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Old 25-09-2016, 19:22   #1
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Going to the Dark Side...Head Question

It's true, I'm going to a trawler ( Krogen39 ) and during my pre-purchase inspection became acutely ( as in nauseatingly ) aware of an unpleasant odor never experienced on my Pacific Seacraft 37. It has a VacuFlush toilet, which was rebuilt 2 years ago, and has 10 year old sanitation hoses. I cannot occupy this vessel until it has no odor and the system is cleaned and hoses replaced. Will this be sufficient for a "new condition" system, without any odor? Any other things I can do to zero-time the sanitation system?
You may surmise that selling my pristine sailboat was an attempt to keep the interest of my spousal unit in anything boating related. I must insure that the head in this, otherwise stunning, trawler offers no reason for olfactory objection.
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Old 25-09-2016, 19:41   #2
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Re: Going to the Dark Side...Head Question

Search. There are probably hundreds of threads on possible odor sources. Yes, it is probably the hoses, but searching will reveal all!
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Old 25-09-2016, 19:50   #3
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Re: Going to the Dark Side...Head Question

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
Search. There are probably hundreds of threads on possible odor sources. Yes, it is probably the hoses, but searching will reveal all!
===

I'd search for another boat. Those odors may have permeated into so much of the interior that it will be very difficult to eliminate them.
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Old 25-09-2016, 19:56   #4
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Re: Going to the Dark Side...Head Question

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===

I'd search for another boat. Those odors may have permeated into so much of the interior that it will be very difficult to eliminate them.
It's not that bad... I was trying to add humor and diffuse the going to power angle. Didn't register, I guess. Anyway, I'm primarily interested in any tips about helping out with the problem, and was trolling for Peggy Hall to chime in.
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Old 25-09-2016, 20:09   #5
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Re: Going to the Dark Side...Head Question

I took your bait!

I strongly suspect that permeated sanitation hoses are the main source of the odor. Replacing 'em should solve 90% of the problem. A wet dirty bilge can also make a whole boat smell like a swamp or even a sewer...a real cleaning, as opposed to just pouring in some bilge cleaner and calling it done, will solve the problem. And there are a few other sources, but once found and eliminated you CAN have a boat that's entirely odor free.

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Old 25-09-2016, 20:10   #6
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Re: Going to the Dark Side...Head Question

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Originally Posted by muttskie View Post
It's not that bad... I was trying to add humor and diffuse the going to power angle. Didn't register, I guess. Anyway, I'm primarily interested in any tips about helping out with the problem, and was trolling for Peggy Hall to chime in.
===

OK. Meanwhile there's a product called PureAyre that you should get in the interim. I think I first heard about it from Peggy. It really works.

https://www.amazon.com/PureAyre-All-.../dp/B001J6O686
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Old 25-09-2016, 20:16   #7
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Re: Going to the Dark Side...Head Question

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Originally Posted by wayne.b View Post
===

OK. Meanwhile there's a product called PureAyre that you should get in the interim. I think I first heard about it from Peggy. It really works.

https://www.amazon.com/PureAyre-All-.../dp/B001J6O686
PureAye is a great product, but not for "interim" use. You cannot eliminate any odor unless you first eliminate the source of that odor....as long as the source exists, it'll continue to generate new odor. But once you've eliminated the source, PureAyre will eliminate all the residual odor.
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Old 25-09-2016, 20:27   #8
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Re: Going to the Dark Side...Head Question

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I strongly suspect that permeated sanitation hoses are the main source of the odor. Replacing 'em should solve 90% of the problem. A wet dirty bilge can also make a whole boat smell like a swamp or even a sewer...a real cleaning, as opposed to just pouring in some bilge cleaner and calling it done, will solve the problem. And there are a few other sources, but once found and eliminated you CAN have a boat that's entirely odor free.

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Bravo Peggie,
I thought that might be the case. Of course I have your book, as well. But I know you are a VacuFlush expert and wondered if I should do anything else with the system. The seller ( and the broker ) mentioned something about the vacuum pump needing attention, but I have no experience with VacuFlush systems and wonder if I should just replace everything and have the holding tank thoroughly cleaned.
The bilge throughout the vessel is exceptionally clean. Nothing at all, and dry. Overall the boat is spotless. It's just the odor from, what evidently is, the hoses.
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Old 25-09-2016, 22:06   #9
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Re: Going to the Dark Side...Head Question

Whether to replace the VacuFlush depends on just how much "attention" the vacuum pump needs. You said the system is only about two years old, so it prob'ly only needs new duckbill valves. That's just inexpensive maintenance. But if the pump motor has failed, that's expensive enough to make it worthwhile to replace the V/Flush with a top quality macerating electric toilet.

If you haven't already bought this boat, all of these things are excellent bargaining chips. Be sure to specify which hoses...if you don't, the seller will go with the cheapest.
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Old 25-09-2016, 22:26   #10
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Re: Going to the Dark Side...Head Question

Thank you, Peggie.
I have bought the boat, and did use this issue to reduce the price enough to feel comfortable replacing the entire system, if necessary. It's interesting that you mention the electric maceration head. The broker, who is straight arrow by the way, said the same thing.
Any suggestions for what might be a suitable one for a modern 39 foot trawler. The broker mentioned I might want to take a look at a Sealand MasterFlush 8970. Of course this was if the existing VacuFlush was uneconomical to repair. The 8970 looks fine, but I'm out of my element and don't want to make a poor choice.
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Old 26-09-2016, 07:13   #11
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Re: Going to the Dark Side...Head Question

Practical Sailor rated the Raritan Marine Elegance: Raritan Marine Elegance "best in show" among macerating electric toilets a couple of years ago...it also gets high marks from trawlerforum.com members who own one. And it's made in the U.S.

As for SeaLand MasterFlush...last time I checked, it's Dometic/SeaLand's private label version of the Sanimarin SANIMARIN a French company with mfr'g facilities in Romania. Unless something has changed, Vetus electric macerating toilets Vetus electric toilets are also private label versions of Sanimarin toilets.
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Old 26-09-2016, 09:15   #12
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Re: Going to the Dark Side...Head Question

We've installed dozens of Raritan
Marine Elegance heads for folks and
all our clients love them.

We eventually replaced our vacuflush heads with them ourselves to save space, they are great and well priced



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Old 26-09-2016, 09:36   #13
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Re: Going to the Dark Side...Head Question

Dare I mention the idea of going to a composting toilet? My first choice, read up about it on a thousand other threads.
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Old 26-09-2016, 10:21   #14
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Re: Going to the Dark Side...Head Question

Having installed a couple of Vacuflush systems, the Biggie is they use less Fresh water per flush, probably not a issue with this boat, if you keep, just replace the hoses with Sealand brand, no odor. I installed a Jabsco electric toilet with a Raritan Purasan treatment system, which i use where applicable, love the system, as does my partner, the first electric toilet for me and wouldn't go back to a manual for sure, easier to service, no electrolysis issues, a win win.
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Old 26-09-2016, 10:40   #15
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Re: Going to the Dark Side...Head Question

Thank you all! I appreciate everyone taking the time to share your experience and suggestions.

It looks like I'll get Sealand hoses, and the Raritan Marine Elegance toilet.

Bill
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