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Old 04-03-2011, 16:25   #76
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

Well, for urinals I make an exception. It's the splashing out of the bowl that gets me.
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Old 05-03-2011, 10:33   #77
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

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The size of "all" the component parts of a wet system is absurd.
That picture made me physically shudder from the memory of removing my old head and holding tank.

The person that installed my holding tank fiberglassed it. Who the hell fiberglasses in a holding tank???





I don't miss my old wet system at all. Worst boat job ever and I can't imagine having to deal with replacing and maintaining hoses on a regular basis.

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Old 05-03-2011, 14:51   #78
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Good old Bicarbonate of soda 1/2 box and hot water dissolves solidified urine crystals and cleans out the entire system. I used this to remedy my black water tanks, left it in for a day - flushed it through an the results are amazing.
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Old 05-03-2011, 15:24   #79
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

We have a Levac head, with no moving parts except the hand operated bilge pump on the wall. It has never smelled at all, and I don't know if it is because of the the head, or the hose, (which we regularly flush with white vinegar.) I made our system based on test results compiled by Practical Sailor regarding sanitation hose.

As said elsewhere, use PVC pipe where ever you can, as It is the champ! If the plumbing has to curve, the next best for "low odor", was SeaLand's "Odor Safe" hose. (This is what we used). In areas that are out of sight, an effective temporary but cheap measure, was to wrap the stinky plumbing with "Saran Wrap" brand cling wrap. Sounds silly, but they found that it had an incredible ability to stop odor, that was 2nd only to PVC pipe...

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Old 05-03-2011, 15:48   #80
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

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I totally agree that men should sit to pee on a boat from a housekeeping standpoint, it just makes sense, (i also dont allow going off the stern on my boats, not worth the safety risk.) However the subject was about the smell and the inference was that men stink the place up more than the ladies do which of course is hogwash, the initial dump is just a temporary odor just like at home, the plumbing is what causes the long term 24/7 stench, imho the best solution is to rip it all out and replace it with a composter and claim back the wasted storage space at the same time. Unfortunatly on many smaller boats the tank and hoses run right under your pillow in the vee berth. I have a recently purchased boat where the entire storage area under the vee berth is off limits for storage due to this, the tank is plastic and at the fwd end under my feet so as not to waste too much space but this leads to very long,( read very expensive) hoses which, long term,are consumables. Its got to go.
Steve.

We use his & hers Wizz bottles, and transfer their contents to the head, only when full. It avoids all the flushing for "small contributions", and the safety risk of going off of the edge of the boat as well.

Often, smells are from the holding tank... (Bladder tanks are the worst). We made our 30 gallon holding tank out of the hull itself, with the antislosh baffle, inspection port, and PVC plumbing built into the lid / floor. The head is mounted to a pedestal that is part of the "permanently glassed in", holding tank lid, directly below it.

By having the head actually ON the holding tank it made all plumbing runs as short as possible, which translates to less flush water required. When using the holding tank, this "low flush" feature is very important, as it lengthens the time between pumpouts.

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Old 05-03-2011, 16:29   #81
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

I love the Lavac...it's one of only two manual toilets still made that are reasonably priced (the other is the Raritan PHII/PHC) that I recommend any more. However, I always have to grin when people rave about "no moving parts except the pump on the wall"... NO toilet has any moving parts except the pump...but for some reason putting the pump on the wall instead on a base beside the bowl is the game changer in most people's minds. The REAL game changer, though, is that the Lavac uses a diaphragm pump instead of a dual action piston/cylinder pump. And manual diaphragm pumps need a lot less maintenance, regardless of where they're installed.

Saran Wrap is a tried and true "band aid" for permeated hoses. It won't last forever--a year...but wrapping smelly hoses in it will allow you to wait till the weather cools off in the fall to replace 'em. But ONLY Saran Wrap, though...no other brand.

I have to disagree that SeaLand OdorSafe is the most odor permeation resistant hose or the easiest to work with. The original OdorSafe introduced in the early '90s that was made in Australia was...but, when Dometic bought SeaLand, they switched to an Italian mfr whose stuff isn't nearly as good. It's still better than most, but I have to put it in at least 2nd place, 'cuz I've personally been aboard at least half a dozen on boats on which it had failed and heard of many more...plus the d'd stuff is as stiff as an ironing board! The hose with the best track record is Trident 101 Trident Marine: Sanitation Hose 102 is identical except for color. 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...and it's a bit softer, which makes it much easier to bend and get onto fittings. Shields has recently introduced a hose that they put a lifetime warranty on...but I tend put more faith in track records than in warranties, especially when you can buy the hose with the track record for half the price of the new one with the "lifetime" warranty.
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Old 05-03-2011, 17:20   #82
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

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Originally Posted by peghall View Post
I love the Lavac...it's one of only two manual toilets still made that are reasonably priced (the other is the Raritan PHII/PHC) that I recommend any more. However, I always have to grin when people rave about "no moving parts except the pump on the wall"... NO toilet has any moving parts except the pump...but for some reason putting the pump on the wall instead on a base beside the bowl is the game changer in most people's minds. The REAL game changer, though, is that the Lavac uses a diaphragm pump instead of a dual action piston/cylinder pump. And manual diaphragm pumps need a lot less maintenance, regardless of where they're installed.

