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Old 07-14-2020, 05:49 AM   #1
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Waste Tank Removal

Hello, I am looking for input on removing an original waste tank in a 34 CHB Trawler. I want to put in a purasan instead. Plus although unused and empty there are occasional odors. All hoses ate still in place to heads. I need to gut it all and start from hoses too.

The holding tank is in an awkward position underneath the foreward berth. It's fiberglass and looks to be permanently fixed to blocks, front and back of the tank.

There is minimal clearance above the tank, and it seems that if i cut the blocks with saws-all, maybe i can start cutting it out in chunks.

I can only access it from the bilge and a small floor opening. Hopefully the pictures in the link below help explain. I don't want to cut the floor open.

Has anyone taken on such a task? Any advice would help. Thanks, Sean


https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=1SI2Jx0b5NyIpQJw63_S9Whlih8s2OBOS
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Old 07-14-2020, 05:55 AM   #2
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Do you need the space occupied by the tank or is the objective to eliminate any odors?
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Old 07-14-2020, 07:05 AM   #3
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Wow. Looks like it will be a nasty project. I've never done anything like this, but I would think you would have to cut much of it away in very small chunks with near surgical precision (i.e. where it adjoins the hull and stringers). Then, you will have more fiberglass work to finish it off so you don't have a lot of sharp edges and bare fiberglass exposed to possible water ingress.

As I think Bacchus was alluding to, it seems that you would need some really strong motivation to start fussing with this!

Perhaps the odors can be addressed with some chemicals until gone??
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Old 07-14-2020, 07:17 AM   #4
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Hello, I am looking for input on removing an original waste tank in a 34 CHB Trawler. I want to put in a purasan instead. Plus although unused and empty there are occasional odors. All hoses ate still in place to heads. I need to gut it all and start from hoses too.

It's fiberglass and looks to be permanently fixed to blocks, front and back of the tank.

Didn't see the pic, but... maybe hum a few more bars about why you want to replace it? Is it because of the odor? Or because you really want a Purasan? Or...?

I ask because... if the tank itself is OK, then it can be very likely all your odors are from the hoses, or from the hose connections. Replacing the hose could well deal with odor easily enough. Way easier, maybe, than cutting out a fiberglass tank from a space you can't access.

And then there's also Raritan's Hold 'N' Treat option for their treatment devices. Could use your existing tank for the Hold function in that kind of installation... if you also have space for the treatment device otherwise.

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Old 07-14-2020, 10:43 AM   #5
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Hi SDR...I see you've just joined our merry band...welcome aboard!

It's not a good idea to eliminate the holding tank entirely because although the discharge of treated waste is legal in SF Bay, there are "no discharge" waters, including your own home port (Richardson Bay) and well-meaning but misguided marinas, where you'll have to use it. It doesn't have to be a large tank...15 gallons should be enough in combination with a PuraSan. Raritan does offer a "hold 'n' treat combination PuraSan (or ElectroScan) with holding tank, but I'm not a fan for a couple of reasons: 1. all flushes go into the tank which is then emptied via the treatment device instead of going directly overboard via the treatment device...and 2. You can buy a top quality 14-15 gallon tank (Ronco Plastics is your best source), the "hold 'n' treat" controls and the PuraSan separately for a lot less $$, also giving you the ability to directly overboard through the PuraSan except when you have to use a tank...which the hold & treat controls let you empty via the PuraSan.

As others have said, the hoses are far more likely to be the source of any odors than the tank...and looking at your photos, I think there might also be residual odors from a spill. Also looking at your photos, have you checked the dimensions of the Purasan, also allowing space for hose fittings, to make sure it'll fit in that space?

And btw...there's a much easier way to attach photos to a post. One of us can explain it to you next time you want to do that.

Again...welcome aboard!

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Old 07-15-2020, 05:35 AM   #6
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IF you are going to cut fiber glass a jug saw with teeth is very messy , the blades with an abrasive instead of teeth is less dusty. Same for all types of saw & blades.


