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Old 26-05-2011, 19:52   #16
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Re: Muriatic acid in head-how do you get it into intake?

One point I forgot to mention in my previous post is that if you have a raw water intake, the brine sitting in the head and lines can begin to smell. The change over to fresh water may not be practical but if you are living aboard, it may be worth the investment. CP
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Old 26-05-2011, 20:07   #17
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Re: Muriatic acid in head-how do you get it into intake?

STG, I think you are right about the blockage in the rim. Since there is no intake strainer it is pretty easy for sea grass to get sucked into the toilet and trapped in the rim of the bowl. It rots there and causes a very bad smell. Is it easy to remove the bowl? If so, remove the bowl and wash it out with a hose. With the bowl upside down you can pour acid into the holers in the rim. Dilute the acid as Peg Hall suggests. Keep the hose handy to rinse yourself off and wear eye protection when ever you play with acid. When you rebuild the toilet, replace the vacuum breaker on the vented loop, and check the tank vent, you will fix any back flow problems.
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Old 26-05-2011, 20:44   #18
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Re: Muriatic acid in head-how do you get it into intake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Delay View Post
And make sure you are in a well ventilated area.
This brings back memories of a comedy bit done by Gallagher.

(The OP said he had mildew but cleaned it up)

Gallagher said the stuff he was going to use on the grout in his shower carried a stiff warning which said,

"Only use in a well ventilated area."

Gallagher responded,

"If it was a well ventilated area, I wouldn't have mildew on my grout!"
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Old 26-05-2011, 22:46   #19
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Re: Muriatic acid in head-how do you get it into intake?

Wow. I was away for a bit. Lot’s of good thoughts to ponder.

I think I have several issues going on at once, and most advice is for one or another. I will take all into consideration. Thanks for all of the tips and advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
And as long as you're doing all this maintenance, this would be a great time to reroute your head intake line to tee it into your head sink drain line. This provides a safe source of fresh water to rinse all the sea water out of the system before the boat sits.


Peggie, I have read a lot of your stuff from other sources, and respect your experience. I’ll follow the tips you posted along with some of the others on here too. Getting the acid into the bowl’s rim was my question and it sounds like I need to go through the intake line one way or the other.

I will of course check the vents too. I just assumed they were ok, as nothing should be going through them, but we’ll see. You mentioned “T”ing the sink drain to add liquids and or fresh water to the intake line. How do you do this? Close the seacock and pour into the sink? I am not sure I am ready to pull any hoses off of the seacock yet, as I mentioned the valves are in bad shape and I don’t need a catastrophe until I am ready to haul in the next month or so. This would be a great option for getting into the line. Maybe I can just clamp the line and use the sink as gravity fed source?

Also, I did not mention that the hose from the “Y” valve to the holding tank looks like a straight shot. The one from the “Y” valve to the through hull (for direct discharge) is the only one with a high loop and vent. Not sure if it is correct or not as I can’t find any plumbing schematics anywhere. In any case, I notice that the direct discharge loop vent is in the medicine cabinet and not vented outside. The smell doesn’t seem to be coming from there, but shouldn’t this vent be going outside as the holding tank vent does?

As far as my wondering about the circulation, that is brought on by some brown flakey looking particles that tend to come out of the rim when flushed. Might be seaweed, or just mildew like slime. Not sure what it is, but am hoping it is sealife, etc. stuck up in there and being forced through periodically. That is what led to the searching for solution. So I am not sure it is circulation, or seawater stuff, or what.

Just an FYI, the holding tank does get pumped and flushed weekly as it looks like it is only about 15 gallons. I do it myself and refill and pump 3-4 times total at each visit to the dock. I then add KO and pump into the system, let sit a few minutes and then pump the rest of the way through, and the smells usually start as soon as the pumping begins with just seawater and KO in the lines, so I am not so sure it is just the old tank. Is it true that the hoses and tank should only be expected to last 3 years as one poster suggested? That doesn’t sound reasonable, but I have no idea. If that’s true, then I am sure they are around that age.

Anyway, thanks to all of you posters. I bought some muriatic acid tonight and will give it a go tomorrow. I will also check out the hoses, tanks, and vents as everyone has suggested, as well as flushing all lines with the acid and then rinsing.

Steve
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Old 27-05-2011, 09:17   #20
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Re: Muriatic Acid in Head - How Do You Get It Into Intake?

