Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-03-2009, 10:50   #16
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 82
How to clean a marine head

Interestingly, I just this morning got a newsletter from SeaLake Yachts in Texas and it has this excellent article on cleaning marine heads.

MARINE TOILET MAINTENANCE:

Cleaning The Lines

Heads flushed with salt water accumulate scale deposits in the discharge channels and hoses. Scale deposits cause a head to get progressively harder to flush and it is scale on the valves that allows water in the discharge line to leak back into the bowl. Calcium deposits eventually lead to total blockage, a most unpleasant prospect.

Avoiding this problem is as easy as running a pint of white vinegar through the head once a month. Move the vinegar through the head slowly, giving the head a single pump every 4 or 5 minutes. The mildly acidic vinegar dissolves fresh scale inside the head and hoses. When the vinegar has passed all the way through the system, pump a gallon of fresh water through to flush the lines.

If you suspect you already have a scale build-up, dissolve it with a 10% solution of muriatic acid, available from most hardware stores. The acid won't harm porcelain, plastic, or rubber parts. It does attack metal, but consequential damage takes a long time. The biggest danger is to eyes and skin, so be sure you observe all label precautions.

Pour two cups of acid into the bowl. It will fizz as it reacts with the calcium deposits on the bowl valve. When the fizzing stops, pump the head-intake closed, just enough to empty the bowl. This moves the acid into the pump.

After a few minutes, pump again to move the acid into the discharge hose. Let it sit a few more minutes before opening the intake and thoroughly flushing the toilet and lines. The acid is "used up" as it reacts with the calcium, so heavy scaling may call for more than one treatment. Scale and salt also finds their way into the anti-siphon valve in the discharge line.

Remove the valve and soak it in warm, soapy water to dissolve deposits that could be holding it shut-or open.

Lubricating

To keep the pump operating smoothly, follow your monthly vinegar flush with a dose of oil. The best choice is a lubricant intended for marine toilets, but you can also use mineral oil or vegetable oil. Oil lubricates the pump wall and helps to keep internal rubber and leather parts supple. The usual treatment is to let a little water into the bowl, pour in a couple of ounces of lube, and pump this through the toilet. This method is adequate, but less than ideal because it lubricates only the discharge side of the pump.

To also lubricate the intake side, disconnect the intake hose from the closed seacock and pour the oil into this hose. Pumping the head will pull this oil through both chambers of the pump.

While you are servicing the head, lightly coat the piston rod with Teflon grease. This will prolong the life of the piston-rod seal.

Odor

Marine toilets need not stink, but they often do. The discharge hose is, by far, the most common culprit. To check yours, rub the hose with a clean cloth, then sniff the cloth. If it has picked up an odor, the hose is permeable and you will never eliminate the odor until you replace this hose with a proper sanitation hose.

Leaking connections are another source of odor, and you can use your cloth the same way to locate a leak. Also check the seal around the piston rod. On some heads, tightening the seal will stop a leak; on others a leaky piston-rod seal must be replaced.

Another common source of head odor is grass and other marine life trapped inside the flush-water passage under the rim of the bowl. Prevent this by installing a strainer in the intake line.

An anti-siphon valve in the discharge line can also release odors into the boat. A properly installed valve vents outside the cabin area.
---------------------

Seems fair to include a link to their site so you can subscribe to their very useful newletter if you want. I'm not involved with them in any way other than receiving their ezine so I hope this is OK:

Sea Lake Yacht Sales Home Page
__________________

__________________
MikeZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2009, 11:01   #17
Senior Cruiser
 
schoonerdog's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2004
Location: annapolis
Boat: st francis 44 mk II catamaran
Posts: 1,174
Images: 4
hey Nicole -- that wasn't aimed at you and your choice of forums-- sorry if it sounded that way. It was aimed at the universe. I personally despise the stereotype of women being dragged aboard, this being a man's dream, women doing cooking (and toilet cleaning) while the man drives and navigates. etc.