I would leave it and simply seal it , it would be hard to replace after the next sack of politicos want to save the planet , at your expense.
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:24 AM   #7
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You might also want to consider whether the glassed in tank contributes to the stiffness of the bow structure, in other words, it may be part of the design strength of the bow. I'm with others, clean it up, position the PuraSan in other available space, replace all sanitary hoses CLEAN THE BILGES, and continue to use the existing tank as a holding tank.
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Old 07-16-2020, 03:49 PM   #8
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Do you need the space occupied by the tank or is the objective to eliminate any odors?
Both, I also need to install a shower sump pump. I'm thinking about replacing the tank with a smaller one. as well as the purasan. I'm hesitant to use a 40 year old fiberglass waste tank
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Old 07-16-2020, 03:57 PM   #9
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Hi SDR...I see you've just joined our merry band...welcome aboard!

It's not a good idea to eliminate the holding tank entirely because although the discharge of treated waste is legal in SF Bay, there are "no discharge" waters, including your own home port (Richardson Bay) and well-meaning but misguided marinas, where you'll have to use it. It doesn't have to be a large tank...15 gallons should be enough in combination with a PuraSan. Raritan does offer a "hold 'n' treat combination PuraSan (or ElectroScan) with holding tank, but I'm not a fan for a couple of reasons: 1. all flushes go into the tank which is then emptied via the treatment device instead of going directly overboard via the treatment device...and 2. You can buy a top quality 14-15 gallon tank (Ronco Plastics is your best source), the "hold 'n' treat" controls and the PuraSan separately for a lot less $$, also giving you the ability to directly overboard through the PuraSan except when you have to use a tank...which the hold & treat controls let you empty via the PuraSan.

As others have said, the hoses are far more likely to be the source of any odors than the tank...and looking at your photos, I think there might also be residual odors from a spill. Also looking at your photos, have you checked the dimensions of the Purasan, also allowing space for hose fittings, to make sure it'll fit in that space?

And btw...there's a much easier way to attach photos to a post. One of us can explain it to you next time you want to do that.

Again...welcome aboard!

--Peggie
Thanks for your input. I will look into hold and treat versus eliminate entirely. I do need the space it's tight in the 34'. I also need to put in a small shower sump so will need additional space regardless.

I'm hesitant to reuse the current tank at 40+ years of age. Also, the water heater relief valve went off weeks back and discharged boiling hot water into the bilge and on some of the tank, which i can see some of the paint stripped clean-off, and can't tell underneath but think it melted through the tank somewhere along the sides. There was smell after that, and the tank is not currently in use.

The hoses definitely will be replaced.
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Old 07-16-2020, 03:59 PM   #10
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You might also want to consider whether the glassed in tank contributes to the stiffness of the bow structure, in other words, it may be part of the design strength of the bow. I'm with others, clean it up, position the PuraSan in other available space, replace all sanitary hoses CLEAN THE BILGES, and continue to use the existing tank as a holding tank.
because there is a gap above and on the sides of the tank, it doesn't seem to be structural. I can only access the front and back, therefore any fiberglass repairs could only be done there, not accessable on the sides...
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Old 07-16-2020, 04:05 PM   #11
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Wow. Looks like it will be a nasty project. I've never done anything like this, but I would think you would have to cut much of it away in very small chunks with near surgical precision (i.e. where it adjoins the hull and stringers). Then, you will have more fiberglass work to finish it off so you don't have a lot of sharp edges and bare fiberglass exposed to possible water ingress.

As I think Bacchus was alluding to, it seems that you would need some really strong motivation to start fussing with this!

Perhaps the odors can be addressed with some chemicals until gone??
It's a bit of a mess down there, the prior owner didn't take good care, therefore i got a deal to basically refurbish this boat. The bilge needs cleaned up and some old oil removed and how known what else scraped down there. i looks like sawsall will do the trick carefully in chunks. there's clearance above and on the sides, along bottom is where it is glassed in.

