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Old 17-11-2015, 01:14   #46
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Re: Vinegar for cleaning head?

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Not really. Vinegar--at least not in the concentrations that are likely to exist in any holding tank, isn't a bacteriacide...a cupful every week or so wouldn't have any noticeable impact in it. Oil, otoh, can create an oil slick on the surface that seals it, turning it anaerobic. Not much of a factor for liveaboards though 'cuz the frequency of incoming waste breaks up the oil slick often enough to prevent it from creating much of a seal. Tanks on weekend warriors' boats can sit still long enough though.
Unless you have an aerater, you holding tank will always be anerobic. If you have an aerater, the oil slick won't make any difference.

...now I just have to figure out how to squeeze a composter into the new boats smaller head.
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Old 17-11-2015, 01:14   #47
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Re: Vinegar for cleaning head?

Good length of time, but as a full time live aboard, our TMC macerator lasts about 2 years. It is then cheaper to replace the whole toilet rather than parts. Cheers Lea


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Old 17-11-2015, 01:36   #48
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Re: Vinegar for cleaning head?

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Unless you have an aerater, you holding tank will always be anerobic. ..............................
Maybe not. As long as I can keep my wife from putting bleach or other toxic chemicals in our head, I seem to keep a good aerobic bacteria population in my holding tank. Maybe these factors allow me to do this without an aerator:
- I have two vent hoses to the holding tank from opposite sides of the boat.
- I have a fairly low profile wide tank that allows for a large surface area.
- We are actively cruising and our boat doesn't sit still for long periods.
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Old 17-11-2015, 03:00   #49
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Re: Vinegar for cleaning head?

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Maybe not. As long as I can keep my wife from putting bleach or other toxic chemicals in our head, I seem to keep a good aerobic bacteria population in my holding tank. Maybe these factors allow me to do this without an aerator:
- I have two vent hoses to the holding tank from opposite sides of the boat.
- I have a fairly low profile wide tank that allows for a large surface area.
- We are actively cruising and our boat doesn't sit still for long periods.
How do you know your tank is aerobic? Good venting will keep odors to a minimum as they are quickly dispersed even if the tank is anaerobic.

Bleach is not the issue. It will kill off both types of bacteria. Aerobic bacteria require oxygen and lots of it in a holding tank where bacterial colonies are large and have a rich food supply.

Unless you regularly stay in anchorages where you bounce around to the point of being uncomfortable, the surface of the water will be an effective barrier limiting the introduction of oxygen. Taking the boat out every 3-4 days won't be enough to have a significant effect, so even active cruising isn't going to change the results.

To effectively turn the tank aerobic, you would need an aerator running near continous introducing oxygen from below or some other means of introducing oxygen.

This the reason composting toilets must eliminate the excess moisture from the solids tank and use a material such as peat moss or coir to create air gaps. The surface of the water would limit oxygen from penetrating and it would quickly turn anaerobic.
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Old 17-11-2015, 07:56   #50
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Re: Vinegar for cleaning head?

How do you know your tank is aerobic? Good venting will keep odors to a minimum as they are quickly dispersed even if the tank is anaerobic.

Foul odors can only be created in anaerobic conditions...so you'll know your tank is aerobic if there is no odor to disperse.

To effectively turn the tank aerobic, you would need an aerator running near continous introducing oxygen from below or some other means of introducing oxygen.

Not necessarily. Passive ventilation above the surface can successfully maintain a tank aerobically to a depth of about 20"....deeper than that, aeration would be necessary.

Bio-chem 101: When organic material breaks down anaerobically, it generates the stinky gasses--hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide--and methane, which is flammable, but odorless. Aerobic breakdown generates CO2, which is odorless but heavier than air, so without adequate tank ventilation it creates a "blanket" on the surface in the tank, suffocating it. Increased ventilation above the surface, along with tank products that keep bio-activity alive instead of killing it, prevents that CO2 "blanket" from forming, so the tank contents remain aerobic to a depth of about 20".
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Old 17-11-2015, 08:44   #51
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Re: Vinegar for cleaning head?

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How do you know your tank is aerobic? Good venting will keep odors to a minimum as they are quickly dispersed even if the tank is anaerobic.

Foul odors can only be created in anaerobic conditions...so you'll know your tank is aerobic if there is no odor to disperse. You can't prove a negative. Odor is evidence of anaerobic activity. Lack of odor just means you don't know. If the odor is being dispersed, you may smell nothing.

To effectively turn the tank aerobic, you would need an aerator running near continous introducing oxygen from below or some other means of introducing oxygen.

Not necessarily. Passive ventilation above the surface can successfully maintain a tank aerobically to a depth of about 20"....deeper than that, aeration would be necessary. Unless the boat is being constantly agitaged it will. If it's realtively calm you will still get large pockets of anerobic activity at much shallower depths than 20".

