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Pump Out Charcoal/Blue/Green/Yeast/etc

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So, I had help today which meant I did 'heavier' jobs than planned (list below for own satisfaction!) and one of those involved dismantling bed/looking at pump out...

 

I think I have @bookmonkey123's old boat. This is (potentially) relevant as they asked about switching from Blue to Odourless on here but I found a part-used Blue bottle on the boat so not sure what, if anything, is in the tank at present. In any event it was pumped out (by the previous owner / ex-partner of @bookmonkey123 / marina they moored in / brokerage / someone?) a month or so before I looked at it and looks pretty empty at the moment (tank is a white is plastic one with a 'full' light (I assume/hope is operable) but no gauge and centrally located on boat (leaving an underused storage space under bed at the 'side' I'll look into later) but seems to be slightly translucent and looks mostly empty).

 

In any event it is a San Marine loo with 'remote' (through a bulkhead and basically straight in, but not drop-through which I will miss from old boat) Lee San tank. It has the flexi-hoses which may/may not be suitable (I've read the stuff on here about them being porous and am prepared to swap them if necessary - was too late by the time we got to take a look to write down all the specifications which are printed on them, there were a bunch of air fresheners under the bed which is a little concerning... but it was reassuringly dry/unstained/dusty looking and all clamps etc were still shiny) and a Lee San activated charcoal micro filter.

 

I figure I should replace the charcoal filter as boat was UHPressure washed before blacking. I've 'upgraded' the masking tape holding the pipes to/from it with cable ties so I think they are in more or less sensible configuration (no 'U's between tank and filter). But what to put in the tank? I'd like not to use 'Blue' if possible. Old drop through boat was good enough with a Green version (only smelt bad if ppl stood on the foot-flush too long due to being young and/or non-boaters) but was wondering about swapping to yeast for this New Boat... partly due to local availability (plenty hipsters / health freaks; not many chandleries) and partly due to own hippiness... Is it worth popping a bunch in now, not expecting too much, and then doing a good flush out at next pump out?

 

 

---Just for us really---

Jobs Accomplished Today

* Bow swag fender thingy attached with these on the sides not screwed up to save hanging (one hopes)

* Little One's well deck garden created with two hanging (from lovely cable ties) baskets and two sawn-to-fit troughs (with raised plastic feet to do the best we can for the paintwork)

* Curtains/mats/fluffy cages/etc, etc measured for

* Strap handles fitted to bits of bed so have some chance of maintaining pipes/filters and storing stuff under

* Loo seat swapped for child friendly (two sizes) one - a job which required unscrewing the whole toilet due to stupid design of ceramic part!

 

Jobs Little One Accomplised

* Assembly of own wardrobe rail

* Assembly of own storage boxes

* Selection of remarkably sophisticated grey homewares

* Identification of need for/purchase of deck shoes for well deck excursions

* Unilateral coot feeding ?

Edited by TheMenagerieAfloat
clarity

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Biological soap powder/liquid, cheapest you can find for pump out if you must use anything. If its open like a dump through then you need something, if its sealed and the loo is like a sea toilet you need nothing.

  • Greenie 1

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1 minute ago, Boater Sam said:

Biological soap powder/liquid, cheapest you can find for pump out if you must use anything. If its open like a dump through then you need something, if its sealed and the loo is like a sea toilet you need nothing.

It is sea-toilet style. If I don't need anything happy not to (presumably that white vinegar stuff is still OK for bowl cleaning?) - least effort/organisation required the better ? I usually have a relatively eco bio wash liquid around for a poorly trained dog (it is cheaper than those smell-erasing things for them too!) so could try that if found 'emergency' requirement for something after have disposed of the Blue.

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If you intend to change to bio having used blue, bear in mind that it'll take a little while for the bio to establish as the blue lingers. What the bio will do that the add nothing option won't is cure/prevent the build up of solid mass in your holding tank.

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I’d bung in a bottle of bio laundry liquid for starters never mind what you settle down to in the end. Add a goodly amount of water, rock the boat well and leave it for a couple of weeks. Give it another good rocking and pump out, should leave you a reasonably clean tank. We’ve ended up using laundry liquid all the time now, it’s cheap as chips and AFAICS, no worse for the enviro than anything else.

