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Old 06-07-2019, 08:48 PM   #21
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Even though the bubbler works effectively and is pretty low wattage, I ended up taking mine out when we started anchoring for longer periods.

Large diameter vents on opposite sides of the boat increase air flow significantly through the holding tank. I have'nt encountered many boats whose holding tank could not be retrofitted with additional vent fitting.

Coincidentally, Peggy Hall, we started retrofitting holding tanks with additional larger vents after you suggested that on the Mainship Forum in the mid 90's. You should have patented it.

You were a big contributor on that forum back then.
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:49 PM   #22
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Even though the bubbler works effectively and is pretty low wattage, I ended up taking mine out when we started anchoring for longer periods.

Large diameter vents on opposite sides of the boat increase air flow significantly through the holding tank. I have'nt encountered many boats whose holding tank could not be retrofitted with additional vent fitting.

Not saying it can’t, just that it would have been much more work than I was willing to put into it. I also agree that adequate ventilation with vents is a much better solution than a bubbler.

The bubbler works great and the amp draw is very low and it is very quiet. Even so, it does draw <.5 amps. Small draw but when on 24 hours that does add up. Quiet does not mean soundless. It is an electric pump that will eventually fail and need to be replaced. Vents take no electricity, are soundless, and don’t wear out over time.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:41 PM   #23
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Yes, ventilation by passive means is the ultimate solution but in many boats it is physically impossible. My current boat would be a candidate for a bubbler system if I do get smells venting out of the tank, thankfully there is no current problem. But if the smell does start, I will go with a bubbler system.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:51 PM   #24
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I can strongly recommend going with Peggy's advise/plan I had exactly the same problem only additional thing I did was to put an inline filter between the sea cock and the Dunny (Kiwi for toilet!!!) that was some months ago now and all good with the exception that on some occasions the first flush pongs if we have not used the boat foe a while. Peggy is the "Holy Grail" of Dunnies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:46 AM   #25
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If it smells bad by the head after the first flush and then gets better it is from the stagnant water sitting in the water intake hose from the seacock to the head. The real fix is to go to a freash water flush head. The micro organisms die while sitting in the intake hose due to lack of oxygen then they decay ans start to smell. If the smell is coming out of the holding tank vent then the cause is usually lack of oxygen in the holding tank. Remove any filter in the vent hose and try to get more air into the tank and the smell will go away when it has enough oxygen.
You nailed it. My boat, which currently sits in a river, has a seawater foot pump for the galley sink. If that pump and the toilet aren't used for a couple of days, the first several pumps of water will stink almost as bad as the inside of a holding tank. After that it's fine, so the smell is definitely from dead stuff in the raw-water line. This is just part of life afloat -- like "boat farts."
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Old 06-09-2019, 12:52 PM   #26
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Unfortunately, most of us are stuck with what the builder did to begin with. Mine has one vent line that is too small, too long, and had a cowled fitting on the hull. Very common. I have changed the hull fitting to just a simple open mushroom but of course it would be idea to increase the size of the vent line as well as add another one on the opposite side of the boat. However, it would be a pretty challenging task on my boat.
That was true of the setup on our old boat. Undersized hose and terrible routing. It never stood a chance of ever working properly. But it was such an on-going hassle that I really should have tackled it. It's one of those things that risks rising to the level of the "wife hates the boat" problems.

On our current boat the design is better but the hose had developed a dip, allowing moisture to settle and effectively become a trap, blocking any air from flowing past. I was fortunate that the location of the dip was accessible and easy to fix using some cushioned hose straps. I also thoroughly flushed the line with fresh water and let it dry for several days. Once I raised and secured the hose to prevent the dip the tank smells all but disappeared.
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Old 06-09-2019, 01:47 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Phil23 View Post
I can strongly recommend going with Peggy's advise/plan I had exactly the same problem only additional thing I did was to put an inline filter between the sea cock and the Dunny (Kiwi for toilet!!!) that was some months ago now and all good with the exception that on some occasions the first flush pongs if we have not used the boat foe a while. Peggy is the "Holy Grail" of Dunnies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Should Peggie have a Down Under moniker- “DunnyQueen”?
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:58 PM   #28
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Even though the bubbler works effectively and is pretty low wattage, I ended up taking mine out when we started anchoring for longer periods.

