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Old 19-10-2010, 11:32   #271
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Well here I go. Last night I got the last elements of the wet plumbing system out. Lots of hose, two MK5 pumps, one Lavac toilet, two Y valves, and one holding tank. People might say that the composting heads are "big and expensive" but when you compare them to all the component parts of a standard wet system, they are "cheap and small".

I'll keep updating this thread and my blog as it moves along.

Eric ... the top of that head looks really nasty! I'm afraid to ask what's all over it.

Good luck with the new head. We really like our Air Head, especially the absence of a holding tank and all the hoses.
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Old 19-10-2010, 11:34   #272
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I'm planning on double bagging the contents of the head into these. At sea, dump in the drink. On land, dump into the trash bin with the other trash.

BioBag Food Waste Compostable Bags (3 Gallon), 25-Count Boxes (Pack of 4): Amazon.com: Grocery & Gourmet Food

I don't get it. If you are going to bag the stuff and just throw it in a dumpster, then why get a composting head?
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Old 19-10-2010, 11:40   #273
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re: top of the toilet

Just some wood chips that got wet with some rain.

re: nastiness of job

Yeah, it's a friggin nightmare of a job and I'm so very thankful I'm not going to do it again.

re: throwing in dumpster

Because it would be gross to throw a composting bag full of compost into the harbor? It would float on the surface until the sun broke the bag down. I'd treat tossing a compost bag in the water the same as the rest of the discharge rules (three miles out, etc).

re: anchoring the new head down

It has mounting brackets that allow me to secure it to the base. I'll take some pictures but I think it should be pretty sturdy.
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Old 19-10-2010, 11:48   #274
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Because it would be gross to throw a composting bag full of compost into the harbor? It would float on the surface until the sun broke the bag down. I'd treat tossing a compost bag in the water the same as the rest of the discharge rules (three miles out, etc).
If it isn't composted (which I think takes 2 months), then aren't you throwing bio-waste into a trash bin?

I'm not criticizing, I'm just trying to figure it out especially for liveaboards.
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Old 19-10-2010, 12:00   #275
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If it isn't composted (which I think takes 2 months), then aren't you throwing bio-waste into a trash bin?

I'm not criticizing, I'm just trying to figure it out especially for liveaboards.
Could be. Even at two months it wouldn't have been two months since the last "addition", so there's going to be some fairly uncomposted stuff in there unless you wait that two months from the last "addition".

But honestly I'm throwing diapers into the trash right now and not thinking much about it. Honestly if I'm chucking one cubic foot of COIR and partially composted waste into a dumpster once every two months I think I can morally justifiy it.

And not taking it as critcism at all! I'm putting this all in the public view so I'm open to any comments or thoughts.
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Old 19-10-2010, 13:04   #276
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I have used a 20 milliamp , 2 inch fan on my composter with no problems . With a composter, the solids stay far drier, and the peat moss lets the air flow thru them , enabling the bacteria to remain mostly aerobic.
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Old 19-10-2010, 13:25   #277
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There are far more toxic things thrown into landfills by landlubbers, than dry ****.
Much of their stuff doesn't decompose in a few weeks
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Old 19-10-2010, 13:45   #278
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I have used a 20 milliamp , 2 inch fan on my composter with no problems . With a composter, the solids stay far drier, and the peat moss lets the air flow thru them , enabling the bacteria to remain mostly aerobic.
Brent, I'm using a 3" Nicro solar day/night vent. Took a little creativity to get it to match up nicely with the exhaust line supplied by Nature's Head (and their odd little flange thing).

We opted to try out COIR:

Amazon.com: Worm Factory COIR650G5 Coconut Coir Growing Medium 650g - 5 pack: Patio, Lawn & Garden

From what I understand it's the left overs from coconut harvesting and from an environmental prospective it's a lot nicer than peat moss (which has to be dredged from peat bogs). It looks like a little bit goes a LONG way. The five bricks we bought for ~$20 seem like they'll last us years.

One thing I've heard is that the coir (or peat moss) gets dirty if you don't handle it properly. I'm thinking of using a coffee can type arrangement with a metal scooper. Once that stuff gets on your hands it's just a mess; wouldn't want to spill any in the head compartment itself. Thoughts?
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Old 21-10-2010, 14:00   #279
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Load the coir or peat moss after dumping the head, before bringing it below decks. The stuff one finds under old mossy logs works just as well. You hang it in a cloth bag to dry for a while, then leave it in a dry area below decks, before use.
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Old 21-10-2010, 14:41   #280
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People throw diapers containing solids onto parking lots so you worry about double-bagged peat moss + scheisse in a dumpster. Hmmm... Yes, I too removed all the bits, pieces, fittings, hoses, tank, and head from our boat and replaced with an aerated Air Head --- love it to death. What a pile of trash we removed. I was going to offer it for sale, but ended up giving it away for the cost of shipping to someone needing a head. Actually, our Air Head contents get recycled to a garden --- grows GREAT flowers and strawberries just like the sheep manure did for us years ago.
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Old 25-10-2010, 15:10   #281
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Hi rebel heart,
I haven't posted much on Cruisers Forum, but I read a lot and stop in from time-to-time. I have a quick question--hope you don't mind me jumping in.

