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Old 07-01-2012, 21:54   #31
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Re: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

Manual toilets can begin to recirculate when the inside of the pump cylinder wears beyond spec and the o-rings allow pressure to blow by.

The rebuild kit will not solve this problem. It's time for a new pump.
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Old 07-01-2012, 22:28   #32
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Re: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

Thanks Peggie!
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Old 08-05-2012, 22:11   #33
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Re: My Head Smells Like a Head

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Would flushing a bit of freshwater down after each flushing accomplish the same thing as re-routing the hose?

Nope...'cuz anything put directly into the bowl only goes through the bottom part of the pump and out the discharge...it doesn't (be VERY glad for this!) recirculate through the intake, pump and channel in the rim of the bowl.

It doesn't seem you carry enough fresh water to make it work, but I'll explain the advantages to teeing the head intake line into the head sink drain line anyway. Fwiw, some builders plumb boats to do this because it eliminates a hole in the boat (head intake thru-hull) and saves 'em the cost of a thru-hull and seacock.

Teeing the head intake line into the head sink drain means that the toilet and the sink drain use the same thru-hull...so you can still flush with sea water. But you can also flush with fresh water by closing that seacock and filling the sink with clean fresh water...flushing the toilet pulls the water out of the sink. So you DO rinse out the whole system.

Back to your odor problem... One last question: are you seeing any black flecks in the bowl when you pump the toilet in the wet mode?
Hi Peggie,

I'm considering your suggestion to tee the head intake and sink drain to completely flush the lower part of the head with fresh water. I have a dedicated thru-hull for head seawater intake. My sink drains to a sump (not to the head thru-hull). I'm trying to figure out how to configure this. I thought about a y-valve (seawater to head and sink to head), but this doesn't reconnect the sink to sump. I think I could run a hose from the sump to a y-valve rinse via the sump, though this is a lot more hose to run. Alternately, tee off of the sink drain to the y-valve. Am I missing the obvious?

Thanks,
Don
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:44   #34
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Re: My Head Smells Like a Head

Don't even THINK of running a line from the sump to the toilet gray water is full of nasties that will really screw up a toilet pump.

Several sailboat mfrs plumb their boats to one thru-hull shared by both the toilet and the sink drain--'cuz it eliminates a hole in the boat AND saves 'em the cost of a thru-hull and seacock. Tartan used to be one of 'em...a shame they don't do that any more and that yours isn't one of that vintage--even more of a shame that they stopped doing that. I'm also surprised that your head SINK goes into a sump, 'cuz it's not necessary--gray water can go directly overboard...the only reason for a shower sump is because shower pans are below the waterline.and just adds unnecessarily to sump maintenance.

You ALMOST hit on the on the obvious when you arrived at "Alternately, tee off of the sink drain to the y-valve"...

If you ONLY want to be able to rinse the sea water out of the system before the boat will sit, there is fairly simple way to do it...it just requires a y-valve in the sink drain drain line, a tee in the head intake line, and enough hose to connect 'em.

After you've closed the seacocks in preparation for leaving the boat (which of course you ALWAYS do if you have ANY sense at all!), turn the y-valve in the head sink drain line and fill the sink with water...flush the toilet. Because the head intake thru-hull is closed and the y-valve directs the water to the connecting line, the toilet will pull the water out of the sink....rinsing out the whole system. To use the sink normally, turn the y-valve to open it to the sump again. To flush toilet with sea water, open the head intake seacock.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:15   #35
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Re: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

Peggie, thanks that looks like it will work. Basically the y-valve switches the sink drain between sink-sump and sink to tee (head intake) and the tee allows either seawater from thruhull or freshwater from sink to head.

I will check the plumbing again to confirm the sink to sump connection. I'm pretty sure that's how it is plumbed - whether by Tartan or previous owner, don't know. I did find crazy electrical modifications, so it wouldn't surprise me if same with plumbing

If I take on this replumbing, would I be better off routing the sink drain to the thruhull?

I will study this today. Thank you,
Don
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:41   #36
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Re: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

...would I be better off routing the sink drain to the thruhull?

Maybe... First find out whether there IS a sink drain thru-hull...If there is, I'd definitely do it. If not, how far away is the head intake thru-hull? If it's in the head (where it really belongs, to keep the seacock accessible, but rarely is any more since decor started trumping safety in boat building), definitely do it. But if that would put the sink drain thru-hull more than a 3-4' from the sink, prob'ly best to leave it as is.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:50   #37
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This thread caught my attention since recently we started having odor from the head. I cleaned out the holding tank air vent - it was clogged with insects and corrosion. Hopefully this was the cause of odor (bacteria thing). This lead to possibly a new plumbing job!

The sink in the head is plumbed with 1" hose to a tee to the sump. This is at least 10' run and somewhat inaccessible. Also tee'd to the sump are the shower floor drains. The seawater intake for head is 3/4" hose about 4' total length. The head seawater thru hull is easily accessible next to the sink in shower. I suspect they routed the sink to sump to have larger drain hose.

