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TOPIC: Marine head help!

Marine head help! 27 Aug 2017 12:01 #1

  • Tincupchalice
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Don't know if this qualifies as an emergency, but my wife would tell you it does.

Among the systems I'm learning about bigger boats, I have never had to use a marine head. Thanks to youtube, I figured out how to flush it! But...when I do, I get a "bubble" that backs up into the head after 10 seconds or so. It's clearly coming straight from the tank because it will gas you out of the cabin. :sick: I'll pump out today, but is there something else that could be causing it?

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Marine head help! 27 Aug 2017 12:04 #2

  • mr.bent
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Check if the tank ventilation hose is clogged up, they have a nasty habit of getting clogged in the overboard connector

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Marine head help! 27 Aug 2017 12:08 #3

  • Nauti Mike
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Assuming this is a manual head, pump to flush the choker valve at the base of the pump to water line may be bad allowing gas to back flow. However you holding tank may be overfilled, pumpout or clogged vent for the tank.

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Marine head help! 27 Aug 2017 14:06 #4

  • talman
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Here is your test. Take the cover off the pump out deck fitting. Do the bubbles go away? Vent for sure.
Be careful, as a pressurized holding tank can empty quite a bit through that fitting if it is close to full.

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Marine head help! 27 Aug 2017 14:08 #5

  • Pcpete
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Talman has an accurate warning that also is true pumping a tank that isn't vented well. Think about like this: you have pulled a vacuum on the tank that is suddenly released. Air rushes in, then there's the "fluid backlash".
The Admiral is correct! If the proper appliance is there, it better be in working order.
Agree that the vent is probably clogged and you probably need to change the joker valve. My approach would be to assume the vent is bad which is going to be problematic to pumping the tank. Not air out or in, right? Some vent air for pumping will come from the toilet but may be challenging. I would take a small screwdriver or awl to the screen or screen in the vent head and clear the holes. The screens are to prevent spiders from getting in and making nests and, at least mine, either clogged from salt or corrosion. The tank should "breath easier" now.
Replace the vents, might as well do the potable water tank too, with stainless steel units. I'm not a fan of chrome plated zinc and the price difference isn't that much.
Let us know how it goes.

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Marine head help! 28 Aug 2017 23:09 #6

  • TenMile
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I've also had the plugged vent thing -- found that the tank had expanded and looked like a basketball!!! We were lucky it didn't burst.

On mine, the vent is connected to a 90 degree PVC plastic threaded elbow that you'd commonly use in home plumbing. It was the elbow itself that had become clogged and the only way to tell is to physically remove it from the top of the tank.

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Marine head help! 29 Aug 2017 08:37 #7

  • Mr. Darcy
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Just went thru this with a 38xx. Clear the vent tubing, and thru hull fitting. Also change the joker valve. If gas bubbles are coming into the bottom of the toilet then the joker valve is not closing like it should. Not a fun job, but a new joker valve will certainly improve the smell situation.

Greg

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Marine head help! 01 Sep 2017 16:35 #8

  • Diamond_Boat
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Plastic drop cloths and disposable gloves are your friend here. You don't want the stuff that comes out of those hoses running all over! I had to do the joker valve when we bought our boat. Worst part was it wasn't even our discharge that was coming out of the line, it was the PO's. Gross either way, but the fact that is was someone else's made is seem worse.

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Marine head help! 03 Sep 2017 04:22 #9

  • Pacrimrat
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90 degree fitting on top of the tank.

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Marine head help! 06 Sep 2017 14:17 #10

  • Woodsea
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When I pump out I run a flush water hose directed at the vent fitting. The vacuum pulls the some water down the vent to clean it out a little bit. I do this pretty much every time and the vent has remained free flowing. Note that I removed the carbon vent filter two years ago with no adverse effects. I use Noflex digester chemicals. I have original waste hoses now 17 years old. They have a bit of an odor. The Noflex has helped but my wife tells me I need to change them.....

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Marine head help! 06 Sep 2017 14:48 #11

  • Sea Q
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Mix a teaspoon of Noflex in a spray bottle with water ( shake it hard Noflex is slow to dissolve in water)
spray on hoses and area around them. Just let dry do not wipe dry
If you can get to your hoses mix 2 oz Noflex with one quart warm water and wipe down the hoses with a cloth
If there are grains of product on the hose after no worry's just let dry.
You will be surprised on how well it works getting rid of the odors
Lot cheaper than replacing the hoses !

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