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Vacuflush Problems; Looking for a Hail Marry play that will bail me out!-gctid346508

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    Vacuflush Problems; Looking for a Hail Marry play that will bail me out!-gctid346508

    Got a call from the Admiral while at work yesterday that the forward head vacuum pump would not stop running. Had her turn off the breaker until I go home.

    After playing with some things, she admitted that she had used a lot of paper on the last flush and that was when the problem started. So I assume that there is a clogged line somewhere. Since the pump cannot build vacuum in the tank I also assume that it is between the tank and the pump.

    I have poured a bunch of vinegar down the system in the hope it will help dissolve the problem. I will try it again when I get home tonight. The book also suggests trying a plunger. Will also try that tonight. If those fail then I may have no choice but to pull the hose to clear the clog.

    The system is full of water and ....., is there a way to clear this without having to remove the hose and create a huge mess in the compartment in the hallway? I really hate working on the holding system, especially when it could have been avoided. :livid:
    Patrick and Patti
    4588 Pilothouse 1991
    12ft Endeavor RIB 2013
    M/V "Paloma"
    MMSI # 338142921

    #2
    If you have to, you can snake it. You can get a plastic snake at one of the local rental companies if you don't have one.

    I'm thinking though that the duck bill valve is probably clogged. You can get to that at the pump and it is usually higher than the waste hose from the head. Smelly, but no significant leaks.

    Comment


      #3
      Bob, Thanks, unfortunately, that is the primary problem. The head is higher than the pump and tank, which are mounted on the same shelf in the hallway compartment.

      I thought about a snake but not sure how I would get it past the vacuum tank which is not a straight through pass.
      Patrick and Patti
      4588 Pilothouse 1991
      12ft Endeavor RIB 2013
      M/V "Paloma"
      MMSI # 338142921

      Comment


        #4
        Plunger sounds like a good bet to me.
        Started boating 1955
        Number of boats owned 32
        Bayliners
        2655
        2755
        2850
        3870 presently owned
        Favorite boat. Toss up. 46' Chris Craft, 3870 Bayliner

        Comment


          #5
          Papa Charlie wrote:
          Got a call from the Admiral while at work yesterday that the forward head vacuum pump would not stop running. :livid:
          I agree with Doug.

          A blockage between the toilet and the vacuum generator shouldn't cause the pump to run on. The pump should still generate vacuum and shut down.

          A blockage in the pump, the double duckbills at the pump, or downstream of the pump will cause the pump to run on. This type of blockage can also cause the duckbills to turn inside out, and that requires disassembly to correct.

          I think you have one last shot before disassembly, and that's a plunger. Dometic advises against a plunger because it can invert the duckbills, but you're grasping at straws to avoid disassembly, so... Try to use just the push stroke to force the water and waste further along. Don't let the plunger "suck" on the upstroke.

          Good luck

          Comment


            #6
            The narrowest area is the duck bills and likely the jam point. The plunger can invert a duckbill which means it might be better to push rather than push/pull with a plunger. I'd begin my ensuring there is nothing breaking the seal at the bowl end. If a clean a seal permits pressure to build you can do a mega bowl flush. If you do that, drop the lid to avoid a splash in the face. EDIT: looks like Mike was sending when I was writing.
            1989 26' then 1994 32' now 2001 39'

            Comment


              #7
              There is no direct route to the duck bills. A plunger doesn't have enough volume to get much done. If you can get any vacuum, try this first. Fill the bowl and flush a couple of times. This will probably clear your duck bills. Check the seal at the ball valve in the bowl. Any tissue in this area will cause continues running of the pump. If this fails this will work, get a hose end pulsing sewer cleaner at home depot, the kind that expands and pulses. Place in the throat of the bowl, open the ball valve and place in the hole, Turn on the hose, this will clear your problem in seconds. This will work to clean out any blockage with the possible exception of female applicators. Vacuflush approved and has always worked for me.

              Comment


                #8
                Pat,

                Turn off the power and go to the pump, you should require a 5/16" nut drive to loosen the clamps ( I'd recommend a pair of rubber gloves and some rags at this point ), remove the hose and unscrew the fitting that the hose attaches to, yo will find the duckbills at this point there are two of them on each pump with a screwed connection. Remove the duck bills and clean them , if they appear damaged replace them. Reassemble the unit and it should work ok. I normally carry a couple of sets of spares on board just in case.

                Ron

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thank you all for your responses.

                  I will try the plunger first.

                  If that doesn't work then I am stuck with pulling the hoses and duck bills apart.

                  I checked the seal at all the connections, everything is tight. Besides I would not expect everything to work perfectly up to the last flush and then completely stop working afterwards.

                  Right now the bowl if full of water. When the foot pedal is depressed the water does not move. there is nothing visible other than water in the bowl or the chamber under the ball valve.

                  The pump runs on and on. If I activate the vacuum switch on the vacuum tank manually, which is between the pump and the head the pump will stop. Indicating that there is no vacuum building up in the tank, hence my assumption that the clog is between the tank and the pump.

                  The problem is that the entire system up to the clog is full of water and other goodies. When I pull the hose everything that is in the hoses, tank and up to the bowl of the head is going to fill that compartment.

                  I was hoping someone had a trick to prevent this but I guess there is no way around it.
                  Patrick and Patti
                  4588 Pilothouse 1991
                  12ft Endeavor RIB 2013
                  M/V "Paloma"
                  MMSI # 338142921

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Use a shop vac. Get some kind of catch container and with the shop vac running, disconnect the hose hopefully above the catch container. Vacuum out the bowl before you start. Most important tool I carry in bilge is med size wet or dry vac.
                    Started boating 1965
                    Bayliners owned: 26 Victoria, 28 Bounty, 32, 38, and 47 since 1996

                    Comment


                      #11
                      mmichellich wrote:
                      Use a shop vac. Get some kind of catch container and with the shop vac running, disconnect the hose hopefully above the catch container. Vacuum out the bowl before you start. Most important tool I carry in bilge is med size wet or dry vac.
                      +1

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Run down to lowes... buy one of these Pat:


                        Custom CNC Design And Dash Panels

                        iBoatNW

                        1980 CHB Europa 42 Trawler- "Honey Badger"

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Today I learned that Lowes sells adult toys--X rated ones from the photo??
                          Started boating 1965
                          Bayliners owned: 26 Victoria, 28 Bounty, 32, 38, and 47 since 1996

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The plunger has always worked fine for me and for others.

                            Shut off the fresh water system, purge pressure, to avoid overflowing the bowl. There must be water in the bowl for it to work, so toggle the fresh water pump or use a bucket as required to maintain water in the bowl.

                            Apply a pressure down stroke, tip the plunger to break the seal, lift the plunger and repeat until it is working.

                            Keep the Vacuflush on during the process.

                            It is harder to clear than a home clog, but it will work.

                            A plunger is always aboard my boat.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The key, as many have pointed out is that you must be PUSHING from the toilet to the pump!! the problem is at the duckbills and you must push the problem through them.

                              Remember changing diapers, it is just poop.

                              a little mentholatum on your upper lip helps

                              Comment

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