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Old 10-10-2015, 10:05   #16
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Re: OK... basic question... poos and wees

There is a non-essential third function for the vent besides the air replacing the discharged material or the air leaving as contents are added. This flow of air on the surface of the holding tank promotes aerobic bacterial growth that will not smell as bad as the anaerobic bacteria. Many choose not to add any chemicals that would kill this bacteria. You can promote the growth of aerobic bacteria by adding a second vent hose to the opposing side of your boat so air will flow across the surface of the tank contents. You may see a second vent connection that may be closed and not in use on your tank.
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Old 10-10-2015, 10:48   #17
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Re: OK... basic question... poos and wees

One thing a time, Hudson..it's a bit soon to wander off into the tank maintenance jungle. I'm pretty sure they'll let us know immediately when the time is right to go there!
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Old 10-10-2015, 11:51   #18
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Re: OK... basic question... poos and wees

Quote:
Originally Posted by steff View Post
Hi guys

My first post here. Sorry it's so basic.

We're new sailors, and our boat (a Northshore 370) has a macerator and holding tank... I'm trying to figure out how to work it but haven't found any instructions anywhere.

So apologies for the basic questions, stupid descriptions and the bodily fluid descriptions.

So, after you do your stuff into the bowl, there's the pump next to the bowl - I'm presuming that when you pump the handle up and down, this would go into the holding tank?

Then, if I turn the switch for the macerator, I can hear a buzzing sound, and stuff comes out from the hull into the water in a pretty coloured cloud.
Does the macerator work from the holding tank? Or does it work straight from the toilet?

I mean, can you just get out to sea, then turn the macerator on, and it will mince and dump everything in the holding tank? Or if I have stuff in the holding tank, do I need to go to a pump out facility if I haven't turned it on straight away?

And, is the sequence... bodily waste, pump using the hand pump, macerator on? Or is it fancier than that?

Thanks everyone!

steff
Howdy Steff and Welcome Aboard CF!

You have hit on a good subject, and already gotten some great comments and help from some of the most experienced CF members.

My wee little bit () of contribution to the discussion is this:

1. If you want to go to the "head of the class on heads" get a book that will tell you great tips and prepare you for some of the future issues you might face regarding marine heads:

Peggy Hall, the same Peggy who has responded already above, is an expert on the subject, she literally "wrote the book" on the topic of marine heads. The boook? "Get Rid of Boat Odors: A Boat Owner's Guide to Marine Sanitation Systems."

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...cm_wl_huc_item

The Kindle version is only $9 and I would encourage any new sailor/boat owner to get a copy. I consider that a very smart investment in helpful knowledge. Why? See below #2.

2. Most boats will have guests aboard at some time. Many guests will be unsure or clueless on how to use it. So, the savvy boat owner is the one who prepares for the possibilities of having to be the "Boat Plumber" who has to fix some problem.

Of course not all heads wil be a problem, but the fact remains that clogged heads (and other head related problems) are common in boats, especially if the boat has frequent guests aboard.

The problems with heads can be so awful, that even seasoned sailors consider unplugging a clogged head to be one of the very worst experiences of owning a boat.

One bit of warning here: Make sure you pay close attention to making sure the head valves are in the closed position when you are underway in seas or sailing heeled, and while you are not using the head.

Up above, someone mentioned "dry" position. Also, be aware that some holding tanks are relatively small and may be filled up quickly if everyone aboard is pumping a lot of water in them to flush like at home.

One thing to avoid at all costs:
On one voyage I took on a very nice Jeanneau 42 footer, one of the two heads overflowed after being used by a newbie sailor who had been seasick and she was unfamiliar with how to use the head. The boat was heeled and in big seas. The resulting flow and mess of sewage flowed out of the head compartment and made for a horribly smelling, disgusting, slippery (hazardous) mess that covered the sole or floor of the boat. It was not a pleasant sight.

