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Old 12-10-2011, 12:06   #16
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Re: Troubleshooting Vacuflush

Picked up Duckbills at the boatshow. Was dissapointed to find out that I have to undo hose from the hose barbs to replace. Was hoping end fittings on the pump would be set up to unscrew without having to undo hoseclamps and wrestle with that odorsafe hose. I cant imagine it being too great for the hose to break the seal every other year while servicing... Oh well small price to pay I guess for heads that small children can flush easily...Thanks everyone.
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Old 12-10-2011, 19:45   #17
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Re: Troubleshooting Vacuflush

Ohhhh...it's not THAT bad. Warming the hoses--being VERY careful not to overheat--with a blow dryer makes 'em a lot easier to get off the fitting...and to put back on. I used to keep a compact "travel" dryer in my toolbox just for warming hoses. The OdorSafe hose will permeate in a few years anyway, giving you an opportunity to replace it with hose that's a lot easier to wrestle.
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Old 13-10-2011, 10:47   #18
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Re: Troubleshooting Vacuflush

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Ohhhh...it's not THAT bad. Warming the hoses--being VERY careful not to overheat--with a blow dryer makes 'em a lot easier to get off the fitting...and to put back on. I used to keep a compact "travel" dryer in my toolbox just for warming hoses. The OdorSafe hose will permeate in a few years anyway, giving you an opportunity to replace it with hose that's a lot easier to wrestle.

I know its not that bad I just have worked with that sort of hose too much lately and was hoping to be done for a while. FWIW the odorsafe has been in my boat for 7 years now and does not appear to be permeated yet. Is there a more flexible sanitation hose you prefer oh goddess of porcelain?
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Old 14-10-2011, 15:48   #19
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Re: Troubleshooting Vacuflush

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I know its not that bad I just have worked with that sort of hose too much lately and was hoping to be done for a while. FWIW the odorsafe has been in my boat for 7 years now and does not appear to be permeated yet. Is there a more flexible sanitation hose you prefer oh goddess of porcelain?
There's no predicting when, or even whether, any hose will permeate. I'd had Trident #148 (the $3.50/ft stuff) on one of my boats for 7 years when I sold the boat...nary a trace of odor. The same hose permeated on my next boat in less than 90 DAYS! Trident 101/102 (identical except for color (is a double walled rubber hose that, yes, is considerably more flexible than OdorSafe (which is about as flexible as an ironing board!), and as previously mentioned, and without a single reported odor permeation failure in nearly 20 years. Which is why I recommend it over any other.
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:56   #20
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Re: Troubleshooting Vacuflush

Just an update. Took Pegs advice got duckbills at the boatshow. Installed in a snap and problem solved. Very happy with the vacuflush system but I think I would like to convert one head to a salt water flush option for when we are on passages. Im thinking this will just involve a small pump that can handle salt water and a vented loop. Guessing I dont want to use a freshwater system pump here and should look at small washdown pumps yes?
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Old 03-11-2011, 13:41   #21
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Re: Troubleshooting Vacuflush

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If it's been at least two years since the duckbills in the vacuum were replaced, it's a good bet that's where the air leak is...replacing 'em will solve the problem.
Bingo. You have to rebuild the duckbill pumps periodically. In addition to leaking, they sometimes get gummed up. Nasty job, though.

SV Demeter, I've been thinking of converting to salt water too, although that increases the likelihood of odor. Maybe the best (albeit expensive)solution when you have a fresh water toilet is a watermaker.
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Old 03-11-2011, 13:45   #22
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Re: Troubleshooting Vacuflush

Yup... However, flushing with sea water is gonna open up a whole new can of worms--intake odor (be sure to install strainer to keep sea life out), calcium carbonate buildup etc... And then there's the matter of making sure there can't be any cross contamination of your fresh water system--which will require permanent removal of that toilet from the fresh water plumbing.