I'm thinking to replumb. When using the sink there is back flow onto the floor from shower drain. Replumb probably worth doing. The seawater intake hose runs directly under the sink Any advice on routing hoses, hose size (3/4" drain), photo or diagram. It is going to be a challenge to rework the sump tee.

Thanks again, Don
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:56   #38
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I went back and retread this thread. When you are tee'ing the sink and head intake, are you using a y-valve? If just a tee to sink, I don't think the head's pump will draw seawater.
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:19   #39
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Re: My Head Smells Like a Head

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Hi Peggie,

I'm considering your suggestion to tee the head intake and sink drain to completely flush the lower part of the head with fresh water. I have a dedicated thru-hull for head seawater intake. My sink drains to a sump (not to the head thru-hull). I'm trying to figure out how to configure this. I thought about a y-valve (seawater to head and sink to head), but this doesn't reconnect the sink to sump. I think I could run a hose from the sump to a y-valve rinse via the sump, though this is a lot more hose to run. Alternately, tee off of the sink drain to the y-valve. Am I missing the obvious?

Thanks,
Don
Don't mean to hijack, but I'm thinking about routing sink drain, shower, and bilge pump, (primary, will have a massive backup with 2" line out cockpit), to a sump, that will have a checkvalve, and be well above the waterline. Ideal maybe not, but only 1 thru hull, and crash pump for big leaks, The hull is solid, (no props, sounders, intakes, etc...), except the one sump out. I really don't want to cut another thru hull.
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:55   #40
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Re: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

i have to laugh at the idea of use of fresh water to rid head of stink when that stink is only from sea water sitting in it for long times and only needs tobe flushed for 5 mins to make smell go away. vinegar also works.
marine toilets were made to be used dailyand made to have great amounts of salt water pass thru em . when it sits, you have stink. others will tell ye other things, but when it comes down to it, that is all it is.
dont over-think simplicity. heads are simple things. hope i didnt step on anyones feet or feelings--is a fact that stagnant sea water stinks. make that water move makes stink leave.
most cruisers dont wish to waste fresh water on a toilet that works well on salt water, and was designed for salt water use. just pump more. there will be a gallon come back at you from pumping because of the vented loop, so make sure 3 gallons at least pass thru.
smooth sailing..
of course, if ye plan on staying in a slip, use the fresh water system. you wont miss the fresh from the tanks.
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Old 09-05-2012, 13:22   #41
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Re: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

Yes, Karen, it is that simple: sea water stinks when it sits and stagnates. Those who live aboard or have the luxury of being able to use their boats every day can prevent it by just flushing the toilet...but not everyone can. And not everyone wants to come back to a boat toilet that knocks you off your feet the first time you flush it.

Rinsing the sea water out before the boat sits not only eliminates that problem but it also helps to prevent sea water mineral buildup in the system...a problem that CAN be solved by removing the hoses and beating hell out of 'em on the dock, then putting 'em all back.

But if you can PREVENT both problems by simply rerouting a little plumbing and "wasting" no more than a liter of water each time you leave the boat, why wouldn't you rather do that than have to hold your nose and remove and re-install plumbing a couple of times a year?
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Old 09-05-2012, 13:36   #42
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Re: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

I cleaned out the holding tank air vent - it was clogged with insects and corrosion. Hopefully this was the cause of odor (bacteria thing). This lead to possibly a new plumbing job!

At the very least a new open thru-hull for the vent line that will let you back flush the vent line every time you wash the boat and/or pump out the tank.

When using the sink there is back flow onto the floor from shower drain.

Sounds like you need a float switch in the sump so it drains overboard instead of overflowing.

Why is there a tee in the shower drain line? Why doesn't it go directly from shower to the sump?

Never mind answering that...IMO, the smartest thing you can do is take ALL that plumbing out and start over.
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Old 09-05-2012, 13:37   #43
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Our stink was coming after the head...the holding tank.
When we were in fresh water the tank did not smell. When we got to salt water, the odorlos treatments could not keep up.
Solved it by replacing the electrode plates in the Lectrasan and actively using that. No more carrying cr@p around, no more stink!
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Old 09-05-2012, 13:54   #44
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Re: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

Extremely informative thread, especially Peggy Hall's expertise and wit "...when decor trumped safety in yacht design..." And might I add, not just in plumbing.

We are going with a dry composting system in Orion. And at home.
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Old 09-05-2012, 14:22   #45
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Re: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

When you are tee'ing the sink and head intake, are you using a y-valve?

Usually, no, if the sink drains directly, overboard . The head intake line is teed into the sink drain line just above the thru-hull...no y-valve needed.

If just a tee to sink, I don't think the head's pump will draw seawater.


It will if you don't put the tee above the waterline.
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