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Old 04-08-2007, 12:20   #1
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Lavac Head Install

I have been waiting on devine intervention on how to run the 1.5" hose in my Orion for the new head. That stuff is like wrestling a boa! I am VERY space restricted for the pump, has anybody any experience with using 1.5 " sch 40 PVC? I can use "running 90's" for the outflow to the holding tank and save some room. Any suggestion on the transition from the white hose to the PVC? And what is the tightest 90 degree turn to consider for the out flow between the head and pump? I think I have improved the boat till... well if anybody reads this, they understand!!
Thanks
Jay
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Old 04-08-2007, 14:11   #2
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I love LAVAC toilets. Mine is about twenty years old. In that time I've changed the toilet seat once, and the bilge pump parts twice. Everyone I know who has switched says the same thing. Those with Wilcox Crittendens, and the myriad other marvels of the dark side of plumbing technology, don't believe those of us who have "gone over". Too bad.

As for your plumbing issues, here are some tricks that I have used with great success. First, as the "product" passes through the bilge pump, after evacuation from the bowl, it is broken up into a kind of slurry which easily passes through plumbing elbows. This includes toilet paper, but not tampons, teddy bears, or other large objects. Just build a U-shaped assembly to fit the confined space. Then, heat the 1 1/2" white sanitation hose ends with a hair dryer or heat gun, lube the inside with liquid detergent, and easily slide the hoses onto your U-tube.

My holding tank is installed as high as possible in the forepeak locker. "Product" enters through the top. At the bottom of the tank is an elbow, an exit hose to a 1 1/2" PVC ball valve, then another elbow connected to the throughhull that exits ABOVE the waterline. There are NO pumps to empty the tank, only the force of gravity. This, of course, is used only at sea, or where appropriate. The rest of the time, the PVC valve is closed and the tank fills. A deck cleanout hose leads to a tee, upstream of the PVC valve. Every couple weeks the local "honey boat" makes a stop, sticks his hose into the deck fitting, pumps the tank empty, and leaves his business card.

One other cool thing: There is a product called K.O., sold through WEST Marine, that is composed of aerobic bacteria. These critters don't exercise, but they do need lots of oxygen to do their stuff to break down waste. I built my tank to have two vent lines, both 1 1/2" in diameter, installed on the port and starboard sides of the bow. In use for several years now, mine seems to be the only head on our dock that doesn't stink. The ambient breeze provides enough air for the bugs to flourish.
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Old 04-08-2007, 17:00   #3
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Solid PVC pipe is a boad idea on boats! Boats move and flex, PVC pipe does not. Eventually it will break. You can make it work with cleaver hangers and flexible couplings, but it is not a good solution.

As a helpful hint for those time you have to wrestle with 1 1/2" "flexible" hose: Heat it up and it bends like a wet noodle. You don't want it so hot that it collapses around bends, but soften it up a bit and it will snake through places that Hulk Hogan couldn't wrestle it into.

I have found that a hair dryer (NOT a heat gun) blowing hot air into one end of the hose heats if up nicely in 10 minutes or so.

If the ends are being recalcitrant in going over the fittings, you can heat it a bit hotter, and it will fit nicely into place, and then regain all of its strength and stiffness when it cools.

Bill
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Old 04-08-2007, 17:17   #4
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British humour?

My only complaint with the LAVAC is that as it comes from the retailer the bolts holding the china bowl to the plastic base are a little loose.

Regrettably, when the unit is installed these bolts are totally inaccessible so one is faced with a steady trickle of dilute sewerage until one gets the opportunity to take it all out and tighten the bolts.
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Old 04-08-2007, 17:36   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Knight
I have been waiting on devine intervention on how to run the 1.5" hose in my Orion for the new head. That stuff is like wrestling a boa! I am VERY space restricted for the pump, has anybody any experience with using 1.5 " sch 40 PVC? I can use "running 90's" for the outflow to the holding tank and save some room. Any suggestion on the transition from the white hose to the PVC? And what is the tightest 90 degree turn to consider for the out flow between the head and pump?
Yo Jay,

stick with just hose and fittings--NO elbows! NO PVC pipe runs. Every place you put a fitting, or change from hose to pipe, is a potential trouble spot.