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If you have a really badly encrusted tank, when it is near full give it a load of Jeyes Fluid, it shifts stuff others leave behind, and let it work for a week before you empty it.

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Silly question... with Old Boat I just popped the green stuff in the loo every so often as it was easier than climbing along gunnels to put it in the pump out.

 

On this boat i have three options

* pop in loo

* pop in rinse outlet

* pop in pump out outlet

 

Presumably there is some slight benefit to any of the fluid additive options being swooshed through all three on occasion for pipe cleaning purposes?

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If you have any doubt about the flexi hoses swap them out for rigid plastic plumbing waste pipe if possible. We did ours a couple of years ago and it is a good upgrade. Plus another vote for the bio washing powder, the aldi one is cheap and works well.

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18 minutes ago, Narrowboat Nimrod said:

If you have any doubt about the flexi hoses swap them out for rigid plastic plumbing waste pipe if possible. We did ours a couple of years ago and it is a good upgrade. Plus another vote for the bio washing powder, the aldi one is cheap and works well.

I'm not sure if I have doubts yet... certainly not about them leaking (all looked very dry and unstained) but possibly porousness. The 5 or so air fresheners under the bed near them/the tank and the slight smell make me think previous owners had an issue but it did look like their filter would have been in a 'U' without the masking tape holding the pipes up so could have been to do with that or a previous overflow/filter changing accident/who knows. I've left it all open to air (with window on the non-outlet side open!) as don't have a mattress yet. After that will hoover out all dust and wipe down with my usual floor cleaning diluted bio wash and see how it goes with whatever tank treatment I pop in. Definitely need to change the charcoal filter when Lee San open after new year so will have a chat with them about the specifications of the pipes then. ?

Edited by TheMenagerieAfloat

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We use Bio washing liquid. Sometimes gel. We dilute the gel before  shooting it into the dump through tank. Have used Blue, odorloss and other magical products in the past. Bio is logical..

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1 hour ago, TheMenagerieAfloat said:

I'm not sure if I have doubts yet... certainly not about them leaking (all looked very dry and unstained) but possibly porousness. The 5 or so air fresheners under the bed near them/the tank and the slight smell make me think previous owners had an issue but it did look like their filter would have been in a 'U' without the masking tape holding the pipes up so could have been to do with that or a previous overflow/filter changing accident/who knows. I've left it all open to air (with window on the non-outlet side open!) as don't have a mattress yet. After that will hoover out all dust and wipe down with my usual floor cleaning diluted bio wash and see how it goes with whatever tank treatment I pop in. Definitely need to change the charcoal filter when Lee San open after new year so will have a chat with them about the specifications of the pipes then. ?

Its not a leaky or porous pipe that can cause the smell, its invisible osmosis through the pipe wall if the wrong pipe is used. If so you will small it where the pipe is in an unvented space.

As said, better to use solvent welded waste plumbing pipe.

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3 hours ago, Boater Sam said:

Its not a leaky or porous pipe that can cause the smell, its invisible osmosis through the pipe wall if the wrong pipe is used. If so you will small it where the pipe is in an unvented space.

 

 

Or even if the right expensive pipe is used 

 

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Bio washing fluid cheap works well I found the smell of blue penetrated pipes slightly. Changed to bio but took 5 or 6 pump outs before blue smell disappeared. I still get a blue streak on the blacking from the vent hole 6 years later, that blue is very invasive and persistent.

 

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On 30/12/2019 at 13:06, Boater Sam said:

Its not a leaky or porous pipe that can cause the smell, its invisible osmosis through the pipe wall if the wrong pipe is used. If so you will small it where the pipe is in an unvented space.

As said, better to use solvent welded waste plumbing pipe.

 

On 30/12/2019 at 00:01, TheMenagerieAfloat said:

So, I had help today which meant I did 'heavier' jobs than planned (list below for own satisfaction!) and one of those involved dismantling bed/looking at pump out...