IMO, you'd be better off just using a bucket or keep some gallon milk jugs full of sea water handy for toilet flushing if you need to conserve your fresh water.
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Old 03-11-2011, 13:49   #23
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Re: Troubleshooting Vacuflush

LOL, I didn't think of the bucket but that's a perfect solution. Or I could just run the hose for my deck washdown pump down into the head.
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Old 03-11-2011, 14:37   #24
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Re: Troubleshooting Vacuflush

The more I think about it the more I think maybe t'ing off the washdown line is the way to go. Its already fairly close to the head Im thinking of converting. To prevent accidental contamination of the FW side I could simply disconnect the FW hose from where it attaches to the head, plug the end, and connect the salt water line. This would only be for use on a passage when concerned with FW consumption. Once off passage the salt water line gets disconnected and plugged and the FW line reinstalled. Maybe a bit of a hassle that could be improved with valves I suppose but I like the idea of eliminating the chance of contaminating the FW as Peg alludes to. Certainly dont want to run salt all the time in these heads but I cant imagine a lasting odor problem coming from a few weeks of saltwater while on passage.
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Old 03-11-2011, 18:52   #25
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Re: Troubleshooting Vacuflush

After tossing all this around, I think I may have stumbled onto the best idea: 1 gallon milk jugs of sea water sitting in the head to use when you need 'em. 'Cuz there are ways to conserve flush water:

In a real crunch, you CAN get away without using any flush water when only urine is flushed (put TP in the trash can)...then half a gallon at once right before bedtime to rinse out the system. Or...don't flush at all if you don't absolutely have to. Then flush some water to rinse out the plumbing behind that one.

IMO, it makes so much more sense to be creative with jugs than it does to screw up a perfectly good system to solve a short term problem. But your mileage may vary...
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:54   #26
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Re: Troubleshooting Vacuflush

Yeah Peg you are probably right about this one. I have enough on my plate as it is getting this boat ready for liveaboard family of 4 next fall. Thanks for the reality check once again.
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Old 18-12-2013, 09:46   #27
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Re: Troubleshooting Vacuflush

Wanted to refresh this thread, as it definitely helped me with line leak in a new system (and myself a vacuflush neophyte).
- took advice and ran huge amount of water into system, just to ensure it was flushed clean. Discovered I could turn vacuum off, fill lines with water thru the toilet, and then close the toilet and re-establish vacuum without flushing the lines......which then allowed me to hear the pinhole leaks as they bubbled into the filled line. One on a pvc joint - and the second on a double clamped hose barb! Used shaving cream to pinpoint first (brilliant simple troubleshooting idea) and short length of 5/8" hose as a stethoscope to find other - this was all done standing on my head or in a crawlspace beneath the tub. Used epoxy on pvc, undid leaking hose clamps, rotated till the clamp screws were 180 deg apart then retightened- and the system held for the day. Thanks!
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Old 18-12-2013, 10:27   #28
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Re: Troubleshooting Vacuflush

facey, do I understand correctly that you turned off the power to your vacuflush and then just poured water down the bowl with the pedal depressed and that filled all the lines with water so when you turned on the power again and after the vacuum pump ran to reestablish suction, you could then hear the leaks?

I'm a new owner of a boat with 2 vacuflushes and one of them cycles on every 5 minutes or so. I'm thinking it's probably a matter of replacing the duckbills but worth checking for small leaks in the line first to possibly avoid a messy job. Also, on a calm day, with the y-valve set to overboard discharge on this head that cycles occasionally, I noticed occasional bubbles coming out of the thru-hull even when nobody was using the toilet. Thoughts anybody? Duckbill replacement or likely leak in vacuum side?

Another vacuflush question for those who have had them awhile...do you have to buy their toilet seats for $60 bucks each, or will home toilet seats fit that you can buy at Lowes for $20 each fit well enough?
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Old 18-12-2013, 18:54   #29
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Re: Troubleshooting Vacuflush

Hey JT - yep, with the added fact that my vac generator is above the toilet......that's why we could keep water in the line.
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Old 14-02-2014, 11:08   #30
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Re: Troubleshooting Vacuflush

Posting for future reference...

I installed a vacuflush system three years ago, we have been very satisfied with it, would really hate to go back.

A couple of weeks ago vacuum generator started running between flushes. I assumed problem was the duckbills on vacuum generator and changed those (they were 3 years old anyway), did not make any difference. On closer inspection I found that the leak was past the o-rings on toilet (model 5149) flush ball shaft. Removed the flush ball and shaft, looked in good shape, cleaned off a bit of scale and replaced, put silicone grease on o-rings before replacing as per instructions. Still leaked. Contacted Sealand and they recommended removing pedal and spring cartridge and packing a generous amount of silicone grease where shaft enters toilet. I did this and seems to have fixed the problem.

Doug
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