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Old 17-01-2012, 18:19   #1
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Using a Plunger on Vacuflush

Evening everyone, new to the forum. Have spent time reading but haven't seen this discussed.
If there is a plugged line in Vacuflush system, can a wee bit of judicious use of a plunger be safely done.
Up here in Canada its almost criminal to cut a boating weekend short due to a plugged line.
Thanks to anyone that takes time to reply.
Bob
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Old 17-01-2012, 19:21   #2
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Re: Using a plunger on Vacuflush

I have never tried a plunger, but here are a couple of things that have worked for me.

1. Leave it for a half hour, and try flushing again. If the bowl is too full, turn the water supply off. Repeat several times.
2. Use a short piece of wire to momentarily jumper across the vacuum switch to get two or three additional pump strokes. Then repeat 1. above.

Most of the time step 1. alone has cleared the problem.
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Old 17-01-2012, 19:28   #3
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Re: Using a plunger on Vacuflush

Our VacuFlush got clogged every now and then when visitors were aboard. I contacted the manufacturer and was told to have at it with the plunger. You can't hurt anything.
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Old 18-01-2012, 10:53   #4
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Re: Using a plunger on Vacuflush

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Originally Posted by Bob51 View Post
Evening everyone, new to the forum. Have spent time reading but haven't seen this discussed.
If there is a plugged line in Vacuflush system, can a wee bit of judicious use of a plunger be safely done.
Up here in Canada its almost criminal to cut a boating weekend short due to a plugged line.
Thanks to anyone that takes time to reply.
Bob
Havent had the pleasure of my vacuflush clogging but I would imagine the clog likely at the duckbills so plunger probably would not hurt but also might not help.
What im really curious to know is what sort of a boating weekend in Canada are you on this time of year and are you sure your vacuflush is not choked with ice?
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Old 18-01-2012, 11:47   #5
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Re: Using a plunger on Vacuflush

As having been trained in VacuFlush installation, I can tell you that taking a plunger cant really hurt the system.

If the plug is before the vacuum generator, it might work. If is the duckbills or anything after the vacuum generator, it may not help.
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Old 18-01-2012, 15:24   #6
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Good one Demeter! This winter is wacky, 8 degrees F today, 47F yesterday and above 32F on the weekend.
I just hope that we're not getting ice in the duckbills in June!
Thanks very much to everyone that's taken time to respond.
Had a couple of blockages last year when guests onboard. Vacuum generator kept running so my thinking was it must have been the duck bills. Will plan on changing them in spring. ......Bob
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Old 18-01-2012, 16:20   #7
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Re: Using a plunger on Vacuflush

Our only problems with the VacuFlush were when guests were aboard. I'm not sure what they did, but it usually resulted in a clog. Maybe too much toilet paper...?
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Old 18-01-2012, 16:49   #8
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Re: Using a plunger on Vacuflush

Whenever the head clogs we put lots (2 cups ish) of white vinegar in and let it sit for an hour or so. It seems to dissolve the harder bits and 99% of the time solves the problem.
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Old 18-01-2012, 17:28   #9
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Re: Using a plunger on Vacuflush

Bob, don't tell me you have one of the cheap Mexican duckbill sets, without the usual electric pre-heaters built into them? All the NORTH American equipment ships with pre-heaters for winter use. <WEG>
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Old 18-01-2012, 18:04   #10
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That must be the problem.
I thought something funny when the last duckbills I put in didn't have any wires attached. 😜
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Old 18-01-2012, 19:08   #11
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Re: Using a plunger on Vacuflush

Had an interesting situation with one of our Vacu-Flush pumps that caused the pump to keep running: both duckbill valves were propped open by kernels of undigested corn. They were due for replacement anyway so no big deal. As I recall without looking it up, the manufacturer recommends replacing the valves every 5 years.
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Old 18-01-2012, 21:51   #12
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Re: Using a plunger on Vacuflush

Flushing a full bowl of water once a day to rinse out the system will prevent that kind of problem.
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Old 19-01-2012, 11:36   #13
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Re: Using a plunger on Vacuflush

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Had an interesting situation with one of our Vacu-Flush pumps that caused the pump to keep running: both duckbill valves were propped open by kernels of undigested corn. They were due for replacement anyway so no big deal. As I recall without looking it up, the manufacturer recommends replacing the valves every 5 years.

We dont serve corn or peanuts onboard anymore for this very reason.
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Old 19-01-2012, 13:48   #14
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Re: Using a plunger on Vacuflush

The undigested corn kernels I can understand, they often pass undigested. Why that should jam anything in the head, I don't understand. There would have to be some "gunk" for them to get stuck in. Perhaps decaying vegetable oil from someone who was using it to "lube" their head?
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Old 20-01-2012, 15:53   #15
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Re: Using a plunger on Vacuflush

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The undigested corn kernels I can understand, they often pass undigested. Why that should jam anything in the head, I don't understand. There would have to be some "gunk" for them to get stuck in. Perhaps decaying vegetable oil from someone who was using it to "lube" their head?
Hellosailor,

If you have never seen the insides of a Vacu-Flush head, this explanation may not make much sense but I'll give it a try. The head was not actually clogged, per se, as none of the offending matter was large enough to block the pipes. However, with both duckbill valves stuck open by kernals of corn, the pump could not develop vacuum in the receiving tank and just kept pumping.

This is what a duckbill valve looks like. The pump has one inside the suction pipe and one in the discharge pipe to the holding tank. In this orientation flow would come from the bottom.
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