We too encountered the common problem of the buildup of deposits in the head
discharge line. Despite trying all of the already mentioned "tricks" to solve the problem, we found that they were only partially effective. We still had to remove the discharge hose about once a year and "pound" it to dislodge the accumulated deposits. This is typically a difficult and messy project
. I'd much rather spend the time sipping rum
in the shade.
After about eight years of using the above-mentioned old "tried and true" techniques, we finally discovered the only way to avoid the problem, and it's deceptively simple. Here it is:
FLUSH YOUR HEAD
MORE! The problem is caused by residual waste matter, especially urine, which remains in the hose after inadequate flushing
. Urea and other dissolved matter tends to precipitate out and become deposited on the hose walls. Very few cruisers actually flush their heads enough. I guess the reason for this is something like "out of sight, out of mind."
We put a few pieces of toilet tissue in the bowl and then began flushing
it, while watching at the thruhull location to determine when the tissue paper was expelled. We counted the strokes required for this. Then we added about 50% more strokes for good measure. This solved
the problem for good, and we went for the last five years without having any problem with deposit buildup in our discharge hose.
This technique worked for our manual head with a direct discharge to the sea. I don't know how well it would work with some of the more modern, complicated heads. Also, if you are having to discharge into a holding tank
, this technique will rapidly fill your holding tank
, requiring much more frequent trips to a pump-out station.
On the other hand, if your situation is like ours was, where we were usually anchored off in foreign countries, where direct discharge is practical, the technique works well. I'll leave it up to you: either flush little and expect to be cleaning
out your discharge hose more often than you'd like, or flush a lot and never have to worry about the problem again!