Bio-chem 101: When organic material breaks down anaerobically, it generates the stinky gasses--hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide--and methane, which is flammable, but odorless. Aerobic breakdown generates CO2, which is odorless but heavier than air, so without adequate tank ventilation it creates a "blanket" on the surface in the tank, suffocating it. Increased ventilation above the surface, along with tank products that keep bio-activity alive instead of killing it, prevents that CO2 "blanket" from forming, so the tank contents remain aerobic to a depth of about 20". I'm well aware of the stinky gasses (mercamptans) having taken a few courses in college on waste treament plants. But with plentiful ventilation, you just don't relaise they are being generated because they are dispersed.
Increased ventilation helps but primarily by dispersing it. Realistically, that's fine. As long as it doesn't smell, most people don't care what type of bacteria.

But to the original point that bleach only kills aerobic bacteria, that is flat out wrong.
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Old 17-11-2015, 09:47   #52
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Re: Vinegar for cleaning head?

But to the original point that bleach only kills aerobic bacteria, that is flat out wrong.

You are correct...biocides are non-selective. Bleach, nor any product that contain bleach, should never be used in any part of a marine sanitation system because bleach (chlorine) is destructive to rubber and also breaks down hose resistance to odor permeation.

If it's realtively calm you will still get large pockets of anerobic activity at much shallower depths than 20".

25 years of experience has proven otherwise.

Increased ventilation helps but primarily by dispersing it.

The only place tank odor has to go is out the tank vent...not dispersed until it's already VERY noticeable to those nearby or even at a distance downwind.
Increased ventilation prevents it from occurring.

As far as odor INSIDE the boat is concerned, unless a tank is leaking it's rarely if ever the source...because odor from inside the tank has only one place to go: out the tank vent. So trying to eliminate odor inside the boat by attacking the tank is just chasing your tail, 'cuz the tank ain't the source.

Have a nice day!

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Old 17-11-2015, 10:03   #53
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Re: Vinegar for cleaning head?

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...................... I'll try to locate bronze bolts, but I was considering a coating for the bolts that might protect them from corrosion. 'any thoughts? I'll likely just insert new stainless bolts for another five years of lifespan.
Try slathering them with Lanocote.
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Old 18-11-2015, 08:19   #54
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Re: Vinegar for cleaning head?

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............. As long as I can keep my wife from putting bleach or other toxic chemicals in our head, I seem to keep a good aerobic bacteria population in my holding tank. .................
This statement I made earlier has been misunderstood. There is no support here that bleach selectively kills aerobic bacteria; however, if I have a healthy population of aerobic bacteria, then bleach will kill them as it does all microbes. It's also a mistake to identify bacteria as simply aerobic or anaerobic. Although there are obligate anaerobes, many bacteria are facultative anaerobes and will remain aerobic with sufficient oxygen.

When asked, how can you tell if you have an effective aerobic population in your holding tank, I can only rely on smell evidence. When using the head air exits the vent with a noticeable smell. I sample evidence every day! Repeated anecdotal smell evidence that comes with over forty years of living aboard allows me to assume the relationship between aeration from boat activity, volume and surface area, and ventilation and an aerobic bacteria population.

I am open to other explanations that might support my results, but I'm pretty confident.
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Old 18-11-2015, 09:12   #55
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Re: Vinegar for cleaning head?

vinegar is vinegar and it negates the salt buildup. is something i have found actually worlks,especially onnew hoses. old ones--REPLACE EM! ALL!!!
cheez, cheapskate. all you will have is epic toilet sagas forever until you do replace em.
do not even THINK of asking me how i know this.....(::whistles:

and odorlos. definitely odorlos. is magic. shaddap and use it. wish i could get that stuff here.


and good freeking grief!! do NOT use bleach inyour marine head and expect odorlos or other good products that work to actually work in your head.
there is no place on a boat for bleach as it screws up all it touches. hard on pumps and equipment. back off that idea unless you wish to replace items more often. another ask me how i know moment. remember i been doing this since 1990. btdt in many areas and bt prevented that in most. but then what would i kn0w-- i only been full time live aboard since 1990 and cruiser full time for 5 years total. only been sailing for 60 years. omygods.. too new to know..rodlmffao.
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Old 18-11-2015, 09:40   #56
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Re: Vinegar for cleaning head?

"...am open to other explanations that might support my results, but I'm pretty confident."

And you should be...'cuz you've got it!
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Old 18-01-2016, 15:00   #57
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Re: Vinegar for cleaning head?

ok. so here are results of over 10 years of vinegar... yes constriction and plaque occur.
with my regular routine of vinegar alternating with odorlos, there was no stinkiness and calcium deposits wefe flaky n easily removed.
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Old 18-01-2016, 15:04   #58
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Re: Vinegar for cleaning head?

Thanks for the follow up Zee.


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Old 18-01-2016, 15:17   #59
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Re: Vinegar for cleaning head?

10 years of vinegar more expensive than the new hose.... :>)
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Old 18-01-2016, 15:24   #60
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Re: Vinegar for cleaning head?

10 years of vinegar may be more expensive than the hose, but it sure is a lot less work, even spread out over the ten years!
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