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Old 12-01-2018, 18:52   #31
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

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Originally Posted by MIRELOS View Post
every year I pour vinegar into the system, it's a cheap alternative and non toxic, get it at Costco cheap.
So is muratic acid (stomach acid). Faster and requires more care in handling (remembering that stomach acid's purpose is to dissolve flesh).

The other thing that helps is to flush enough. Some folks try to conserve tank capacity and leave urine sitting in the hoses.
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Old 12-01-2018, 18:56   #32
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

My experience is limited to just a few boats and a total of about five toilets on them. If I can write another rule of boats from this limited experience, it's this: The toilet lines on a pre-owned boat, however conscientious and sweet the previous owners may be, will clog within a fortnight of the boat changing hands, as surely as the sun rises.

I have never seen calcified material in toilet hose; the clogs I have seen are always in the valves, whether Y-valve, thru-hull valve or whatever.

I've used at least a hundred gallons of vinegar on my boats. You can see that I'm hopeful, but I doubt it has done much good. I would repeat two other recommendations: if you use seawater, pump and pump and pump and pump some more to dilute the pee etc.; or go the freshwater route; or do both. My current boat has one seawater toilet and one fresh. Which one to use depends on the availability of water. I'd hate to have only a freshwater toilet; the seawater toilet is the fallback when offshore.

A bit of advice for boating newbies who have seawater toilets: that awful odor of human crap coming from the hoses that seem to be perfectly watertight probably isn't crap at all -- it's just the seawater (that is, the little creatures in it that die and rot quickly). I know that this is obvious to experienced sailors, but it took me years of tying to fix non-existent problems in sea toilets to figure it out.

Of course, a bucket works, but that's too much like camping...
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Old 13-01-2018, 05:34   #33
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

Preformed this unpleasant task recently . Clogged piping and macerator blades clogged tightly with toilet paper.
I have 3 grandkids 2 adults on boat often
Trying too educate these kids on flushing puts a lot of water into holding tank, clogging with too much toilet paper. There not home .
We are at a lovely marina with clean private showers & toilets . They now have no excuse with the exception of during nights, they must use marina bathrooms .
Wife tells me too blow off , I refuse too pump out at ocean. My marina has pump out at gas dock so I pump out when I put on fuel
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Old 13-01-2018, 07:23   #34
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

Preformed this unpleasant task recently . Clogged piping and macerator blades clogged tightly with toilet paper.

I suspect that two things caused the problem: you're using premium "extra strong, extra soft" toilet paper...and/or somebody (prob'ly more than one person)--is flushing wet wipes.

There isn't a macerating toilet made that can chew up a wet wipe...they'll clog manual toilets too. In fact, they shouldn't even be flushed at home...they're causing $$ millions damage to municipal sewer systems. Wet wipes should ALWAYS go into the trash, never into ANY toilet.

You don't have to spend the money for "marine/rv" TP...it's just cheap quick-dissolve TP with a high price tag. Scott has an institutional TP that's suitable for use in marine toilets, but just about any of the cheap no-name or off brand TP will be ok. To find out whether a particular TP is suitable, put a couple of sheets into a mason jar or large glass of water...wait an hour or two, then shake the jar or stir the glass. If the water is milky and all that's left is "snow," that TP is ok for use in marine toilets. But if the sheets are still intact or mostly intact, try another brand.

But even an "overload" of the "right" kind of TP can clog any toilet. However, the good news is, you only have to wait an hour for it to dissolve enough to be able to flush it through.

You'll never have to unclog the toilet again if only quick-dissolve TP--in limited amounts!--is used and you make flushing wet wipes a hanging offense. If that doesn't work, you can just decree that nothing can go into the toilet that hasn't passed through them...EVERYTHING else goes into the trash. Violators will be banished from the boat.

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Old 13-01-2018, 07:35   #35
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

Following up on Peg's latest, we use Scott's 1000 sheets per roll, single ply. They seem to offer two different classifications, we always look for the one labeled "safe for septic systems" and have no trouble with it at all.
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Old 13-01-2018, 07:38   #36
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

Policy vs Management vs Need

For me the head is for use at sea as she has no holding tank. Although for local waters I dont mind if its just pee especially when girls are aboard. I make this policy well understood when with new guests or we go for a daysail

The plan is to replace the head with a composting head, in that way I can lose two more skin fittings and have a head for in port too.

The lines are easy to manage as Zaya's inlet raw water is 1", out is 1-1/2", then to 1"-3/4 then to 2". 'Managing' usually means 2 cups of white vinegar both sea cocks closed and a few pumps with a sink plunger. Then after 40 mins open the sea cocks, two more pumps with the plunger, electrics on and flush.

