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First ever pump out...


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Hello! 

 

We're doing our first ever pump out at Stonebridge lock tomorrow....ah.. and after huge amounts of research have a question still lingering.

 

Can the hose on a self-service pump out reach over our narrowboat roof to the cap on the other side, or do we need to turn our boat around so it is land side? 

 

Any tips for a novice nervous poo pumper are much appreciated.   Anything key we need to know?! We're also looking to use bio rather than blue for the rinsing.. 

 

Thanks :)

 

Gabby 

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4 minutes ago, Gabby&Jack said:

Can the hose on a self-service pump out reach over our narrowboat roof to the cap on the other side, or do we need to turn our boat around so it is land side?

 

It's always safer to not balance on the offside gunwale while juggling a stiff and awkward pipe into a fitting.

 

Some people do do it, but it's always easier from standing on the land/jetty.  

 

 

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The shape of tanks varies a lot. With long relatively shallow ones like ours, quite a lot of flushing is required to move the solids to the back where the pumpout pipe is.

 

Of course it depends on whether you have a dump-through or some macerator / vacuflush thing, but for us with a dump through, we remove the bathroom porthole glass and pass the water hose through. One person then operates the pumpout machine and after the stuff is mostly out, the other fills the bowl right up with fresh water and flushes it all down, several times.

 

This would be less of an issue with a deeper tank I suspect.

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I would turn the boat, its not sensible to risk injury by working offside on the gunwale. Besides, the suction may not be so good going over the roof and the hose is a bit harsh on the cabin paintwork.

Fall in whilst hanging on the side risks not just getting wet, often the reaction is to grab the handrail as you slip off and that is the easiest way to dislocate a shoulder that I know of, seen it done, the pain is horrendous after 10 minutes.

TD'

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Rant ON

It annoys me that builders put the pumpout connector on the gunnel. Not only does it caus you to slip if you actually 'work' the dide deck (I do), but inevitably the valve lever on the pipe head gets broken.

Rant OFF

 

All the decent boats that I've hired in the past had the pump-out connectors in the roof - then you can service the loo from either side of the boat.

 

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18 minutes ago, OldGoat said:

Rant ON

It annoys me that builders put the pumpout connector on the gunnel. Not only does it caus you to slip if you actually 'work' the dide deck (I do), but inevitably the valve lever on the pipe head gets broken.

Rant OFF

 

All the decent boats that I've hired in the past had the pump-out connectors in the roof - then you can service the loo from either side of the boat.

 

I agree that a roof port is more convenient. Especially on hire boats that always seem to be pointing the wrong way on service day.

There are however drawbacks.  Many pump out setups have insufficient pull to evacuate a honey tank from the roof position.

Also there were considerable problems with odours due to the long internal hose 'twixt tank and roof until decent non permeable hose became popular.Why they didn't use proper solvent welded pipe eludes me. 

My preference would be a port on both side gunwales with a tank vent external on one side.

There are a few boats with their own built in pumps. Problematical as the discharge pipework is then under pressure and when the inevitable leak or blow off eventually occurs the mess can be disgusting.

I remember a famous much travelled and publicised boat owned by a sewage disposal equipment expert supplier who switched his internal pump on " Just to make sure you have emptied the tank properly" when I was doing the job. When it blew the pump out connection off his roof mounted port, we ran far away very quickly.

Oh, how we all laughed!

 

Deodorised TD'

Edited by Tracy D'arth
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3 hours ago, Tracy D'arth said:

I would turn the boat, its not sensible to risk injury by working offside on the gunwale. Besides, the suction may not be so good going over the roof and the hose is a bit harsh on the cabin paintwork.

Fall in whilst hanging on the side risks not just getting wet, often the reaction is to grab the handrail as you slip off and that is the easiest way to dislocate a shoulder that I know of, seen it done, the pain is horrendous after 10 minutes.

TD'

Seven years and two surgeries on, I've still got a knackered shoulder and nerve damage from slipping off the gunnel and grabbing for the hand rail - so that's good advice ^. I wasn't pumping out at the time either (which would have added a delightfully fragrant dimension to the fall) 😉

Some hire company staff will step round to the offside to pump out for you, but they've done it on the fleet a squllion times. I would not have tried it myself. A lot of pump outs are at boat yards and marinas that have nearby places to turn anyway. Might as well make it easy for yourselves 😊

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2 minutes ago, BlueStringPudding said:

Seven years and two surgeries on, I've still got a knackered shoulder and nerve damage from slipping off the gunnel and grabbing for the hand rail - so that's good advice ^. I wasn't pumping out at the time either (which would have added a delightfully fragrant dimension to the fall) 😉

Some hire company staff will step round to the offside to pump out for you, but they've done it on the fleet a squllion times. I would not have tried it myself. A lot of pump outs are at boat yards and marinas that have nearby places to turn anyway. Might as well make it easy for yourselves 😊

I wont even pull into the pumpout station and ask with it on the offside, I will always wind and bring the outlet alongside.

