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Old 26-10-2015, 06:39   #1
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How to clean pipes ?

Hi,

My yacht is at the moment on her way to Caribbean. So according to a Sevenstar I shad to be out of water, black and grey water as well, so I would like to ask what I should take care when a yacht would be on land again. So sailors told me that I should put some detergents in. Any help welcome
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Old 26-10-2015, 11:48   #2
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Re: How to clean pipes ?

Uric acid crystals seem to be the most common blocking problem on head hoses. Some people routinely put vinegar or diluted muriatic acid in to the toilet and pump a little so it sits in the hoses and helps dissolve the crystals. I have seen others say not to do that. It does help to completely flush out urine from the hoses so it does not sit in the hoses along with the sea water. Using fresh water would keep them clean but that takes a lot of fresh water and it is a pain to add it in to the bowl or you have to plumb it in to the toilet from your tanks.

Grey water hoses most often clog from hair and scum. You should use preventative measures like keeping your shower sump clean and use screens at the pumps. Pumps can burn out if clogged too.

I have not heard of using detergents as a cleaning agent. I don't think they would work. Lots of water pumped through the hoses is the best prevention. But check with Peggy Hall - she has a really good book on heads and plumbing issues. She is an active contributor here.
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Old 26-10-2015, 15:25   #3
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Re: How to clean pipes ?

You rang?

Regular doses of distilled white vinegar will PREVENT mineral buildup in hoses, and will dissolve buildup, but it takes forever...prevention is easier. The easist cure for buildup is muriatic (hydrochloric) acid...Brits know it as "brick cleaner." Available from hardware stores...use about 15% solution. Read and FOLLOW all directions for safe handling! Put it through the toilet...just a couple of cupfuls--enough to "coat" the hoses...let it sit for about 45 minutes, then do it again and wait for 45 minutes. Then rinse out the hoses with clean FRESH water. Use a cup from the sink or a bucket to put it in a sea water toilet.

A strong solution of detergent will remove grease, oils and the animal fats on tank walls, but it won't touch mineral buildup.

Flush the tanks VERY thoroughly with just water to get rid of any sludge. It's not necessary to fill the tanks...just put enough into the tank via the deck pumpout fitting--'cuz that sends the water into the bottom of the tank to stir up sludge and hold it in suspension so it can be pumped out--to cover the bottom to a depth of 4-6"...pump or dump. Repeat...repeat...till you're pumping or dumping clean water.

Now you're ready to clean the tanks. Put a strong solution of detergent (automotice engine degreasers are great for this) and water--about a quart/50 gallon capacity...fill the tanks and let 'em sit for 24 hours. Then pump or dump...refill with water to rinse...pump or dump that. That SHOULD be enough to get your tanks clean enough to start them again....you're not gonna wash dishes in 'em, they just need to be reasonably clean.

Sumps can be cleaned using a bio-active (bacteria or enzyme) cleaner to "eat" the hair, soap scum, body oils etc that collect and clog up pumps. Fill the sump about 1/3 full with water...put the cleaner down the shower drain...let it stand at least overnight to give the critters time to work...then flush thoroughly with plenty of clean water.

That oughta do it. Questions?
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Old 26-10-2015, 15:37   #4
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Re: How to clean pipes ?

I have always used Muriatic (Hydrochloric) acid. And yes, it should be diluted to a 20% solution.

It's dangerous stuff and you wouldn't want to get any into your eye. In the US it's got scary things like skeletons for safety, but in some countries its sold right next to the hand soap, so be sure and practice your words before you go shopping. Tuzruhu in Turkey, Muriatico in Italy...and so on ...
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Old 28-10-2015, 03:43   #5
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Re: How to clean pipes ?

For head discharge hoses, the simple thing is to remove and hit with a hammer/whack against the dock to break up the scale, flush through when done and refit. Simples.

Except when, like me you throw one of the vital lengths of hose overboard ...
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Old 28-10-2015, 08:58   #6
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Re: How to clean pipes ?

You really think that all you have to do to remove and replace hoses that run through all kinds of hard-to-access places is simpler than just flushing vinegar down the toilet regularly to prevent buildup, or flushing acid to dissolve it????
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Old 28-10-2015, 10:16   #7
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Re: How to clean pipes ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
You really think that all you have to do to remove and replace hoses that run through all kinds of hard-to-access places is simpler than just flushing vinegar down the toilet regularly to prevent buildup, or flushing acid to dissolve it????
I learned my lesson a few years ago in Mexico. On the way from La Paz to PV and the head stopped pumping. The discharge hose from the toilet was plugged up by crystals. Only a pencil sized hole left. How it worked up to that time is a mystery. Must have been the Mexican food?

