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Old 31-01-2015, 19:50   #1
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Marine Head Problem

We have Jabsco toilets in both of our heads, and it appears that sewage is leaking from the vents in both heads. Does anyone know what could be causing the problem and how to fix it?

Maje
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Old 31-01-2015, 20:00   #2
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Re: Marine Head Problem

Well, the vents are on the holding tank, so you must be using the holding tank and it is full?

There is no other way to get waste into and through the vent lines.

Mark
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Old 31-01-2015, 20:00   #3
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Re: Marine Head Problem

Easy replace heads with composting toilets
No more plumbing issues eg blockages worn out pumps
or through hulls & holding tanks.
Best thing I ever did.

Failing the above try toilet wax.
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Old 01-02-2015, 13:09   #4
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Re: Marine Head Problem

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Well, the vents are on the holding tank, so you must be using the holding tank and it is full?

There is no other way to get waste into and through the vent lines.

Mark
They aren't full, Mark. It happens even after we've just had them pumped out.

Maje
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Old 01-02-2015, 13:56   #5
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Re: Marine Head Problem

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Originally Posted by Tom and Maje View Post
They aren't full, Mark. It happens even after we've just had them pumped out.

Maje
You are talking about the vent lines that run from the top of the holding tanks to thruhulls somewhere else, correct?

If stuff is coming out of them, then they must have been filled up at one time and are not clear yet. Pumping the toilet into the tank pressurizes the vent line and pushes the stuff out.

Presumably, you may be able to continue to pump into the tank until they finally clear. Alternately (or if this doesn't work), find the end thruhull, pull off the hose (be prepared) and use something like a dinghy air pump or some compressed air to blow the lines clear back to the tank.

There is no other place or way to get waste through a vent line other than the tank. If you have a tank bypass valve, switch it to pumping overboard and pump water through the toilet. There should be no waste coming out the vent line because the tank is taken out of the system.

Mark
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Old 01-02-2015, 13:59   #6
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Re: Marine Head Problem

Take the vent hose off and replace it. It's most likely compromised and will smell by being permeated over time.
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Old 01-02-2015, 14:10   #7
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Re: Marine Head Problem

Are you talking about the holding tank air vent from the tank to the deck?

As Colemj indicated, it seems very unlikely these could be leaking sewage if you have an empty tank. I ask also because you mentioned the toilet brand, but the tank to outside vents would have nothing to do with the toilet itself.

Is it perhaps some other hose that is leaking?
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Old 01-02-2015, 14:18   #8
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Re: Marine Head Problem

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Originally Posted by nautical62 View Post
Are you talking about the holding tank air vent from the tank to the deck?

As Colemj indicated, it seems very unlikely these could be leaking sewage if you have an empty tank. I ask also because you mentioned the toilet brand, but the tank to outside vents would have nothing to do with the toilet itself.

Is it perhaps some other hose that is leaking?
The vents are down by the waterline.

Maje
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Old 01-02-2015, 14:19   #9
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Re: Marine Head Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
You are talking about the vent lines that run from the top of the holding tanks to thruhulls somewhere else, correct?

If stuff is coming out of them, then they must have been filled up at one time and are not clear yet. Pumping the toilet into the tank pressurizes the vent line and pushes the stuff out.

Presumably, you may be able to continue to pump into the tank until they finally clear. Alternately (or if this doesn't work), find the end thruhull, pull off the hose (be prepared) and use something like a dinghy air pump or some compressed air to blow the lines clear back to the tank.

There is no other place or way to get waste through a vent line other than the tank. If you have a tank bypass valve, switch it to pumping overboard and pump water through the toilet. There should be no waste coming out the vent line because the tank is taken out of the system.

Mark
Thanks Mark. We'll give it a try.

Maje
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Old 01-02-2015, 15:18   #10
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Re: Marine Head Problem

One of the POs of my boat had installed a holding tank with the vent on the side of the tank and then the vent went down then up onto the deck. First trip that started with a pumped out tank was pouring waste down the deck later the same day. A couple of uses of the head followed by sailing upwind with the vent side down filled the vent with waste which pooled in the bottom of the U shaped loop. Next use of the head emptied the loop on deck. I was very confused at the time how a nearly empty tank had filled up.

Moral of the story, check the installation of the holding tank.
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Old 01-02-2015, 16:24   #11
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Re: Marine Head Problem

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Originally Posted by Tom and Maje View Post
We have Jabsco toilets in both of our heads, and it appears that sewage is leaking from the vents in both heads. Does anyone know what could be causing the problem and how to fix it?

Maje
I think you would do well to buy and study this book:



I sense a serious lack of understanding of how boat sanitations systems are connected and operate.

Your question is pretty broad and brings the need to ask questions.

Are you sure there are vents in the toilets or are you talking about the holding tank vents?

Do both toilets go to the same holding tank or do you have two separate holding tanks (and two separate pumpout fittings)?

Are you sure your vents are near the waterline? Usually they are higher up on the hull.

Do you have vent line filters? If so, filling the tank to the point of overflow and pushing sewage through the vent line has ruined them. Many people do away with the filters and run the vent line directly from the tank to the thruhull and eliminate filter problems.

Assuming the holding tank(s) is not full and there is no vent filter, you can use a water hose placed against the thruhull to force water through the hose and back into the tank, probably clearing a blockage. Be gentle and run water for just second or two. Just a short burst. You will be pressurizing the tank and you don't want to do much of this. Keep your face away from the thruhull when doing this.
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Old 01-02-2015, 20:51   #12
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Re: Marine Head Problem

I certainly can't argue with that advice! And the questions Ron asks are questions I'd ask too. If you choose to follow it and still can't come up with the answers to Ron's questions, you're welcome to contact me directly for some one-on-one help in solving the problem.
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Old 02-02-2015, 05:16   #13
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Re: Marine Head Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Take the vent hose off and replace it. It's most likely compromised and will smell by being permeated over time.
I think that's where we're going with this. Thank you, Stu.

Maje
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Old 02-02-2015, 05:22   #14
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Re: Marine Head Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
I think you would do well to buy and study this book:



I sense a serious lack of understanding of how boat sanitations systems are connected and operate.

Your question is pretty broad and brings the need to ask questions.

Are you sure there are vents in the toilets or are you talking about the holding tank vents?

Do both toilets go to the same holding tank or do you have two separate holding tanks (and two separate pumpout fittings)?

Are you sure your vents are near the waterline? Usually they are higher up on the hull.

Do you have vent line filters? If so, filling the tank to the point of overflow and pushing sewage through the vent line has ruined them. Many people do away with the filters and run the vent line directly from the tank to the thruhull and eliminate filter problems.

Assuming the holding tank(s) is not full and there is no vent filter, you can use a water hose placed against the thruhull to force water through the hose and back into the tank, probably clearing a blockage. Be gentle and run water for just second or two. Just a short burst. You will be pressurizing the tank and you don't want to do much of this. Keep your face away from the thruhull when doing this.
Hi Ron,

I don't know about a lack of understanding. The first boat project we had was to get one of the heads pumping again.

As to your questions,

Are you sure there are vents in the toilets or are you talking about the holding tank vents? No, they are holding tank vents.

Do both toilets go to the same holding tank or do you have two separate holding tanks (and two separate pumpout fittings)? Two separate sides of the boat, two holding tanks etc.

Are you sure your vents are near the waterline? Usually they are higher up on the hull. Yes, we made a visual and saw exactly where it was coming out.

Do you have vent line filters? No.

We'll have to go into a marina to do run water up them. God, I hate marinas.

Thanks for your help.

Maje
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