So, my wee little bit of advice:

1. Get Peggy's book and study it. That is a smart $9 investment in boat related knowledge.

2. Read the owner's manual for your particular head and memorize the steps.

3. Make some kind of clearly understood SIGN with simple instructions and labeling to put in the head whenever you have guests aboard who will use it. Use colored electrical tape or paint or something simple to match the relevant parts with the instructions, so anyone can understand the right steps to take to flush.

4. Make a rule that anyone who does not follow the "nothing that did not come out of your body" rule is the person who has to clean the head. Make this very clear to everyone, along with the very clear rule about what should NOT be put into the bowl/toilet. If other women are on board, make sure they know that no baby wipes or tampons or similar are ever to be put in the toilet.
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Old 10-10-2015, 12:02   #19
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Re: OK... basic question... poos and wees

Peggie and other head geniuses:
regarding the vents...and odors. I have a vent on each side of my hull and when the wind blows from either side a foul odor emanates from the other side. Embarrassing at the marina to say the least. I get the need for air to escape as contents are added and to allow for vacuum pump out (as well as the anaerobic/aerobic breakdown) but is there any danger to closing (taping over) one of the vents in port to prevent that blow-thru?

Sorry to hijack the thread...but you all are the #1 and #2 experts


And yes, I did just buy Peggie's book.


Thanks!
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Old 10-10-2015, 12:12   #20
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Re: OK... basic question... poos and wees

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain-Avenger View Post
I was aware of that, which is why I asked the question. It sounds like there may be no other option here other that direct discharge into the water. I real issue if near shore or inland rivers.
Why? The OP stated in his original post that he has a "holding Tank."
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Old 10-10-2015, 12:20   #21
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Re: OK... basic question... poos and wees

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Originally Posted by weavis View Post
Suck up Creep!



You know it bud!

Sound investment that flattery stuff... When (notice I didn't say if) I have problems in this area... I want all the good will I can muster down in the trenches with me!

(you're getting all this peg?)
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Old 10-10-2015, 12:58   #22
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Re: OK... basic question... poos and wees

[QUOTE=HappyMdRSailor;1934092]You know it bud! Sound investment that flattery stuff... When (notice I didn't say if) I have problems in this area... I want all the good will I can muster down in the trenches with me! (you're getting all this peg?)[/QUOTE

Oh yeah, I'm getting ALL of it...and starting to wonder if I need to get out my waders...'cuz it sure is gettin' deep in here!
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Old 10-10-2015, 13:01   #23
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Re: OK... basic question... poos and wees

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Why? The OP stated in his original post that he has a "holding Tank."
I'm not going to get into the cleanliness issue here...not with you. I remember you from a previous post where you think it is OK to dump raw waste right next to kids swimming past your boat. NO THANKS.
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Old 10-10-2015, 13:06   #24
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Re: OK... basic question... poos and wees

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain-Avenger View Post
I'm not going to get into the cleanliness issue here...not with you. I remember you from a previous post where you think it is OK to dump raw waste right next to kids swimming past your boat. NO THANKS.
Aww..

What with HappyMd making Peggie put on her waders, and you hitting and running regarding cleanliness issues and not taking on Kenomac..

Its going to be a boring evening.

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Old 10-10-2015, 13:09   #25
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Re: OK... basic question... poos and wees

Peggie and other head geniuses:
regarding the vents...and odors. I have a vent on each side of my hull and when the wind blows from either side a foul odor emanates from the other side.

I have questions that need answers...
What, if any, tank product are you using?
How big is the tank, especially the depth?
How long are the vent lines? How straight?

...is there any danger to closing (taping over) one of the vents in port to prevent that blow-thru?

Don't do that...that the dual vents are moving air through the tank means they're doing THEIR job. We just need to correct whatever is or isn't going on in the tank that's still allowing the contents to produce anaerobic gasses in spite of very good air flow. The answers to my questions above should tell me that.

And yes, I did just buy Peggie's book.