We're doing this job this winter, so we'll be ripping out our old head/hoses/tank, etc. too. I have two questions:

1) What did you do to prep? Chorline/water flushing and pumping out? Something else? Sorry if you mentioned this and I missed it.

2) It looks like where you cut hoses, you plugged things up, but I can't tell in the pics what you used. I'm looking for suggestions on how to plug up the hoses as quickly as possible at each disconnection/cutting point along the way (for obvious reasons). I don't ever want to do this job again either, and I haven't even started yet.

Thanks for any tips you can provide!
-J
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Old 25-10-2010, 15:25   #282
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josrulz:

No worries man; glad to help. Good luck on the project. It took me two half days to accomplish it, working pretty hard.

1) Emptied the holding tank and poured a bunch of water and soap down the deck fill hole, and emptied it again. Did that a few times and I think maybe it helped a little bit, but whatever you do there will be an excess of nasty that you can't escape from. Some items that I found particularly helpful:

- box of nitrile gloves. switching them out frequently as they get soiled.
- razor.
- vaughn japanese bear saw (basically something that can cut through the hoses easily)
- lots of paper towels
- some shallow plastic bowls of sorts that you can put underneath the hose so that when it drains out nasty it will go into the bowl
- simple green
- one quart ziplock bags
- making tape

2) Anytime you make a cut, you need to allow for it to drain some fluid. Once you have, put a one quart ziplock bag over it, fold it down, and tape the hell out of it. It's not perfect, but it will keep the smell down (if you can imagine) and help to keep the nasty from getting around the boat.


The holding tank will not be empty no matter how hard you try. When determining where to cut, try to give yourself enough height that you can bag/tape it, but low enough that you can free whatever it is you're trying to get out, if that makes any sense.
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Old 25-10-2010, 17:43   #283
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josrulz:

No worries man; glad to help. Good luck on the project. It took me two half days to accomplish it, working pretty hard.

1) Emptied the holding tank and poured a bunch of water and soap down the deck fill hole, and emptied it again. Did that a few times and I think maybe it helped a little bit, but whatever you do there will be an excess of nasty that you can't escape from. Some items that I found particularly helpful:

- box of nitrile gloves. switching them out frequently as they get soiled.
- razor.
- vaughn japanese bear saw (basically something that can cut through the hoses easily)
- lots of paper towels
- some shallow plastic bowls of sorts that you can put underneath the hose so that when it drains out nasty it will go into the bowl
- simple green
- one quart ziplock bags
- making tape

2) Anytime you make a cut, you need to allow for it to drain some fluid. Once you have, put a one quart ziplock bag over it, fold it down, and tape the hell out of it. It's not perfect, but it will keep the smell down (if you can imagine) and help to keep the nasty from getting around the boat.


The holding tank will not be empty no matter how hard you try. When determining where to cut, try to give yourself enough height that you can bag/tape it, but low enough that you can free whatever it is you're trying to get out, if that makes any sense.
Thanks for the suggestions! I'm not looking forward to this project. But since all the hoses need to be replaced anyway, we figure it's a good time to make the switch to a composting head.

Thanks again, and good luck with the completion of your project as well.
Cheers,
J
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Old 25-10-2010, 17:58   #284
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Well Reb, have you...uh... christened the thing yet?
I just cleaned my AH toilet out again for the fifth time. What an easy chore. Two wing nuts and I carry the whole thing right out of the boat.
Advice for removing all the old plumbing. Start from the highest point in the system first.
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Old 25-10-2010, 18:40   #285
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Well Reb, have you...uh... christened the thing yet?
I just cleaned my AH toilet out again for the fifth time. What an easy chore. Two wing nuts and I carry the whole thing right out of the boat.
Advice for removing all the old plumbing. Start from the highest point in the system first.
Not yet. Our head is currently getting "re-modeled". There was some rot in a bulkhead and I wanted to repaint in there. Good time to get a bunch of stuff done, so right now there's no toilet in the head at all (God bless my wife who's putting up with this right now, including walking to the marina bathroom in the rain in the middle of the night).

It's not bad working in there, but generating dust and garbage inside the boat is weird (I'm used to working on the exterior).

It's our onboard showering area as well, so I basically want to get it all dialed in for long term no-kidding use. Even switching out to safety mirrors (ie: the kind that don't get all f'd up if they get water behind them).
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