Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 10-05-2011, 06:10   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 793
Disconnect Methods for Head in Champlain

As you may or may not know, Lake Champlain has more stringent head discharge rules that coastal waters, and requires that overboard discharge points be physically disconnected. Closed and secured valves is not good enough. This same requirement applies in parts of Canada adn the inland lakes of Maine, and perhaps elsewhere, but I've picked Champlain as the example because the requirement is clear, and because the Vermont patrol inspects and fines if you don't comply.

My question is not about the rule and whether it makes sense or is reasonable, but in techniques and mechanisms to comply. On my boat, I have three points of discharge; two heads with Y valves that direct the flush overboard or to the holding tank, and an overboard pumpout.

Here are my thoughts so far, and I'm interested in how others have approached this:

- Simply disconnecting a hose is not acceptable to me. I don't want a boat that can be flooded by someone subsequently opening a seacock, and I don't want an open hose that can discharge poop into the boat by some operator error.

- I could plug the disconnected hose, and use a stub of hose and plug to cap the seacock. This is easy, but not very reversible. Plugs are often difficult to remove, and the hose gets chewed up and eventually starts to leak. I could get comfortable doing this for the head direct discharges since I never see a need to use them in any normal operation - flushing into the holding tank, then pumping out from there is fine. But the tank overboard needs to be easily disconnected and reconnected for travel between restricted and less restricted zones.

- The approach I like the most and am leaning towards is to use PVC or ABS flange couplers. These are mating flanges with a screw collar to hold the two halves together, and one flange face has a groove and o-ring in it. This approach gives a positive seal and can be opened and re-closed easily and with a positive seal. A second coupler with the openings plugged can be used to cap the hose ends when "disconnected".

- I've seen another device who's name escapes me that is similar in concept, but uses threaded ends and a threaded coupler. One end is a reverse thread so you can screw both ends of the hose together by turning the coupler. Then there are caps to use when disconnected. My only hesitation with this is that the seal appears to be just a tapered pipe thread, and in my experience they are difficult to get sealed completely, and require a lot of pipe goop which makes for a messy fitting.

Then there are a bunch of related questions. Many people poo-poo (pun intended) the use of PVC or ABS anywhere below the water line. These are schedule 40 and in one case schedule 80 fittings which in my experience are pretty darn tough.

I'm also wondering about where to place the disconnect within the physical limitation of the boat.

I'm thinking it should be above the water line so there isn't captive seawater at the coupling when I need to disconnect it. But on the other hand, if it is below the water line there will be a washing effect from seawater which would be desirable and disconnect time. Which is better?

I'm thinking the coupler should be on an uphill or downhill slope so it drains and won't be holding any surprises when opened. But should it be sloped towards the tank, or towards the water?
__________________

__________________
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2011, 10:37   #2
Marine Service Provider
 
peghall's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,533
Re: 'Disconnect' Methods for Head in Champlain

I think this is what you're looking for. Turncouple plumbing connector

As for where to put it and which way to aim it, that's up to you...but I think I'd put it where you aren't likely to start taking on water when you disconnect any plumbing and aim it so it'll drain.

Champlain is a navigable interstate waterway, under federal jurisdiction..so I don't think any rules that supercede the acceptable means of securing the system set forth in federal law (33 CFR 159.7) are enforceable against transient vessels...but since there's yet to be a test case and no one seems willing to risk the hassle of becoming the first one, they get away with it.
__________________
2017 Peggie Hall
Specializing in marine sanitation since 1987
Author "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors"
https://www.amazon.com/New-Get-Rid-B...dp/1892399784/
peghall is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2011, 16:20   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 793
Re: 'Disconnect' Methods for Head in Champlain

Yes, the TurnCouple is the device I was thinking of. I'd love to hear from anyone who's actually used one. Looking at it, I have the following concerns:

- Getting both ends lined up correctly to get the threads started on both ends at the same time looks difficult. On a work bench I could see doing it, but down in a bilge with limited access, stiff hoses fighting you, and perhaps operating with one hand, etc. is another thing entirely. My guess is that in practice, this thing would be very difficult to couple.

- As mentioned earlier, in my experience a tapered thread fitting will never seal properly without pipe goop and a good wrench. Hand tight and/or dry never works even slightly. Opening and closing gooped up threads will make a real mess.

- How do you tighten this thing? How do you hold both ends and tighten the collar at the same time. I only have two hands, and am lucky to get both into a work space together.

- And what about caps? I don't want open hoses that will flood the boat with water or poop if someone accidentally opens the wrong valve at the wrong time.

