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Old 07-08-2014, 09:01   #31
smj
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

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Originally Posted by sparrowhawk1 View Post
Not unless they changed the laws. all the cattle(tour) boats in Key West empty holding tanks on the way back from the seven mile out reefs
I may have been mistaken. You cannot dump within the marine sanctuary which seems to extend about 3 miles beyond the reefs, or about 8 miles from Key West. On the Gulf side of the Keys you can't dump within 9 miles.
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:20   #32
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

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Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
The more I read about composting toilets the more they sound like my cats litter box.
Yeah, I'd love to hear the discription of the failings of house hold sanitation (floats leak, treatment plant overflows, water bill, all that piping); should just build an outhouse. Ofcourse, most people think the system works pretty darn well.

The reality is:
  • Joker valve once every 1-3 years. Flush with pleanty of water and it's a 3 minute job.
  • Clogging is almost always the result of not using enough water. A few more pump strokes, please. Never had a clog, just a few slow-pumping episodes that required some user education.
  • Skid marks are what happen if you deposit into an MT bowl. Fill it first, obviously.
  • Permiation takes > 10 years if proper materials are used. Leaks only happen if equipment is installed poorly. I've replaced hoses and never had a leak.
  • Replacing hoses is only nasty if you don't clean them first by flushing clean water. Obviously.
  • Resale value is better (for most buyers) with a convensional system. I'm quite certain there would have been zero discussion of a boat with a composting head... except for what it would cost to replace.
  • Vent odor. Not unless everything was done wrong. With a vent filter or ventilation + chemical, zero. Nada. There seems to be a myth that boats have to smell. Rather silly; none of mine ever did, and none of my friends. Isn't obvious that yachtsman won't accept that?
  • Unsanitary holding tank? I can't even believe that was mentioned. No different than the composter, really.
  • Pump-out. Very regional. In the Chesapeake there are cheap or free pump-outs at most fuel docks and many marinas. Going off-shore could take 150 miles of sailing.
  • No carrying pee to shore disposal. If you loft it over the side, I wouldn't brag about that. Either way I've got to fool with it, and the solids on occation. No better, no worse, than a pump-out, on the average.
  • One more thing to explain to guests (don't pee in the poo). I don't fancy starting each cruise with a poo instruction session. There is some instruction with a conventional head, but less.
  • Tank fitting could rupture. Engine through-hull could rupture and the boat will sink. Yup, in some boats. In my case the tank is FRP and the fittings are on top. The tank backs up the bow crash tanks, is part of the hull, and helps reduce the chance of sinking to zero (boat has 6 crash tanks). additionally, all of my through hull are in a bulkheaded compartment, so no, that could not happen.
I have not painted a grim picture of composter service. I could have exagerated, just for fun. Those that have had bad expereinces with conventional systems have either inherited a poorly engineered system (sorry) or not figured out proper operation; It is very easy, but it helps if you truely understand it.

---

Either way it's just poop. Folks get awfully worked up over it. I find the thread interesting, and if pump-outs were unavailable I would seriously consider it... though I think there is much room for improved engineering; a true composting head, perhaps.
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:38   #33
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
Yeah, I'd love to hear the discription of the failings of house hold sanitation (floats leak, treatment plant overflows, water bill, all that piping); should just build an outhouse. Ofcourse, most people think the system works pretty darn well.

The reality is:
  • Joker valve once every 1-3 years. Flush with pleanty of water and it's a 3 minute job.
  • Clogging is almost always the result of not using enough water. A few more pump strokes, please. Never had a clog, just a few slow-pumping episodes that required some user education.
  • Skid marks are what happen if you deposit into an MT bowl. Fill it first, obviously.
  • Permiation takes > 10 years if proper materials are used. Leaks only happen if equipment is installed poorly. I've replaced hoses and never had a leak.
  • Replacing hoses is only nasty if you don't clean them first by flushing clean water. Obviously.
  • Resale value is better (for most buyers) with a convensional system. I'm quite certain there would have been zero discussion of a boat with a composting head... except for what it would cost to replace.
  • Vent odor. Not unless everything was done wrong. With a vent filter or ventilation + chemical, zero. Nada. There seems to be a myth that boats have to smell. Rather silly; none of mine ever did, and none of my friends. Isn't obvious that yachtsman won't accept that?
  • Unsanitary holding tank? I can't even believe that was mentioned. No different than the composter, really.
  • Pump-out. Very regional. In the Chesapeake there are cheap or free pump-outs at most fuel docks and many marinas. Going off-shore could take 150 miles of sailing.
  • No carrying pee to shore disposal. If you loft it over the side, I wouldn't brag about that. Either way I've got to fool with it, and the solids on occation. No better, no worse, than a pump-out, on the average.
  • One more thing to explain to guests (don't pee in the poo). I don't fancy starting each cruise with a poo instruction session. There is some instruction with a conventional head, but less.
  • Tank fitting could rupture. Engine through-hull could rupture and the boat will sink. Yup, in some boats. In my case the tank is FRP and the fittings are on top. The tank backs up the bow crash tanks, is part of the hull, and helps reduce the chance of sinking to zero (boat has 6 crash tanks). additionally, all of my through hull are in a bulkheaded compartment, so no, that could not happen.
I have not painted a grim picture of composter service. I could have exagerated, just for fun. Those that have had bad expereinces with conventional systems have either inherited a poorly engineered system (sorry) or not figured out proper operation; It is very easy, but it helps if you truely understand it.