Large diameter vents on opposite sides of the boat increase air flow significantly through the holding tank. I have'nt encountered many boats whose holding tank could not be retrofitted with additional vent fitting.
Often just replacing the existing vent line with a shorter, straighter larger diameter vent line can make it unnecessary to add a second vent...

[/QUOTE]Coincidentally, Peggy Hall, we started retrofitting holding tanks with additional larger vents after you suggested that on the Mainship Forum in the mid 90's. You should have patented it. You were a big contributor on that forum back then.[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the compliment! But I don't think it's possible to patent "use a larger hose."

[/QUOTE]On our current boat the design is better but the hose had developed a dip, allowing moisture to settle and effectively become a trap, blocking any air from flowing past. I was fortunate that the location of the dip was accessible and easy to fix using some cushioned hose straps. I also thoroughly flushed the line with fresh water and let it dry for several days. Once I raised and secured the hose to prevent the dip the tank smells all but disappeared. [/QUOTE]
Wouldn't it have been simpler just to shorten the vent line enough to eliminate the sag?

[/QUOTE]Lots of comments on venting the waste holding tank. Very important to install a vent to both port and starboard side. This allows cross ventilation and maintains good levels of oxygen in the tank. [/QUOTE]
You're correct that the key to odor elimination is prevention and oxygen is essential to prevention. However, It's not always necessary to cross ventilate...a single large diameter vent can often work just as well--sometimes even better. It can even be as simple as replacing the "vent" thru-hull with an open bulkhead thru-hull. There are some installations--tank buried deep in the bilge and/or installed on the centerline with too much "stuff" on either side to allow a short straight relatively horizontal run--that won't allow cross ventilation to work..when aeration is the only good solution. Iow, there is no single "carved in stone" solution to holding tank odor on every boat.

And I thank all of you for all the kind words here about my efforts to help you find the right solutions for your boats.

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Old 06-10-2019, 07:17 AM   #29
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Quote:
On our current boat the design is better but the hose had developed a dip, allowing moisture to settle and effectively become a trap, blocking any air from flowing past. I was fortunate that the location of the dip was accessible and easy to fix using some cushioned hose straps. I also thoroughly flushed the line with fresh water and let it dry for several days. Once I raised and secured the hose to prevent the dip the tank smells all but disappeared.
Wouldn't it have been simpler just to shorten the vent line enough to eliminate the sag?
Perhaps, but the run is relatively direct from the tank toward the vent on the hull. As it left the tank there was a stretch that wasn't supported very well and a dip developed. Not a lot but enough 'water' to collect and block airflow. Now it's clear and better supported to prevent the dip from returning. It's likely over the next winter I'll replace the various head drainage lines, this one included. Assuming that I find access to the back side of the hull vent, that is. Everything else appears to be 'reasonably accessible'.

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And I thank all of you for all the kind words here about my efforts to help you find the right solutions for your boats.

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The compliments are deserved, you've helped quite a lot of boaters and our guests with your sage advice.
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:26 AM   #30
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Peggy is the "Holy Grail" of Dunnies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Not disputing it, in the least. Peggy's the bomb!

But that phrase is funny!
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:19 AM   #31
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Sorry for the possibly hijack of the OP's thread, but since Peggy is involved here I'll just ask a simple question for y'all's opinions on this...

We have a vacuflush system with two heads. All is well, except the fwd head bowl flush valve allows a slow leak-down (emptying) of the bowl, which of course keeps the vacuum pump working, until it is sucking air and I have to shut the head pump DC source off. Takes about 10 minutes for the bowl to be drained from a normal flush. This is a pain in the you-know-what.

Thanks to reading many of the past "HeadMistress" conversations here, I've tried using a brush up under the edge of the opening with the pedal pushed and valve open... to no avail.

The question here is, aside from replacing valve or removing the bowl for a thorough cleaning from inside out, would the cup of white vinegar in the bowl possibly work...? I'm guessing it would need multiple applications as the contents will drain out in the 10 minutes or so...?

