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Old 01-06-2011, 12:37   #1
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Holding Tank - Vertical or Horizontal ?

I've read through everything and can't find an answer to whether the tank should be upright or horizontal. I've got quick and cheap access to a 35 gal tank from Todd Enterprises. (I need to finish my install!) It is 16 x 15.5 x 36". I've also got the space to install horiztally - 15.5" high, or upright - 36" high. The installed fittings are on the 16 x 15.5 surface so if I place horizontally I will move the fittings to keep them on top.

Upright gives less free water effect, horizontal provides more surface area for aeration. The head is a Sea Elegance so the upright tank shouldn't be a problem to pump into.

Any thoughts? Advice?
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:53   #2
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Re: Holding Tank - vertical or horizontal?

Don't know what "free water effect" is, but vertically would need to be strapped down more securely due to weight up high when it gets near full.
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:59   #3
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Re: Holding Tank - vertical or horizontal?

I have taken securing the tank into consideration and have a structural bulkhead to secure it to. The free water effect is the movement of fluids in long flat tanks causing small waves in the tank (assuming no baffles) that can cause tank movement.
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Old 01-06-2011, 13:30   #4
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Re: Holding Tank - vertical or horizontal?

This is such a small tank I don't think you'll have a problem from the water sloshing around. Most holding tanks are mounted horizontal. My guess is it would work either way. Peg Hall will be along shortly to give you the definitive answer.
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Old 01-06-2011, 13:36   #5
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Re: Holding Tank - vertical or horizontal?

Not too sure of the details, but if you can install it vertically with a seacock below it and a Tee in between to the deck pumpout. It's real simple and works wonderfully. Off shore? just open the seacock and it gravity empties fast.
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Old 01-06-2011, 13:50   #6
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Re: Holding Tank - vertical or horizontal?

Sounds like the location off the fittings would determine placement of the tank. Fittings up high and the tank won;t deain, you would have to pump it out at sea instead of free flow.
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Old 01-06-2011, 14:07   #7
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Re: Holding Tank - vertical or horizontal?

No doubt the seacock needs to be below the tank.... and maybe not too long a horizontal run. After seeing this system on new Halberg Rassey boats several years ago, i did it on two boats.... and it works very well.
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Old 01-06-2011, 14:21   #8
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Re: Holding Tank - vertical or horizontal?

Mount it Horizontally to give the tank the most surface area for the bacteria to do their stuff and keep the smell down. We have a 40 gallon tank from Todd, and mounted it Horizontally, put two 1" vents on it to ensure good airflow. (point one aft, and one forward with vent covers) The Admiral once cleaned the head with a Pinesol or Bleach and killed all the "good bacteria" in the tank, (my fault I forgot to get appropriate cleaner and we were out) and it stunk for a week until we were able to thoroughly rinse and pump the tank out several times. Having the two 1" vents plus the large surface areas really makes a difference in keeping the odor down. Our tank is mounted behind our galley seatte, and you cannot tell that it is even in the same room.
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Old 01-06-2011, 18:53   #9
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Re: Holding Tank - vertical or horizontal?

Thanks to all for the comments. Horizontal it is.
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Old 01-06-2011, 19:35   #10
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Re: Holding Tank - vertical or horizontal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
Peg Hall will be along shortly to give you the definitive answer.
I've already given him what I consider to be the definitive answer on another site...I'll repost it here for y'all:



Doesn't really matter whether the tank is vertical or horizontal unless the vertical orientation would make the tank deeper than 20". What does matter is the locations of the fittings in the tank, simplicity of plumbing it, and ability to have a short straight relatively horizontal 1" vent line ("standard" vent line installed in all off the shelf tanks is only 5/8").

I know you want to get this job done, but I wouldn't go with a Todd tank...there's a reason why they're so cheap...you get what you pay for. My big toenail is thicker than the tank walls...not thick enough to support the weight of the contents (35 gallons weighs nearly 300 lbs!) without bulging. So you'd have to build a plywood box to support it on all sides or the sides will bulge, which ultimately results in a cracked tank. "Fitting relocation kits" are not the best thing either...they often leak!

You haven't mentioned hoses, but I suspect you're going cheap and easy to get for that so you can "get 'er done now" too...which means it's gonna permeate before the summer is over. You haven't mentioned exactly where you want to put this tank either...that can make plumbing and venting more of an issue than it needs to be.

You say you "need to finish this install"...why the rush? If you have a real deadline, not an artificial one because you just want to get the boat into the water, I suggest you spend $50 for a cheap portapotty to get you onto the water and buy you the time you need to do this job right...'cuz it's ALWAYS cheaper and easier to do anything right the first time than it is to do it over...and you WILL have to do this job over if you go the way you're starting out to go.
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Old 01-06-2011, 19:59   #11
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Re: Holding Tank - vertical or horizontal?

Peggie, What is the name of the company that makes the good tanks? I think it starts with an "R". What happens if the tank is more than 20" deep?
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Old 01-06-2011, 20:38   #12
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Re: Holding Tank - vertical or horizontal?

Ronco Plastics Ronco Plastics (no relation to the Vegomatic Ronco)...They make top quality thick-walled (at least 50% thicker than most OEM tanks and most off the shelf tanks, twice as thick as some) rotomolded tanks for a VERY reasonable price and have more than 400 shapes/sizes, over 100 of which are non-rectangular...and they install fittings in the sizes and locations specified by the customer when they make the tank. We sold their tanks for nearly 10 years...they're great to work with! Turn around is only about 2 weeks.

20" is about as deep as it's possible to maintain an aerobic environment in a tank--necessary to eliminate odor--using passive ventilation...deeper than 20" turns anaerobic at the bottom unless the contents are aerated.
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Old 01-06-2011, 20:43   #13
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Re: Holding Tank - vertical or horizontal?

The vertical installation would put the tank depth at 36" - as stated in my original post. And the 20" issue that Peggie points out is the reason for my original post. Couldn't seem to find the reason before. And the install is not cheap - $600 Sea Elegance head with smart panel, all trident 101 hoses. All based on recommendations from Peggie's posts on various forums. Not sure why I got hit with the cheap tag...
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Old 01-06-2011, 20:51   #14
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Re: Holding Tank - vertical or horizontal?

And I'm still going with the with the horizontal orientation per post #9 above. Thanks to all for the comments and to Peggie for the 20" explanation. Also, thanks for the info on Ronco tanks vs the "others".
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Old 01-06-2011, 21:12   #15
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Re: Holding Tank - vertical or horizontal?

It was your starting out by saying, "I've got quick and cheap access to a 35 gal tank from Todd Enterprises. (I need to finish my install!)" that caused me to jump to the conclusion that you were doing the whole thing quick and cheap to get it done! Sorry 'bout that.
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