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Old 08-10-2013, 14:32   #31
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Re: Locking holding tank seacock

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Originally Posted by chrisjs View Post
On our vessel, we simply remove the outlet seacock handle. Never bother to replace the nut when we need to pump out. The handle is stored remote from the seacock. This approach was "judged" adequate for our RI inspection a few years ago.
This is what we do. Simple and effective. The seacock is easy to access, so it's not an issue to do it any time we need to pump out.

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Old 08-10-2013, 14:48   #32
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Re: Locking holding tank seacock

I just do not understand the keylock concept. If I am the captain and also the "Keymaster" (with apologies to Ghost Busters!!), who am I trying to prevent from discharging illegally -- myself!! I am not making any comment regarding when and where to discharge -- only that all of the approaches described seem pointless, like many things our government requires!! Discharging overboard from a Y-valve or from a holding tank is not an accidental activity. We have a main pilothouse breaker and a switch near the macerator to activate in addition to opening the through-hull. If I have a mind to discharge, does anyone think having a keyswitch will make any difference??
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Old 08-10-2013, 14:57   #33
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Re: Locking holding tank seacock

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Originally Posted by chrisjs View Post
I just do not understand the keylock concept. If I am the captain and also the "Keymaster" (with apologies to Ghost Busters!!), who am I trying to prevent from discharging illegally -- myself!! I am not making any comment regarding when and where to discharge -- only that all of the approaches described seem pointless, like many things our government requires!!
As I posted earlier...with the advent of pollution regs and holding tanks...the whole concept of locking the seacock was to prevent accidental discharge from someone using the head.

The captain can still discharge no matter how complex you make it unless like the post from the Great Lakers that a non-tamper seal is placed on your boat and logged and somehow tracked by authorities.... Removed handle, tie wrap, pad lock, etc...etc can all be removed, boat pumped and returned to original state in 10 minutes or so...so who is fooling anyone if the capt is gonna pump illegally?...therefore the key is good enough....

The secured seacock is just for accidental plumbing alignment...same as if the overboard pump is run by a key and the key secured....no accidental pumping

Of course this only works with systems that the heads are not "Y" to anything...they must go straight to the holding tank.
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Old 08-10-2013, 14:59   #34
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Re: Locking holding tank seacock

After the zero-tolerance kerfluffles in the 80's the USCG Commandant himself did issue clarification on heads. The law says they shall be SECURED, not locked, not disconnected, simply SECURED against discharge. And the last official USCG position was that even a ziptie is good enough as long as it is SECURED and cannot just be discharged at the flip of a hand.

If your head compartment has a lock (skeleton key) just lock the door. If your overboard discharge uses an electrical pump, just remove the fuse and stow it. Be creative. Anything that would keep a toddler from dumping it overboard, counts as SECURED. Coupla wraps of duct tape over the working bits? Sure, just be generous about it.

If some gung-ho gets unhappy about it, just remind them that the Commandant's Office said SECURED is all it needs, and if they want to debate what that means...you can certainly bring the issue back to the Commandant for clarification.
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Old 08-10-2013, 15:45   #35
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Re: Locking holding tank seacock

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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?
Sounds like a real good idea, Did the overhead pump have any lift problems
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Old 08-10-2013, 15:48   #36
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Re: Locking holding tank seacock

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisjs View Post
I just do not understand the keylock concept. If I am the captain and also the "Keymaster" (with apologies to Ghost Busters!!), who am I trying to prevent from discharging illegally -- myself!! I am not making any comment regarding when and where to discharge -- only that all of the approaches described seem pointless, like many things our government requires!! Discharging overboard from a Y-valve or from a holding tank is not an accidental activity. We have a main pilothouse breaker and a switch near the macerator to activate in addition to opening the through-hull. If I have a mind to discharge, does anyone think having a keyswitch will make any difference??
Always thought the same thing, key or tie wrap, easily turned on or removed and replaced
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:46   #37
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Re: Locking holding tank seacock

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Sounds like a real good idea, Did the overhead pump have any lift problems
No, it worked great. The through-hull was maybe six inches below the water line. The base of the tank itself was probably just below. The top was well above.

I these macerators are self-priming. Anyway, mine always did, and when it was done it would blow bubbles into the water.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:56   #38
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No, it worked great. The through-hull was maybe six inches below the water line. The base of the tank itself was probably just below. The top was well above.

I these macerators are self-priming. Anyway, mine always did, and when it was done it would blow bubbles into the water.
Why didn't I think of that when I replaced macerator. ;(
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:08   #39
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Re: Locking holding tank seacock

While my macerator is still below the tank, I have an arch in my outlet hose that prevents gravity draining. The pump has to pull it over arch before it primes. I've not had any issue with this. I still keep a cable tie through the handle of the sea cock, to deal with the Moron patrol. They are not hired for their high IQs and it saves having to fight the ticket. I typically keep all seacocks closed that I'm not actively using so having to open the overboard seacock would be something I would be doing any way. The extra 10 second of effort it takes to cut and replace the cable tie is no big deal. By the way the official Milspec description of a plastic cable tie is a "non-removable wire tie" hence the USCG language of acceptible methods of securing the discharge. There are such things as removable wire ties. They look just like the other plastic wire ties except they have a small lever that releases the ratcheting mechanism and can be removed without destroying the piece. The lead seals with actual wire and which have numbers are "wire seals" and as far as I can determine are never mentioned in any USCG requirements. It seems that some local LEOs have never been educated as to the difference.
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