Thanks in advance for any input... sorry for the hijack!!
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:36 AM   #32
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We have a vacuflush system with two heads. All is well, except the fwd head bowl flush valve allows a slow leak-down (emptying) of the bowl, which of course keeps the vacuum pump working, until it is sucking air and I have to shut the head pump DC source off. Takes about 10 minutes for the bowl to be drained from a normal flush. This is a pain in the you-know-what.

I suspect you may be guilty of a common practice among VF owners: easing the pedal back up instead of just letting go of it to allow it to spring back into place (that's why the pedal is spring loaded). Over time, that weakens the spring...the "dome" no longer seals tightly, resulting in the kind of slow leak that you describe.

If you're NOT guilty of doing that, over time--how long depends on how much use the toilet gets over several years--the spring can simply weaken with use.

Or, using any brush that isn't a very soft one and/or an abrasive cleanser can score the seal, which will cause it to leak.

The only cure in any of the above cases is what SeaLand used to call a "ball shaft and cartridge" kit (I think they've renamed it but they'll know what you're asking for) that replaces the dome and spring assembly.


As long as we're discussing VF systems...I've written a piece I call "VacuFlush 101" that describes how it works (a surprising number of owners think they do but don't) and also how much water it really needs to keep it trouble free. I'll be glad to send it to any of you who'd like a copy if you'll send me a PM that includes your email address (no way to attach anything to a PM).


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Old 06-10-2019, 10:51 AM   #33
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Peggy is the "Holy Grail" of Dunnies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not disputing it, in the least. Peggy's the bomb!
But that phrase is funny!



I don't think I've ever been described as a chamber pot before.


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Old 07-29-2019, 09:53 AM   #34
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toilet smell

Been using Peggie"s vinegar method for two months now. Absolutely no smell for a month or more. When it returns I get out my bucket , vinegar and water and 5 min later its good to go for another month or so. No hose removal/replacing , no tank additives etc !
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Old 07-29-2019, 03:50 PM   #35
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Stinky - We just purchased a 2005 Mainship 34 T last week.

Hello TF Gurus. We just purchased a 2005 Mainship 34 T last week.
I had a local expert over this morning to discuss replacing the Jabsco toilet with a VacuFlush. Has anyone with a similar vintage MS 34 replace their Jabsco with a VacuFlush? Hi Bacchus, We’re you able to remove or replace the 1” exit hose from the tank to the holding tank?
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Old 07-29-2019, 04:02 PM   #36
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I would not change to a Vacuflush system if you do not already have one. They seem to require more maintenance and they take up quite a bit of space with the vacuum generator and tank. Look at Raritan Marine Elegance. They are a highly rated head and don’t require the whole vacuum system. Ask Peggy, the Head Mistress, she knows more about marine sanitation than all of us put together.
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:02 PM   #37
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I would not change to a Vacuflush system if you do not already have one. They seem to require more maintenance and they take up quite a bit of space with the vacuum generator and tank. Look at Raritan Marine Elegance. They are a highly rated head and don’t require the whole vacuum system. Ask Peggy, the Head Mistress, she knows more about marine sanitation than all of us put together.
A Vacu Flush is not going to require any more maintenance than other toilet systems.

All marine toilets are PITA.

A well designed and installed VacuFlush toilet is the key. Many VacuFlush systems installed by boat manufacturers are poorly designed and executed. Usually too many tight bends, hose low spots, too many restrictive fittings, too long of a hose run and inadequate holding tank vents. Boat manufacturers also like placing the vacuum generators in inaccessible places.

Owner installed VacuFlush is sometimes installed better. But, many of the same mistakes listed above are also made by owner installers.

If the parameters for hose runs are followed during design, most problems will be minimized. All toilet users should be instructed on the proper use of the VacuFlush and realistically, any marine toilet.

A VacuFlush is easier to work on than electric toilets that have all the components crammed into a toilets base.

A leak on a VacuFlush is harder to locate because it works on vacuum and there will not be liquid leakage.

Having been on numerous boats with various marine toilets, VacuFlush seems very popular and is easier to operate than some of the others.

Full disclosure: I am a retired VacuFlush dealer. We sold and worked on VacuFlush, Rariton, Tecma, Jabsco and other brands of toilets.