In this way we always have an odour free head, and the results are good enough to publish.
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Old 13-01-2018, 07:42   #37
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

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Following up on Peg's latest, we use Scott's 1000 sheets per roll, single ply. They seem to offer two different classifications, we always look for the one labeled "safe for septic systems" and have no trouble with it at all.

Yes I think paper choice is a key component in managing the system. I would also consider using the commercial leaf packages instead of roll paper.
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Old 13-01-2018, 11:27   #38
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

I'm sure Peggy Hall is right. However, I find 'marine grade TP at West Marine is only overpriced by less than a buck a month. IMO not worth chasing the small savings. Also 'safe for septic systems' might mean it takes a month or more to dissolve. Way too slow for me.
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Old 13-01-2018, 11:30   #39
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

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So is muratic acid (stomach acid). Faster and requires more care in handling (remembering that stomach acid's purpose is to dissolve flesh).

The other thing that helps is to flush enough. Some folks try to conserve tank capacity and leave urine sitting in the hoses.
Very true. Saving tank capacity by minimal flushes is a bad idea.
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Old 14-01-2018, 00:52   #40
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

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Originally Posted by SVTwilight View Post
White vinegar allowed to slosh around for a few days at the end of the season works perfectly!


Vinegar may not be the driver, as suggested by the experiment documented in detail on https://marinehowto.com/vinegar-in-t...-does-it-work/

Flushing long enough has helped keep the hose absolutely clean in my boat, avoiding urine and salt to mingle in it. No single deposit for more than 3 years now.

We also avoid throwing non-human stuff in the head. And flushing fresh water is done before leaving the boat, so bacteria held in sea water do not stay and die there (which is what generates the typical smell welcoming you back, as I understand it).
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Old 24-01-2018, 14:14   #41
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

Short flushes definitely do not work. We adopt the "yellow's mellow" attitude if we are trying to sit in one anchorage for a longer period. Then standard long flushes.

Cheap toilet paper works a lot better, as Peg says, than the "pillow soft" expensive stuff. Test what's available for yourself. Just put a square or two of the paper in a canning jar of water, shake it up a bit and see what's left there after about a half hour or so. If it effectively dissolves, use it and it will do the same in your system. Try it with the pillow soft stuff and see the difference.

We've actually switched to a bamboo product which both passes the dissolve test very well and still has some softness to it in use. We just buy it on sale in quantity to keep costs down. Can't tell you how much these fibres break down further in the ocean though - very few pumpouts in my part of the world so my holding tank contents go overboard. Don't see any paper in the discharge and have had no system problems in 12 years.

I also use a NoFlex digestor product in the tank - seems to work very well. Helps keep odours down as well as break things up - not sure if it acts on the paper as well.
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Old 24-01-2018, 18:46   #42
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

Vinegar will do it. Do NoT go nuts with muriatic acid and the such. Vinegar is cheap and gentle. Just add a bit of patience and your all good.
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Old 24-01-2018, 19:05   #43
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

I think that by there nature boat owners try to conserve, and that it doing so they are trying to conserve the holding tanks capacity and minimise water consumption. This promotes short flushes which if you think about it probably just use the water in the system pipes from the thru hull to the head.

So after a few weeks or months being laid up with infrequent use you crack the through hulls open, old water with dead microbial life is all that is in the system from the thru hull to the bowl, when it finds its way into the bowl and stays there because its not pumped through, it smells.

Its that charge you should pump all the way overboard, because if you can direct the first quite long discharge of water overboard instead of into holding, you are conserving your capacity and not actually discharging excrement out of the boat which is rightly illegal, and still preserving the water quality in the bowl.
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Old 24-01-2018, 20:04   #44
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

This thread was originally about how to prevent/cure sea water MINERAL buildup in sanitation hoses. The last few posters have morphed it into all the ways they keep the hoses free of waste and TP. They're two totally different topics.

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Old 24-01-2018, 20:11   #45
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Re: How do you keep your toilet pipes clear

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This thread was originally about how to prevent/cure sea water MINERAL buildup in sanitation hoses. The last few posters have morphed it into all the ways they keep the hoses free of waste and TP. They're two totally different topics.

Peggie
"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't completely understand it yourself." Albert Einstein
these are not unrelated topics, they are the same topic

it is too late to modify my post to make everyone happy, but I would contend that the subject causes had evolved, and that adequate flushing is a reasonable fix. Unless of course you or someone else disagrees and can state why. For which you have everyones attention.

was there something else...?
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