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TOPIC: DIY HTVF for $14.45

DIY HTVF for $14.45 13 Jan 2010 01:42 #1

  • MidnightSun
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So you are wondering what a HTVF is right? Well you know that unpleasant stench you sometimes get from the vent on your holding tank? Normally it happens when you least want it and this little device already proven to work extremely well as it can be purchased at West Marine for the ridiculous amount of $104
http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=16803&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&storeId=11151&storeNum=50632&subdeptNum=50653&classNum=50656

Only problem is it lasts about a year and then needs to be replaced for the much cheaper price of $94 since you keep the fittings on the end and only replace the center cartridge. How nice of them!! In reality, it is only a tube with Activated carbon in it which absorbs the odour.

You will need to purchase the following.

From Home Depot or any hardware store

A 12" length of 2" abs plumbing pipe
(here I had to by a 3, length @ $5.67)

2 pieces, 2" abs slip x 2" female pipe thread fitting @ $1.46 ea

2 pieces, abs 2"MPT cap @ $0.82

2 pieces, 1/2" NPT x 3/4" PEX
I went all out on expenses for this one and paid $2.50 each for these solid brass babies. The PEX style fitting works better than a traditionally used barb as it is easier to remove the hose from the fitting when the unit needs recharging. However, if you are on a tight budget, they are available in plastic which would be 1/2" npt male x 1/2" male barb. Yes, even though vent lines are 5/8" the 1/2" barb works very well and is easier to reomve. These cost $0.54 each

2 pieces gear clamps @ $0.30 each

you will also need some foam cut to size to prevent the carbon from falling into the vent line.

In the picture below you can see all the parts I listed above

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Next step would be to drill out the end cap with a 3/4" bit. Once drilled, you need to run a 1/2" NPT tap through it so you can screw in the hose adapter, Note the material of the cap is quit thick and makes for a very sturdy connection once tightened down.


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The next step would be to cut the foam pieces which prevent the carbon from falling out the ends. This is easily done by standing the 12" pipe vertically on the foam and tracing with a felt marker then cutting it out with scissors. This works very well as the foam should be a little bigger in order to get a good snug fit.


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Now take the 2 slip x pipe fittings and using abs cement glue them to the 12" pipe


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Now take one of the foam pieces and push it into one end so that you will end up about flush with the cap when it is screwed on.


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Screw cap on snugly by hand (no need to wrench on this) The flip around and fill with activated carbon to about 1" from where the bottom of the foam will sit, insert second foam piece and hand tighten the remaining cap in place. Here is the finished product


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This is a very simple installation. All you need to do is locate the holding tank vent line, cut it in an easily accessible area and insert the tube attaching it with the tube clamps. The next post below will show you how to make the holder. The carbon will last a year and is easily replaced by removing the unit, removing the foam, spilling out the old carbon and filling up with new.

Almost forgot, you can buy activated carbon at almost any pet store as it is commonly used in aquarium filtration but you cal also find it on ebay for much cheaper. Here is an example of an "Activated Carbon" search on Ebay. You will have dozens to choose from. http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=p3907.m38.l1313&_nkw=Activated+carbon&_sacat=See-All-Categories

Your dock neighbours will thank you, Happy flushing.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Alan Teed

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Cheers, Hans
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DIY HTVF for $14.45 13 Jan 2010 01:49 #2

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Oh Yeah, HTVF stands for Holding Tank Vent Filter. :D

Here is the HTVF mount or holder if you prefer. For future reference I will refer to this as the SDPH or Super Dooper Pooper Holder :D

Pretty easy and pretty simple. All you need is a piece of plywood, 2, 2" PVC straps found in most large surface hardware stores in the electrical department as they are normally used to secure pvc electrical conduit in place. Mine came in a 5 pack for the astronomical sum of $2.50 :D While you are there, pick up 4, #14 x 5/8" long screws to fasten the straps to the plywood.