The VacuFlush toilet did not have any more issues than other brands.

Most issues were caused by children, guests and new owners.

Once we corrected the improper boat manufacturers installation on many VacuFlush systems the problems decreased. Many service calls ended up educating the boat owner about the proper use and maintenance of marine toilets, including VacuFlush.
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:32 PM   #38
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A Vacu Flush is not going to require any more maintenance than other toilet systems.

All marine toilets are PITA.

A well designed and installed VacuFlush toilet is the key. Many VacuFlush systems installed by boat manufacturers are poorly designed and executed. Usually too many tight bends, hose low spots, too many restrictive fittings, too long of a hose run and inadequate holding tank vents. Boat manufacturers also like placing the vacuum generators in inaccessible places.

Owner installed VacuFlush is sometimes installed better. But, many of the same mistakes listed above are also made by owner installers.

If the parameters for hose runs are followed during design, most problems will be minimized. All toilet users should be instructed on the proper use of the VacuFlush and realistically, any marine toilet.

A VacuFlush is easier to work on than electric toilets that have all the components crammed into a toilets base.

A leak on a VacuFlush is harder to locate because it works on vacuum and there will not be liquid leakage.

Having been on numerous boats with various marine toilets, VacuFlush seems very popular and is easier to operate than some of the others.

Full disclosure: I am a retired VacuFlush dealer. We sold and worked on VacuFlush, Rariton, Tecma, Jabsco and other brands of toilets.

The VacuFlush toilet did not have any more issues than other brands.

Most issues were caused by children, guests and new owners.

Once we corrected the improper boat manufacturers installation on many VacuFlush systems the problems decreased. Many service calls ended up educating the boat owner about the proper use and maintenance of marine toilets, including VacuFlush.
I respectfully disagree. All marine toilets are not a pain in the ass but Vacuflush certainly meets the criteria for whatever the many reasons. Meanwhile Marine Elegance toilets are pretty much flush and forget and when, in say 10 years, something does go wrong a simple swap of the innards at the back of the bowl has you up and pooping in about in hour, good for another 10 years.
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Old 07-29-2019, 08:12 PM   #39
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I respectfully disagree. All marine toilets are not a pain in the ass but Vacuflush certainly meets the criteria for whatever the many reasons. Meanwhile Marine Elegance toilets are pretty much flush and forget and when, in say 10 years, something does go wrong a simple swap of the innards at the back of the bowl has you up and pooping in about in hour, good for another 10 years.
Marine toilets are more complicated than domestic toilets, crammed into tight spaces, use smaller hoses/pipes, runs not always downhill, hose clamp connections, mixes electricity and water etc. That's a recipe for PITA.

Most boat owners don't have problems with their Vacu Flush toilets. Most would not have any other toilet.

Most boat owners don't have problems with their Marine Elegance toilets. Most would not have any other toilets.

Any boater going 10 years without performing some kind of proactive service on their marine toilet while at their home dock, will sure to be seen sitting on the guest dock at a marina rebuilding their toilet. Unless the boat has two heads.
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Old 07-29-2019, 08:22 PM   #40
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I respectfully disagree. All marine toilets are not a pain in the ass but Vacuflush certainly meets the criteria for whatever the many reasons. Meanwhile Marine Elegance toilets are pretty much flush and forget and when, in say 10 years, something does go wrong a simple swap of the innards at the back of the bowl has you up and pooping in about in hour, good for another 10 years.
I'm with you!
I've spent more time helping a friend repair / reengineer his VacUFlush unit than I've spent on my 2 boats and 20 yrs w conventional elec heads.
VUF nice when they work but a PITA when they dont.
The friend won't even flush TP in his and still had issues.
IMHO if you put one in make sure its accessible so you can pull the complete unit out to clean, rebuild, test it.
His boat Mfg... high end big $... told him to cut his teak & holly flooring out and they'd send him material to repair it.
Not acceptable in my book.
I'd consult w Peggie before making a decision.
I'm not saying they don't work... they work fine when they work but better have access and room to work on them orull them out to work on when they dont... and have spare parts. His uses fresh water so factor in FW supply & use to the decision.
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