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Old 22-02-2018, 06:18   #196
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

How difficult is this to understand? You turn the seacock off when you leave the boat. If it doesn't turn off you don't leave the boat until you fix it. How rare is it when a seacock fails internally in such a way that the ball valve doesn't turn with handle and it is impossible to tell by the feel that it is not turning?

If a trained sailor is using proper maintenance techniques and protocol the danger of the wet head on a boat that has numerous other through-hulls anyhow is statistically invisible.

I'm not arguing that an improperly installed, maintained, or operated wet head is not a problem. It seems to me that you have been stating that a properly installed, maintained, and operated wet head is enough of a danger to boat sinking to be a worthwhile reason for eliminating it and going back to pre-flush toilet technology.

I, too, am done with the irrationality.

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That is pretty cool. I think that in a similar situation I would go the extra mile and remove the depth-sounder, patch the hole, and get one that was either transom-mounted or worked through the fiberglass hull. You are so close to the ideal of having none at all that you might as well go all the way.
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Old 22-02-2018, 06:34   #197
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

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Originally Posted by BlackHeron View Post
How difficult is this to understand? You turn the seacock off when you leave the boat. If it doesn't turn off you don't leave the boat until you fix it. How rare is it when a seacock fails internally in such a way that the ball valve doesn't turn with handle and it is impossible to tell by the feel that it is not turning?

If a trained sailor is using proper maintenance techniques and protocol the danger of the wet head on a boat that has numerous other through-hulls anyhow is statistically invisible.

I'm not arguing that an improperly installed, maintained, or operated wet head is not a problem. It seems to me that you have been stating that a properly installed, maintained, and operated wet head is enough of a danger to boat sinking to be a worthwhile reason for eliminating it and going back to pre-flush toilet technology.

I, too, am done with the irrationality.

---





That is pretty cool. I think that in a similar situation I would go the extra mile and remove the depth-sounder, patch the hole, and get one that was either transom-mounted or worked through the fiberglass hull. You are so close to the ideal of having none at all that you might as well go all the way.
So it seems we are not in disagreement then. All I said was (and here we go again...) that, among the many reasons, I chose to install a composting toilet to eliminate ONE of the potential sinking risks on MY boat. In fact, Mike mentions the same motive in his write up.

I do disagree, though, that a "properly installed" wet head poses no risk. There are 2 holes in the hull, many valves, siphon breaks, connections, hoses etc. that can POTENTIALLY fail. It's unlikely to happen if you keep on top of things (clearly your case). Also, why do you claim that sink drains can potentially sink your boat while a "properly installed" wet head is bullet proof?

Anyway, I think this has run its course. I'd be happy to provide more information on composting heads to anyone interested in my experience (pros and cons). I'm not interested in converting anyone, just providing information for those who are thinking of installing one.

BTW Black Heron, my boat is on the hard for a refit right now and one of the things on the list is changing a ball valve seacock that wasn't fully closing, even though the handle was turning normally and seems to be working fine. I knew it wasn't closing because the sink drained even when I shut it. I'm also removing a through-hull transducer (the last one, thank god!) as I have 2 shoot-through depth sounders for depth (fishfinder and GPS). Now I know you're going to say that I'm suggesting transducers are a danger and that everyone should remove them and get back to lead lines...

If you get to Brazil, let me know. I'll buy you a beer and, who knows?, let you use my composting toilet too.

Cheers!
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Old 22-02-2018, 06:53   #198
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

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Originally Posted by BlackHeron View Post
How difficult is this to understand? You turn the seacock off when you leave the boat. If it doesn't turn off you don't leave the boat until you fix it. How rare is it when a seacock fails internally in such a way that the ball valve doesn't turn with handle and it is impossible to tell by the feel that it is not turning?



If a trained sailor is using proper maintenance techniques and protocol the danger of the wet head on a boat that has numerous other through-hulls anyhow is statistically invisible.



I'm not arguing that an improperly installed, maintained, or operated wet head is not a problem. It seems to me that you have been stating that a properly installed, maintained, and operated wet head is enough of a danger to boat sinking to be a worthwhile reason for eliminating it and going back to pre-flush toilet technology.



I, too, am done with the irrationality.