Measure the distance between the 2 glued on fittings or total length of visible pipe and cut the plywood to fit just between the 2 fittings. Why? Although difficult to see in the picture below, the unit gets support from the plywood via the glued on adapter height difference once the straps are screwed down. This also will make the PVC straps fit perfectly around the pipe as the pipe would be a bit too high if supported under the end fittings. Remember, the unit will perform best if mounted vertically.

The plywood will be mounted to the boat hull or firewall which separates the bilge from the cabin. To mount to firewall, drill 2 additional holes in the plywood holder base and simply through screw into place. To mount to hull wall, A few blobs of 4200 or 5200 on the backside of the plywood and then pressing it against the hull is all that is needed. It is important to NOT have the filter mounted to the plywood and let the glue dry for a good 24 hours before installing the filter. You may want to support or duct tape the plywood in place while it dries.

PS. Most everything I bought came in larger quantities than I required, actually enough to build 2. I did make 2 as it's so simple to do. The few extra pieces cost no more than $4. I will give one to my dock neighbour which I am sure he will be thankful for. Probably get a free bottle of wine too. :D

EDIT For clarity I took the picture on a wood bench, this is not part of the holder, only the white part.



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Another alternative for the Carbon is at Walmart in the pet/aquarium department. They sell it in 4 oz containers for $3.98. You will need 1-1/3 to fill the tube so buy 3 and keep the rest for next years refill.



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Cheers, Hans
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DIY HTVF for $14.45 13 Jan 2010 03:02 #3

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Hans, I saw you had posted this on the Sea Ray site too. Do they need it? I heard their sh!t doesn't stink. ;)


Good idea. My filters are from SeaLand are like $50.

p.s. I would be upset if my Sea Ray-owning friends took this seriously.

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DIY HTVF for $14.45 13 Jan 2010 05:11 #4

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Hans
Where is your custom Holding Tank Vent Filter Mount ?

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This is version #2 of mine.

My first had screw on ends with brass elbows similiar to yours. I hate to dissapoint you but must tell you. The vent gases corroded the input elbow and it failed. The odor in the engine bay was a dead give away. On the first version I too used screw on end caps.

On the second version I eliminated the threaded end caps and the only tool you need to service it once built is a screwdriver.

I used 2 plastic elbows, 2 threaded PVC adapters 2 PVC reducers , 2 rubber couplers and PVC tubing.

A plastic elbow threads into the PVC adapter. The adapter glues into the PVC reducer. The PVC reducer slips into the rubber coupler. The coupler slips onto the PVC tubing.

I also used foam to retain the charcoal. The foam is used in aquarium filters. I also got the activated charcoal from a pet store.

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Jim and Debbie McNeely
New Hope a 2004 Bayliner 305 Sunbridge Express Cruiser
Twin 5.7s with Bravo2 drives
Brighton, Michigan USA
MMSI # 367393410

DIY HTVF for $14.45 13 Jan 2010 05:11 #5

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Great Idea!! Simple and an easy project

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DIY HTVF for $14.45 13 Jan 2010 10:26 #6

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JimMc;404529 wrote: Hans
Where is your custom Holding Tank Vent Filter Mount ?

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This is version #2 of mine.

My first had screw on ends with brass elbows similiar to yours. I hate to dissapoint you but must tell you. The vent gases corroded the input elbow and it failed. The odor in the engine bay was a dead give away. On the first version I too used screw on end caps.

On the second version I eliminated the threaded end caps and the only tool you need to service it once built is a screwdriver.

I used 2 plastic elbows, 2 threaded PVC adapters 2 PVC reducers , 2 rubber couplers and PVC tubing.

A plastic elbow threads into the PVC adapter. The adapter glues into the PVC reducer. The PVC reducer slips into the rubber coupler. The coupler slips onto the PVC tubing.

I also used foam to retain the charcoal. The foam is used in aquarium filters. I also got the activated charcoal from a pet store.


