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Old 12-01-2018, 10:12   #16
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

After reading the posts, I've concluded, aside from the bucket, that the clear answer to the the OP's question is regular weekly maintenance using a weak acid (vinegar or a recommended commercial product) for a short period, followed by a thorough flush, using fresh water if possible. Personal experience also says it is good practice to learn to replace the joker valve, and carry spares. Different guidelines apply to composting heads.
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Old 12-01-2018, 10:19   #17
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

I have tried a lot of things and vinegar does not work. I put chunks of the calcified stuff in vinegar and let it sit for weeks and it didn't change it at all.

Practical Sailor did the same and only had luck with some of the commercial products that I can't remember right now.

However, what has worked very well for me, as mentioned above, is fresh water. I left one of the hoses I had replaced outside with ends up so it caught rain water. When I notice it I picked it up and all the crap came pouring out in a wet grainy sludge.

Since then I fill my head with fresh water from the shower head and pump it into the hose when I leave the boat and I haven't had any buildup in the hoses for at least 10 years.

I haven't had to try it but I bet if you where to use this same method on clogged hoses it would clean them out over time.
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Old 12-01-2018, 10:41   #18
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

Head pipes suddenly blocked up on my new to me boat. Obviously obstruction in the pipes almost totally, but not completely blocking them,. Went to good old Costco and bought their two gallons for the price of one white vinegar special. I know it's not a Costco special but compared to what the vinegar costs in the outside world it's a deal. Over the period of a couple days flushed vinegar through the system with minimal water and let it sit. The back pressure became less and less with each iteration till finally obstruction totally gone. Used most of a gallon of vinegar to clear the system. Now the vinegar sits next to the head and dump it in every once in a while depending volume of use. No more problems.
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Old 12-01-2018, 10:43   #19
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

I always flush the toilet with at less ten pumping actions and never put toilet paper through the system but in a small container and empted on a daily basis bagged up.
When I leave our boat I always flush through with a bucket of fresh water. Since I replaced our out pipe six years ago no build up of calcium since.
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Old 12-01-2018, 10:48   #20
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

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Originally Posted by northwestsailor View Post
We donít allow anything that has not gone through the digestive system to go down the toilet. We use a small covered plastic bagged receptacle next to the toilet for that. Emptied regularly there is no smell, no blocked toilets and makes everyone happy.
What about the urinary system?

And that's the problem, of course -- not the solid, but rather the liquid waste, which reacts with seawater to form calcium deposits, which narrow and eventually block the waste pipes.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the first line of defense -- flushing enough in the first place that you get it all out of the lines so it doesn't stand there. For those of you using holding tanks, this can cause a conflict of interest between keeping the pee out of the lines and conserving holding tank capacity. But it's important. I measured the time it takes each of my electric toilets to clear food dye from the lines (put food coloring in the clean toilet bowl and flushed with clean fresh water while the boat was on the hard). It takes longer than you might think.

Besides trying to be careful not to let urine stand in the lines, I also treat mine with lactic acid (sold as a descaling agent) or citric acid periodically, a few times a year. I avoid muriatic acid because it seems to me that it would be especially harmful to sea life. I flush it through and let it stand in the lines for a few hours, then flush out with fresh water.

I used to flush through with fresh water every time I left the boat. I eventually got tired of the effort and stopped doing it.
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Old 12-01-2018, 10:51   #21
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How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

Odd. My boat has probably almost 20í of hose to get to the tank, way more than it should, and therefore I should be a card carrying member of the clogged hose club.
I replaced all hoses and tanks about a year ago, which was about a year after switching to fresh water flush, there was zero, absolutely nothing in the hoses. Now to be perfectly honest I had flushed probably 20gls of bleach and water solution to disinfect everything as much as possible before I tore into it, but that shouldnít have removed calcification?
Two years later, I donít believe we have any calcification either and we donít do anything to clear it, just flush with fresh water.
I believe itís the fresh water that is the key, but unless your always near a marina with free fresh water your going to need a watermaker if you flush with fresh water, the amount of water that goes through a head is more than you would think. With showering, washing clothes and flushing the head with fresh water, we go through 30 gls a day.
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:00   #22
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

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Peggy - does the white vinegar harm the KO in the holding tank? Thanks.
Nope...won't interfere with K.O. a bit.
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:02   #23
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

Slosh around where? It only has one purpose: to prevent buildup in hoses. So I don't know where you could let it sit that wouldn't damage soft rubber parts in toilets.
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:56   #24
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

Peg, I have worried about the damage possible to the Joker Valve based on your statements to not let it sit on the valve. Are you talking bowl side only? I've worried about flushing the cup of vinegar and deciding how much water to put behind it to keep it off the 'other' side of the Joker yet trying not to flush it out of the system.

Is it OK to flush the 1 to 2 cups of vinegar and maybe 1/2 cup of fresh water to clear the Joker and then let it sit?

Thanks!
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Old 12-01-2018, 12:20   #25
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

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Originally Posted by northwestsailor View Post
We donít allow anything that has not gone through the digestive system to go down the toilet. We use a small covered plastic bagged receptacle next to the toilet for that. Emptied regularly there is no smell, no blocked toilets and makes everyone happy.
Agree completely, no paper, (almost) no problems.
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Old 12-01-2018, 13:35   #26
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

We just give our toilets a good long flush. Make sure all the waste is flushed completely out of the hose. 8 years now, living aboard, still with the original hoses.
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Old 12-01-2018, 14:54   #27
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

Peg, I have worried about the damage possible to the Joker Valve based on your statements to not let it sit on the valve. Are you talking bowl side only? I've worried about flushing the cup of vinegar and deciding how much water to put behind it to keep it off the 'other' side of the Joker yet trying not to flush it out of the system.

45-60 minutes isn't long enough to do any damage...leaving vinegar to sit in the bowl while you're away from the boat for several days--which people do--is.

Is it OK to flush the 1 to 2 cups of vinegar and maybe 1/2 cup of fresh water to clear the Joker and then let it sit?

If you're gonna do that, you might as well forget about using the vinegar...'cuz whatever you flush behind the vinegar won't just rinse the joker valve, it'll go all the way through the hoses...diluting it or rinsing it out of the hose.

Methinks you're waaay over-thinking something that's very simple: flush an undiluted cupful or two of vinegar (distilled white, not cider) all the way through to the tank. Wait 45-60 minutes. Flush about a quart of clean fresh water through the system. You're done, with no damage to anything.
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Old 12-01-2018, 15:51   #28
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

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[I]You're done, with no damage to anything.
Excellent! Thanks much.

PS: I have your book but was still unsure and didn't' want to damage poor Joker.
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Old 12-01-2018, 16:08   #29
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear?

Airhead composting toilet.
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Old 12-01-2018, 18:37   #30
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

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Then maybe we could just drink the vinegar and pee it down?
taking the piss
we take it as our solemn duty to drink the distilled variety
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