Black water tank location and angle

backman

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I had a grand time removing my old holding tank, hoses and dead macerator pump this month. The toilet stays, everything Else is new, going back to the same locations.

the head is located where a head should be located , in the aft most starboard location in the cabin. The tank is located midships outside the outer stringer, it’s a 6’ hose run from toilet to tank and at least a 24” uphill run from toilet output to tank input.


Multiple questions :

1. Better locations in a DE for the holding tank than 6’ back and 2’ higher? is That normal? I have no space in the head itself for the tank.
2. My head always stank no matter what I did to treat it. When I removed the old tank i realized that it was bow high and with the drain fitting on the foreward eNd of the tank the last gallon always stayed and festered. Is there any reason why I can’t shim up the new tank so it’s aft high and all liquid would sit in the foreward part of the tank? My gut is telling me this is a really bad idea because then a partially full tank will always be putting liquid pressure against fitting to hose to hose to pump connection which over time could leak through the hose ends?
 

Diesel Jerry

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backman

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Damn, you led me down a thought path. My head and tank is on the helm and electronic bay side, that is the problem, as the tank should be at the bottom of the electronics bay location which currently has my Generator battery and drum roll, my 6 gallon Hydroslave tank as well as wiring, electronics, etc.

the port side has a deck to hardtop hanging locker which is basically unusable and disorganized piles of crap h the bottom 2’ of that locker. As I think about it, I could possibly relocate the tank and pump to that side, have the tank at the same level as the head and probably have a shorter run. ill Take a look this weekend at how realistic that relocation is.

I am not going vacuflush, I’ve seen one too many of them clog on high end sportfishes.

as to hoses, I went Raritan Saniflex as I was unable to get the white PVC hose to make th3 bends needed to snake through the head and engine room bulkheads. The builder had the not so great idea of drilling holes through the bulkheads offset in such a way that I couldnt get the stiffer white hose to S curve as needed.
 

Seanair

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Everyone has there own way of setting up a head system; some swear by fresh water flushing, some love the vacu flush units, others feel a macerator is a "must have", others just pull out a 5 gallon pail and put a toilet seat on it. So, its whatever works for you, in your environment.

But, if your looking for simplicity, the lowest possible degree of failure, and something that meets regulations, consider this diagram. The key to this set up is everything is above the water line. There are no valves for switching where things go, no "vented loops", no need for electricity, it has a standard deck level pump out option and an option for overboard discharge if you are in an area permissible for that. It does meet regulations as long as the overboard seacock is locked (or the handle is removed). The length of hose between the toilet pump and the holding tank on mine is about 6', and the whole thing is oriented for and aft with the holding tank drain pointing aft.

old school head.png
 

Diesel Jerry

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Seanair

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ok, I do appreciate the info - if there is a link to these regs someone could post that would be great.
 

chortle

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Getting your system to smell better is fairly easy.

1. Ventilate the holding tank. Cross ventilation with 1" diameter hose or larger, the more fresh air you can get into the tank the better, this will help the "good bugs" in the tank do their work and keep the tank smelling the best that it can. Most tanks come with one small (5/8") vent line. Two bigger ones is much better, one outlet on either side of the boat. Also, the vent line should go up as high as possible, above the pumpout fitting if at all possible, and then drain down from there or go directly overboard, no loops to collect overflow. A clogged vent line can cause the tank to pressurize and possibly blow out through the pumpout fitting when you open it dockside for a pumpout, don't laugh, it happens, you will get what is called a "crystal shower."
2. Use a dedicated tank filled with fresh water to rinse and clear the bowl. Seawater is filled with microscopic "critters" that die and cause the leftover water in the bowl to stink to high heaven. This is the number one cause of a stinky head.
3. Don't let the discharge water sit in hoses of any kind. The best hoses will keep the smell from soaking through the hose wall for a long time but not forever. Hard PVC schedule 40 pipe is best where you can install it.
4. Don't clean your head with lots of bleach or other strong antiseptic chemicals. Save the chemicals for the stuff you touch. those chemicals that get flushed into the holding tank will kill the good bacteria in your tank that help break down all the stuff in there that smells. It's the good bacteria that needs the fresh air to work, no fresh air, stinky tank. Use vinegar/lemon juice/baking soda concoctions to sanitize the bowl.
5. Keep the tank clean, rinse it often and use fabric softener to help keep the tank walls clean.

Try and figure out a place to put the tank so that the top of the tank is below the top rim of the bowl. When, not if, the joker valve gets clogged and the tank is full you don't want the stored product flowing back up into the head.

If that is not possible then at least get it low enough so that the next time you or the next guy has to repair or remove the tank or replace/clean the joker valve that the lines will free drain downhill into an empty or partially filled tank.

Good luck with your installation.
 

tunaorlater

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Larry is it a fresh or salt water head? Salt always stinks in summer fresh almost never. I have a macerated electric head, my holding tank is under the starboard aft corner of the cockpit with pvc pipe all the way back. It’s atleast 25’ from the head with no issues pumping anything to it. This is the third boat I’ve done this to. I’ll never put a holding tank inside or in the engine room again. Never have I had any smell even when I’ve forgotten to pump out.
 

Wiretime

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It may be a bridge too far but have you considered composting? The only downside to them is urine capacity - but we have one in the RV and have gone a month long trip between the two of us before needing to swap out the media. Urine tank is an every other day affair though if you are hydrating properly. No valves or pumps and doesn’t smell. Just a small fan that helps dehydration of the compost bin.
 

backman

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Larry is it a fresh or salt water head? Salt always stinks in summer fresh almost never. I have a macerated electric head, my holding tank is under the starboard aft corner of the cockpit with pvc pipe all the way back. It’s atleast 25’ from the head with no issues pumping anything to it. This is the third boat I’ve done this to. I’ll never put a holding tank inside or in the engine room again. Never have I had any smell even when I’ve forgotten to pump out.
Boy do I like that idea. with the tank never fully emptying and the engine room 120 degrees, i am creating primitive life after a 48 hour canyon trip! How do your drive a gallon of sewage through a 25 foot and not leave some of it rolling back and forth in that hose run?

It’s a salt system and I took a good look when I replaced every at using fresh water. I got scared off by someone telling me I needed a solenoid to shut off the fresh water feed during the flush so I don’t back feed toilet water into the tank.
 

tunaorlater

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You definitely need a fresh water system which includes a solenoid. My system is almost all pvc very little hose. The hose gets nasty and holds the smell over time. Everything kinda drains to the tank with gravity never an issue with that. I always tell the guys to flush a little extra water so everything clears the lift in the bathroom. I also have a wye valve right after the head so the waste can go directly overboard if I choose offshore. I usually forget to change it though.
 

backman

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That’s absolutely brilliant MIke....whenever I rip up my deck that goes into the plan....I got 3‘ of dead space aft of my tanks...
 
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