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Old 06-10-2016, 07:39   #1
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discharge tube clogged

hi all, any plumbers on this forum ? The first owner of our Lagoon 400S2 didn't flush the toilets regular with fresh water, or a few cups of white vinegar; As a result the discharge tube of our starboard hull toilet is completely clogged, and this is only a two year old boat
I disconnected the tube from the Jabsco toiletbowl - noticed in the meantime that the joker valve needed replacement as well - and poured white vinegar in the tube and let it sit overnight. That didn't dissolve the clog so I went to the ship chandler and bought a cleaning powder with sodium hydrogencarbonate and citric acid, made a solution with hot water and poured that into the tube. No luck either ... Then I decided to replace the complete tube, so I connected a new tube to the old one on the toilet bowl side. There the tube dissapears into a two inch hole in the white bathroom floor side. It then goes under the bathroom floor and re-appears behind/under a cabinet on the other side of the bathroom, where I can disconnect it from a non-return valve which connects it to a tube with a bigger diameter ... are you still with me ?
So I thought to pull the clogged tube through, and just go ahead and replace it with a new one. BUT ... I am pulling on the cabinet side and all goes well for two feet or so, and then the tube is stuck, somewhere under the toiletbowl. I pulled as hard as I dared and could, but no luck. The only positive was that I could hear the limescale buildup break inside the tube, and some of it came out, a stone-like buildup... N A S T Y . But the clog is still very much there ...
My two questions to you are :
- does anyone know how to remove the tube without actually breaking something, and hopefully without removing the toiletbowl ?
- or does anyone know of a product that eats through that clog like a hot knife through butter, but without dissolving the complete tube as well ?
your help will be much appreciated ...
thanks,
jugga
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Old 06-10-2016, 14:42   #2
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Re: discharge tube clogged

The tube is held into the hull with a number of electrical type zip ties. Then the inner liner is placed into the hull covering these fasteners up.

It is obvious to me that nobody in Lagoon has ever had to try to remove these hoses themselves after production, as no reasonably person would keep doing this.

These ties need to be cut/snapped or the hose just pulled through them. Can require a lot of force.

A small mirror and a torch, use mirror to locate ties on hose behind the walls by shining torch on mirror to illuminate the area you are looking at.

The small and larger Joker valves need to be replaced and the rock like deposit cracked and washed out of your hoses then re-install.

Removal of Toilet bowl is not hard 4 nuts from memory, worth doing if it gives better access. After you have successfully done the blocked one do not sit down and admire your work you have the dirty cloths and shitty tools all available, because just as certain as death and taxes the next one will bloke at the most inconvenient time necessitating bailing out somebody else sewage befor you can make a start. Where as if you start with a clean bowl it makes a shitty job just that bit sweeter.

If you believe vinegar will help next time you have a cup of calcified deposits after cleaning out your system leave them in vinegar over night and see what it does or should I say does not do.

Swimming Pool acid will start to dislodge this stiff, but will also eat metal parts and seals.

This is a problem all systems that flush Urine with saltwater suffer from to some degree or another. I believe that not flushing enough saltwater to move all urine into holding tank is the main problem causing calcification of the hoses. But we are all trying to maximize the holding capacity of our Black Water Tanks, so this is where the issue starts.

The main thing to remember, it is a shitty Job that is down to you to do it.
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Old 06-10-2016, 16:21   #3
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Re: discharge tube clogged

Great advise from PaulinOz.

The toilet pipe issue is common to all boats with plumbed toilets. This problem is made worse in owner version L400s as the pipe from toilet to holding tank is nearly 5 metres long. It takes approximately 4 litres of water to flush it out, so if you completely flushed pipe every time the holding tank would quickly fill. Unflushed, it stays full of waste all the time.

I think you made a wise decision to replace this pipe. I recently had the same problem and it took much effort and HCl acid to clear pipe. It needed to be removed, cleared and replaced. PaulinOz's tips are helpful. I had to remove the white panel to access the holding tank, in order to remove and replace the connection to it.

Unfortunately, I can't offer a perfect prevention. Vinegar may slow future buildup, but I doubt it. We regularly pump 5 litres of 3 to 1 diluted swimming pool HCl acid into the toilet. Pump through half a litre of fresh water to reduce damage to toilet seals and leave for several hours.