STG, the vent in the discharge loop lets air into the discharge line to prevent a siphon from forming, sucking water into the boat and sinking it. It is called a vacuum breaker. If it is working correctly, no smell should come from it. It's a check valve that lets air into the loop but doesn't let anything out.
I like Peggie's idea to use the sink to supply treated water to the head. As I understand it, you would put a Tee fitting in the toilet intake and Tee fitting in the sink drain line. A hose would connect the two Tee fittings. You would have to install a valve in the connecting hose. (Or use a three way valve instead of one of the Tees) Most of the time this valve would be closed. When you wanted to treat the toilet, you would open the connecting valve and close both seacocks. Pour your treatment solution in the sink and pump the toilet. After treating the toilet, close the valve and open the seacocks. By the way, your seacocks should be a priority to fix. The toilet smells, but bad seacocks can sink your boat.
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Old 27-05-2011, 09:24   #21
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Re: Muriatic Acid in Head - How Do You Get It Into Intake?

use white vinegar and flush it thru-if the blockage is incoming hose-- forgetabout that working-- you will HAVE to remove and repair /replace it--if it is just full of salt , then soak it in white vinegar after removal. mebbe your hose has permeated with bad smell-- mebbe the bad smell is merely backed up salt water stagnating--in which case you need to flush for 5 minuets daily instead of only until the mess disappears. my outhose takes 1 gallon to make it past the vented loop-- try flushing after you change out the hose.
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Old 27-05-2011, 09:35   #22
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Re: Muriatic Acid in Head - How Do You Get It Into Intake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
STG, the vent in the discharge loop lets air into the discharge line to prevent a siphon from forming, sucking water into the boat and sinking it. It is called a vacuum breaker. If it is working correctly, no smell should come from it. It's a check valve that lets air into the loop but doesn't let anything out.
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I like Peggie's idea to use the sink to supply treated water to the head. As I understand it, you would put a Tee fitting in the toilet intake and Tee fitting in the sink drain line. A hose would connect the two Tee fittings. You would have to install a valve in the connecting hose. (Or use a three way valve instead of one of the Tees) Most of the time this valve would be closed. When you wanted to treat the toilet, you would open the connecting valve and close both seacocks. Pour your treatment solution in the sink and pump the toilet. After treating the toilet, close the valve and open the seacocks. By the way, your seacocks should be a priority to fix. The toilet smells, but bad seacocks can sink your boat.
Thanks for the explanation of the vent HopCar. That makes sense as far as the anti siphon and maybe why there is not one on the holding tank. I will remove it and clean it just to make sure it is not venting backwards. But I would think that similarly, in the event of a joker valve sticking open with debris, it would basically be the same problem with siphoning from the holding tank as it is with the through hull? Should that line be looped and vented too I wonder?

The “T” in the sink drain is already there. Basically the sink drains to the through hull, and there is a “T” near the bottom of the hose that goes straight to the head intake. They share the through hull. I am thinking if I clamp the hose at the bottom, the head will draw from the sink as that is the only flow left to draw from.

And yes I am aware of the seacocks being priority. I am hauling and replacing all, and repainting from top of mast down to bottom of keel next month. That is why I do not want to mess with the seacock at this time and wake a sleeping dog. If left alone, I think it should be fine for another few weeks. I am aboard most of the time, and have plugs and am only a block from a lift (just in case). So I am thinking of just clamping the hose at the bottom instead of trying to turn the seacock and risking upsetting it.
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Old 27-05-2011, 09:40   #23
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Re: Muriatic Acid in Head - How Do You Get It Into Intake?

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use white vinegar and flush it thru-if the blockage is incoming hose-- forgetabout that working-- you will HAVE to remove and repair /replace it--if it is just full of salt , then soak it in white vinegar after removal. mebbe your hose has permeated with bad smell-- mebbe the bad smell is merely backed up salt water stagnating--in which case you need to flush for 5 minuets daily instead of only until the mess disappears. my outhose takes 1 gallon to make it past the vented loop-- try flushing after you change out the hose.
Thanks. But I am not so sure the hose itself is blocked. I seem to get good water flow to the head, but I believe there might be a build up of dead grass and life in the rim of the bow where the water come out. The flow is ok, but smells when flushing and on occassion "stuff" come out with the water. I will try flushing the system with the acid and then see how it sits.

As far as getting past the vent, I usually do not use that line as I am usually at dock. It is usually the holding tank, and I do pump plenty of water through (which is why I have to pump out once a week even though it is usually only me on the boat).
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Old 27-05-2011, 09:49   #24
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Re: Muriatic Acid in Head - How Do You Get It Into Intake?

Here’s another problem that just occurred to me. When I have let the acid solution sit and then pump into the holding tank to clean that line, how do I get it out of the holding tank? I wouldn’t think they want me pumping it into the pump out unit at the service dock? Should I use the manual overboard pump? (Of course I would empty and rinse the tank a few times before the acid clean and pump out.

On that same note, should I rinse enough water and acid into the holding tank to come close to filling it, so that it cleans the whole inside of the tank walls too?

