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Old 29-09-2016, 19:15   #16
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Re: Why living on a boat sucks

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
What tends to smell is seawater critters dying inside the flush ring of the bowl. Fresh water boats don't have that issue.
I have sea water flush and every time I leave the boat I take off the intake hose, stick it in a bucket with fresh water and Dawn DWL for a good rinse.
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Old 29-09-2016, 20:06   #17
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Re: Why living on a boat sucks

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Originally Posted by lindabarzini View Post

From all the videos I have watched, it seems the creation of black water sewage is the problem.
You're right. And it can be easily fixed with a cork up the bum.



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Old 29-09-2016, 20:40   #18
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Re: Why living on a boat sucks

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"From all of the videos I have watched", is usually said by someone who has no idea what they're talking about. To use that video as an example of what most of us have in the way of sanitation systems proves the point. I did like the line, "Like an omelet made of poop", lol. Me, 14 year old boat, 2 heads,100gal. + - holding tank and 0 odor.

+1 Skipmac, If I'm leaving the boat and not using the head for awhile, I use fresh water for the last flush and there's no critters to die and produce a smell when I return.
I'll readily admit I don't know anything about composting toilets IRL, but I have been on dozens of boats and all of them have some sort of stink, even if its a whiff just when flushed. The old boats with permeable tubing are especially vile.

What some of you think is "equivalent to a home" toilet; its not, especially to a really sensitive nose.
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Old 29-09-2016, 21:04   #19
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Re: Why living on a boat sucks

I think there are two types of smells in a marine head - dead stale seawater and bad ventilated holding tanks. The former you can avoid by using the head frequently or fresh water flush.

The latter is due to inadequate ventilation - if the culture is healthy it shouldn't smell unless you're sticking your nose by the ventilation breathers and drawing air like you're smoking a pipe.
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Old 29-09-2016, 21:19   #20
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Re: Why living on a boat sucks

This topic always cracks me up. There are plenty of composting head nightmare stories also.

Somehow a crazy notion that composting is easy and green gets out there and it's just not the case. Urine is directly dumped in the water, so you may as well just pee off the back of the boat or dock. The 'compost' is sneakily dumped in the water or on some unsuspecting souls property. No different than bucket and chuck it. Just a lot more expensive and work - for the illusion.

I followed all of Peggy Halls recommendations and my head has zero smell. There are numerous pump outs on the west coast of Florida. I've never paid once. This is the most environmentally friendly, convenient and responsible way to go.
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Old 30-09-2016, 00:02   #21
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Re: Why living on a boat sucks

...bucket
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Old 30-09-2016, 00:16   #22
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Re: Why living on a boat sucks

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Originally Posted by lindabarzini View Post
I'll readily admit I don't know anything about composting toilets IRL, but I have been on dozens of boats and all of them have some sort of stink, even if its a whiff just when flushed. The old boats with permeable tubing are especially vile.

What some of you think is "equivalent to a home" toilet; its not, especially to a really sensitive nose.
Google "composting head toilet bugs" sometime prior to installing one.

In reallity, a composting head is no different than a human litter box, nothing actually gets composted (it's a word thrown in to make the greenies feel good about themselves). I'm just surprised the conversation regarding this (fecal) matter doesn't gravitate towards clumping and scooping as with cat owners.

A properly designed and maintained marine head has no odor, unless the boat sits in a marina with some paticularly nasty water.

That video was of some dummy who installed a residential toilet on her houseboat. A Knucklehead.
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Old 30-09-2016, 01:20   #23
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Re: Why living on a boat sucks

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Originally Posted by lindabarzini View Post
No way. Even the best maintained marine heads stink.
Have you personally been round and checked all of them?
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Old 30-09-2016, 05:39   #24
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Re: Why living on a boat sucks

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Originally Posted by lindabarzini View Post
No way. Even the best maintained marine heads stink. Other than potential seasickness, this was a major disqualifying issue to me getting a boat....
If the head is used routinely, and maintained, that isn't the case. Raw water, sitting for days or more at a time will sometimes develop a "rotten egg" smell but a good long flush will wash 99% of that away. One can also add a chip off a chlorine tablet to the raw water basket in one's raw water filter from time to time to clear most of that out although I would not make a routine of the practice.

FWIW...
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Old 30-09-2016, 06:40   #25
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Re: Why living on a boat sucks

One long flush with the seat and cover down when returning to boat takes care of the rotten egg odor. Thereafter everything is good. So far.....
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Old 30-09-2016, 07:18   #26
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Re: Why living on a boat sucks

I've replaced my hoses and converted to the "Fresh Head".
My heads have no more odor than my ones do at home, really. The fresh head conversions were the majority of that, but new hoses helped too of course.
Now if we are away for a week of more when we first open the boat it does have a boat smell, but in truth all boats that sit unoccupied do, but it dissipates rapidly. I assume this smell comes from the water in the bilge, I have never had a boat with a dry bilge.