 

The reason for not having a roof point was the lack of suck I had experienced when having pumpouts on our share boat. I wanted the suck pipe as short and straight as possible.

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3 hours ago, nicknorman said:

Of course it depends on whether you have a dump-through or some macerator / vacuflush thing, but for us with a dump through, we remove the bathroom porthole glass and pass the water hose through. One person then operates the pumpout machine and after the stuff is mostly out, the other fills the bowl right up with fresh water and flushes it all down, several times.

.

We do the same BUT we use canal water for the flush. We fill two big pails with canal water and have them ready to pour down the loo at the appropriate time. If what is seen in the sight guage is not clear, more pails of canal water will be used. If the boatyard water is on a meter it saves them a penny or two and it saves fiddling with hoses through windows  🙂 

 

haggis

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14 minutes ago, BlueStringPudding said:

Seven years and two surgeries on, I've still got a knackered shoulder and nerve damage from slipping off the gunnel and grabbing for the hand rail - so that's good advice ^. I wasn't pumping out at the time either (which would have added a delightfully fragrant dimension to the fall) 😉

Some hire company staff will step round to the offside to pump out for you, but they've done it on the fleet a squllion times. I would not have tried it myself. A lot of pump outs are at boat yards and marinas that have nearby places to turn anyway. Might as well make it easy for yourselves 😊

That wasn't at Westport Park, Stoke was it?

TD'

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22 minutes ago, haggis said:

We do the same BUT we use canal water for the flush. We fill two big pails with canal water and have them ready to pour down the loo at the appropriate time. If what is seen in the sight guage is not clear, more pails of canal water will be used. If the boatyard water is on a meter it saves them a penny or two and it saves fiddling with hoses through windows  🙂 

 

haggis

We do that, a few buckets filled through the engine room side hatch

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1 hour ago, Tracy D'arth said:

That wasn't at Westport Park, Stoke was it?

TD'

It was Wyvern in Leighton Buzzard, some years ago

1 hour ago, ditchcrawler said:

I wont even pull into the pumpout station and ask with it on the offside, I will always wind and bring the outlet alongside.

 

The reason for not having a roof point was the lack of suck I had experienced when having pumpouts on our share boat. I wanted the suck pipe as short and straight as possible.

As the boat yard had filled the winding hole with their fleet for several days, and I moored opposite them, I shouted across to ask if it was okay. They said yes because they do it all the time.  Sorry that I'm not holier than thou and had the audacity to ask a perfectly reasonable question of them. There was nothing stopping them saying no, and in a circumstance where turning isn't possible, I wouldn't want new boaters reading this thread to be made to feel they can't ask a boat yard a question like that. They'll get an honest answer. 🤔

Edited by BlueStringPudding
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13 hours ago, mrsmelly said:

Mine has the pumpout on the roof, a good idea. however proper boats have cassette toilets they make vastly more sense ;)

Nah!

Every three weeks we stop and get a little man to empty the poo tank for us. No need to get near it. Compare that to every week having to lug cassettes to the elsan point and physically pouring it all down a hole and then having to wash it down with a hose!

I actually lied. In our marina, I use the pump out myself and never get any smell or contact with the stuff inside.

S'pose emptying cassettes keeps you fitter and you know if you get Covid 'cause you cant smell the effluent going down the elsan hole!:P

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Rather makes mrsmelly's point doesn't it. Too windy, frozen canal, broken pumpout, engine won't start, lock stoppage, covid-19! There are plenty of reasons you might not get to a pump out point.

18 hours ago, Dr Bob said:

Nah!

Every three weeks we stop and get (pay) a little man to empty the poo tank for us. 

 

Edited by blackrose
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3 hours ago, blackrose said:

Rather makes mrsmelly's point doesn't it. Too windy, frozen canal, broken pumpout, engine won't start, lock stoppage, covid-19! There are plenty of reasons you might not get to a pump out point.

 

I estimate we have 35 days of capacity in our poo tank -  2 peeps full time on board with lots of beer. Wind does not affect us and it wouldn't stop us turning the boat for 35-21 =14 days. We are a member of RCR (for breakdowns) and in the event of a once every 10 year freeze up, we would obtain a porta poti. 

In that 10 year freeze up etc how are you getting to the elsan point? Not really much difference.

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