---

Either way it's just poop. Folks get awfully worked up over it. I find the thread interesting, and if pump-outs were unavailable I would seriously consider it... though I think there is much room for improved engineering; a true composting head, perhaps.
For full time live aboard and use we would have to replace the joker valve at least once a year and it was never a pleasant job. I would also guess you would have more chance of odor permeating the hoses with more use than just weekends. Also for full time live aboard and a 20-30 gallon holding tank that would mean at least a weekly trip to a pump out which to me would be a hassle.
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:47   #34
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

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Originally Posted by smj View Post
In a toilet
yep, just like a porta potty!
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:57   #35
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
Yeah, I'd love to hear the discription of the failings of house hold sanitation (floats leak, treatment plant overflows, water bill, all that piping); should just build an outhouse. Ofcourse, most people think the system works pretty darn well.


The reality is:
  • Joker valve once every 1-3 years. Flush with pleanty of water and it's a 3 minute job.
  • Clogging is almost always the result of not using enough water. A few more pump strokes, please. Never had a clog, just a few slow-pumping episodes that required some user education.
  • Skid marks are what happen if you deposit into an MT bowl. Fill it first, obviously.
  • Permiation takes > 10 years if proper materials are used. Leaks only happen if equipment is installed poorly. I've replaced hoses and never had a leak.
  • Replacing hoses is only nasty if you don't clean them first by flushing clean water. Obviously.
  • Resale value is better (for most buyers) with a convensional system. I'm quite certain there would have been zero discussion of a boat with a composting head... except for what it would cost to replace.
  • Vent odor. Not unless everything was done wrong. With a vent filter or ventilation + chemical, zero. Nada. There seems to be a myth that boats have to smell. Rather silly; none of mine ever did, and none of my friends. Isn't obvious that yachtsman won't accept that?
  • Unsanitary holding tank? I can't even believe that was mentioned. No different than the composter, really.
  • Pump-out. Very regional. In the Chesapeake there are cheap or free pump-outs at most fuel docks and many marinas. Going off-shore could take 150 miles of sailing.
  • No carrying pee to shore disposal. If you loft it over the side, I wouldn't brag about that. Either way I've got to fool with it, and the solids on occation. No better, no worse, than a pump-out, on the average.
  • One more thing to explain to guests (don't pee in the poo). I don't fancy starting each cruise with a poo instruction session. There is some instruction with a conventional head, but less.
  • Tank fitting could rupture. Engine through-hull could rupture and the boat will sink. Yup, in some boats. In my case the tank is FRP and the fittings are on top. The tank backs up the bow crash tanks, is part of the hull, and helps reduce the chance of sinking to zero (boat has 6 crash tanks). additionally, all of my through hull are in a bulkheaded compartment, so no, that could not happen.
I have not painted a grim picture of composter service. I could have exagerated, just for fun. Those that have had bad expereinces with conventional systems have either inherited a poorly engineered system (sorry) or not figured out proper operation; It is very easy, but it helps if you truely understand it.

---

Either way it's just poop. Folks get awfully worked up over it. I find the thread interesting, and if pump-outs were unavailable I would seriously consider it... though I think there is much room for improved engineering; a true composting head, perhaps.
Apparently, you have the only holding tank system that has never had problems and has no odor. It's the rare boat that doesn't have an odor. Maybe they are all simply doing it wrong.

Also, the directions for a composter are much simpler:
- #1, sit and go.
- #2, open the trap door sit and go.
- No filling first when you are in a rush, opening and closing valves, oops they didn't put enough water in so it's a mess. Wait the tank is full, I guess you hold it until we find a pump out.

I won't claim it's perfect but it's a real nice option that eliminates a lot of the issue commonly found with holding tank systems.
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:06   #36
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

Just to add another product to the discussion. Saw this is a magazine a week or so ago. Not quite composting, and not quite on the market yet (I think), but could be pretty interesting in a boat (for non-fulltime use), or an RV, where garbage is easily disposed of.



I have no association with this company, just think it is a much better solution than the normal composting options.

Product is called Dungaroo.

Sanitation Creations: Helping the World, One Toilet at a Time
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:43   #37
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

Another very happy Nature's Head owner here. We are currently living on our boat full time. Works as advertised. One of the best improvements we've made.
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Old 07-08-2014, 16:17   #38
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

Pee is actually excellent for washing clothes. Although I do not speak from personal experience. Refer to Roman times. And then its no longer backwater, but from a washing machine! No problem with discharging.