I am consideing buying new fittings to change plumbing design. Instead of all toilet waste going through holding tank, I'm thinking of adding a 3 way valve to allow a choice of directing waste to go straight overboard via a shorter pipe or to exising holding tank. This may improve the system or add more bends and valves to clog. What do others think?
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Old 06-10-2016, 17:23   #4
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Re: discharge tube clogged

If it's truly clogged, no chemical will get to it. That only works for "slow" drains. Are the bends in the hose too tight to get a flexisnake or similar wire spring reamer through it? That's one Home Depot solution. If that won't work, the other is an inflatable cuff nozzle for a garden hose - it expands in the opening and then applies a lot of water pressure to the inside of the hose, hopefully throwing the clog out the other end. They come in different sizes. You may even have a diameter of hose that will fit tightly around an ordinary screw garden hose nozzle, or fit with a few rag wraps. Push it in and let fly.....
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Old 07-10-2016, 05:20   #5
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Re: discharge tube clogged

We flush both our toilets with three full kettles of fresh water when leaving mainly to rid the toilet of the rotten egg smell on first flush when arriving. A blocked pipe would be a headache as jugga has described, is there any opinion on what quantity of fresh water should be used or is our action enough to stop experiencing a blocked pipe.
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Old 07-10-2016, 06:45   #6
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Re: discharge tube clogged

We run our heads off our fresh water supply, given a water maker. That's not as easy as it sounds, because the inlet pump on a Jabsco head doesn't seal against a pressurized water system. Instead, the flushing routine is open the spring-loaded water valve,then press the motor switch. We've never had a problem with hose odor or a built-up clog.
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Old 12-10-2016, 14:28   #7
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Re: discharge tube clogged

Hi All, and thanks for the feedback...
PaulinOz is right ... Lagoon fixed these hoses without thinking they might have to be removed or replaced. The hoses in my 400S2 were ziptied ánd glued. The hose clamps fixing them to the non-return valves were aimed in a way that the screwdriver side was on the bottom, almost impossible to reach. After a lot of cursing, almost dislocating my shoulder and elbow, and scratching half of the skin of my arms, I eventually succeeded in pulling the hose out of my boat ! It was completely clogged so couldn't be asked to clean it. Replaced it, connected all back, tried to flush ... still no luck. Took out the non return valve connecting the smaller diameter hose to the bigger one, that was completely clogged as well. Threw it in the trash, put a new valve in and noticed the bigger hose was clogged as well. Tuskie is right : the 400S2 owners version has over 4m hose between head and blackwater tank ! If the first, smaller hose was difficult, the bigger hose was ridiculously zip tied to the hull, connected to other hoses ànd electrical wires, and even more impossible to reach. As Tuskie, I had to remove the white panel in my shower to get to the blackwater tank, where the hose is connected on the top. My 6year old boy was activated for some unpaid child labour to cut the zip ties in the most impossible places. Eventually all loose, I attached a pulling wire to the top of the hose, and pulled it out from the bottom. After cleaning it - and I still can't believe what came out, after only 2 years of use - I re-installed the hose, clamps, shower panel and cuboard panels and ... It all works as it should.
The white vinegar nor the Hydrogen Chloride Acid would have beaten this clog. So my advice to all is - like PaulinOz said : flush really long with seawater after every use, big or small. Don't flush untill you don't see anything anymore, but flush till you think all has passed through that pipe (4+ meters, remember!) If you want to maximise your holding tank, that's up to you, but I know what I'm going to do ... And regularly long- flushing the whole system with fresh water, lukewarm if possible (I use the shower) when you have fresh water from the dock available. Flushing with diluted HCI once in a while to minimize the scale build-up should help too.
Hope you guys never have to go through this ordeal, and PaulinOz : thanks for the good advice and even if I know you're right, I'll handle the port side hoses when necessary and my self respect is up for it again ;-)
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Old 19-10-2016, 07:29   #8
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Re: discharge tube clogged

Quote:
Originally Posted by jugga View Post
So my advice to all is - like PaulinOz said : flush really long with seawater after every use, big or small. Don't flush untill you don't see anything anymore, but flush till you think all has passed through that pipe (4+ meters, remember!)
When I got my boat I poured a little strong color (Potassium permanganate) into the toilet and counted my pump strokes while one of my kids looked for the colored water to appear out of the seackock. 15 strokes on my Mahe and I think about 12 on my previous Lagoon 410.

So everyone onboard was instructed to pump at least 15 strokes. Also flush with fresh water when laying up. Never had any clogging or smell.
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Old 19-10-2016, 19:16   #9
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Re: discharge tube clogged

The advise to pump water until no waste is in the discharge pipe is great for preventing calcification and clogging, but if you have to keep your holding tanks closed they will quickly fill up.

Has anyone considered the practicality of fitting a shorter pipe for a "straight overboard" flush when the holding tanks don't have to be used? A large 3 way valve would be required.
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Old 19-10-2016, 20:27   #10
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Re: discharge tube clogged

Raritan makes a product called (I think....) KP ... cleans pipes. Has anyone tried it? I recall it being advertised as a revolutionary product for dissolving calcium buildup in the sanitary hoses.
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Old 19-10-2016, 21:07   #11
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Re: discharge tube clogged

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuskie View Post
The advise to pump water until no waste is in the discharge pipe is great for preventing calcification and clogging, but if you have to keep your holding tanks closed they will quickly fill up.

