-- either the water's going in or it isn't and it's instantly apparent which one it is. So I doubt we send enough water up the vent line to build up any pressure at all even if the hose was solidly screwed into the vent line through hull. Which of course, it isn't.

That's the way to do it. I think holding the hose up tight to the vent could cause some surprise results.
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Old 08-06-2015, 02:24 AM   #35
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Leave the deck cap off, or at least loose when using a hose on the vent line for no surprises.
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Old 08-06-2015, 06:40 AM   #36
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Folks that have a buildup of waste from not rinsing the tank can use the old RV trick.

With the tank empty as you can,dump 20lbs + of ice down the waste line and go for a ride.

Stop, start and hit wakes if you can.

The motion of the ocean will brake loose lots of "stuff" .

Then fill with clean water and pump out.
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Old 08-06-2015, 07:10 AM   #37
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With the tank empty as you can,dump 20lbs + of ice down the waste line and go for a ride.

I've read this idea before. I think it'd take me about 4 hours to get 20-lbs of ice into our holding tank.... one cube at a time...

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Old 08-06-2015, 09:09 AM   #38
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On the subject of flushing the vent line with a hose from the thru hull fitting..... if you are blowing water in through the vent, where will the back pressure in the tank escape? It will be pushed back towards the toilets and/or push poop up the pump-out pickup tubes. Both sound potentially fraught with trauma. What's the safest way to do this?
There won't be any back pressure...please read post #24 to this thread.
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Old 08-06-2015, 11:17 AM   #39
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If you ever bothered to rinse out your holding tank (which should be done 2-3 x year, and especially in preparation for winter or other extended layup to clear out any sludge), there's nothing illegal about filling a tank half full of clean water and dumping it through the macerator pump...which should be done as part of rinsing out the system anyway.
Good luck doing that in front of the harbor master or the coast guard. They find out that's coming from your holding tank and you'll be in for quite surprise.
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Old 08-06-2015, 11:58 AM   #40
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The obvious answer to that: Don't do it in front of them! But even if you do, waste creates a big brown cloud, water doesn't...and dumping water is not illegal. So unless you run into one who has an advanced case of Barney Fife syndrome, it won't be a problem.

Sheeeeesh!
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