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Old 22-06-2011, 11:08   #1
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Head Puzzle

So we have two heads and I am converting one to a manual (for redundancy sake) but I don't want to have it be a raw water flush. Reason being is the salt water just makes the smell way worse.

My question is how would I run a line off my fresh water system to the intake? Of course I'll put in a check valve before the head to ensure no back flow, etc. I can't seem to find a manual head out there that this would work for so I'm thinking that I'll have to put in a solenoid that operates with a separate switch in the head.

Complicated I know, but my wife insists that it not be raw water flush and if she's not happy well you know the rest....

Mike
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Old 22-06-2011, 22:35   #2
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Re: Head Puzzle

I think you will have trouble using pressurized water on a manual toilet. It's also dangerous to hook your toilet to your drinking water source. The toilet manufactures go to a lot of trouble to prevent back flow. You would be trusting your life to a check valve. Could you install a water tank just to supply the toilet? It wouldn't need to be very large as you could refill it through a deck fitting from your main tanks with a garden hose. No need for a second water pump as the manual toilet would draw the water from the tank. You might also want to put a y-valve in the intake so that you could flush with salt water if you are short of fresh.
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Old 23-06-2011, 07:33   #3
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Re: Head Puzzle

I think vacuflush works very well. It uses and is designed to use very little water. Where as a traditional head may not be so efficient. requiring large amounts of freshwater to become waste may not be a good trade off. My vacu flush so far has been very reliable. I did replace the pump but more of a planned replacement cycle rather then a failure.
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Old 23-06-2011, 07:51   #4
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Re: Head Puzzle

Why not pump it dry, and then rinse with fresh? Sounds like a waste of a lot of good water? Some day that watermaker might break!..........i2f
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Old 23-06-2011, 08:56   #5
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Re: Head Puzzle

Do you really need to go to a manual toilet for redundancy? If you have two toilets designed to flush on pressurized fresh water there are only two things that would likely put both out of action at the same time. First a complete electrical failure. I'm sure you carry spares and have a redundancy plan to deal with that. The second would be a failure of your water pressure pump. I bet you already carry a spare for that. If both toilets are the same make and model it's easy to carry a set of spares for them as well.
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Old 23-06-2011, 11:26   #6
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Re: Head Puzzle

My concern with Vacuflush or the other head is that if the electrical system goes down then I have no way (other than using the poop deck) to use the head. Not really my concern as I have no shame but my wife on the other hand.....

I suppose making sure I have redundancy in my electrical system would be the way to go.

Thanks for the input,
Mike
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Old 23-06-2011, 16:50   #7
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Re: Head Puzzle

I have heard of people using a t and valve from the bathroom sink. Run the sink full of water and then flush it through the toilet when you are done.
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Old 23-06-2011, 17:16   #8
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Re: Head Puzzle

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
I have heard of people using a t and valve from the bathroom sink. Run the sink full of water and then flush it through the toilet when you are done.
That's what I was going to say, per Peggie.

Then you could still flush w/ sea water if you were low on fresh water.
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Old 23-06-2011, 18:15   #9
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Re: Head Puzzle

Where the heck is Peggie? She always has good advice on toilet problems.
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Old 24-06-2011, 20:49   #10
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Re: Head Puzzle

Potable fresh water flush to a manual pump toilet is not difficult but you need to build a holding tank for the fresh water just like the household toilet uses.
- - I did it by taking an empty small square plastic bucket that came with kitty litter and cut two holes in the bottom. In one hole I installed a replacement home toilet water supply float valve and set the shut off float to about halfway up the bucket. Then connected the boat's pressurized fresh water supply to this valve/float assembly.
- - To the other hole I installed a plastic through-hull fitting sized to the size supply hose/pipe/tube that runs to the manual toilet.
- - As the manual toilet is pumped water from the "holding tank" bucket is gravity fed to the toilet. When the water level in the bucket drops enough the float valve opens and refills the bucket.
- - I reinstalled the lid of the bucket with a few air/vent holes punctured in it. This keeps the water in the bucket should the boat heel too much. And the bucket is held down by two rod clamps and a bar across the top.
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Old 24-06-2011, 21:41   #11
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I agree that if everything electric failed my wife would upset. At that point I would have my tail well over the rail and in sure I she would not complain about the toilet flushing. " I can't find the toilet paper with out lights how am I going to...... When I can't see". Me " sorry dear I didn't hear that I can't see you.
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Old 03-07-2011, 23:20   #12
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Re: Head Puzzle

I'm a bit late getting into this one...I've been offline for a while...