Anyone?
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Old 27-05-2011, 12:23   #25
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I think I got it done

It turned out (with better light) that the intake seacock was the only one on the boat that is plastic and still works. I closed it and used the hose to flush my acid solution into the system. I put some in the tank and some in the overboard loop. I let everything sit for ˝ hour. Pumped a little more in so it would go further down the lines and waited another ˝ hour and then flushed a lot of clean water through both exit lines. Enough to fill the holding tank so it would be very diluted. (Was only about 10-15% acid to start with.). There was a lot of bubbling and a lot of stuff did come out of the intake lines and around the bowl’s rim as well as up through the bottom.

I pumped out and refilled and flushed the holding tank several times to make sure all the acid was gone. I am still getting a little debris coming out of the rim, but everything seems to be working properly. This was so easy, that I think I will do it one more time just before I rebuild the pump in a couple weeks just to make sure I’ve gotten it cleaned as best I can before tearing it apart.

Thanks for everyone's advice and help. Looks like it is working fine (at least for now.)

Steve
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Old 27-05-2011, 12:26   #26
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Re: Muriatic Acid in Head - How Do You Get It Into Intake?

excellent!

Funny how afterward it always seems so easy ; -)
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Old 27-05-2011, 15:04   #27
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Re: Muriatic acid in head-how do you get it into intake?

I will of course check the vents too. I just assumed they were ok, as nothing should be going through them, but we’ll see.

Bugs, mud daubers, dust, dirt...it's amazing how much stuff can build up in a tank vent thru-hull.

You mentioned “T”ing the sink drain to add liquids and or fresh water to the intake line. How do you do this? Close the seacock and pour into the sink?

Tee the toilet intake line into the head sink drain line below the waterline. As long as the sink drain seacock is open, you can flush normally using sea water. To rinse the sea water out of the system before the boat is to sit, close the seacock, fill the sink with clean fresh water...flush the toilet. Because the thru-hull is closed, the toilet will pull the water out of the sink...rinsing out the WHOLE system--intake line, pump, channel in the rim of the bowl AND the discharge line. To winterize, pour the antifreeze down the sink--after you've closed the thru-hull and rinsed out the system.

Several sailboat builders plumb their boats to have the head sink and toilet intake share the same thru-hull...it eliminates one hole in the boat AND saves 'em the cost of a seacock.

. Maybe I can just clamp the line and use the sink as gravity fed source?


Not sure how that could work.

Also, I did not mention that the hose from the “Y” valve to the holding tank looks like a straight shot. The one from the “Y” valve to the through hull (for direct discharge) is the only one with a high loop and vent. Not sure if it is correct...

That's done correctly.

I notice that the direct discharge loop vent is in the medicine cabinet and not vented outside.

It shouldn't have any vent line on it. Instead there should be an air valve in the nipple that only allows air INTO the line to break a siphon, nothing out. Air valves do require periodic cleaning and occasional replacement. People put vent lines on vented loops because they don't know air valves exist...it's a very bad idea because the line is so small--only 1/4" that it becomes clogged with waste and sea water minerals almost immediately, turning the loop into an UNvented loop that no longer has any ability to break a siphon. And because it's solved the squirting/odor problem, it's become out of sight/out of mind, so it nevers occurs to anyone to remove the hose from the loop and clean it out, which is necessary about once a month.

As far as my wondering about the circulation, that is brought on by some brown flakey looking particles that tend to come out of the rim when flushed. Might be seaweed, or just mildew like slime. Not sure what it is, but am hoping it is sealife, etc. stuck up in there and being forced through periodically. That is what led to the searching for solution. So I am not sure it is circulation, or seawater stuff, or what.

Easy way to find out: put a couple of tablespoons of red food coloring (red wine works just as well, btw, and is usually a lot more readily available) in a quart of water...pour into the bowl...flush the toilet IN THE DRY MODE. If you see red coming out the holes in the rim, the toilet is recirculating...if you don't, it's not. And I'm betting on not...I suspect that what you have is some very old dead and decaying--or already decayed--animal or vegetable sea life that got sucked up in the intake line. The process I described earlier to rinse out, then "acid treat" the system should clean it out.

Just an FYI, the holding tank does get pumped and flushed weekly as it looks like it is only about 15 gallons. I do it myself and refill and pump 3-4 times total at each visit to the dock. I then add KO and pump into the system, let sit a few minutes and then pump the rest of the way through, and the smells usually start as soon as the pumping begins with just seawater and KO in the lines, so I am not so sure it is just the old tank.

Questions: is the odor inside the boat? Out the tank vent? Both? If inside the boat, only in the head? Anywhere else? We may need to move this email to figure out the source and how to cure it.

Is it true that the hoses and tank should only be expected to last 3 years as one poster suggested?