---











That is pretty cool. I think that in a similar situation I would go the extra mile and remove the depth-sounder, patch the hole, and get one that was either transom-mounted or worked through the fiberglass hull. You are so close to the ideal of having none at all that you might as well go all the way.


Iíve thought about this but I donít care for the transom mount transducers but would possibly install an in hull transducer when we haul out. I donít think the inhull transducer is as accurate as the thru hull transducer, which is worrisome as we like to have the accuracy when sailing and anchoring in really shallow water.
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Old 22-02-2018, 07:07   #199
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

Here's a blog about a friend who removed his composted after two years of cruising use and evangelical support
https://yodersafloat.wordpress.com/2...confession-21/
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Old 22-02-2018, 08:22   #200
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

Compost toilets? NO NO NO

its fine in cold climate. not in warm tropics or if you are sailing away from civilisation.

write/PM me if you want to know more. I am not writing my suffering here :-D
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Old 22-02-2018, 08:27   #201
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

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Iíve thought about this but I donít care for the transom mount transducers but would possibly install an in hull transducer when we haul out. I donít think the inhull transducer is as accurate as the thru hull transducer, which is worrisome as we like to have the accuracy when sailing and anchoring in really shallow water.
I changed from through hull to shoot through hull. Do it. Even if it were less accurate (I haven't seen that) it would be worth it to lose your last through hull. As long as your hull is not cored below the waterline of course.

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Old 22-02-2018, 08:33   #202
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

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Compost toilets? NO NO NO

its fine in cold climate. not in warm tropics or if you are sailing away from civilisation.

write/PM me if you want to know more. I am not writing my suffering here :-D
Why not share your information? I'm using mine in the tropics (Brazil)- going on 5 years without any problems. What happened with yours?
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Old 22-02-2018, 08:34   #203
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Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

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I changed from through hull to shoot through hull. Do it. Even if it were less accurate (I haven't seen that) it would be worth it to lose your last through hull. As long as your hull is not cored below the waterline of course.

goat

That's one of the problems, she has a cold molded hull but wouldn't be to much trouble grinding a bevel and glassing in the old hole then setting the transducer over the solid glass area where it was thru mounted.


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Old 22-02-2018, 08:37   #204
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

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Compost toilets? NO NO NO

its fine in cold climate. not in warm tropics or if you are sailing away from civilisation.

write/PM me if you want to know more. I am not writing my suffering here :-D

Pretty sure the opposite is true. Works well in tropical climates and maybe not so well in colder wet climates.


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Old 22-02-2018, 08:50   #205
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

Wow, leave for 24 hrs and all hell breaks loose. Not worth adding anything, other than to say Copacabanaís experience, reasoning and rationale pretty much parallels mine.

Paul, thanks for posting the blog post. It Those considering these heads should read it. But I hope they also come here to talk to the increasing number of people who use them successfully.

Itís hard to know what went wrong with the bloggers setup, but clearly something did. Thereís hints of the issue when he writes that he has to empty every three weeks Ö this suggests something about the composition of the bedding material, or the ventilation, or the moisture levels, are wrong.

As he writes:

"Having had success in the past, I know that composting heads can work. Itís pretty much a function of how you operate them as there isnít really anything that can go wrong mechanically. We just know that itís been quite awhile since weíve been able to operate ours correctly. ď

In a later post he adds: "I am now pretty darn sure that all of our problems were self-induced and not a basic problem with composting head design.Ē

Like any system on a boat, if it is operated incorrectly, you will get poor results. These heads do require some knowledge and effort. It is a different skill set than those needed to successfully operate a standard marine head, which is why itís useful to educate yourself by talking to people who have used these things for a while.

The claim about not operating in warm areas, and that they are better suited for colder climes, puzzles me. Everything I know about these heads says the opposite is true.
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Old 22-02-2018, 09:59   #206
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

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SNIPAs he writes:

"Having had success in the past, I know that composting heads can work. Itís pretty much a function of how you operate them as there isnít really anything that can go wrong mechanically. We just know that itís been quite awhile since weíve been able to operate ours correctly. ď

In a later post he adds: "I am now pretty darn sure that all of our problems were self-induced and not a basic problem with composting head design.Ē

Like any system on a boat, if it is operated incorrectly, you will get poor results. These heads do require some knowledge and effort. It is a different skill set than those needed to successfully operate a standard marine head, which is why itís useful to educate yourself by talking to people who have used these things for a while.