Saran Wrap is a tried and true "band aid" for permeated hoses. It won't last forever--a year...but wrapping smelly hoses in it will allow you to wait till the weather cools off in the fall to replace 'em. But ONLY Saran Wrap, though...no other brand.

I have to disagree that SeaLand OdorSafe is the most odor permeation resistant hose or the easiest to work with. The original OdorSafe introduced in the early '90s that was made in Australia was...but, when Dometic bought SeaLand, they switched to an Italian mfr whose stuff isn't nearly as good. It's still better than most, but I have to put it in at least 2nd place, 'cuz I've personally been aboard at least half a dozen on boats on which it had failed and heard of many more...plus the d'd stuff is as stiff as an ironing board! The hose with the best track record is Trident 101 Trident Marine: Sanitation Hose 102 is identical except for color. 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...and it's a bit softer, which makes it much easier to bend and get onto fittings. Shields has recently introduced a hose that they put a lifetime warranty on...but I tend put more faith in track records than in warranties, especially when you can buy the hose with the track record for half the price of the new one with the "lifetime" warranty.
We got lucky I guess, and bought our Sealand Hose in it's infancy, right after the Practical Sailor tests on sanitation hose. (around '97?)

Agreed, that Saran Wrap is a very short term band aid. That fun fact is more "interesting" than useful.

About the Levac having no moving parts... The difference is that the wall mounted hand pump on a levac can be cleared of a minor clog without tools, by opening the pumps cover plate. (Never had to). When the time comes to re-do the diaphragm & flappers, (10 years for us), you remove the pump and take it apart on deck, in the cockpit, or better yet, on shore. It takes about 30 minutes.

The piston pumps on other heads are attached to the bowl, (= part of the head by my definition, but I see that you disagree). So, that toilet bowl is where your anatomical head is, while you're taking the pump apart, ON your knees. (The bowl may well be full, With the pump broken)! Also, The conventional head pump has metal sliding rods, and "O" rings, that can cause constant dripping problems.

The Levac's diaphragm pump may start slowly loosing pumping ability, Like ours did when we left vinegar in there for too long and shriveled the flappers, but it is FAR less likely to leak into the cabin (= smell), far more reliable, can be worked on sitting down in the fresh air, and is not a part of (= bolted to) the head.

That's not to say there are not a lot of other good brands out there, just that they all have the above downsides.

The downside of the Levac I suppose, is that the lid and seat gaskets are essential to it's operation, so could eventually fail. Our 15 year old gaskets are still in good shape though.

It may be like a cult thing, but almost all of the folks we know, who built their own boats or gutted them and started from scratch, opted for the Levac. I have no idea why manufacturers don't install them, but the fact that they don't is why most folks don't know how much more simple and reliable Levacs are. IMO...

Mark
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Old 05-03-2011, 20:22   #83
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

Looks like you have a well thought out system Mark, plywood/glass/epoxy makes for an excellent,trouble free tank that allows you to maximise the capacity,keeping the hoses as short as possible saves a bunch of money too.
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Old 05-03-2011, 20:34   #84
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

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Noooo...none of the above, although I prob'ly should read their work!



Weeelll...if you go to my publisher's site Bahamas and Caribbean Information, Boating Books, Cruising Guides and do a search for "Peggie Hall" (be careful to spell Peggie correctly) I THINK you might find it.

I have NO idea why a link to "seaworthy.com" comes up as "Bahamas...etc"...but I checked it and it does land on Seaworthy's home page




You don't have to totally banish men from the head...just insist that all gentlemen be seated when using the head for any reason. Only you know what would be effective in dealing with evidence of non-compliance.
Sorry Peggie, what was I thinking?.....
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Old 21-03-2011, 01:12   #85
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

humm, so let me ask you this..

If you have a bad permeated hose, can you pull the odor out of it by using viniger or some other means? once a hose smells is it done?

my head is below the holding tank and i think the hose is the smelly part. i now use only fresh water, but i can flood the hose with whatever i like and leave it there for at least a week to do its work...

Brian
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Old 21-03-2011, 05:53   #86
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

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If you have a bad permeated hose, can you pull the odor out of it by using viniger or some other means? once a hose smells is it done?
Not by any means that won't destroy the hose. If you could peel layers off the hose (you can't) they smell too. The hose is by it's design was impermeable or at least as much as they can make it. It's not perfection. The process happens very very slowly when sewage sits or passes through. If the smell is real bad after you empty the tank and flush it out then you know where the problem is. Replacement is the real option.