Connecting any toilet designed to use sea water to the onboard pressurized water system is a very bad idea and EVERY toilet mfr specifically warns against doing so because because it cannot be done without risk of e-coli contamination of the fresh water system, damage to the toilet or both.

You say you'd install a "check valve"...that's not enough...you'd need a vacuum breaker and redundant one way valves. However, that would only solve half the problem. The other half: manual toilets are designed to PULL flush water through the pump. Pressurized water PUSHES water through the pump, which will mess up seal, valve and gasket alignment....creating more problems than it solves.

90% of the time flushing with sea water will be just fine...it's only when the boat sits with sea water trapped in the system that odor results. There is a very simple solution: tee your toilet intake line into the head sink drain line just ahead of the seacock. Last thing, after you've closed the seacocks, fill the sink with clean fresh water...flush the toilet. Because the seacock is closed, the toilet will pull the water out of the sink...rinsing the sea water out of the WHOLE system--intake line, pump, channel in the rim of the bowl AND the discharge. Or, if you want to flush with fresh all the time, just keep the sink drain thru-hull closed, either the seacock or a conveniently located shutoff valve...fill the sink with water each time to flush the toilet.

Problem solved...although I've never understood why sailors worry so much about whether they'd be able to flush an electric toilet in the event of a power failure. 'Cuz if you don't have even that much power, you prob'ly won't have lights, nav equipment, communication, radar, autopilot or a whole BUNCH of stuff that makes the toilet the LAST thing on your mind...but you would still have a bucket! And anyone who's too dainty to use a bucket in those conditions...well...maybe I'd best rest my case here.
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:09   #13
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Re: Head Puzzle

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
I'm a bit late getting into this one...I've been offline for a while...
Connecting any toilet designed to use sea water to the onboard pressurized water system is a very bad idea and EVERY toilet mfr specifically warns against doing so because because it cannot be done without risk of e-coli contamination of the fresh water system, damage to the toilet or both. . . .
This is one time where I thoroughly disagree with you - hundreds, if not more use fresh water flush systems for their MSD's including me. It reduces the buildup in the hoses to practically zero and also reduces the smell problem when using ordinary pvc hoses.
- - The key to doing it is as I stated in my post, you do not apply positive pressurized water to the MSD, but instead construct a "toilet tank" from which the MSD does it normal system of "sucking" water into it. Since boats in lakes and rivers use natural fresh water from the lake/river in their MSD's which are the exact same ones we "salt-water" sailors use, the MSD's work just fine.
- - The primary consideration of setting up the "fresh water toilet tank" is where to put it and how to secure it so that it will not spill when the boat heels over. I covered that in my post.
- - The major inhibitor in setting up a fresh water MSD system is the huge amount of potable water that it consumes. You need both a watermaker, tanks and the power to operate the system. This is normally possible for those on a budget or the "$500/month" folks.
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:53   #14
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Re: Head Puzzle

Change: "This is normally possible for those on a budget or the "$500/month" folks" to "This is normally not possible for those on a budget or the "$500/month" folks. (I hit the CF 30 minute limit on changes)
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:21   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggray

That's what I was going to say, per Peggie.

Then you could still flush w/ sea water if you were low on fresh water.
This is exactly how my head is plumbed. During daily use we flush with sea water to conserve. Once a day at bedtime I close the seacock to the sink, fill the sink with fresh water and squirt in a small amount of raritan CP. Then flush it through.
We are on the 4th year with same hoses and manual PHII head, and not even a trace of odor...
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