Nice setup you got there Jim. :arr

I cannot see how in the world the vent gasses can corrode a solid brass (pretty darn thick) fitting, steel maybe. What is your diet may I ask? :D Then again if this is a problem just buy the plastic or pvc, npt x hose barb fitting. ;)

I would recommend mounting it vertically as the gasses would tend to get more contact with the carbon this way. If it is not fully packed, a horizontal position would tend to have an air gap the length of the tube, obviously above. Assuming chit gas is lighter than air.:D

This one here does not require any more tools than a screw driver either. Just remove the clamps from each end and take the unit above. Unscrew the cap by hand, dump,refill and the put cap back on. If the end cap is a little to tight to remove by hand, a simple plier or adjustable wrench or Buba :kidding on the square portion of the cap is all that is needed.

Mine is not yet mounted since I built this yesterday. It will be mounted vertically and will be attached with one of those velcro straps found in most hardware stores. I will also stick a piece of heavy duty velcro along the length of the pipe and a matching one to the hull.

My vent, hose and holding tank are in the crawl space midship were as most would be doing this in the bilge. Not a problem either way.

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Cheers, Hans
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DIY HTVF for $14.45 13 Jan 2010 10:38 #7

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whiskywizard;404438 wrote: Hans, I saw you had posted this on the Sea Ray site too. Do they need it? I heard their sh!t doesn't stink. ;)


Good idea. My filters are from SeaLand are like $50.

p.s. I would be upset if my Sea Ray-owning friends took this seriously.


I know several SR owners on my dock and I can tell you from experience, SR chit or Bayliner chit smells just as bad. Only really bad boats are the Tiara crowd, I actually got a whiff of one last summer in the Thousand Islands even though he was anchored about a kilometre away ;)

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Cheers, Hans
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DIY HTVF for $14.45 13 Jan 2010 11:12 #8

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Hans

I would not have thought the brass would have corroded thru either. But it failed in about a year.

I originally had it upright and now it is horizontal. Yes the carbon is tightly packed. Both orientations seem to be effective. But upright seems logical.

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Jim and Debbie McNeely
New Hope a 2004 Bayliner 305 Sunbridge Express Cruiser
Twin 5.7s with Bravo2 drives
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MMSI # 367393410

DIY HTVF for $14.45 13 Jan 2010 11:35 #9

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Thanks for the input Jim. I guess we should go with the plastic style barb fitting then. Now it can be built for less than $10 :arr

I am surprised the zamac vent fitting normally found on our boats shows no signs of corrosion?

The degree of corrosion must also depend on the actual condition of your holding tank. The filter is by no means meant to keep you from properly maintaining your holding tank with whatever product/method works best for you. I do shock it and throughly rinse it every fall before lay up and also shock and rinse in spring at launch. (shock=fancy word for pouring in 1/2 gallon of bleach and some water, agitating it and letting it work for a good 1/2 day before flushing out)

Even with proper care I occasionally get "THE SMELL" and this is what the filter is meant to hide.

FYI, I tried a different holding tank product last year and it really seems to work extremely well. Available at Walmart at less than 1/2 the cost of any other stuff I have ever seen. Here is a link to the product which costs about $6 at Walmart. Before you ask, it says on the bottle "Safe for all pipes, Boats and RV's" ;) http://plumbing.hardwarestore.com/51-285-septic-tank-cleaner/clr-septic-treatment-and-drain-care-124816.aspx

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Cheers, Hans
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DIY HTVF for $14.45 13 Jan 2010 15:06 #10

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MidnightSun;404571 wrote: I am surprised the zamac vent fitting normally found on our boats shows no signs of corrosion?

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Give it a few years and it will:D

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DIY HTVF for $14.45 13 Jan 2010 15:14 #11

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Mine is 13 years old and still is like new. Guess i must eat right. :D

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Cheers, Hans
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DIY HTVF for $14.45 13 Jan 2010 15:47 #12

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I like this plan! ,,
;
I wonder if the holding tank chemical was the culprit to the corrosion of the brass? My hull fitting still looks new also and mines a 90

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DIY HTVF for $14.45 13 Jan 2010 16:05 #13

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Good project that needs to go on my to-do list.