Anyway - spent three days in an unplanned anchorage (Los Muertos) taking out (OMG hard!) the hoses, beating them on the deck for a whole day, and then a day to reinstall. As Peg says, no fun to route or unroute those stupid rigid hoses in tight quarters through holes with sharp bends on the other side that you can't get to. Never again. Not "simples" unless everything is open on your boat with simple runs to all your fixtures.
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Old 30-10-2015, 03:44   #8
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Re: How to clean pipes ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
You really think that all you have to do to remove and replace hoses that run through all kinds of hard-to-access places is simpler than just flushing vinegar down the toilet regularly to prevent buildup, or flushing acid to dissolve it????
Yes, because on my boat, a bit of thought has gone into the plumbing runs. Even when I was a full time cruiser, clearing the head pipework was a bi-annual job.
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Old 30-10-2015, 06:29   #9
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Re: How to clean pipes ?

I need to replace hoses soon, if money is no object, what is the best hose for resisting permeation ?
I only want to do this once if possible
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Old 30-10-2015, 08:33   #10
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Re: How to clean pipes ?

What about beer line cleaner (used to clean the pipes from the cellar to the hand pump) if in places struggling to get other products? Should be easily and cheaply available in most places with bars (heck ask in a local bar if they will sell you some, it's an excuse to go in them and have a few beers and a chat)? I'd make sure the whole system had the cleaning solution sat in it, and leave it in there for a decent number of hours (overnight? use a potty while it is working).

If pipes in a bad way, I'd use the cleaner every few days for a couple of weeks, and all should be fine then. Then perhaps schedule it for once a month?

The only lines to the bar that never needed cleaning (all others used to be done once a week - but then you aren't looking to drink the output from the heads), were the ones carrying cider (they were self cleaning).

I clean my inner pipes (in my body) with regular applications of cider.
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Old 30-10-2015, 11:59   #11
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Re: How to clean pipes ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I need to replace hoses soon, if money is no object, what is the best hose for resisting permeation ?
I only want to do this once if possible
Trident 101, which is a double walled rubber hose that has a biocide in the rubber formular, has been on the market for approx 20 yrs without a single reported odor permeation failure. Biggest downside: it's as stiff as an ironing board, requiring inline radius fittings for any but the most gradual bends. You should be able to find 1.5" for well under $10/ft

Raritan introduced their Saniflex hose about 5 years ago that's MUCH softer. So far, not a single reported failure. But it's PRICY--you'd be lucky to find it for $13/ft. Raritan hose and waste treatment accessories

Those are the only two I recommend.

Btw...10 years is about the useful life of any hose...'cuz rubber and plastic dry out, crack and become increasingly brittle after that. It's wise to keep a very close eye on any that are 10 years or older.
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Old 30-10-2015, 12:23   #12
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Re: How to clean pipes ?

Mine were replaced in 02, and are permeated, I do not know who made them, and the design of my boat means you can't really flush the hose out without opening the discharge valve.
Ten years is good enough for me, we leave Summer of 17, If we are still cruising in 27, then someone else will be installing those I think.
Thanks for telling me which hose, I can't see how saving $100 on this and having to re-do it is money saved.
I may go the Raritan route as it looks to be a bear to change the hose, I know it can be done though, because it was done.

You have more experience with this than anyone, what's your gut feeling, is the Raritan going to be as good as the trident?
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Old 30-10-2015, 13:08   #13
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Re: How to clean pipes ?

My "gut feeling" after watching it for 5 years is, yes...I think the Raritan hose is proving to be as good as Trident 101. The key to preventing permeation in any hose is, don't leave standing sewage in it. Even the best hose will eventually permeate if you do. Flush it out with a bowl full of clean water daily...or at least last thing before the boat will sit (Add water from the sink or a bucket!). That will delay even the cheapest hose from permeating enough to start stinking.
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Old 30-10-2015, 14:16   #14
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Re: How to clean pipes ?

OK, I'll go with the Raritan then. I like the idea of it being flexible, ought to make the install easier.
I do fill the bowl completly, I have fresh water flush, and pump a full bowl to the tank, before we leave for the week, but as the entrance to the tank is at the top, I believe you can't completely empty the hose, it functions like a pee trap, I believe I am diluting it, but not completely flushing the hose out. Best I can do though. Hose is 14 years old, so I guess it did better than it ought to actually


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Old 30-10-2015, 16:28   #15
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Re: How to clean pipes ?

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....but as the entrance to the tank is at the top, I believe you can't completely empty the hose, it functions like a pee trap, I believe I am diluting it, but not completely flushing the hose out. Best I can do though. Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
Re-routing the new discharge hose may be able to fix that: Come UP out of the toilet to a loop--doesn't have to be a vented loop if it only goes to the tank--that's above the top of the tank. You'll only have to flush long enough to push the bowl contents over the top of the loop...gravity will get it the rest of the way to the tank. Only clean water will be left in the line from the toilet to the top of the tank...how much runs back into the toilet will be a good indicator of the joker valve condition.

If there's already a vented loop in the discharge line, relocate it to be immediately after the toilet.

There may be other factors--length of the run from the toilet to the tank, immutable routing, etc--that may make this more of a challenge than it's worth... If you want to brainstorm it a bit, contact me directly.
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