The claim about not operating in warm areas, and that they are better suited for colder climes, puzzles me. Everything I know about these heads says the opposite is true.
I remember reading about Rebel Heart's issues with his composting head. One of the things he said was he could hear things sloshing around in his. Others posted this is a sure sigh there was way too much liquid. In another live I was a cowboy (read Florida cracker) of sorts and spent lots of time around cattle. One thing anyone who has been around cows knows is when a cow poops it is normally way more than 90% liquid but after a couple of days it is a dusty shell that is almost weightless and if broken apart will blow away in the wind.

This is the reason I upgraded from a smaller fan to a larger one in my composting head. I also tend to turn the agitating handle a few times a day to make sure the contents of the head are well mixed.

Another thing to keep in mind that the composting process is due to bacteria activity. So you really don't want to clean the inside to the point that you have removed/killed all the bacteria. Leaving little amounts of the contents in the corners assures that there are good bacteria to continue the composting process.

As for the vid of the conventional head "exploding" what I took away was the comment that the boat had not been to a pumping station in seven years. My understanding is that the pumping boat sucks out what is in the holding tank with an industrial strength suction pump. Not doing this over a long period of time may well have allowed the buildups that caused the blockage.

In any case there seems to be no doubt that a conventional head has many more things that can go wrong than a composting head. As I told my friends Wilber and Orville "too many moving parts, you will never get that thing off the ground".
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Old 22-02-2018, 10:58   #207
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

After reading this whole thread, I have a couple of thoughts.
From that blog about the failed composter, it was pretty obvious to me that using RAID to kill the flies also killed the composting bacteria and also permeated the plastic head body. I doubt there's any way to remove that permeation residue.
By trying to save the head, they killed it in the process.

Second thought, about cow pies.
I don't want to turn this into a gun thread, but still wonder if dried cow pies could be used as an unending supply of poor man's "clay pigeons".

PULL !!
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Old 22-02-2018, 11:11   #208
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

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After reading this whole thread, I have a couple of thoughts.
From that blog about the failed composter, it was pretty obvious to me that using RAID to kill the flies also killed the composting bacteria and also permeated the plastic head body. I doubt there's any way to remove that permeation residue.
By trying to save the head, they killed it in the process.

Second thought, about cow pies.
I don't want to turn this into a gun thread, but still wonder if dried cow pies could be used as an unending supply of poor man's "clay pigeons".

PULL !!
Cow pies are too light to throw well...been there...done that.
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Old 22-02-2018, 12:11   #209
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

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... it was pretty obvious to me that using RAID to kill the flies also killed the composting bacteria and also permeated the plastic head body....
I'm pretty sure you are proceeding from a false assumption on this. I've run wastewater treatment plants that degraded residues from the production of very similar chemicals, and they do NOT have antiseptic properties at these levels. In fact, pesticides are developed to have very specific toxicity to certain insects, but not people and certainly not bacteria. Second, the propellant is propane/butane and would have been gone withing seconds, having no effect on the plastics.

I'm not saying something was not wrong, but given they have bugs, it was already wrong. There is no reason to make guesses about chemistry and biology unless you have solid scientific reasons. For example, antifreeze is poisonous to you, but bacteria love it. Under the correct conditions, it ferments like crazy.
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Old 22-02-2018, 12:21   #210
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

I don't have a composting head, never used one. So I like these threads.

RH, a blog from a guy in the Baja 6 years ago who admits he screwed up, a woman who had a composter that she used at a party for 40 people or so....... these aren't the signs of something that doesn't work.

On a tiny boat like mine, with one aboard usually, it seems to make great sense. However I'm usually somewhere I can flush straight overboard so really have no smells to complain about. Plus my poop smells of lavender and jasmine. ;^)

Curious why the manufacturers haven't embraced the waterless urinal oil based valves, maybe to much tilt for them to work?

As for the 25% using them, that really doesn't surprise me. Talking to other cruisers it doesn't come up that much but when I do mention it, I'm surprised how many times I hear "yeah, that's what I'm using".

Anyhoo keep the pros and cons coming.

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