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Old 12-12-2010, 15:54   #1
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Head Plumbing

I've got a new functional electrical system and my boat isn't burned to the waterline, so I think I'll venture into really dangerous territory: The head.

The current system consists of a built-in fiberglass holding tank, an intake throughull/seacock, an empty overboard throughull/seacock next to the toilet, and a new Jabsco toilet halfheartedly plugged in. The toilet dumps to the holding tank, which also has a pumpout hose and a vent hose. The head is very cramped in this boat.




One option is to figure out how to install a Y-valve and vented loop in the exhaust hose, and a vented loop in the intake hose. I haven't figured out how to make those fit yet, and don't think it's possible without the addition of a 90* elbow or ten. This would leave us with no way to pump out the holding tank at sea, but would allow us to pump the toilet directly overboard. I'm not thrilled about adding connections and fittings, but perhaps that's where we'll end up anyway.

I've also considered skipping the vented loops, and just making head procedures start with "open seacocks" and end with "close seacocks." That would simplify installation somewhat, minimize breaks in the hose/likely failure spots, and insure that the seacocks get exercised regularly, but at the cost of potentially sinking the boat if we muck it up. (Level waterline is about the top of the bowl.)

An alternative solution would involve a T in the pumpout hose and something like a Whale pump to the overboard throughull. We'd have to pump twice to get waste overboard, but could empty the tank at sea.

Suggestions/cautions/ideas/pictures all greatly appreciated.
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Old 13-12-2010, 09:09   #2
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Check out the diagram
Vented Loops - All vented loops (vacuum breaks) must be a minimum of 8" above the heeled waterline. Cruisers & Sailing Photo Gallery
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Old 13-12-2010, 09:56   #3
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Hi Gord - thanks for that, but I'm looking for something a little less theoretical - like where exactly I might be able to hide a Y-Valve, or that pumping the tank out at sea rather than adding a Y-valve as in the diagram works fine/is a terrible idea, etc. And of course I'd appreciate real-world installation photos, particularly in tight quarters as my boat. There are plenty of head pictures on the 'net, but they're mostly acres of chrome and ceramic in 50+ foot boats. How do people elegantly fit all that junk into the head on a 32'?

And what the heck is the loop between the toilet and tank in that picture supposed to do?
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Old 13-12-2010, 13:33   #4
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Hi Dustymc
I assume your access door to the heads is 'infront' of the toilet, mine 'was' the same.
You think you have not got enough room ! I have or had even less as my motor sailer is only 25', so I turned the toilet 90 degrees.
I also had a lot of problems with back fill when the boat heeled right over so I went a bit overboard with the vented loop as my sea toilet seat is about the waterline level.
But not had any more troubles with either the backflow or from people using the heads, any complaints I get I just remind them it's a 25' boat, not the Ritz!
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Old 13-12-2010, 13:49   #5
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Mike, I wish I had your low-profile seacocks, but probably not badly enough to haul out for them.

My access is actually on a 45* angle to centerline, with the toilet facing centerline. (Head on right, door open in below image.) It's nice to see a real installation - thanks for the picture!

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Old 13-12-2010, 14:12   #6
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Use a 1 in vented loop for intake water to the head. Pump directly into the holding tank. Add a 1 in. discharge from the tank to a macerator pump to overboard below the waterline. You still have the deck pumpout for the harbor, you can pump the tank Overboard if you go offshore. The smaller 1 in hose is easier to run and the through hull smaller and cheaper. No vented loop is needed for the big hose except perhaps for the head to tank should the joker valve fail. No Y valve. Much more legal for the "clam cops".
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Old 13-12-2010, 14:13   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustymc View Post
Mike, I wish I had your low-profile seacocks, but probably not badly enough to haul out for them.
Hi Dustymc

Yep my boats a similar layout to yours, and where your cuboard is in the heads mine was the same but I took the bullet and moved it to the side as shown, as the width is wider than the depth of the heads, ie there is better leg room now when you are 'sitting on the loo'.

The Seacocks are of course Blakes valves.

Hope this might help but agree not a five minute job to change!

Mike
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Old 13-12-2010, 14:33   #8
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Some literature on the head intake (raw water for flushing) do not mention a siphon valve. Whe redoing mine I found that some hose is much more flexable than others. I used a Vetus "Sani Hose" and found it very easy to bend. I used some of the trident hard white plastic for a few places and it worked well when heating the ends with a heat gun to get it on a fitting. Good luck!
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Old 13-12-2010, 14:50   #9
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I already have the seacocks (1 1/4" discharge, which seems an oddball size for this application, but whatever). I hadn't considered an electric pump - I was thinking of something like a manual diaphragm pump. If the macerator pump means I can use smaller hose or more elbows though.....

My toilet-->holding tank hose dumps on the side at the very top of the tank, so at worse it could siphon an inch or two off the top. Certainly not a pleasant thought, but still probably safe enough to forgo the vented loop. (At least it can't sink the boat!)

So, I could do this with only a vented loop on the intake, opening the discharge seacock only when pumping the tank overboard. I like that simplicity, and I think it would be fairly straightforward to plumb.

That leaves the current proposal as:

intake seacock-->toilet pump-->vented loop-->toilet bowl-->holding tank-->discharge hose-->T-fitting-->[[pump-->overboard seaccock] OR [deck pumpout fitting]]

Remaining questions:

* Is the macerator pump necessary or will a manual pump suffice?
* Are there any known problems with such a system?
* Do I need a Y-valve in the pumpout hose, or is a simple T-fitting sufficient?
* Is there a reason to buy (or avoid) one Whale 1 1/2" pump over another? Defender has them ranging in price from about $65 to $200.

-D
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Old 13-12-2010, 15:09   #10
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[QUOTE=Dustymc;577311]
Remaining questions:
* Is the macerator pump necessary or will a manual pump suffice?
Depends on use, not sure if you live aboard or do long cruises, or just weekends, a macerator pump is fine (not cheap), but just another item to go wrong! (and dig out) and uses a lot of power I think.
* Are there any known problems with such a system?
Keep it simple!
* Do I need a Y-valve in the pumpout hose, or is a simple T-fitting
sufficient?
Y-valve has better flow characteristics, if you know what I mean!
* Is there a reason to buy (or avoid) one Whale 1 1/2" pump over another? Defender has them ranging in price from about $$65 to 200.
don't undersize (or oversize) the pump, I like Whale products, usually spares available from anywhere, many places in the UK

Hope this might help.
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Old 13-12-2010, 15:18   #11
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We plan to live aboard, at least for a few months at a time.

We are huge fans of simplicity, and diaphragm pumps seem the ultimate in simplicity, along with not complicating the electrical system. We're up for working the pump if it's as functional as a macerator pump. Conversely, we'll figure out an electric pump if that's what's necessary.

My terminology was misleading. By "simple T" I meant a hunk of plastic where 3 hoses can be plugged in, and by "Y-Valve" I meant a mechanical device. I don't see any reason to use the mechanical valve, but I _REALLY_ don't want to figure out just how wrong I was amidst a shower of poop......
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Old 17-01-2011, 19:38   #12
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Dustymc,

Did you resolve your head issues? Haven't been following the forum for awhile.
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