Has anyone considered the practicality of fitting a shorter pipe for a "straight overboard" flush when the holding tanks don't have to be used? A large 3 way valve would be required.
You can do that, but you have to be more than 3 miles offshore to flush overboard (along the US East Coast, anyway), and you cannot flush within any navigable waterway in the US unless it is into an MSD (holding tank). The fines for flushing over the side inland or closer to the coast are stupendous.

I don't know what they are in the Bahamas, for instance, but I would imagine the locals don't want tourists to have to dig through your sewage to be able to snorkel along an otherwise pristine beach...

Now, my 78 Hunter 27 does not have a holding tank, but actually came from the factory with an overboard only system. I am having to install a tank because the boat never had one. I will not be getting rid of the overboard option, but will have to put a locking valve (with a keyed lock) on the line, and make sure that I have the key on my person or locked in a safe when inshore, according to the rules. Incidentally, I find that with all that is in the water everywhere I look, the rule is ridiculous, but... I suppose the folks in nice locations with clear water do have a point, though.
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Old 20-10-2016, 05:31   #12
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Re: discharge tube clogged

Yes SailingFan, I agree that holding tanks should be fitted and used. In Australia, our discharge laws aren't (yet) policed as rigorously as in US, but we close off our tanks in all anchorages whether the law says so or not. It's easy to open them when traveling to the next spot, and it keeps our anchorages clean. I'm amazed how many boats don't have holding tanks or don't use them. A straight overboard discharge would only be used away from anchorages or marinas.

The trouble with the Lagoon 400 plumbing system is that the pipes are long and fat; they hold too much liquid. To flush out the discharge pipe requires approx 5 litres of water. This means 16 flushes will fill a 80 litre holding tank.
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:46   #13
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Re: discharge tube clogged

Hi Jugga,
I have a 17 month old 400S2 and I have exactly the same problem. The small pipe from the head to the valve is ok, the valve is probably blocked but I know that there is a solid matrix about 30 cm down from the top of the vertical pipe because I put a camera down the pipe. I had been flushing plenty of sea water down the head after every use and vinegar once a week.
You referred to the cupboard panels being replaced. Do you mean a) the lift out panel and b) the screwed access panel above the lift out piece? If not, what other panels did you remove? (All situated in bottom left cupboard to right of door)
Did you pull the large hose out from the bottom? How did you mange to cut the zip ties please?
Your comments would be appreciated, thanks.
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Old 04-12-2016, 09:08   #14
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Re: discharge tube clogged

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuskie View Post
............... Has anyone considered the practicality of fitting a shorter pipe for a "straight overboard" flush when the holding tanks don't have to be used? A large 3 way valve would be required.
My Hunter 38 from 2005 came equipped with a 3 way valve, BW tank or overboard. It is a great solution, just do move the Y-valve VERY regularly or the dreaded ureum cristals will block it and impossible to move without disassembly.
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Old 04-12-2016, 09:36   #15
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Re: discharge tube clogged

Hello Roger, sorry to hear you have the same problem as I had ... I lifted out the horizontal panel and unscrewed the inside vertical panels from the left bottom cupboard, to have better acces to the non-return valve (where the skinnier hose connects to the fat one) I took out the white panel inside the shower, to have better acces to the fat hose connection at the top of the holding tank. Disconnected the fat hose there on top, pumped out as much of the good stuff as possible, attached a few meters of nylon pulling line firmly to the top and taped a plastic bag around the end with duct tape to close and seal it off. On the lower end I disconnected the skinny hose from the non return valve. Before that I had disconnected the same skinny hose at the bottom of the toilet bowl, replaced the joker valve and also pumped all that good stuff out of the hose from that end as well. Then I started cutting the zip ties from the top end towards the lower end. The first few are easy, the middle ones are the devil... I used a light and a mirror to locate them and then just started swinging my blade ferociously, scraping the skin of my forearms and dislocating my shoulder, elbow and wrist in the heat of the struggle. There is just no easy way to do it, as I posted earlier ... Lagoon obviously didn't think their plumbing might need any repairs done after factory assembling...
Eventually with all zipties killed and the fat hose loose, I pulled it out from the lower side, took the pulling line off for later use, replaced the hose and the non-return valve.
Then attached the pulling line to the new fat hose, and fed it through the cupboard while pulling the nylon line on the holding tank side. Once all back in place I re-attached to the holding tank at the top end, then to the skinny hose at the lower end, tried to re-fit most of the zip ties ( I think I skipped two in the very middle, the impossible to reach ones), put all panels back in place, took a very long and hot shower and got drunk.
Traumatizing as this event was, I now threaten everybody with a gruesome death if they don't flush for at least 30 seconds after every use of the toilet, and regularly rinse the whole system with fresh, luke warm water and some hydrochloric acid.
Hope this helps, and good luck !
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