Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 10-10-2006, 17:09   #1
cruiser

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4,525
Head discharge lines clogged with marine growth?

As the boat nears sale over here, I have an annoying little problem I have to fix. Both of our heads have the same problem:

The discharge lines (to the overboard discharges) have started building back-pressure. One of them was so bad it clogged. The other is just limping along. We experienced incredible marine growth in our last stop. Everything was covered in mere days. I suspect that along with the depth sounder, knot log and bottom of the tender, the critters decided to start colonies in my head discharge hoses too.

Any advice on how to rid the hoses of these pesky critters - keeping in mind the following:

*I'm a stone's throw from Manhattan (NYC) - there is no swimming
*The head discharge hose is stuck on tight and is in a weird position so that I cannot pull it off the seacock. It's located so close to the stringer it passes through, I can't get a grip on the hose.

How can I get these little jerks out of the discharge hose?

I read muratic (sp?) acid would work somewhere. I already broke one head trying to power through the clog with pumping. I need a good alternative. Maybe a cherry bomb?
__________________

__________________
ssullivan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2006, 18:38   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Galveston
Boat: C&C 27
Posts: 724
Muriatic Acid (HCL) can be pretty potent stuff and once was used clean porcelain toilet bowls. It was one chemical I was extra careful with in my QC chemist days.

Anyway do the through hulls still work? It might be easier to remove the hoses from the head (depending on the run of the hose.) After looking the the dingy do you have any idea what the beasties are?
__________________

__________________
Pura Vida is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2006, 18:55   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Seattle area (Bremerton)
Boat: C&C Landfall 39 center cockpit "Anahita"
Posts: 1,076
Images: 6
recalcitrant hoses

Head hoses, like exhaust hoses, just will not come off without using a heat gun. Use a good 1000-1200 Watt heat gun with about a two inch exhaust to slowly heat up the hose all around. If you cannot direct the heat 360 degrees around the hose at the fitting play with aluminum foil to help the directing in behind where you cannot directly face the hose with the gun. Plan on taking over 10 minutes to gradually heat the hose and you will be surprised how much easier it is to finally twist, break the hold and remove the hose even pulling from two feet away from the fitting.

Having an inverter aboard (for twenty years, one model or another) I keep a heat gun permanently on board for just such purposes in addition to others. For your own work plan on replacing the hose with a non-setting compound that will not allow leaks yet will facilitate removal much easier in the future. I use one which has been used for decades in the aircraft industry made with a combination of what amounts to thick castor oil and a proprietary clay. Low tech? Doesn't matter, it works! CAlled Tite Seal (part #T25-66) it is approved in the aircraft industry for use on oil and water lines.

If you are unable to obtain or use a heat gun you are destined to have to practically destroy the hose to get it off. Regardless, once it is off you can place a rag over the thru-hull and put a flat-blade screwdriver through it into the fitting to rout out the critters when you open the valve with a minimum of leaking (relatively speaking). Then when you look at the hose you may opt to lay it out on a flat surface ashore and bang it along its length with a rubber or wooden mallet to break up all the uric acid crystals which have accumulated, else merely replace it. You will be able to tell immediately when you remove the hose because if the hose if very heavy you may just opt to throw it away with all that crystal build-up inside.
__________________
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2006, 19:18   #4
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nevada City. CA
Boat: Sceptre 41
Posts: 3,745
Images: 9
What about running a snake down thru the hose like a pluber would do?
__________________
Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
Charlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2006, 19:25   #5
cruiser

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4,525
Thanks for the ideas, folks. I have Marelon seacocks, so I'm assuming the heat gun might be a bad idea this time. I should have mentioned the Marelon. Sorry.

I think as a first try, I'll do like Charlie suggests and just jam a snake down there.

Thanks! The most simple answer is often the correct one.
__________________
ssullivan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2006, 19:29   #6
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: No longer post here
Boat: Catalac Catamaran
Posts: 2,462
Sean,

Why not try what we all use for toliets in our homes? A snake run from the outlet hose on the head side.

It's cheap and should work.

