Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 23-02-2014, 15:50   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 777
Raw Water Toilet...Thoughts???

Hello all,

I have done some research on this subject, but I wanted to hear your personal thoughts. The boat model that I am fairly sure I will be purchasing, has sea water heads. I was actually thinking that the heads were fresh water until a broker brought this to my attention a couple of days ago.

I have heard that this type of system can be smelly. But, some say only if you don't use it. I was thinking that sparing the fresh water tank while on long passage or tied to a dock in winter could be a good thing, but not if that means stink. I cannot tolerate foul odors of any kind.


Anyone have experience with raw water heads?
__________________

__________________
GalaxyGirl
5KidsAndaBoat
GalaxyGirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-02-2014, 15:56   #2
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 6,389
Re: Raw Water Toilet...Thoughts???

Here are what I call Peggie Hall's Greatest Hits. You need to buy her book, link below.

Head Replacement 101 - Installation of PHII Head Installation of Raritan PHII head w/Flix

Head Odors 101 Head Odors 101 & Fresh Water to Head from the Sink in the Head FLIX

Head Odors 101.1 - "T" into sink drain: Head Odors 101 & Fresh Water to Head from the Sink in the Head FLIX

Head Odors 101.2 The Difference between KO & Odorlos (scroll up to Reply #2) Odorlos / Raritan - SailboatOwners.com

Head Hoses 101 Head Hoses 101: Head Flushing/Hose trouble

Fresh Water System Recommissioning 101 hot water "rotten egg" odor

Peggie's Book:

Get Rid of Boat Odors
__________________

__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-02-2014, 16:02   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2
Re: Raw Water Toilet...Thoughts???

Wow never knew anything but a raw water head. Smelly ? well I guess if you are traveling in NJ waters or do not flush well or check after kids or drunks or just leave it stagnant. IF you really are conscious about smells that bad then a long cruise is going to make or break you.
You can pour a 1/10 a cup of your choice of " sure smells clean / good " every week of non-use if it really bothers you. My money is diesel and " what the hell is that " will over power that issue ;-)
__________________
dmchose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-02-2014, 16:09   #4
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,772
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: Raw Water Toilet...Thoughts???

traditional marine toilets except peeing overboard ar e salt water or whatever kind of water is under the boat.
some people dont like to have to flush long times to rid boat of inherent stagnant water smells when they dont use boat much, so they modify the toilet to be flushed with fresh water which is fine if yo9u stay at a dock and not have to ration your water to flushing toilet as well as other uses,.
my boat has traditional raw water manual flush toilet. no problems.
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-02-2014, 16:38   #5
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,750
Re: Raw Water Toilet...Thoughts???

You will need to just try it and see before you can tell whether it will be a problem or not.

Raw water toilets have one huge advantage over fresh -- you can flush lots and lots of water through them to clear the very long discharge lines. Insufficient flushing is probably the number one cause of sewage system problems. You will not be nearly as willing to do so if your fresh water supplies are being depleted.

Electric toilets are also a big advantage in this regard -- it can be very laborious to flush through the required amount of water with a manual toilet.

All this may be moot if you are discharging into a holding tank, where the volume of the tank wil be a bigger limitation than your water supply.

I flush with seawater on my boat and there are never any odors, other than the first horrible flush after the boat has been unused for a few weeks.
__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-02-2014, 17:09   #6
Registered User
 
Capt Phil's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Stateline NV
Boat: Prior boats: Transpac 49; DeFever 54
Posts: 2,749
Re: Raw Water Toilet...Thoughts???

I've had both types aboard a myriad of boats I've worked and lived aboard. If you are off shore and pumping overboard regularly, you can get by with raw water as a flushing medium but if you are in and out of port, using a black water tank, fresh is the only way to go IMHO. Having the ability to switch back and forth would only make sense if you periodically cruised and weren't tied to a dock regularly. The venting of heads and black water tanks is critical if you are re-working the system. Always opt for a larger diameter vent than is suggested. Make sure vent openings are remote from ports and passageways. All heads should be flushed clean with an agent like Simple Green before leaving the boat for more than a day or two.
For your purposes, GG, from what I have gathered it would be a good idea to replumb with fresh water. Raw water can get stinky quickly.
Dockheads observations and suggestions are sound if you opt for a raw water system but consider that you will be at the dock for long periods with access to fresh water so I would vote for fresh. Regards, Phil
__________________
Capt Phil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-02-2014, 17:11   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,365
Re: Raw Water Toilet...Thoughts???

Most boats are salt water heads. There is some truth to the need for use... to keep fresh salt water in the system instead of old water. if you are quite sensitive then maybe fresh water head is for you. If you have a good size water maker... no problem.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-02-2014, 20:42   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 777
Re: Raw Water Toilet...Thoughts???

