Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 22-09-2015, 16:54   #31
Registered User
 
anacapaisland42's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
Boat: Challenger 32 1974
Posts: 292
Images: 3
Re: Gray Water Tank Maintenance

Suggest you put a grease trap under sink to intercept most of grease.
Bill
__________________

__________________
anacapaisland42 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 22-09-2015, 17:29   #32
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: So Cal
Boat: Catalina 30
Posts: 943
Re: Gray Water Tank Maintenance

From experience with grey waste in my rv: Lots of hot hot hot water + diswashing detergent. Then some acid (like vinegar)

I would not use bleach or lye.
__________________

__________________
jeepbluetj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-09-2015, 02:45   #33
Certifiable Refitter/Senior Wannbe
 
Wotname's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South of 43 S, Australia
Boat: Van DeStat Super Dogger 31'
Posts: 7,331
Re: Gray Water Tank Maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
……..

I thought about lye, but I suppose lye would wreck the Whale Gulper pump and/or the bilge pump type float switch in the system. Or would it?

Any other ideas?

……...
OK, a bit more time right now to post more!

First a disclaimer - I have never had a gray water tank on a boat but I have cleaned my share of grease traps and blocked drains on farms etc. I also not a chemist but have had some experience with acids and alkalis as part of a misspent youth .

Lye - common product, also know as caustic soda or sodium hydroxide NaOH.

Unlikely to cause any problems with the Whale pump; this site ( Sodium Hydroxide : OSH Answers ) suggests the following as PPE - butyl rubber, natural rubber, neoprene rubber, nitrile rubber, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, Viton®, Viton®/butyl rubber, Barrier® (PE/PA/PE), Silver Shield/4H® (PE/EVAL/PE), Trellchem® HPS, Trellchem® VPS, Tychem® SL (Saranex™), Tychem® BR/LV, Tychem® Responder, Tychem® TK. - . I would expect the Whale components is likely to be one of these!

But caution is required with it's use. It attacks most (all?) metals, reacts violently with water and is strongly alkaline - it certainly burns skin.

Never the less, it is has been used by the common man since forever.

Stick it down the drain, and away goes all the fatty substances - they are converted to simple soaps. Of course, in the drain, it is out of sight and out of mind. The holding tank is another story.

Look up soap making with lye, IIRC one uses about 1/7 or 1/8 lye to fat by weight for basic soap. When fat and lye are converted into soap, the caustic aspects of lye no longer exists.

So back to the holding tank, guess the weight of the crud, carefully mix some lye (about 1/8 of guessed fat weight) with water and add to holding tank.

Assuming no violent reaction, go sailing to mix it all up. Next day, pump it out and chuck in some vinegar to neutralise any remaining lye.

Be brave and let us know if it works
__________________
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
Wotname is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2015, 07:56   #34
Registered User
 
Russ's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Montpelier,VT
Boat: Brewer 44' Steel
Posts: 151
Re: Gray Water Tank Maintenance

Don't know about Grey but works for Black

Fill tank half way with water add generous amount of Original Wisk detergent and go for a ride. Pump out. Repeat. Clean as whistle. Also can use Original TIDE POWDER (has silicone granules in it to scrub tank) Russ
__________________
Russ
Russ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2015, 08:28   #35
Moderator
 
carstenb's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2012
Location: Copenhagen
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Fast 40.3
Posts: 4,936
Images: 1
Re: Gray Water Tank Maintenance

Dockhead - vinegar is cheap. Dump a liter in every once in a while and I suspect your problems will disappear. I would be cautious using lye. It will turn to soap when mixed with fat, but hwat kind of soap? If it is a thin liquid - fine - if it gets chuncky fat - it will cause more problems.
__________________
I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted - Elmore Leonard
carstenb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2015, 10:27   #36
Senior Cruiser
 
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 5,826
Re: Gray Water Tank Maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
A dedicated shower tank will still contain fat, body fats are removed with shower, that's why we use soap!
Does that mean that I can eat all I want and be skinny as long as I shower often?
__________________
Memento,homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
senormechanico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2015, 11:28   #37
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Albany Ga.
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 17,034
Re: Gray Water Tank Maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ View Post
Don't know about Grey but works for Black

Fill tank half way with water add generous amount of Original Wisk detergent and go for a ride. Pump out. Repeat. Clean as whistle. Also can use Original TIDE POWDER (has silicone granules in it to scrub tank) Russ

Dishwashing machine powder works well too, it doesn't foam.
With powerboats that had oily bilges or any boat with bilge slime, just dump some in and forget about it, the bilges will self clean
__________________
a64pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2015, 12:38   #38
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,737
Re: Gray Water Tank Maintenance

Thanks for all of the replies.

I bought some of the enzyme drain opener and will try that first when I get back to the boat.

Interesting tip about dishwasher powder and bilges -- I'll definitely try that too. I have very deep bilges + keel stepped mast = slimy bilges -- ick!
__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2015, 12:45   #39
Marine Service Provider
 
peghall's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,533
Re: Gray Water Tank Maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Dishwashing machine powder works well too, it doesn't foam.
With powerboats that had oily bilges or any boat with bilge slime, just dump some in and forget about it, the bilges will self clean

No they won't. The detergent simply emulsifies the oil so it sinks instead of leaving an incriminating oily sheen on the water. Nor will that leave you with a clean bilge...any more than just pouring detergent into a sinkful of dirty greasy dishwater, swishing it around and then just pulling the plug will leave you with a clean sink.