So I was just ranting out loud -- not slamming you AT ALL! I don't even understand why there has to BE a separate women afloat forum, because except for childbirth & pregnancy & motherhood (which can be covered in the kid section) I feel like my issues/ questions/ concerns/ observations aboard are no different than my husbands.

peace out

now back to potty talk
__________________

schoonerdog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2009, 11:32   #18
Senior Cruiser
 
starfish62's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Palm Beach, Florida
Boat: Gulfstar 44 Sloop
Posts: 647
Images: 4
I'm with DM. I'll flush several cups (I dump it in from a gallon bottle) of white vinegar followed by fresh water through the system once a month. It knocks out the calcium. I recently replaced my hoses due to calcium build up. When I took them out, the 1 1/2 inch diameter was closed to barely a pencil width.

(oops) I think that I was typing up my response as Mike Z was typing his--sorry to be redundant.
__________________
Starfish
starfish62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2009, 14:18   #19
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: SF Bay
Boat: Catalina C-42
Posts: 168
We've been using this: Toilet Cleaning Gel - Scrubbing Bubbles® between weekly cleaning with vinegar. Has a pleasant mild odor. No problem with holding tank odor.
__________________
rodney_k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2009, 06:58   #20
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Morlaix Brittany France blog: theguerns.blogspot.com
Boat: Colvic Watson/32ft/Feels Good
Posts: 461
Images: 4
Send a message via Skype™ to feelsgood
Cool toilet cleaner

once a month we use 30% SOLUTION of hydrochloric acid. Pour 1/2 lit into the bowl and draw into the pump leave for 5 mins then draw up again and wait 5 mins then pump through. Repeat this with the second 1/2 lt and then wash through with plenty of water about 5 toilet bowls full will do it. No problem for any of the fittings. The only thing it is not safe for is stainless steel. It is even safe for the envirement
__________________
feelsgood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-04-2009, 11:22   #21
Registered User
 
Mermaid's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: California
Boat: Hunter 430 Legend
Posts: 46
Natural/biodegradable All Purpose Cleaner

I have found that you have to have a tough skin in this forum sometimes - from reading the posts so I wouldn't take anything personally.

This works out amazingly well (not only on toilets but to clean your house too). This mixture will disinfect, clean, work well on most stains (including pet stains of all sorts including blood), neutralizes odors, glass, stove tops, and it's safe on almost all surfaces. Here is the magic potion - cheap and easy:

In an empty spray bottle (recycle!) mix:

- 1/2 the bottle with white vinegar (about 16oz.) (vinegar cleans, disinfects, prevents hard water stains and dissolves them if left to sit on them. Mixed with baking soda it works well to remove mold)
- 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide (kills bacteria, it's a natural bleach that is safe for colors, dissolves blood and other stains)
- a very small squirt of Seventh Generation dish detergent (you can leave it out if you don't want anything that will sud in the head/holding tank but it works well as an all purpose cleaner on this mix for other things and the suds are really minimal.)
- (optional) essential oils of lime, lemon, grapefruit, orange, tea tree (some of these have antibacterial properties plus they will make the mixture smell better than just vinegar.

For scrubbing power on most surfaces (not sure how it will affect a marine toilet though but am curious to know if anyone knows for sure whether it will work or if it shouldn't be used) you can use baking soda. It works very well on pots and pans, showers, etc. When mixed with vinegar it fizzes. (I guess is natures' scrubbing bubbles).

I use this for almost everything in my home.

IMP - You are probably familiar with the lintless, superabsorvent pad (used to dry cars), I think it's called "absorber", used together with the multipurpose cleaner (use toilet brush for toilet though), will simplify your cleaning routine amazingly. You don't even need the cleansing solution to wipe glass or wood and it doesn't leave lint nor water streaks, works really well on granite countertops, stainless steel and stove tops. Some people use them as bath towels since they take so little space. They last an incredible amount of time, years!!!