Thanks!
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Old 10-10-2015, 13:29   #26
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Re: OK... basic question... poos and wees

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
...............
.......................... NOTHING goes into a marine toilet except what the user has eaten first and the cheapest flimsiest "quick dissolve" toilet paper- .......................... ...........
'just a brief digression to share a horror story. In 1975 we were in the Bahamas with three guests aboard and one well functioning Raritan manual head. I had used the rule that Peggy gave us, "nothing goes into a marine toilet except what the user has eaten first...." I thought this would always work for everyone, but while we were cruising in paradise the head totally jammed. There was no action moving anything through the system. It came to me as the owner/skipper/operator/head man in charge to fix it. When I dismantled the fittings I found that it was jammed solid with the husks of sunflower seeds. It turned out that one guests aboard had the habit of eating sunflower seeds whole and chewing and swallowing seeds and husks.

I still advocate the "nothing in the head that you have not eaten first" plan, but I caution against to much bulk fiber too!
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Old 10-10-2015, 13:32   #27
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Re: OK... basic question... poos and wees

[QUOTE=peghall;1934108]
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMdRSailor View Post
You know it bud! Sound investment that flattery stuff... When (notice I didn't say if) I have problems in this area... I want all the good will I can muster down in the trenches with me! (you're getting all this peg?)[/QUOTE

Oh yeah, I'm getting ALL of it...and starting to wonder if I need to get out my waders...'cuz it sure is gettin' deep in here!
I've always had a difficult time with the proverbial line...

I think it started with crayons...

(that's coloured paraffin youth drawing sticks for you funny talkers)
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Old 10-10-2015, 13:36   #28
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Re: OK... basic question... poos and wees

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Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post

I still advocate the "nothing in the head that you have not eaten first" plan, but I caution against to much bulk fiber too!
Boy... just when you think you've heard it all...

Thanks for sharing Hudson!
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Old 10-10-2015, 13:36   #29
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Re: OK... basic question... poos and wees

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
Peggie and other head geniuses:
regarding the vents...and odors. I have a vent on each side of my hull and when the wind blows from either side a foul odor emanates from the other side.

I have questions that need answers...
What, if any, tank product are you using? Currently West Marine "ExterminOdor"
How big is the tank, especially the depth? Tank is approx. 40 wide by 36 across by 32 deep. Approx 200 gal.
How long are the vent lines? How straight? Vent lines are 10-12 feet and relatively straight..no major convolutions.

It's a big trawler. stbd vent is lower than the port but they are roughly in line with the holding tank and outflow ports (in water and deck pump out.)

Thanks for any assistance...my dock mates will thanks you too.


...is there any danger to closing (taping over) one of the vents in port to prevent that blow-thru?

Don't do that...that the dual vents are moving air through the tank means they're doing THEIR job. We just need to correct whatever is or isn't going on in the tank that's still allowing the contents to produce anaerobic gasses in spite of very good air flow. The answers to my questions above should tell me that.




And yes, I did just buy Peggie's book.


Thanks!
Thanks!
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Old 10-10-2015, 13:55   #30
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Re: OK... basic question... poos and wees

Although I've read quite a bit here I don't post often because I am a relatively new boat owner but I've been around boats my whole life because my parents lived aboard for many, many years and I grew up with sailboats. When we purchased our new-to-us Pearson Countess 44 with many upgrades, one of them was a macerator pump and a fairly new head, but the macerator pump didn't seem to be working properly. I started doing research on composting heads. Everyone who has one seems to love them. As a youth I remember watching my father wrestle with various heads on various boats and it was never pleasant. Always a hassle finding a place to pump or dump and fiddle with plumbing, etc, etc etc. So we decided to throw the traditional head and all its crap out and replace it with a Nature's Head. We absolutely love it. No odor. Relatively easy to install. Mushroom vent, 12 volt fan runs almost silently. Easy to use, easy to dispose of. So simple! Costs about $1,000 but well worth it in the long run. Just my 2 cents. BTW, old salt Dad,now 85, just sailed down with us from SF Bay to Morro Bay and was so ecstatic about it he went out and bought one for his land yacht.

--Marie--S/V Jessie Marie
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