Sealand sells the proper fittings to go with this system. Use the long-radius "sweeps"--not elbows, where you must abruptly change direction, minimizing the number of them. Most standard plastic barbed pipe-to-hose fittings are incorrectly sized for this hose. The very heavy-wall neoprene exhaust hose seems to last much longer than sanitation hose, which begins to stink shortly after installation. If you have to heat the hose to get it onto a fitting, you picked the wrong fitting. You can destroy a hose with a heatgun. Use boiling water if absolutely necessary.

best, andy
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Old 04-08-2007, 19:30   #6
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Good grief guys, lighten up. There are lots of ways to skin a cat effectively. You make it sound like your idea is the ONLY way and all others are suspect. PVC has been used on boats for a long time, you just have to know enough not to be stupid and do things that can get you into trouble. And, contrary to some opinions, crap can flow just dandy thru elbows and U-fittings. If it packs up, it isn't a major deal to fix it. Sometimes it is necessary to be creative on boats. Get real and get flexible. And about the heat gun, boy is that a lot of hooey. We use them for a number of applications that seem to work for years and years, and receive the approval of the marine inspectors, captains and owners. Sure you can destroy a hose with a heatgun. You can also melt your eyes out with it if you stare at it too long. Lighten up, stay loose, and stay open to alternative approaches to solving the problems of the world. End of rant.
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Old 04-08-2007, 20:13   #7
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Originally Posted by Roy M
And, contrary to some opinions, crap can flow just dandy thru elbows and U-fittings. If it packs up, it isn't a major deal to fix it.
Not a big deal to fix it???? TECHNICALLY, your right, but the esthetics of the situation make it a very big deal to me! I'll remember to call you next time I have a problem with my head plumbing

Roy,

Easy boy! I think you'll find that we are saying the same kinds of things. The place where I recommended NOT to use a heat gun is to heat the entire length of hose to feed it through a confined space. It CAN be done, but it's really hard to do without overheating some parts. It's not that you overheat and damage it, but if it gets too soft, it can collapse. I use the heat gun all the time to help the hose over the fittings. As long as you don't char the plastic, or stretch it out of shape it sets back up just as it started. I guess if you were really careful, you could do the same thing with a torch, but I wouldn't recommend it!

As for the elbows, I have several in my system and agree with you that they aren't a problem unless people are putting the wrong things into the toilet in the first place.

I will stand by my statements about solid PVC being a bad idea unless you really know what you are doing. You may understand all of the issues and know the techniques, not everybody does. Making it last on a boat that is going to sea can be a real issue. Boats in a seaway move, and move a lot. Setting up the pipe so that it does not flex isn't easy. If the boat stays at the dock, or lives on a lake, by all means, hard pipe is not an issue.

I also have the standard white sanitation hose in my boat (full time liveaboard) for ten years and it doesn't stink. I have always wondered why people have that problem (or think they do).

I think there is more nonsense written about heads and marine holding tanks than any other subject. There is so much written that makes no sense, but sure sounds good. A lot of that stuff is harmless, but really doesn't help. Some of it certainly causes people to spend a lot of money where they don't need to.

I keep trying to figure out a way to put a large enough tank into my boat plumbed the way you describe (gravity drain to the water) but can't quite find the room for it!

Bill
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Old 05-08-2007, 04:40   #8
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Guys, thanks for all the replys, I'll break out my wife's hairdryer next time she goes shopping! I am trying to hide the pump yet have it accessable for cleanout, tough job on a small boat! Thanks again.
Jay
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Old 05-08-2007, 16:01   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Knight
Guys, thanks for all the replys, I'll break out my wife's hairdryer next time she goes shopping! I am trying to hide the pump yet have it accessable for cleanout, tough job on a small boat! Thanks again.
Jay
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Yo Jay,

hiding the pump will be one of your biggest difficulties with the Lavac, as it is essential to the daily operation of the toilet. I have seen neat installations where the pump was exposed, but under the sink counter. On Terra Nova's Lavac head, there is enough space between the doubled inboard longitudinal bulkhead to contain most of the Henderson (provided) pump. A hinged cabinet door will allow access to that pump's removeable access plate for easy clearing.