Noooo...absolutely not! Plastic tanks do NOT permeate...should last as long as the boat lasts. Hoses can permeate, though...and some hoses are much more resistant to odor permeation than others. Trident 101/101 (identical except for color)
Trident Marine: Sanitation Hose is the only hose I recommend these days...it's a double walled rubber hose that's been on the market for more than 15 years without a single reported odor permeation failure--something that cannot be said about ANY other hose. (Despite SeaLand's claims for their "OdorSafe" hose, I've personally been aboard at least half a dozen boats on which it has failed and heard of many more). As a general rule, the less expensive and softer flex PVC is the most prone to odor permeation...And there's no predicting how long that can take. I had white #148 on one of my own boats for 7+ years without a trace of odor...used it again on the Trojan I restored and the stuff permeated in less than 90 DAYS!

That doesn’t sound reasonable, but I have no idea. If that’s true, then I am sure they are around that age.
I can assure you that unless your tank is metal or has cracked if it's plastic, it's not the source of any odor. However, your hoses might be...there's an easy test for that: wet clean rags in HOT water...wring 'em out, wrap a rag around each section of hose. When the rags have cooled, remove each one and smell it. If you can't smell anything on the rag, that hose is ok...but if you can, that hose has permeated...the only cure is new hoses.

Send me an email...I'll help you get it all sorted out and headed in the direction you need to go in to arrive at a trouble free, ODOR-FREE system that's easy to maintain.
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Old 06-06-2011, 21:14   #28
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Re: Muriatic Acid in Head - How Do You Get It Into Intake?

Hi
I just joined the site after reading the forums for a while now.

I'm a long time avid boater and have been in the servicing and repair of pleasure craft for years. Its given me a good life and figured I'd just help my fellow boating buddies out with that all to well known hole, we seem to love throwing money into.

I'd think your odor is from the raw water pick up hose . Its a common problem and when the toilets flushed after sitting a few days, the odor can be ugly, after using the head the odor settles down. Any toilets with raw water used, no matter what brand or cost of the hose used for p/u to the head will give odor.

Its a good idea to change the p/u hose every other year if it starts to give odor. For the holes in the toilet rim . A simple 1 to 1 vinegar water bath and soak for a day will usually give best results . If you ever see the white froth or crystals around your bounding plate bolts. Shoot some of the vinegar water on it, you will see how it works at breaking the build up inside a head.

I'm sure replacing your p/u hose will fix you up , so might want to do that before flushing and soaking your head.

But make sure the p/u through hull is closed and the valve actually works not just thinking it works because the handle turns.

When taking the hose off the p/u valve, do it slowly and have a bung, or method to plug a hole the size of your through hull valve, as if the existing hose , rips off, or is off you would find, it probably won't just slide back over the water fountain that's now got you soaked, and panicked.

Cheers
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:01   #29
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Re: Muriatic Acid in Head - How Do You Get It Into Intake?

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Hi
I just joined the site after reading the forums for a while now.

I'm a long time avid boater and have been in the servicing and repair of pleasure craft for years. Its given me a good life and figured I'd just help my fellow boating buddies out with that all to well known hole, we seem to love throwing money into.

I'd think your odor is from the raw water pick up hose . Its a common problem and when the toilets flushed after sitting a few days, the odor can be ugly, after using the head the odor settles down. Any toilets with raw water used, no matter what brand or cost of the hose used for p/u to the head will give odor.

Its a good idea to change the p/u hose every other year if it starts to give odor. For the holes in the toilet rim . A simple 1 to 1 vinegar water bath and soak for a day will usually give best results . If you ever see the white froth or crystals around your bounding plate bolts. Shoot some of the vinegar water on it, you will see how it works at breaking the build up inside a head.

I'm sure replacing your p/u hose will fix you up , so might want to do that before flushing and soaking your head.

But make sure the p/u through hull is closed and the valve actually works not just thinking it works because the handle turns.

When taking the hose off the p/u valve, do it slowly and have a bung, or method to plug a hole the size of your through hull valve, as if the existing hose , rips off, or is off you would find, it probably won't just slide back over the water fountain that's now got you soaked, and panicked.

Cheers
Welcome to the forum.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:35   #30
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Re: Muriatic Acid in Head - How Do You Get It Into Intake?

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……I'd think your odor is from the raw water pick up hose . Its a common problem and when the toilets flushed after sitting a few days, the odor can be ugly, after using the head the odor settles down.

Welcome (from another sort-of-newbie), and thanks for the advice. However, the head is used several times daily (as I live aboard), so sitting stagnant in the intake hose was not the culprit. Also, there was the back up problem. In the end, I have done the acid soak with a lot of debris coming out of the rim, and so far have not had the issues return. I have now started weekly vinegar (maintenance) soaks to keep things clean.
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