 

I think I have @bookmonkey123's old boat. This is (potentially) relevant as they asked about switching from Blue to Odourless on here but I found a part-used Blue bottle on the boat so not sure what, if anything, is in the tank at present. In any event it was pumped out (by the previous owner / ex-partner of @bookmonkey123 / marina they moored in / brokerage / someone?) a month or so before I looked at it and looks pretty empty at the moment (tank is a white is plastic one with a 'full' light (I assume/hope is operable) but no gauge and centrally located on boat (leaving an underused storage space under bed at the 'side' I'll look into later) but seems to be slightly translucent and looks mostly empty).

 

In any event it is a San Marine loo with 'remote' (through a bulkhead and basically straight in, but not drop-through which I will miss from old boat) Lee San tank. It has the flexi-hoses which may/may not be suitable (I've read the stuff on here about them being porous and am prepared to swap them if necessary - was too late by the time we got to take a look to write down all the specifications which are printed on them, there were a bunch of air fresheners under the bed which is a little concerning... but it was reassuringly dry/unstained/dusty looking and all clamps etc were still shiny) and a Lee San activated charcoal micro filter.

 

I figure I should replace the charcoal filter as boat was UHPressure washed before blacking. I've 'upgraded' the masking tape holding the pipes to/from it with cable ties so I think they are in more or less sensible configuration (no 'U's between tank and filter). But what to put in the tank? I'd like not to use 'Blue' if possible. Old drop through boat was good enough with a Green version (only smelt bad if ppl stood on the foot-flush too long due to being young and/or non-boaters) but was wondering about swapping to yeast for this New Boat... partly due to local availability (plenty hipsters / health freaks; not many chandleries) and partly due to own hippiness... Is it worth popping a bunch in now, not expecting too much, and then doing a good flush out at next pump out?

 


 

M..Afloat, your new loo system sounds very similar to ours.  We stopped using "Blue", switching to "Odourless" or nothing, it did take many pump outs to be rid of the blue and for the system to settle down.

To check the level in the tank, use a powerful torch held against the side of the tank, when 1/3-3/4 full the level will be shown as light in the empty space, dark in the filled section.

If your "Full light" is as ours, then there is not much reserve when it lights!

We have a vacuum type pump to pull the contents from the pan, and push them into the main tank, this pump has 4 "duck bill" valves, which need to be accessible.  Be careful if following advice to change  from flexi pipe to solid waste pipe, the end of pipes need to be above the top of the main tank.  Any blockage will create trapped fluid, which is easier to drain into the tank rather than trying to catch in a bucket....  Our vacuum pump is at the side of the tank, after unscrewing the brackets, the pump can be lifted on to the tank, before any pipes are disturbed.

To reduce the smell from the pipes, which is caused by effluent puddling in the lower sections of pipe, when leaving the boat for more than 12 hrs, flush 2 pans of water, through the system, replacing effluent with clean water.

 

Bod

 

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Soo - had a chat with Lee San today when ordering new filters... They recommend

* the wet cloth sniff test

* replacing with the flexible hose only any bad bits (I'd tried this - as far as I can tell the worst of the chemical smell was actually dust, First Mate found one pipe (the most U-shaped one) to be worse the first time we tried... but it was also dustiest)

* adding nothing to the tank and doing a good swoosh with water on the next pump out(s)

* cut onion in little tub of water as a deodoriser to get rid of the blue smell

* making the wet pipes (i.e. the non-air filter ones) less u-shaped (on it already)

 

Have already tipped a bottle of bio liquid in via the loo and will probably use some more in the water/pump out pipes as I have it but will try adding nothing but water the next couple of times and see how we go. The onion trick also seems harmless so will try that quick before soft furnishings are all in.

Edited by TheMenagerieAfloat

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I've had Jabsco sea type bog with holding tank for 20 years and have never used anything. Somewhere deep in a locker I  have a can of Blue but suspect that these days it's considered anti social . The only time I've ever had the slightest smell was about 6 years ago and an hours work replacing the Lee San spec pipe cured the problem instantly.

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