Corrosion likely depends on the fitting, mine is GONE, the entire hood part has returned to the earth and it's the last one I need to change, unfortunately the entire helm seat needs to be taken apart to do it.

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DIY HTVF for $14.45 13 Jan 2010 16:40 #14

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The_Sea_Word;404686 wrote: Good project that needs to go on my to-do list.

Corrosion likely depends on the fitting, mine is GONE, the entire hood part has returned to the earth and it's the last one I need to change, unfortunately the entire helm seat needs to be taken apart to do it.


Maybe the corrosion has to do with salt water also? I am in fresh. ;)

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DIY HTVF for $14.45 13 Jan 2010 17:09 #15

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In a word YES. My boat is an 86, all of the zamac fittings were completly gone- crustry corrosion barnacles and the fittings actually fracturing. Replaced all with stainless 2 years ago.

Also, it has been my personal experience that salt water heads stink worse than fresh water.

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DIY HTVF for $14.45 13 Jan 2010 17:19 #16

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Replaced all with stainless 2 years ago.


Did the same on mine because the plastic was getting brittle on almost all the discharges. However, all three zamac vents looked like new so I left those and I am a very fussy person when it comes to my boat being perfect in all respects.

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DIY HTVF for $14.45 14 Jan 2010 03:19 #17

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The fitting I was referring to that corroded and failed was a brass fitting on my filter assy.

It was on the input side of the filter coming up from the tank. The brass fitting on the output side of the filter showed some corrosion but much less than the failed fitting. I assumed the gas fumes were broken down by the charcoal reducing corrosion on the output side.

Another point of note I have a continous air supply to the holding tank. Maybe the air flow sped up the corrosion.
    • Using a $15 ultra quiet aquarium air pump,12’ of ¼”OD x 1/8”ID chemical resist tubing and a couple of quick connect fittings I made a holding tank aerator similar to the “Sweet Tank System” which sells for $200. This was hoped to improve tank aeration to promote aerobic bacteria growth which do not produce odor.
    • As a follow up to this two concerns.
    • > Don't let the holding tank get overfull. With the air running it could push waste/debris up the holding tank vent.
    • > If the holding tank vent clogged I think the air supply though low and slow could over time pressurize the waste tank. A pressure switch or pressure relief should and will be part of the design.
By the way as an aside we boat in fresh water.

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Jim and Debbie McNeely
New Hope a 2004 Bayliner 305 Sunbridge Express Cruiser
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DIY HTVF for $14.45 14 Jan 2010 11:06 #18

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JimMc;405013 wrote: The fitting I was referring to that corroded and failed was a brass fitting on my filter assy.

It was on the input side of the filter coming up from the tank. The brass fitting on the output side of the filter showed some corrosion but much less than the failed fitting. I assumed the gas fumes were broken down by the charcoal reducing corrosion on the output side.

Another point of note I have a continous air supply to the holding tank. Maybe the air flow sped up the corrosion.

    • Using a $15 ultra quiet aquarium air pump,12’ of ¼”OD x 1/8”ID chemical resist tubing and a couple of quick connect fittings I made a holding tank aerator similar to the “Sweet Tank System” which sells for $200. This was hoped to improve tank aeration to promote aerobic bacteria growth which do not produce odor.
    • As a follow up to this two concerns.
    • > Don't let the holding tank get overfull. With the air running it could push waste/debris up the holding tank vent.
    • > If the holding tank vent clogged I think the air supply though low and slow could over time pressurize the waste tank. A pressure switch or pressure relief should and will be part of the design.
By the way as an aside we boat in fresh water.


Ahhh, the air pump!!! Most likely what caused the premature failure of the inlet fitting. It would receive a constant stream of "toxic" air coupled with humidity droplets (read acid) being deposited on this first fitting. As an experiment, I will leave my brass fittings in place and inspect the following season when I recharge the carbon. IMHO if you use the proper chemicals you do not need the air part, furthermore, if it does smell there would be a constant flow of stench from the air pump pressure out the vent which is normally only there when you actually pump out on a non air system. The air thing in theory sounds like a good thing but I think it's disadvantages outweigh it's advantages. Wasn't this a Peggy thing? I normally only have 1 foul up a year without air but would like to mask it and this is why I want the filter. Always seems to happen when we raft up for some strange reason. :( Personally I think the biggest stink problem is many tend to wait till the tank is completely full before pumping out which can be a month or better. I normally pump out at least every 2 weeks as it is free at our marina.