The thing I like about the over-the-counter flange couplers is that by virtue of their o-ring, they seal tight without having to tighten the you-know-what out of them. And there are two parts to hold while tightening, not three.
__________________
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2011, 16:41   #4
Moderator
 
Pete7's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Solent, England
Boat: Moody 31
Posts: 8,582
Images: 14
Re: 'Disconnect' Methods for Head in Champlain

Assuming you have 1/4 turn valves, which have a female thread, take out the tail which the hose pushes on to and replace with a blanking cap. Blanking caps are available with either male or female threads. Our local chandler did have to order the 1" size I needed though from a catalogue.

Pete
Attached Images
 
__________________
Moody 31 - April Lass
Pete7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2011, 04:00   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 793
Re: 'Disconnect' Methods for Head in Champlain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
Assuming you have 1/4 turn valves, which have a female thread, take out the tail which the hose pushes on to and replace with a blanking cap. Blanking caps are available with either male or female threads.
Yes, there are a variety of semi-permanent ways to cap off the lines, and I might end up doing that for the direct overboard lines from the heads, but for the tank pumpout I want an easily reversible mechanism. I want to have the pumpout connected while coastal cruising, then be able to disconnect it easily and without a mess while underway and approaching Champlain. Then once back in an area where overboard pumpout is allowed, be able to easily reconnect.
__________________
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2011, 08:30   #6
Mooderator
 
capngeo's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Key West & Sarasota
Boat: Cal 28 "Happy Days"
Posts: 4,211
Images: 12
Send a message via Yahoo to capngeo Send a message via Skype™ to capngeo
Re: 'Disconnect' Methods for Head in Champlain

Cam lock fittings!
__________________
Any fool with a big enough checkbook can BUY a boat; it takes a SPECIAL type of fool to build his own! -Capngeo
capngeo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2011, 13:08   #7
֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,056
Re: 'Disconnect' Methods for Head in Champlain

I couldn't believe it so I went looking for the statute and found out the situation on Lake Champlain is actually much WORSE than disconnecting the head. The HOLDING TANK has to be disconnected as well!

Next I suppose they'll want Nessie-proof containers for the food in the galley, and a one-way seal on the garbage can. Unbelievable.

33-d. Sanitary facilities aboard crafts on Lake Champlain.

It shall be unlawful for any owner or operator of any craft upon Lake Champlain, its tributaries or outlets, to operate any craft equipped with a marine toilet which in any manner discharges sewage into the waters of said lake, its tributaries or outlets. All marine toilets on any such craft shall also incorporate or be equipped with a holding tank which can be carried or pumped ashore for disposal according to the regulations of local boards of health or county or state health agencies. Any holding tank designed so as to provide for an optional means of discharge to the waters on which the craft is operating shall have the discharge openings sealed shut and any discharge lines, pipes or hoses shall be removed or disconnected and stored while operating on the waters of said lake, its tributaries or outlets. Failure to comply with the provisions of this section shall be a violation punishable by a fine not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars or by imprisonment of not more than fifteen days or by both such fine and imprisonment.
__________________
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2011, 16:48   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 793
Re: 'Disconnect' Methods for Head in Champlain

Yes, it's a real pain. Anybody "passing through" needs to modify their boat to do so legally. I gather the same requirement exists in parts of Canada, but I forget where exactly.

I'm intrigued by Peggy's comment that the Vermont law is illegal in the face of the federal laws that apply.
__________________
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2011, 17:59   #9
֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,056
Re: 'Disconnect' Methods for Head in Champlain

Well, VT or NY law might still apply, even though the lake is "navigable waters" and under federal jurisdiction as well as state. I think vessels in transit would invoke things like interstate commerce (which is federally regulated) and a state restriction that affected that MIGHT be thrown out, emphasis on might. Then again, there are state laws of all kinds that are not pre-empted by federal ones, i.e. additional state requirements for boating safety certifications, equipment, etc.

There are probably other grounds to challenge the laws, i.e. it is arbitrary and capricious, it places unreasonable burdens on travelers (who once were given special protection by the law)...the problem is that you can spend a lot of money paying for your day in court, win or lose. And often winning or losing depends on who threw the dice, or which side of the bed the judge slept on.

Put in pump-out stations and pay two bucks a pound for the sewage. Just like "Field of Dreams" if you build it they will come.<G>
__________________

__________________
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
head

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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cleaning the Prop - What Tools / Methods ? rebel heart Construction, Maintenance & Refit 61 05-12-2010 23:49
Rainwater Collection Methods Nauti-Ness General Sailing Forum 7 26-07-2009 16:14
Alternator Field Disconnect? Extemporaneous Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 31 26-01-2009 18:27



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:14.


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.