I'm concerned about possible intrusion from the water heater relief valve putting gallons of hot boiling bwater down there. Also much of that debris is paint flakes...
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Old 07-16-2020, 05:01 PM   #12
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I would not be concerned about a 40 year old holding tank if it was well made. I doubt the hot water melted the fiberglass, probably just paint coming off. I would go to great lengths not to remove the tank because it probably isnít the source of the smells. I would clean, clean the bilge. If you are not going to use the holding tank, I would remove all the holding tank hoses and temporarily cap the tank and see if the smell is gone. But first clean the bilge or do it concurrently with removing the hoses. I would be surprised if your smell isnít gone then. Then decide what you want to do as far as a new system. BTW, welcome aboard.
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Old 07-16-2020, 05:17 PM   #13
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1st thing I'd do is pressure wash everything and use some Simple Green or other detergent. Unless it's cracked I don't think fiberglass will 'go bad' Maybe if not done properly to start.

For a shower sump, search on here for the diaphragm pump by Whale. Hook directly to the shower drain and run while you shower. Somebody will post a link.
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Old 07-16-2020, 06:05 PM   #14
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Both, I also need to install a shower sump pump. I'm thinking about replacing the tank with a smaller one. as well as the purasan. I'm hesitant to use a 40 year old fiberglass waste tank
You might look at the Whale shower pumps that work without a sump. Sensor turns on when water is present. You can get ones with 2 inlets. S er of prime. Run dry and g er nerally receive great reviews.

No opinion on head choices but Peggie Headmistress is the go to. I would pay close attention to her recommendations.
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Old 07-17-2020, 11:54 AM   #15
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I'm with the folks who suggest that hoses and bilge are the likely source of smell. Why not address these first and see how the smell is? You can then decide if removing the tank is still something you want to tackle. Doing the project in stages is a plausible way to go. Unless physically damaged from movement in the hull, that fiberglass tank is likely as well built as the rest of the boat. The Whale pump is a great suggestion to explore.
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Old 07-18-2020, 04:07 AM   #16
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Thanks, I'll be removing all of the hoses soon and dealing with the bilge as well first.
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Old 07-18-2020, 07:08 PM   #17
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Both, I also need to install a shower sump pump. I'm thinking about replacing the tank with a smaller one. as well as the purasan. I'm hesitant to use a 40 year old fiberglass waste tank
Shower sumps also have a reputation for eventually becoming an odor source and maintenance item. Many users have converted to a Whale Gulper pump for direct discharge. It's a bit noisy, but bulletproof. And a space saver.

Good luck

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Old 07-19-2020, 12:23 AM   #18
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I would clean, clean the bilge. If you are not going to use the holding tank, I would remove all the holding tank hoses and temporarily cap the tank and see if the smell is gone. Then decide what you want to do as far as a new system. BTW, welcome aboard.
I think this is how I would proceed, if it were me. Cleaning will never be a waste of time, and I like the idea of eliminating one variable at a time. Regardless of what comes next, I would want some idea of what was causing what before proceeding. And you get a clean bilge out of the deal.

If you've never removed old head hoses, be ready for a new and amazingly gross version of clogged arteries. But these you can just throw away
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Old 07-19-2020, 12:42 AM   #19
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If you do not need the old hose to pull the new hose through, then I take a bunch of paper towels and sorta screw them into the end of the hose asap after unhooking it. Then duct tape the end completely to keep the paper towel in. Then you can be assured that whatever is in the hose will stay in the hose. And BTW, donít forget the surgical gloves, if you can find them now...
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Old 07-19-2020, 06:38 AM   #20
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When we pulled sanitation hose, I inserted some hose-barb/screw fittings at the ends. Clamped the barbs. Screwed on a cap. All good.

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