Yep, the old overfill and pump out the vent lesson. This happens to almost all unseasoned boater. The crap that comes out the vent has a tendency to clog the screen which leads to several problems including difficult pump out to tank implosion. Tank level is something you learn to watch carefully once it happens to you.

As for the bypass, not a bad idea but if you watch the level and do not overfill it would be almost redundant. Another frequent problem is the darn vent can get clogged from spiders or mud wasp making this little hole their new home and in this case the bypass could prove to be a good idea. Tee off the vent line just before the filter with an all plastic check valve would do the trick. http://www.idealtruevalue.com/servlet/the-27008/Detail Placing it with flow pointed towards the tank would take care of any disastrous problems a clogged vent could cause upon pumpout. The check does not need to be plumbed anywhere on the opposite end, just free air.

One thing I hate are the stupid designs of almost all vents, they are not serviceable in terms of cleaning out the screen from spiders or mud or whatever. If ever I change, it will be one of these which IS serviceable and just by design most likely not to attract critters. It is also all stainless. http://www.backtoboating.com/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=316

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Cheers, Hans
2007 Carver 41 CMY
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DIY HTVF for $14.45 14 Jan 2010 14:04 #19

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MidnightSun;404562 wrote: I know several SR owners on my dock and I can tell you from experience, SR chit or Bayliner chit smells just as bad. Only really bad boats are the Tiara crowd, I actually got a whiff of one last summer in the Thousand Islands even though he was anchored about a kilometre away ;)


Will we be able to smell you this summer in the Thousand Islands? :)

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Ciao,
Doreen
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DIY HTVF for $14.45 14 Jan 2010 14:13 #20

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No way after my filter install. :D The VHF channel 72 or a PM will work fine however. Would be nice if the timing works out.

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DIY HTVF for $14.45 14 Jan 2010 14:46 #21

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We use the Odorlos Waste Chemical with every pump out. We do pump out every two weeks or less also.

The issues I mentioned with the air pump were intended to be warnings as I fear too often others read what some of us have done and maybe will take an idea and run with it. Then later and possibly painfully learn the down side.

I would not say the air pump created a constant odor situation. I don't remember Peggy recommending the air pump type systems. She did recommend going to a larger vent line or possibly multiple vents to create air flow. My experience with the pump would be to say it was not that helpful.

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Jim and Debbie McNeely
New Hope a 2004 Bayliner 305 Sunbridge Express Cruiser
Twin 5.7s with Bravo2 drives
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DIY HTVF for $14.45 14 Jan 2010 14:53 #22

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Thanks for the informative post and advice. Nice to see good stuff posted for a change.

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Cheers, Hans
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DIY HTVF for $14.45 14 Jan 2010 21:47 #23

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I read an article in Lattitudes & Attitudes magazine a couple of years ago about doing this but could not find it when I finally decided to build one. I must admit that I like your design much better than what I came up with. Next time I need to build one I will do it like yours. As to the effectiveness of the filter I can only say WOW. What a difference it made! It completely eliminated the odor that happened, even though we used Odor-Los, with every flush!

Marty...................

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DIY HTVF for $14.45 15 Jan 2010 12:02 #24

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JimMc;404529 wrote: Hans
Where is your custom Holding Tank Vent Filter Mount ?

Ok, done deal. See post #2 where I added my version of super dooper pooper holder complete with mechanical fastening device and camouflage paint to match Bayliner hull color. :D

Guess it's kinda obvious it's winter and I got a little more time on my hands EH? :rolleyes:

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DIY HTVF for $14.45 12 Jun 2011 21:49 #25

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That's an awesome idea. Put on my to do list. Thanks for the work.

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James
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