Sent from an undisclosed location on the high seas or from the lounge chair by the pool, you decide.
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Old 07-08-2014, 17:29   #39
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

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Pee is actually excellent for washing clothes. Although I do not speak from personal experience. Refer to Roman times. And then its no longer backwater, but from a washing machine! No problem with discharging.


Sent from an undisclosed location on the high seas or from the lounge chair by the pool, you decide.
.. and the African Masai wash their newborn in it!
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:42   #40
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pirate Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

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.. and the African Masai wash their newborn in it!
They drink cattle blood too as I recall but the real point of it is lack of water, I suspect. They aren't idiots. I think the best thing about "composting" head development worldwide is the lack of fresh flush water use. Just how crazy is flushing human waste with fresh clean water? PF Crazy I think. Think globally, act locally.

Anyone land-based can actually compost waste easily. I have dumped my solids bin occasionally here and there, out of sight, and years before that, my boondocking RV waste too. Checking back over time revealed no evidence whatsoever. Bears actually do poop in the woods. All I have ever seen anywhere out in the sticks are bits of toilet paper that folks didn't pack out.
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Old 08-08-2014, 13:55   #41
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

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They drink cattle blood too as I recall but the real point of it is lack of water, I suspect. They aren't idiots. I think the best thing about "composting" head development worldwide is the lack of fresh flush water use. Just how crazy is flushing human waste with fresh clean water? PF Crazy I think. Think globally, act locally.

Anyone land-based can actually compost waste easily. I have dumped my solids bin occasionally here and there, out of sight, and years before that, my boondocking RV waste too. Checking back over time revealed no evidence whatsoever. Bears actually do poop in the woods. All I have ever seen anywhere out in the sticks are bits of toilet paper that folks didn't pack out.
Yeah, the thing I saw said urine has a disinfecting effect. at least if they don't have an STD!
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Old 08-08-2014, 14:12   #42
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

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The more I read about composting toilets the more they sound like my cats litter box.

What I keep thinking too, I know I'm not getting the Misses to go for it, I'm not even going to try
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Old 08-08-2014, 15:30   #43
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

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Apparently, you have the only holding tank system that has never had problems and has no odor. It's the rare boat that doesn't have an odor....
Simply not true, no matter how many times you repeat it. Given the number of 100K-500K yachts around here, that doesn't make sense on the face of it. Yes, there are badly maintained systems, but that is certainly true of dry systems as well. None of my friends seem to have problems, once a few simple things were set straight. I'm quite sure none of the $500K yachts would accept a dry system since it would not be odor-free.

SJM. Replacing a joker valve is one of the easiest jobs on the boat, and only messy if you don't clean the head first.

Liveaboards. I've been doing side-by-side testing of hoses and jokers with both live aboards and lab tanks (they were fed poop daily) for some magazine articles. Raritan jokers will go a year easily (they fit Jabsco heads), even with live aboard use. Hose permiation should be >5 years with quality hoses, but given that several hoses have perfect NO PERMEATION RECORDS I think we can safely say this is a matter of good equipment choice. As for leaks, fix them; that is just a matter of good workmanship.

Odor is not unavoidable. I agree, however, far too many try to solve it with incomplete measures, face systems with design faults, and are thus frustrated. To them, a dry system seems like a great improvement. In the absence of pump-out facilities, I can see there are applications.
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Old 08-08-2014, 15:34   #44
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

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What I keep thinking too, I know I'm not getting the Misses to go for it, I'm not even going to try
Despite all the post to the contrary. Why even bother trying as you have already made up your mind that they must be just like a litter box.
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Old 08-08-2014, 16:11   #45
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
Simply not true, no matter how many times you repeat it. Given the number of 100K-500K yachts around here, that doesn't make sense on the face of it. Yes, there are badly maintained systems, but that is certainly true of dry systems as well. None of my friends seem to have problems, once a few simple things were set straight. I'm quite sure none of the $500K yachts would accept a dry system since it would not be odor-free.

SJM. Replacing a joker valve is one of the easiest jobs on the boat, and only messy if you don't clean the head first.

Liveaboards. I've been doing side-by-side testing of hoses and jokers with both live aboards and lab tanks (they were fed poop daily) for some magazine articles. Raritan jokers will go a year easily (they fit Jabsco heads), even with live aboard use. Hose permiation should be >5 years with quality hoses, but given that several hoses have perfect NO PERMEATION RECORDS I think we can safely say this is a matter of good equipment choice. As for leaks, fix them; that is just a matter of good workmanship.

Odor is not unavoidable. I agree, however, far too many try to solve it with incomplete measures, face systems with design faults, and are thus frustrated. To them, a dry system seems like a great improvement. In the absence of pump-out facilities, I can see there are applications.

My guess is the 500k yacht is probably flushing with fresh water which will help the odor problem.
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