As far as rebuilding, I've found that if you flush it a lot, clean well with pine sol or similar and then flush with bleach and water and let it sit, then flush well with just fresh water, there is almost nothing there at all, it doesn't look exactly like new, but nothing nasty is there.
I just had to replace the pump body on my fresh head last weekend as the pump arm broke off and that means complete disassembly, weak part in my opinion, but a cheap to buy part though.

When we leave the boat for the week, I fill the bowls completely and then pump a full bowl full of water through the hoses, it's my attempt to clean the hoses the best I can before we leave the boat.
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Old 30-09-2016, 08:21   #27
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Re: Why living on a boat sucks

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Personally I prefer swapping out a joker valve once a year to hauling compost every week or so (I don't care how sweet it smells)
Every 4 to 6 weeks. Not arguing with you, as these discussions seem to lead to, I'm simply correcting the misinformation. I've been using an Air Head for 6 years and for 2 people, the average compost change is 4 to 6 weeks.
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Old 30-09-2016, 08:44   #28
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Re: Why living on a boat sucks

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This topic always cracks me up. There are plenty of composting head nightmare stories also.

Somehow a crazy notion that composting is easy and green gets out there and it's just not the case. Urine is directly dumped in the water, so you may as well just pee off the back of the boat or dock. The 'compost' is sneakily dumped in the water or on some unsuspecting souls property. No different than bucket and chuck it. Just a lot more expensive and work - for the illusion.

I followed all of Peggy Halls recommendations and my head has zero smell. There are numerous pump outs on the west coast of Florida. I've never paid once. This is the most environmentally friendly, convenient and responsible way to go.
Again, I'm not here to argue, simply to correct misinformation. The notion that composting is easy is not crazy. We have been using one (at anchor) exclusively for 6 years, full time and have NEVER "sneakily" dumped it in the water. We have either timed our emptying to offshore trips (when you only have to empty it every 4 to 6 weeks, it's really not that hard to do) or we have found parks with composting toilets to empty it into, or we have put it in trash bags in a dumpster. We have also never put it on some unsuspecting soul's property. But consider if you will, since you think composters are these awful people who dump their sewage overboard, the Caribbean, where there are next to NO pumpouts. What do you think these people WITHOUT composting toilets are doing with their sewage? Many of them don't even have holding tanks. Why would they? They're not going to be able to get a pump out very many places. I think it's unfair to condemn a product because you THINK people are misusing it. Used correctly, a composting toilet is both easy and green. I've got plenty of experience to back up my claim.
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Old 30-09-2016, 08:46   #29
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Re: Why living on a boat sucks

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Google "composting head toilet bugs" sometime prior to installing one.
Used correctly, there is rarely an issue with bugs. You'll find lots of advice on EASY solutions to them on the rare occasions that you get them. I've been using an Air Head for 6 years and had an issue with bugs once, because we did not install the fan. Our fault. Not the product's.
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Old 30-09-2016, 08:53   #30
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Re: Why living on a boat sucks

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Originally Posted by Hearts Content View Post
This topic always cracks me up. There are plenty of composting head nightmare stories also.

Somehow a crazy notion that composting is easy and green gets out there and it's just not the case. Urine is directly dumped in the water, so you may as well just pee off the back of the boat or dock. The 'compost' is sneakily dumped in the water or on some unsuspecting souls property. No different than bucket and chuck it. Just a lot more expensive and work - for the illusion.

I followed all of Peggy Halls recommendations and my head has zero smell. There are numerous pump outs on the west coast of Florida. I've never paid once. This is the most environmentally friendly, convenient and responsible way to go.
Actually using a composting head is easy and simple. I'm sure most ppl that use a composting head do dispose of the urine in a consient and responsible manor. As far as the solids in the peat well they do begin to breakdown to their baser minerals within a few hours of deposit. They are not desiccating as some have suggested. If that were true you would not have to moisten the peat prior to first use. The degree of decomposition is directly related to the temperature in the moist environment in the collection chamber( bucket) . Now I have been using mine for about a month now ( posted about the build in another thread) I only use it a few deposits a week and I have yet to even come close to the point of needing to empty the bin. ( have a couple lids and spare bucket) . When I do empty it I will place the partially composted material in the dumpster at my marina where the local refuse company will take it to the county biomass reactor( landfill) where they use the methane from all the refuse in the county to run a small power plant that provides the county with the power it needs to run the facility. And yes if offshore I would dispose of the urine over the side.
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