Thanks everyone for the comments and suggestions. I suppose that I will see how it goes.
__________________
GalaxyGirl
5KidsAndaBoat
GalaxyGirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-02-2014, 21:04   #9
Sponsoring Vendor
 
HopCar's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Miami Florida
Boat: Ellis Flybridge 28
Posts: 3,162
Re: Raw Water Toilet...Thoughts???

If you use the toilet frequently you shouldn't have a problem. What causes raw water flush toilets to smell are sea flora and fauna (plankton and bits of seaweed) that are brought in with the water but get left in the rim of the bowl. The water drains out of the rim leaving these critters behind to rot. Daily use prevents the problem. If you're going to leave the boat for some time, flushing with fresh water before you leave will help but you've got to get it into the intake side. Just pouring a bucket in the bowl won't help.

Peggie Hall describes a method of connecting your head intake to the sink drain seacock. This allows you to close the seacock, run fresh water into the sink and flush the toilet.

I agree with Stu, buy Peggie's book.

Get Rid of Boat Odors by Peggie Hall
__________________
Hopkins-Carter Marine Supplies & Fishing Tackle
What You Need, at the Price You Want...with Service!
HopCar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-02-2014, 05:44   #10
One of Those
 
Canibul's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
Boat: Catalac 12M
Posts: 3,209
Re: Raw Water Toilet...Thoughts???

You could also consider buying the boat you want, but taking the old plumbing out and replacing it with a composting head. This gets rid of all of your concerns, if you can just get used to doing things a little differently. No pumping, no through-hulls to worry about, no water leaks, no odor, no discharge issues in port, etc.
__________________
Expat life in the Devil's Triangle:
http://2gringos.blogspot.com/
Canibul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-02-2014, 06:58   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 38
Re: Raw Water Toilet...Thoughts???

Biggest thing I notice w my raw water toilets is the bowl gets dirty where the water sits. The Raritan CP cleaner recommended for my Raritan Atlantes toilets dissolves the yuck on contact. I have a bilge fan that gets rid of all my bilge odors.
__________________
Bayside Bert28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-02-2014, 07:23   #12
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,750
Re: Raw Water Toilet...Thoughts???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
You could also consider buying the boat you want, but taking the old plumbing out and replacing it with . . .
One would never rationally choose or reject a boat on the basis of what kind of toilets it has, anyway. First of all, the cost of marine toilets is a rounding error compared to the cost of most cruising boats. Second, they usually need to be replaced anyway, or if they don't, they soon will.

So this is good advice -- buy whatever boat you want, and worry about the toilets later. Replace them with whatever you want if you don't like them. And remember you'll most like be replacing them anyway, even if you do like them.
__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-02-2014, 08:48   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
Kenomac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Somewhere in the Adriatic Sea
Boat: Oyster 53 Cutter
Posts: 8,515
Re: Raw Water Toilet...Thoughts???

Salt water flush heads usually only smell due to fouled/permiated raw water hoses, and not due to the clean salt water intake hoses unless you're in a marina with particularly foul water such as during a red tide.

Regarding fresh water head conversion idea: You would need a separate fresh water tank onboard dedicated to supplying only the heads. You can't take water from your primary fresh water tank and plumb it directly to the head, otherwise you'll risk contaminating your fresh water supply with sewage. Toilets on boats don't work like toilets in a house which always have positive pressure and a separate tank. Black water can and will contaminate the fresh water tubing if one neglects to install a proper one way, anti-siphon valve on a marine head. And because these valves can and do fail sometimes, the preferred method is to insall a dedicated fresh water tank in order to prevent this from ever happening.
__________________
Kenomac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24-02-2014, 08:57   #14
Registered User
 
Bill_E's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Mexico and Puerto Rico
Boat: Sunbeam, 37, Ziamar
Posts: 300
Re: Raw Water Toilet...Thoughts???

I agree with Stu: Find everything that Peggy has written and pay attention to it. I have only had one issue with her advice (on aluminum tanks). If you are in US marinas and ports you will be required to have a holding tank. Replace all of the hoses with good (read expensive) ones and clean it well.

Make sure that you run lots of water through it and do the proper maintenance and there should be no problem.

Bill
__________________
Don't believe everything you think
Bill_E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-02-2014, 08:58   #15
Registered User
 
Tia Bu's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: South Carolina
Boat: 40' Jeanneau
Posts: 454
Re: Raw Water Toilet...Thoughts???

We recently installed a Raritan Sea Era electric head with sea water flush. It came with an intake water filter, which I installed per instructions. The water in the bowl is always clean and odor-free, even if we're away from the boat for several weeks. And we are in muddy, South Carolina marsh water.

I had thought of going to fresh-water flush when we installed this system. But now I'm glad I stayed with sea-water.
__________________

__________________
Tia Bu is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
oil, raw water, water

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 21:03.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.