Rick in Florida
__________________
Tropic Cat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2006, 19:54   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Seattle area (Bremerton)
Boat: C&C Landfall 39 center cockpit "Anahita"
Posts: 1,076
Images: 6
Marelon no problem

Sean,
I have all Marleon seacocks and thru-hulls as well. That is why I use the Tite Seal, one of the few compounds known not to be a chemical problem with the Marelon. Heat gun will be NO problem with the Marelon. The Marelon is very resistant to heat as well as mechanical stress and impact.
__________________
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2006, 20:35   #8
Registered User

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rota, Spain
Boat: Sceptre 41
Posts: 59
Hi folks,
After years of liveaboard I have become resigned to the fact that the uric acid crystals will need to be removed from the lines every few years. I have tried HCl as well as vinegar, but sooner or later I must pay the devil his due. I put vinegar in the water and leave the head with it every time we go on vacation from the boat and I'm sure it helps, but ultimately those hoses have to come off. I bang them on a piling until all the stuff comes out. New hose would be even better.
And no, a snake won't even remotely touch this stuff. I have to use a screwdriver and a hammer to chip it out of the elbows!
Sorry to be a bearer of bad tidings,
Richard
S/V Saeta
(Finally cruising)
__________________
Quijote is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2006, 22:36   #9
Registered User

Join Date: May 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Boat: Tayana 37, M-20/I-20 Scow
Posts: 250
Barnacles in the Mid-Atlantic this year have been a REAL problem, including growing INSIDE of my head and waste water drain lines. I've use a snake down the drain lines several times and have HAD to go overboard and attack them from the 'outside' several times.
Just wait until you see whats on your prop - most years I collect barnacles just on the hub but this year the barnacles cover the entire prop and had to dive over and hammer them and scrape themn off in mid August and then again in September.
__________________
Richhh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2006, 05:36   #10
Registered User
 
Sunspot Baby's Avatar

Join Date: May 2003
Location: New Bern, NC
Boat: Prout Manta 38' Catamaran - Sunspot Baby
Posts: 1,521
Images: 14
If you can get it off, two words: New Hose. Handling a used head hose is s**tty duty.

Try a longitudinal slice (or several) with a utility knife at the sea cock, the pry from the cut(s) around to free it.

George
__________________
She took my address and my name
Put my credit to shame
Sunspot Baby, sure had a real good time
Bob Seger
Sunspot Baby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2006, 06:01   #11
Registered User
 
Sonosailor's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Fredericton, NB, Canada in the summer and fall; Caribbean in winter and spring aboard Cat Tales.
Boat: FP Tobago 35 (and a H-21 SE)
Posts: 547
Images: 8
I would suspect that the crystal or precipitate from urine and salt water is the primary problem, although I have often dived in the water with a screwdriver to route out barnacles on the outside of the through-hull fitting.

I would keep trying the vinegar, letting it sit as long as possible, and replacing it often. Even barnacles will soften some.

As for going forward, I suggest to all to figure out just how many pumps of the toilet are required to move all the waste from the head to the hull (or the tank, if that is what you are doing), and ensure that all users pump that often. If the urine is not sitting in the hose, it is not making precipitate there. The once-per-week vinegar treatment is also good maintenance for these problems.
__________________
Sonosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2006, 06:05   #12
cruiser

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4,525
Richhh - I know, right!! I have never seen marine growth like this in all my life. I had to clean off the depth sounder every month this summer. When I went down to do it, there was a little mini city hanging 4" off it!! My prop and hull stayed in good shape, but they certainly set up shop in my thru-hulls.

I'm going to try the snake bit first. If that doesn't work, it's on to the less pleasant removal techniques.
__________________
ssullivan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2006, 06:06   #13
cruiser

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4,525
We always vinegar once a week min, and also pump 25 pumps for urine and 35 pumps for other stuff. We definitely clear the hoses each time.

This is marine growth... I have no idea how it was this strong/bad in this one port we were in.
__________________
ssullivan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2006, 08:25   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,413
Slightly OT...

I have got thsi crazy idea to develop a robot controlled bottom cleaner. I am sure you have seen the robot vacuums?? How about some device with walks along the (hull) bottom with some sort of swirling brushes and perhaps some pressurized water to clean the bottom?

Why bother diving... plug this puppy into a water pump and an electric source and drop it over board and let it go to work scrubbing your bottom. Perhaps we could even dispense with anti fouling paint if you could robot clean your bottom every few days.

Does this sound feeasible?

If so any engineers who want to develop this with me... get in touch! We can rid the world of messy bottoms AND antifouling paint!

Jef
sv Shiva
Contest 36s
__________________
Sandero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2006, 10:03   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,413
OT

I haven't read through all the patents and my concept is for smaller recreational sized vessels... not supertankers and such. If such a device is on the market... I am not aware of it. Any takers?

Jef
sv Shiva
Contest 36s
__________________

__________________
Sandero is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
marine 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
Nigel Caulder on Hoses GordMay Construction, Maintenance & Refit 19 30-06-2015 13:14
Marine Diesel Links GordMay Engines and Propulsion Systems 3 13-06-2008 13:58



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 13:49.


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.