Natural air freshner:
- In mist type spray bottle mix water with your favorite essential oils. Shake before spraying.
__________________
Mermaid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-04-2009, 12:34   #22
Registered User
 
jwidahonurse's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SierraVista, Arizona
Boat: 27' Norsea
Posts: 62
Send a message via Yahoo to jwidahonurse
I appreciate that there is a women's forum.... I myself as a newbee to sailing prefer to find out women's oppinions. I feel a women is going to know more about what I am asking..
__________________
jwidahonurse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-07-2009, 13:03   #23
Senior Cruiser
 
nautical62's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Live Iowa - Sail mostly Bahamas
Boat: Beneteau 32.5
Posts: 2,264
Images: 12
I do pretty much what Mike Z suggested.

I use a little dish soap to clean the bowl with a scrub brush, followed by touch of oil to lubricate the pump.

Viniger to fight the salt/urine small Dave mentioned as well as the calcium issue Mike mentioned.

Head treatment if needed when holding for a prolonged time, but I find in my current boat, which can be dumped frequently and with good headhose, it never needs it.
__________________
nautical62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-07-2009, 13:24   #24
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,583
Images: 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mermaid View Post
... This mixture will disinfect, clean, work well on most stains (including pet stains of all sorts including blood), neutralizes odors, glass, stove tops, and it's safe on almost all surfaces. Here is the magic potion - cheap and easy:

In an empty spray bottle (recycle!) mix:

- 1/2 the bottle with white vinegar (about 16oz.) (vinegar cleans, disinfects, prevents hard water stains and dissolves them if left to sit on them. Mixed with baking soda it works well to remove mold)
- 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide (kills bacteria, it's a natural bleach that is safe for colors, dissolves blood and other stains) ...

Vinegar-Bleach and Vinegar-Peroxide
as Disinfectants


Research reported in 1996 on sanitizing food and food preparation surfaces, showed that the efficiency of vinegar as a disinfectant could be increased by 10 times when the surface or food was sprayed with normal vinegar (5% acetic acid) and hydrogen peroxide (3%) over either one of the sprays alone.
The researchers found that this spray combination killed virtually all Salmonella, Shigella, and E. Coli bacteria present on heavily contaminated food and food preparation surfaces.

In 2006 researchers from MicroChem Lab Inc. reported (at the American Society for Microbiology) that a solution of vinegar and regular household bleach could be used, not just as a powerful disinfectant, but as a very effective sterilizing agent against bacterial spoors dried onto test surfaces. According to the researchers, bacterial spoors dried onto surfaces are considered the most resistant to disinfectants of all microbes, and a disinfectant that can kill such spoors would be expected to also kill all types of vegetative bacteria, fungi, mycrobacteria (TB), and viruses.
They found that the vinegar bleach solution sterilized all of the surfaces tested within 20 minutes, while a diluted bleach solution alone was only effective in killing all of the spoors on 2.5 percent of the surfaces after 20 minutes.

A convenient formula to produce a solution of acidified bleach is:
1.0 cup (8.0 oz.) of concentrated bleach (approx. 5.25% NaOCl)
added to 1.0 gallon (128 oz.) of tap water,
and then add 1.0 cup of 5 % distilled white cooking vinegar.
Follow the warning directions on the bleach label. Do not add cleaning solutions containing ammonia to bleach. After an exposure of 20.0 or 30.0 min, rinse the surfaces to remove the bleach. Use acidified bleach within about 8.0 hrs, and then discard to a sanitary drain.

Goto ➥ Biodefense work by MicroChem Laboratory

And ➥ http://www.asm.org/ASM/files/LeftMar...1961/miner.pdf
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-07-2009, 20:00   #25
Senior Cruiser
 
nautical62's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Live Iowa - Sail mostly Bahamas
Boat: Beneteau 32.5
Posts: 2,264
Images: 12
Gord, the wealth of useful and accurate information you provide astounds me. It's much appreciated.
__________________
nautical62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-07-2009, 03:21   #26
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,583
Images: 240
Mermaid’s excellent post reminded me of things that I didn’t know, when I most needed to know them*.

