Holding tanks - general maintenance

tcm

...
Joined
11 Jan 2002
Messages
23,958
Location
Caribbean at the moment
Visit site
best maintence tip is not to use them, ever. If someone has already used them, try filling and flushing, with any amount of chemicals. Also taboo-wise, try to get comfortable with talking about holding tanks, turd sizes and consistency, and challenging people about what they've eaten or are eating. This will really cut down on the food bills, and most people will use loos ashore.
 

GeorgeP

New member
Joined
1 Jun 2003
Messages
322
Location
Poole, Dorset
Visit site
If they're set up properly there isn't much to do. Replace the hoses as often as you replace those on your heads. Flush them through with salt water via the heads before you leave the boat (not in the marina!). Empty them and put something in them via the heads in the winter (same stuff as you put in the heads).

What are they made of? Do they have a breather?
 

hlb

RIP
Joined
16 May 2001
Messages
26,775
Location
Any Pub Lancashire or Wales
Visit site
Well yep, I told the story about 12 years ago, nearly no one remembers. Except the fable of the exploding bog.

Dont leave it there to ferment, else you can tell the next new story.

Change pipes every ten years or so, they get blocked with lime scale from the sea. water. But change the pipes anyway because they become hard and you cannot do emergency repairs.

Other than that, little probems, there is only the problem of womem dropping unmentional things down them. This is a big problem and best left to the women to sort out, not that they ever volunteer.

The maserator pump just will not cope with this infestation, and will emmediatley die. The only resolve being to disconect the pipe, which has been super charged by much pumping and the desire to delay action. Causing the tank and bog, to be super charged and full.

The resultant action of removing pipe from pump, is fairly obvious, but only to folk that have done it before.

It's bleeding well pressurised and the pipe that you had carefully removed and put in a bucket, explodes all over the boat.

Other than these few tips. Holding tanks are fine and make life much simpler, but please abide by the rules. /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
 

Appleyard

Well-known member
Joined
23 Oct 2004
Messages
4,380
Location
UK
Visit site
Instruct all crew,guests etc that no material should go down the bog unless said material has passed through the aforesaid crew,guest etc. Also have a couple of pairs of disposable gloves in the heads compartment in order that unacceptable items can be removed from bog and disposed of in an appropriate receptacle.
 

snowleopard

Active member
Joined
16 May 2001
Messages
33,652
Location
Oxford
Visit site
I believe rules about 'no paper' are (a) unnecessary and (b) revolting.

We've lived aboard with tanks for a couple of years and they work fine. Motion of the boat stirs things up to effectively macerate everything so it goes through a standard manual bilge pump for discharge.

We have a changeover valve in the suction line of the pump so it will draw from tank or bilge and I always switch to bilge and pump a few strokes after emptying the tank so no residue is left in the pump to prevent it priming next time round.
 

johnalison

Well-known member
Joined
14 Feb 2007
Messages
39,192
Location
Essex
Visit site
Lots of sea-water is usually best as it is hyperosmotic and cleans pretty well. Urine is corrosive to s/s and should not be left longer than necessary, about 3 days max. There are many different set-ups; mine empties under gravity alone.
 

snowleopard

Active member
Joined
16 May 2001
Messages
33,652
Location
Oxford
Visit site
Nothing at all, apart from the salt in the water. There seems to be no reason to add chemicals though I'll admit there is a stink from the breather when pumping into the tank. A carbon filter on the breather would solve that but at a price.

Our tanks are GRP, using the hollow keels so around 50 gallons a side which can give us a fortnight when sailing 2-up. It means among other things that we can avoid nocturnal visits to marina loos with a clear conscience.
 

TrueBlue

Well-known member
Joined
30 Apr 2004
Messages
4,476
Location
Sussex
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]
I thought that there might be some recommended chemicals or organic additives that would keep them sweet.

[/ QUOTE ]

I've used good old fashioned yeast started with a couple of spoonsful of sugar; seems to keep them sweet for a few extra days.

Because our boat doesn't do lee-rail-under I find that if I bubble the tank(s) for a couple of hours it removes the pong for a couple of days, and is repeatable. (I have an electric dinghy inflater fixed to the flush pipe.

There is a relatively new treatment called "Oror" available and my swindlery says it sells well. At only a tenner for 10 x 150l treatments it's worth a go.
 

GeorgeP

New member
Joined
1 Jun 2003
Messages
322
Location
Poole, Dorset
Visit site
The breather helps to keep the smells down. Never had S/S, only plastic (Techtanks) which worked fine. No chemicals needed if you follow the above - I've never had a problem with my tanks.
 

hornblower

Member
Joined
1 Jan 2007
Messages
230
Location
Home - Warwickshire, Boat - Adriatic
Visit site
I have to admit that I don't know what the tank is made of as I have not taken delivery of the boat yet and I had not thought to ask - from what you all say I suspect it will be plastic too.

All very informative and helpful, thanks. Years of sailing but a bit green on this one.
 
Top