You would be wise to compromise this installation toward the easy-to-maintain side. Minimize the number of fittings, and keep the runs short, with no traps.

best, andy
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:38   #10
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Here's a couple of threads where the discussion on PVC has happened before.

Searched pvc pipe on the forum.


Best wastewater hose to use


PVC piping in marine sanitary exhaust

John
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Old 09-08-2007, 22:14   #11
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I just did my head install and have tons of pictures. Additionally, I put in a Lavac:
Rebel Heart - The boat and her crew - Eric's Blog - - Head install weekend is over, successfully.

What I love about the Lavac is that my head is now made up of individual, high quality parts. The pump is a pump, the hoses are hoses, and the bowl is a bowl. Nothing tries to be anything more than it should be.

The K.O. product and cross venting the tank seems to be (hopefully...) the last pieces of the puzzle to get to a stinkless head. But it's very nice to work on something that is made up of high quality parts.

One big thing I would advocate is just using the head for peeing, if you can, for the first few days or week. Use insane amounts of water when you flush. I wouldn't advocate dumping overboard in a no discharge zone (I have a salt water faucet in my galley too), but if it's a new tank and the only thing your doing is peeing, it's really not that bad.

Regardless, you might have a few residual leaks, or might need to redo certain sections of hosing after you're done. This is made much easier if the hoses you installed are still squeaky clean (i.e. you haven't pooped in them yet).
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Old 10-08-2007, 06:46   #12
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We just put a Lavac in this spring. You will love this head.

Running the white hose and trying to get it to flex sufficiently was hell. Even a hairdryer was no great help. I bit the bullet and tried the white rubber hose (green stripe) and the job went from horrible to easy. Give it a try on the problem spots and good luck.

John
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Old 10-08-2007, 08:54   #13
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I like to stick with white sani-hose all the way, but if you want rigid, ABS is preferable to PVC. It will better resist cracking from impact, flexing, and crushing forces. On the sani hose, use Sea-Land (maker of Vacu-Flush heads) wide bend 90 kits, and hose adapters. The adapters can be glued into threaded or slip adapters to transition from hose to pipe. (Be sure to use the right glue to combine ABS and PVC) To transition from sani hose to metal fittings, use a p/n RST20 (1.5") shank nipple from Dixon Valve & Coupling Co. Call 877-963-4966 to find a dealer. Hose shanks have small barbs and an overall diameter equal to the hose size. Hose barbs have a body diameter equal to the hose size, and overall diameter slightly larger, which makes installing sani hose difficult because it doesn't want to expand. The Sea Land 'Odor-Safe' hose is the best sani hose.
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Old 19-08-2007, 23:03   #14
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I just changed all my sanitation hoses using the Sealand product. I made a tool to make installation a lot easier.
Buy a 1 1/2" nylon hose connector from WM or where ever. This will be a 1 1/2" OD nylon pipe with a ridge in the middle, that you would use to splice two hoses. Take this and saw through the connector on one side of the ridge. Then take the piece with the ridge and cut it lengthwise. The end result is a sleeve with a little ridge on the top. Insert this, one half at a time, into the end of the hose you are going to connect. Then insert a hardwood bung (the type you keep in the boat to plug a broken through hull). You may want to heat the end of the hose in hot water or with a hair dryer before you start. Hammer the bung in, until you have streched the circumference of the hose about 3/8" and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. When you take the bung and the sleeve out (may need vise grips to pull the bung), the hose will slide over the fitting easily and after a minute will close tight around the fitting.
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Old 25-08-2007, 04:47   #15
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Thanks what a great idea, that Sealand hose is tough to work with! Some way to "encourage" it to fit where is was designed to fit is a big help!

THanks
Jay
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