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Old 10-02-2011, 19:45   #1
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Lectrasan ?

Boat came with a lectrasan. It will need new electrodes for about $700.

Plan is to cruise the coast, Maine to Bahamas. Seems every day I read of more NDZ's added to the list. Most of Maine and many parts of the rest of New England are NDZ. Chessy almost got the designation. Parts of Fl are also NDZ.

I have a 25 gallon holding tank and I can rig for holding tank pumpout when offshore.

$700 will buy a lot of pumpouts.

To those of you who cruise the US east coast, is a lectrasan worth the expense?
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Old 10-02-2011, 20:12   #2
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I used to use my Lectrosan on the west coast but it is going no discharge there as well. Took it out and put in a tank. When I used it, it worked great and didn't break much. It seems that it is something that needs to be used often to stay happy.
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Old 10-02-2011, 20:39   #3
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No discharge zones by state...
No Discharge Zones by State | Vessel Water Discharge | US EPA
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Old 10-02-2011, 21:48   #4
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I am curious, how clean is the output of these devices? I had thought that it would be nice just to keep the sewage stink from the holding tanks on the boat.
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Old 10-02-2011, 22:06   #5
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Ya know? It probably would help with the smell, but there are other ways to do that that don't require all that complexity.
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Old 10-02-2011, 22:16   #6
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My boat came with a Lectrasan in the aft head. I'm probably going to a tank for each head as well. As it is, neither head worked, nor had a tank, so in prep for delivering the boat to my local marina I just removed both old heads and stuck a porta pot in one head.

Good to know that if the electrodes are good in my unit it might have some resale value...
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Old 10-02-2011, 22:48   #7
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Hi, I am in NZ not the US but I have had some experience with electrosans. Many years ago we installed an electrosan on our yacht. About 3 years ago it broke down and the electrodes needed replacing. We removed the unit and sent it to the dump which IMHO is the best place for it!! Not Only was it very power hungry but we noticed an unusual odour permeate throughout the head.

Holding tank now, no worries.

Cheers
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Old 10-02-2011, 23:13   #8
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Yah, mine came with one and I hate it... never worked adequately, despite following lots of maintenance procedures. I'm about to pull it (not in use anyway), sell the controller and any other harvestable parts, and toss the rest.
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Old 10-02-2011, 23:16   #9
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I'm suprised. Mine worked pretty good, at lleast better than yours seems to. I used it often though 2-3 times a day. I've always thought that was the reason it stayed working for as long as it did.
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:34   #10
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Our waste management during our East Coast US cruising from Maine to Florida & Bahamas is without a Lectrasan and I have no experience with them. We depend on pumpouts and offshore opportunities with a thirty gallon holding tank forward an a separate holding tank for our aft head. Most states have a government supported funding for pumpouts and the service costs is kept low. We find that the great majority of our pumpouts are five dollars or free. It's become important for us to understand where these pumpouts are available. Some municipal docks have free self service pumpouts and most fuel docks have pumpouts, while many mooring fields have pump out boats. Several years ago we added a monitor system to our forward holding tank that allows us an acurate measurement. This has been very helpfull. As for odor controll, I think the best choice is to encourage the growth of aerobic instead of anaerobic bacteria. This seems to be done best without chemical treatment other than a dallop of vinegar with each flush (scale build up prevention) and good ventilation. I added a second vent to our tank to improve the oxygen supply. We still find it limits some freedoms to be seaching for the pump-out, so we are considering the composting head for one of our two heads, but that's been a debate with us for years.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:24   #11
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We have been cruising with an electrosan for years. The electrodes are a consumable so that you need them replaced is not big deal. However $700 is not the correct price for the parts, that will almost buy you a new one.

Our boat has two heads one with a holding tank the other with the electrosan. Unless the rules change I would never go back to holding tanks if I have a choice. The electrosan makes dealing with waste easy.
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Old 18-02-2011, 10:33   #12
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Very clean

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hearts Content View Post
I am curious, how clean is the output of these devices? I had thought that it would be nice just to keep the sewage stink from the holding tanks on the boat.
In fact, cleaner than the water in any marina! Federal law only requires that a Type I MSD macerate to "no visible solids" (iow, puree) and reduce bacteria count to a maximum of 1000/100 ml.

The Raritan ElectroScan, its predecessor, Lectra/San and the Purasan reduce bacteria count to < 10/100 ml and completely liquify and dilute the discharge to something resembling dilute skim milk. (Fwiw, Federal water quality standards for swimming allow a bacteria count of up to 200/100 ml.) BOD is less than that from four oak leaves falling into the water.

That's cleaner than the discharge from any sewage treatment plant--which is where the contents of most tanks end up--even if the plant manages to actually treat anything before it goes into the water in an accidental spill.

And fwiw, 99% of problems with the Lectra/San and PuraSan can be traced right to the owner... incorrect installation (too far from toilet and/or thru/hull, wrong wire size, etc)...not enough salt, too much salt...failure to maintain/clean the electrodes...inability to recognize the difference between a "low salt" light and a "low voltage" light...running it anway...trying to save power by flushing TP and/or solids without running it (that'll clog it!). Then they blame the device. The newest version tries to protect owners from themselves by replacing flashing lights with LEDs that spell out what's wrong/needed...however it's still necessary to actually pay SOME attention to the LEDS, they'll never be able to save 100 of idiots from themselves, no matter how hard they try.
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Old 18-02-2011, 10:53   #13
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We have a LectraSan that has worked very well for 9 years. The key is doing the maintenance, including the cleaning/purging with the correct acid/water mix, at the appropriate maintenance interval. We did have our unit rebuilt in 2002, including replacing both mixing motors, new electrodes etc. as the former owner of our boat had let the unit deteriorate. That rebuild cost us about $600 at the time. Frankly, the waste treatment with the LectraSan is far better than the treatment at most municipal waste treatment plants. While we do have a holding tank on our aft head, which is flushed with a macerator-pump, unless we can discharge overboard (i.e. at sea), we do use the forward head with the LectraSan and we have no "head smells" aboard the boat at all.

FWIW...
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Old 18-02-2011, 12:08   #14
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I simply inherited mine, and the fact that it never worked despite following the acid flush advice and other suggestions from the manufacturer did not inspire confidence. Some intermittency on the controller board connector was noted, so it's clearly a maintenance issue and the age of the electrodes is unknown. I don't blame the technology or the unit... I just need to crawl into the tiny hole where it's mounted and either remove it or do some more aggressive surgery!

Given my Puget Sound location and mixed messages about NDZ, I just haven't been motivated to deal with it.
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Old 18-02-2011, 13:57   #15
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Quote:
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In fact, cleaner than the water in any marina! ...That's cleaner than the discharge from any sewage treatment plant--which is where the contents of most tanks end up--even if the plant manages to actually treat anything before it goes into the water in an accidental spill.
AND SHE SHOULD KNOW! Very good info Peggy. I have a Lectra San and it has worked great for years. I have never had to change the electrodes. It does use a fair amount of power...I think 30 Amps for 2 minutes, or something like that.

The appeal of these Type 1's has really diminished as states have created more "no discharge zones." It sounds good for an elected official to vote for that, but if instead every boat was required to have a type 1 or rely only on pumpouts the environment would be better not worse.

I just do the basic maintenance....cleaning with diluted acid once a year, using vinegar etc... I have had no problems.
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