Whether a bilge cleaner is environmentally friendly, or even"biodegradable" (a meaningless feel-good term intended to mislead you in believing it means the same thing as “environmentally friendly’…it doesn’t!) is immaterial because no cleaning product can magically turn the grease, oil and diesel in a bilge into an environmentally friendly mixture. Detergents and degreasers only emulsify petroleum products so that they sink instead of putting an oily sheen on the water when your bilge pumps dump it overboard. And it’s never ceased to amaze me that the same people who have spasms at the idea of pumping a little truly biodegradable toilet waste or gray water overboard think nothing of just dumping a "biodgradable" bilge cleaner into a bilge full of oily water and letting the bilge pumps send it overboard.
__________________
© 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 offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2015, 12:58   #40
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Albany Ga.
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 17,034
Re: Gray Water Tank Maintenance

I know that it emulsify's the oil, so does steam cleaning, and Simple Green etc. that is how and why it works, it in simple terms mixes the oil with the water.

Matter of fact if you wash your hands or your oily rags in soap, you emulsify the oil and grease too, so don't wash your hands?

How Detergents Work

So how do you clean any oil that may be in your bilges out? Even if you get on your hands and knees and clean it out with paper towels, what do you do with them?

Ever heard dilution is the solution for pollution? OK, so I'm not saying dilute millions of gallons of oil, but if I emulsify a tablespoon of oil from my bilges and pump it out, I'm not going to lose any sleep myself.
Now my bilge petroleum product wise is clean as a whistle now, but back in my powerboat days anyone who ran Two Stroke Detroit's that told you they didn't have a speck of oil in their bilges, never looked.
__________________
a64pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2015, 13:47   #41
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,737
Re: Gray Water Tank Maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
No they won't. The detergent simply emulsifies the oil so it sinks instead of leaving an incriminating oily sheen on the water. Nor will that leave you with a clean bilge...any more than just pouring detergent into a sinkful of dirty greasy dishwater, swishing it around and then just pulling the plug will leave you with a clean sink.

Whether a bilge cleaner is environmentally friendly, or even"biodegradable" (a meaningless feel-good term intended to mislead you in believing it means the same thing as “environmentally friendly’…it doesn’t!) is immaterial because no cleaning product can magically turn the grease, oil and diesel in a bilge into an environmentally friendly mixture. Detergents and degreasers only emulsify petroleum products so that they sink instead of putting an oily sheen on the water when your bilge pumps dump it overboard. And it’s never ceased to amaze me that the same people who have spasms at the idea of pumping a little truly biodegradable toilet waste or gray water overboard think nothing of just dumping a "biodgradable" bilge cleaner into a bilge full of oily water and letting the bilge pumps send it overboard.
Relax; we're not talking about oily bilges.

My engine room has a separate bilge which I keep clean and dry. If anything gets into it, I pump it out with my oil change vacuum pump and dispose of it in the oily waste vat at the marina. Then I scrub it down with paper towels. I have a dripless shaft seal so it stays dry as a bone.


The dishwasher powder I would use in the main bilge, which gets rainwater in it from down the mast. Also drips from the reefer drains; sometimes a little overflow gray water, etc. But never oil.
__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2015, 20:14   #42
Certifiable Refitter/Senior Wannbe
 
Wotname's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South of 43 S, Australia
Boat: Van DeStat Super Dogger 31'
Posts: 7,331
Re: Gray Water Tank Maintenance

FWIW, most but not all dishwasher powders and tablets are quite alkaline, some very so.

For a quick and dirty test, place a spoonful on a piece of Al foil and leave overnight in damp air.

I would be cautious about using any medium to strong alkali in the bilge - test first
__________________
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
Wotname is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2015, 00:41   #43
Moderator
 
carstenb's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2012
Location: Copenhagen
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Fast 40.3
Posts: 4,936
Images: 1
Re: Gray Water Tank Maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
Does that mean that I can eat all I want and be skinny as long as I shower often?
Well If you shower with a friend - there are interesting fringe benefits to be had, including exercising together
__________________
I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted - Elmore Leonard
carstenb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2015, 01:05   #44
Registered User
 
Juho's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Finland
Boat: Nauticat 32
Posts: 716
Re: Gray Water Tank Maintenance

For bilges I have used warm water, normal dishwashing liquid and dishwashing brush since I can reach most corners of the bilge manually. Dishwasher detergent (for dishwashing machines) is for me the next level of efficiency that is still quite harmless to the nature.
__________________
Juho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2015, 06:17   #45
Moderator
 
HappyMdRSailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: North Mississippi
Boat: 48 Wauquiez Pilot Saloon-C22 Chrysler Sunpiper- 19 Potter-Preparing to cruise w/my girl
Posts: 5,980
Re: Gray Water Tank Maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Well If you shower with a friend - there are interesting fringe benefits to be had, including exercising together
Now where was that thread about the guy that had a sitting bench in his master shower???
__________________

__________________
In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair...

Mai Tai's fix everything...
HappyMdRSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
maintenance, water

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
Gray Water Tank Requirements in US ? sgkramer Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 13 21-10-2011 14:16
Gray Water Tank - Do You Have One ? Dame.n.Jess Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 5 14-03-2011 22:53
Fresh Water, Gray Water and Black Water Holding Tanks vweber Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 8 12-05-2010 17:31
how do you handle your gray water? donnie144 Liveaboard's Forum 23 04-01-2009 02:38
gray water policy Loith General Sailing Forum 2 16-12-2005 20:41



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 17:43.


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.