If you follow above you will find it can happen with sink drains too. The hideous smells come from anerobic reduction of biological matter. In the presences of oxygen the process is called "composting" and not really much smell. After permeation the stuff won't oxidize into the same compounds. The hose once permeated has had it's structure totally violated and you can't put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
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Old 21-03-2011, 08:44   #87
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

Unfortunately replacement is the only cure for permeated hoses. Wrapping 'em in Saran Wrap--and ONLY Saran, no othe brand--is a "band aid" that can contain the odor well enough to keep things bearable through the rest of a hot summer to let you wait till cooler weather to replace 'em. However, unless hoses are really accessible, it can be just about as much of a PITA to wrap 'em than to just go ahead and replace 'em.

Replace ALL the hoses, not just "the one you think is the worst,"...otherwise you'll be replacing 'em one at a time.

I get a LOT of calls from people who've replaced their whole sanitation system--toilet, tank, hoses AND y-valves and discharge pumps--trying to get rid of what they though wast "head odor" when all they really needed to do was clean their bilges--really CLEAN 'em for a change, and flush ALL the dirty water out, instead of just dumping some more "miracle" cleaner/deodorizer into the primordial soup and calling it done. A wet dirty bilge can make a whole boat smell like a swamp or even a sewer, so it's a good idea to do the "wet hot rag" test described in one of my earlier posts to this thread to make sure that the hoses really are the culprit.

If you do need to replace hoses, Trident 101 Trident Marine: Sanitation Hose is the best. It'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. The online store at sailboat owners.com has the best price for it I've found. sbo.com plumbing
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Old 05-08-2011, 15:48   #88
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Saltwater flush

Just reading through this thread with interest and there's a lot of talk about not using saltwater flushing as there are living things in there which make your bowl smell etc etc..

I have a Jabsco hand pumpy affair, and my solution to this problem was to disconnect the inlet on the pump (for drawing in seawater) and mount a washdown tap on the wall beside the head, whose output connects to the inlet of the bowl. Such that when you turn on the washdown tap, the water goes into the bowl directly without pumping.

Now, that washdown tap is connected to my "saltwater" system, which first goes through a raw water strainer (not small enough to filter little critters), then to the saltwater pressure pump (just a deckwash pump).. but then through a 30 micron filter, then a 5 micron filter - so my flushing seawater is filtered down to 5 microns - so hopefully shouldn't have any critters to decay and smell!
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Old 05-08-2011, 15:58   #89
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Re: Saltwater flush

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Just reading through this thread with interest and there's a lot of talk about not using saltwater flushing as there are living things in there which make your bowl smell etc etc..

I have a Jabsco hand pumpy affair, and my solution to this problem was to disconnect the inlet on the pump (for drawing in seawater) and mount a washdown tap on the wall beside the head, whose output connects to the inlet of the bowl. Such that when you turn on the washdown tap, the water goes into the bowl directly without pumping.

Now, that washdown tap is connected to my "saltwater" system, which first goes through a raw water strainer (not small enough to filter little critters), then to the saltwater pressure pump (just a deckwash pump).. but then through a 30 micron filter, then a 5 micron filter - so my flushing seawater is filtered down to 5 microns - so hopefully shouldn't have any critters to decay and smell!
I'm not so sure. The smell comes from the sulfate in sea water being reduced to sulfide. Since the bacteria that do this are sub-micron, you may slow the rate of onset, but not eliminate the odor. There will also be stagnant time in the filter system, perhaps enough for the bugs to work.

Please report back.
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Old 05-08-2011, 16:28   #90
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Re: Saltwater flush

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I'm not so sure. The smell comes from the sulfate in sea water being reduced to sulfide. Since the bacteria that do this are sub-micron, you may slow the rate of onset, but not eliminate the odor. There will also be stagnant time in the filter system, perhaps enough for the bugs to work.

Please report back.
I don't have much experience with it yet, but will move aboard in the next few months, but in terms of planning - some other mitigating factors are:

* Head is directly above the holding tank and the entire hose run is 2 feet, it goes about 3 inches up first (the damned angle of the jabsco fitting), the rest is straight downhill into the tank.

* The saltwater filters are actually a part of the watermaker system - with a 3 way valve when making water.. as well as for deckwash duties. So I think with the constant flushing everyday, deckwash use and watermaker use every few days, there will be little time for stagnation of the filters.

Having said that - I have flushed and left the saltwater in the bowl for a few days and haven't experienced any smells at all, so I'm really hoping that my installation will be a success, as the 2 feet of hose, while short, is a REAL NIGHTMARE to access if I need to replace it!

Will report back in 6 months or so.
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