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Old 05-03-2015, 06:59   #1
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Holding Tank Pumpout -- "Rinse" Port?

Happily, I have little experience with holding tanks. I count myself very lucky. Cruising in Florida, we had a Lectra San and discharged overboard through that. Here in Atlantic Europe, everyone discharges straight overboard. There are no restrictions other than not doing it near a beach or right in a harbor.

But I spent all last summer in the Baltic, and will leave for there again 1 May. New rules in Sweden make it illegal to discharge anywhere in Swedish territorial waters. So you cannot practically follow the rules without pumping out. And my boat, although she has a large holding tank, has no deck pumpout port.

I am now fixing that, which is a PITA what with drilling the hole in the deck, ripping out cabinetry to run the hoses, etc. Meh! But it must be done.

I have been looking at other boats in the marina here, and noticed that some have a second port marked "Rinse" or "Pumpout Rinse" -- what is that? Is it needed? You more experienced guys, please guide the holding tank newbie
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Old 05-03-2015, 07:03   #2
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Re: Holding Tank Pumpout -- "Rinse" Port?

I've not seen that, but I expect the rinse port is so that you can be running water in as you're pumping out.

My MO, when I had a tank, was to pump out, pull the pumpout hose, then add water back to the tank and flush the tank, and flush the toilet a couple times (clearing the lines), and then pump that out, flushing the system twice or so. There should be a viewing port on the pumpout hose, you can see if what it's pumping is clear or not.
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Old 05-03-2015, 07:10   #3
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Re: Holding Tank Pumpout -- "Rinse" Port?

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Originally Posted by jaybird1111 View Post
I've not seen that, but I expect the rinse port is so that you can be running water in as you're pumping out.

My MO, when I had a tank, was to pump out, pull the pumpout hose, then add water back to the tank and flush the tank, and flush the toilet a couple times (clearing the lines), and then pump that out, flushing the system twice or so. There should be a viewing port on the pumpout hose, you can see if what it's pumping is clear or not.
You can do that but it's best not to use the same hose you fill the potable water tank with.

Also, you won't win any friends doing that if other boats are waiting in line to use the pumpout.

My thought is, you're just going to poop in it again so why bother? It doesn't have to be all that clean.
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Old 05-03-2015, 07:12   #4
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Re: Holding Tank Pumpout -- "Rinse" Port?

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Originally Posted by jaybird1111 View Post
... My MO, when I had a tank, was to pump out, pull the pumpout hose, then add water back to the tank and flush the tank, and flush the toilet a couple times (clearing the lines), and then pump that out, flushing the system twice or so. There should be a viewing port on the pumpout hose, you can see if what it's pumping is clear or not.
I also.
I made up a "black water" adapter (for the purpose of filling rinse water), consisting of a 3-4 ft length of garden hose with a female threaded connector on one end.
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Old 05-03-2015, 07:18   #5
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Re: Holding Tank Pumpout -- "Rinse" Port?

To be honest, my thought was, 'I gotta get rid of this whole damned sh!tter,' so I bought a composting toilet and have lived happier ever after but that wasn't the man's question
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Old 05-03-2015, 07:21   #6
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Re: Holding Tank Pumpout -- "Rinse" Port?

We used to give our Hunter "enemas till clear" in order to keep the hard sludge from building up on the holding tank bottom and causing the waste hoses to stink. The Hunter only had the option of pumping out since the macerator pumps were usually seized. On the Oyster, we've never used the holding tank and simply direct discharge to the horror of the greenies and delight of the fishies. But the tank is designed differently without a macerator. It sits higher and uses gravity, so to flush it all you need to do is run water through it. If yours is also the gravity type, you probably don't need the rinse port.
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Old 05-03-2015, 07:38   #7
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Re: Holding Tank Pumpout -- "Rinse" Port?

We just rinse after a pump out, first with a little fresh water through the head (and pumped out), and then second with a little fresh water back down the discharge hose (via the pump-out outlet.) No rinse port...


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Old 05-03-2015, 07:40   #8
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Re: Holding Tank Pumpout -- "Rinse" Port?

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We used to give our Hunter "enemas till clear" in order to keep the hard sludge from building up on the holding tank bottom and causing the waste hoses to stink. The Hunter only had the option of pumping out since the macerator pumps were usually seized. On the Oyster, we've never used the holding tank and simply direct discharge to the horror of the greenies and delight of the fishies. But the tank is designed differently without a macerator. It sits higher and uses gravity, so to flush it all you need to do is run water through it. If yours is also the gravity type, you probably don't need the rinse port.
My macerator pump works fine, and both toilets are macerating anyway.

You get away with direct discharge in the Med? I thought the rules were similar to the Baltic.