When we cruised, and when we managed an out-island bar/restaurant (w/out Hot water), we used straight bleach or straight vinegar for disinfection.
In the head, we used vinegar (decalcification) & oil (lubrication) at sea; and only flushed /w fresh water when available shoreside.

It wasn’t until we’d returned to shore-side life, that I learned of the synergistic benefits of adding hydrogen peroxide to vinegar, and only yesterday learned about acidifying bleach.

* Too soon old - Too late wise; to paraphrase Ben Franklin’s ”Life’s Tragedy”.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-07-2009, 05:45   #27
Moderator Emeritus
 
Ex-Calif's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Singapore
Boat: Maxi 77 - Relax Lah!
Posts: 11,514
Images: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by nautical62 View Post
I do pretty much what Mike Z suggested.

I use a little dish soap to clean the bowl with a scrub brush, followed by touch of oil to lubricate the pump.

Vineger to fight the salt/urine small Dave mentioned as well as the calcium issue Mike mentioned.

Head treatment if needed when holding for a prolonged time, but I find in my current boat, which can be dumped frequently and with good headhose, it never needs it.
I would trust the saltier types but all I use is a little liquid dish soap. Our intake hose is clear and noted that it was completely black. I rigged a bottle brush on a wire, dosconnected from the head and scrubbed it for the first time in 2 years. A messy job but I couldn't figure out any other way to clean it. The outflow hose is clean. No holding tank.

BTW - The you post where you like Nicolle. You are a woman and you are afloat - duh! Women afloat seems appropriate to me...
__________________
Relax Lah! is For Sale <--- Click
Click--> Custom CF Google Search or CF Rules
You're gonna need a bigger boat... - Martin Brody
Ex-Calif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-07-2009, 08:07   #28
Senior Cruiser
 
JusDreaming's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Stuart, FL & Bahamas Cruising
Boat: Lagoon 37
Posts: 880
Images: 13
Good question, may have saved us a joker valve also!!! And Nicolle you post it anywhere you want!!!
I don't think they meant disrespect or critical. Maybe they meant that it assumed only women clean the heads! And were supporting you
__________________
Denny and Diane
Lagoon 37
http://www.svjusdreaming.bravehost.com/
http://www.sailblogs.com/member/svjusdreaming/
"The only way to get a good crew is to marry one." -Eric Hiscock
JusDreaming is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-07-2009, 20:15   #29
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Boston, MA
Boat: Bristol 38.8
Posts: 1,625
I just use Windex with ammonia. It all just goes into the holding tank anyway. But I will definitely try the white vinegar/bleach combo to clean out the pipes.

If if the white vinegar doesn't work in the head, I'll use the rest to make salad dressing. I make an excellent "hot" dressing with white vinegar, bacon and sour cream.
__________________
Curmudgeon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2009, 11:17   #30
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,772
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
i just use a splash of white vinegar and a brush, but i use mine daily as a liveaboard and that is alll i neeed--i also do not have to rebuild mine every few months because of using acids that rot the rubber gaskets and mechanisms of the pump......i use odorloss inm y tank, and have absolutely no odor problem......but i use mine daily so my problems are different than those who use only periodically~~~~~_/)~~~~~~
__________________

zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dry Composting Marine Toilet? Simes Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 0 21-09-2008 09:26
NEED HELP W/ TOILET machado1 Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 1 17-07-2008 04:34
PH balance, alcaline and acidic cleaners phorvati Provisioning: Food & Drink 4 14-01-2007 12:24
toilet hose seacock connection seafox Construction, Maintenance & Refit 12 02-09-2005 07:32



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:11.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.