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Old 07-10-2013, 12:15   #16
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Re: Locking holding tank seacock

Peggie Hall recommends using a key switch on the discharge pump. I think it's a great idea. You can't pump overboard with out the key. That should make the Coasties happy.
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Old 07-10-2013, 14:18   #17
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Re: Locking holding tank seacock

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Originally Posted by wsmurdoch View Post
It is always best to read the regulations themselves.

33 CFR 159.7 - Requirements for vessel operators. | Title 33 - Navigation and Navigable Waters | Code of Federal Regulations | LII / Legal Information Institute

Notice that for a Type III device three methods of securing the device are listed and are definately OK. The word "include" may mean that other methods might be OK.
Yeah, what he said. The rule has been misstated and misinterpreted so many times that you never know what an individual boarding officer may believe. And that little word "include" opens all other options for debate.

The lawyers at Brunswick, which built my last boat in 2003, apparently determined that having two momentary switches hidden under the helm, which had to be toggled together in order to pump overboard, met the rule. Like the OP's, that boat had a through-hull that couldn't be safely accessed underway.

My understanding is that a key switch would be even better. Just don't leave the key in it and you should be fine. Also, know that some places are more strict about enforcing that rule than others. I've heard of places where they actually put dye into your holding tank so any "inadvertent" discharge would be readily visible.
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Old 07-10-2013, 14:57   #18
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Re: Locking holding tank seacock

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I've heard of places where they actually put dye into your holding tank so any "inadvertent" discharge would be readily visible.
The Daytona, FL "Potty Police" WILL board you and dye test you. They patrol the ICW daily!!!!!!!!!!! Been there done that We passed with no floating colors
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Old 07-10-2013, 16:21   #19
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Avalon harbor on Catalina Island off Southern California also dies tests boats mooring inside the breakwater. The harbor patrol are polite and helpful and have never been a problem...if you don't discharge overboard. However, if you do there is a fine of up to $500 and you are not allowed back into the harbor for a year.
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Old 07-10-2013, 18:25   #20
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Re: Locking holding tank seacock

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Avalon harbor on Catalina Island off Southern California also dies tests boats mooring inside the breakwater. The harbor patrol are polite and helpful and have never been a problem...if you don't discharge overboard. However, if you do there is a fine of up to $500 and you are not allowed back into the harbor for a year.

WOW! And in an earlier post above, somebody stated discharging relied on the "HONOR SYSTEM!"
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Old 07-10-2013, 18:51   #21
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Re: Locking holding tank seacock

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Probably depends on where you are and who boards you to inspect. A system that requires an affirmative action to pump overboard that is normally secured with a lock is how the law reads. You can only remove interpretation by removing the overboard seacock.

True on the location issue. We are on the Great Lakes. Its all Zero discharge. You have to have a total positive lock or permanent port plug. I have passed by using numbered non-removable tags as used to secure the doors on over the road trucks. These secure a handle in place on the valve so it cannot be moved without cutting the tag. Tag number is in the log book. Once offshore, I will use a lock.
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Old 07-10-2013, 19:29   #22
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Re: Locking holding tank seacock

I have been around and around this issue while serving in and out of the USCG.

This year I plan to install a key switch. The concept for the locked thru hull was from the days of straight discharge or Y valves.

Many boats are now coming from the factory with heads being plumbed directly to a holding tank first. They need a pump to discharge overboard and a key switch or just some other simple electrical lockout that you can't override from the head.

That's good enough for me...and like it's been noted in many other threads...in the first few minutes the boarding team quickly determines whether you overall are an issue for them or not...as long as things are reasonable (even if not to the letter of the law) you probably won't even get a second notice from the boarding team.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:29   #23
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Re: Locking holding tank seacock

Do the key switches ya'll are citing only operate the overboard macerator pump? Or do they also open/close the thru-hull?

When my thru-hull is open, the holding tank with fill with raw water unless the macerator pump is running.

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Old 08-10-2013, 11:25   #24
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Re: Locking holding tank seacock

usually only the pump...you need a vented loop from the tank to the seacock to keep it from filling...
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:34   #25
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Re: Locking holding tank seacock

My last boat had the macerator pump to the overboard discharge on TOP of the waste tank. It worked great, and seems like a good solution. This way, if the pump fails, it can be fixed or replaced without draining the tank. The only thing below the "water" level in the tank is one elbow and a hose going straight up.

I'm thinking of plumbing a tank I'm replacing this way, instead of the current system where there's a "Y" valve and a number of fittings on the sole next to the tank.

Any reason why not?
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:41   #26
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Re: Locking holding tank seacock

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usually only the pump...you need a vented loop from the tank to the seacock to keep it from filling...

Yes, that's what I thought.

I wonder how many factory installations like that include a vented loop between that thru-hull and the pump or tank...

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Old 08-10-2013, 11:51   #27
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Re: Locking holding tank seacock

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Yes, that's what I thought.

I wonder how many factory installations like that include a vented loop between that thru-hull and the pump or tank...

-Chris
Mine did...but many don't require the vented loop as the tank is above the waterline.

Many of the express cruiser crowd that ha vacuflush systems use the key or the hidden switch or even just an unkeyed switch right on the main panel.

For years the Law Enforcement mantra on overboard discharge was...if the guy flushing the toilet cant get it overboard from the head...good enough... Somehow that evolved a bit further to where seacocks had to be wiretied, locked, etc because some heads had direct access to the "Y" valves.

With the advent of there overly complicated head systems (read vacuflush) where everything goes into a holding tank and would have to be pumped out of the holding tank....plus the thought for the manufacturers to bury the overboard through hull and control discharge by key or remote switch became popular.
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:30   #28
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Re: Locking holding tank seacock

"Do the key switches ya'll are citing only operate the overboard macerator pump? Or do they also open/close the thru-hull?"

Actually they could. Both Apollo and Groco make electric opener / closers for their seacocks.
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Old 08-10-2013, 14:09   #29
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Re: Locking holding tank seacock

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Mine did...but many don't require the vented loop as the tank is above the waterline.

Yep, mine's above the waterline too.... and it fills with raw water if the thru-hull is left open after pumping overboard (where legal).

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Old 08-10-2013, 14:10   #30
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Re: Locking holding tank seacock

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"Do the key switches ya'll are citing only operate the overboard macerator pump? Or do they also open/close the thru-hull?"

Actually they could. Both Apollo and Groco make electric opener / closers for their seacocks.

Interesting. Seems like that'd be a good answer for those who have trouble with access to the thru-hull valve...

-Chris
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