My tank is not gravity discharge -- it's slightly below the waterline. But I don't see how that makes any difference for pumping out? If you mean that I would rinse and let the wash go out into the sea, then I would just use the macerator pump. But that seems kind of wrong -- wouldn't you rinse and continue pumping out?
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Old 05-03-2015, 07:48   #9
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Re: Holding Tank Pumpout -- "Rinse" Port?

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My macerator pump works fine, and both toilets are macerating anyway.

You get away with direct discharge in the Med? I thought the rules were similar to the Baltic.

My tank is not gravity discharge -- it's slightly below the waterline. But I don't see how that makes any difference for pumping out? If you mean that I would rinse and let the wash go out into the sea, then I would just use the macerator pump. But that seems kind of wrong -- wouldn't you rinse and continue pumping out?
If you are pumping out and rinsing, yes, you would pump out the rinse water as well. It would still contain some sewage.
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Old 05-03-2015, 07:54   #10
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Re: Holding Tank Pumpout -- "Rinse" Port?

When pumping out at a marina, we'll 'rinse' the holding tank after a pumpout if they allow it. Many do. Those that do typically have a hose dedicated to that purpose. We fill ours through the pumpout fitting, then get it pumped out a second time. I suspect the second fitting is so you can use a potable water hose to do the same job?

I wouldn't feel comfortable with that.
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Old 05-03-2015, 07:55   #11
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Re: Holding Tank Pumpout -- "Rinse" Port?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
My macerator pump works fine, and both toilets are macerating anyway.

You get away with direct discharge in the Med? I thought the rules were similar to the Baltic.

My tank is not gravity discharge -- it's slightly below the waterline. But I don't see how that makes any difference for pumping out? If you mean that I would rinse and let the wash go out into the sea, then I would just use the macerator pump. But that seems kind of wrong -- wouldn't you rinse and continue pumping out?
Both toilets are the macerating type on the Oyster, not so when we had the Hunter. The head with the holding tank has the holding tank above the waterline, so there's no need for a macerator bump, just open the seacock and empty/flush via a large 2 inch waste hose.

Direct discharge in the Med? Since I've only seen 3-4 places offering pumpout stations after 3 summers in the Med, I have to assume most boats are direct discharge or doing an awesome job of "holding it."


"Enemas till clear:" Medical speak for cleaning out the colon (holding tank), refilling with fresh water, emptying the holding tank.. over and over till clear discharge. Most pumpout mechanisms have a window of clear plastic hose to view what's passing through the hose. So, clear water in.... pumpout via deck fitting.... clean water in etc. 'Till clear.


You really need to get the semi solid-sludge off the bottom of the tank. Enzymes will also help to break it up.
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Old 05-03-2015, 08:46   #12
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Re: Holding Tank Pumpout -- "Rinse" Port?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Happily, I have little experience with holding tanks. I count myself very lucky. Cruising in Florida, we had a Lectra San and discharged overboard through that. Here in Atlantic Europe, everyone discharges straight overboard. There are no restrictions other than not doing it near a beach or right in a harbor.

But I spent all last summer in the Baltic, and will leave for there again 1 May. New rules in Sweden make it illegal to discharge anywhere in Swedish territorial waters. So you cannot practically follow the rules without pumping out. And my boat, although she has a large holding tank, has no deck pumpout port.

I am now fixing that, which is a PITA what with drilling the hole in the deck, ripping out cabinetry to run the hoses, etc. Meh! But it must be done.

I have been looking at other boats in the marina here, and noticed that some have a second port marked "Rinse" or "Pumpout Rinse" -- what is that? Is it needed? You more experienced guys, please guide the holding tank newbie
It depends on the type of holding tank installation you have. If it is a gravity empty then one option is to pump out and then open the sea outlet and then pump out some more. The pump-out sucks seawater back up into the tank and back flushes it.
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Old 05-03-2015, 08:57   #13
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Re: Holding Tank Pumpout -- "Rinse" Port?

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When pumping out at a marina, we'll 'rinse' the holding tank after a pumpout if they allow it. Many do. Those that do typically have a hose dedicated to that purpose. We fill ours through the pumpout fitting, then get it pumped out a second time.
Exactly what I do, then we rinse the pump out hose clean by having it suck all the water out of a 5 gl bucket too. My marina pumps directly into the City sewer, so they don't care realistically how much water you use.
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Old 05-03-2015, 09:07   #14
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Re: Holding Tank Pumpout -- "Rinse" Port?

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It depends on the type of holding tank installation you have. If it is a gravity empty then one option is to pump out and then open the sea outlet and then pump out some more. The pump-out sucks seawater back up into the tank and back flushes it.
I think it works even better with a non-gravity feed. I found out the hard way when I left the sea cock open one time. Fills the black water tank right up!
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Old 05-03-2015, 10:53   #15
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Re: Holding Tank Pumpout -- "Rinse" Port?

If you are building or modifying a boat's sanitary system, you would do well to get this book and study it first:





It could save you a lot of headaches.
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