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Size of pump out / black water tank


Andy Br
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Hello all,

 

Just sorting out a narrowboat prior to use. Part of that includes re-modelling a bed which. houses the pump out tank.

 

It is a 110 litre tank. This seems a bit small to me and there is plenty of space, not far off the centre line, to increase the size.

 

just wondering how long other people's tanks fill with normal use. We are a family of four and will be using it for long weekends, possibly up to a week at a time. 

 

I know it's a 'how long is a piece of string' question but comments appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Andy

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Ours is 175 litres (its really just a 'whilst in harbour tank' and lasts 2 of us around a week).

It has an external water supply so water usage is not a problem) and we do a full-flush as necessary.

 

It will totally depend on how much use you make of 'other facilities' (shopping, pub, petrol station, trees, hedges etc) and what type of toilet you have and now many times you flush.

 

Yes it is a piece of string, but remember the old saying "If its yellow, let it mellow, if its brown flush it down" this helps minimise emptying.

 

Fortunately we don't have to pay to empty our tank - otherwise at £20 per week, (or with 4 people every 4 days ?) I'd be changing over to a cassette system.

 

Edit to add :

 

Our other boat has a cassette system (20 litres) and last the two of us 3-4 days, but it is sparingly used with other facilities bearing the brunt of much of our 'output'.

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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My boat's tank is the same width, length and depth as the double bed. I don't know how many litres that equates to. But it means 1 person's full time use lasts 3 months between pump outs (including flush water, excluding loo paper which goes in a bin). When I worked full time, I would get 6 months at least beteen pump outs. Once it lasted a year - but I think I must have been working long hours at the time (either that or chronically dehydrated ??

Tanks that size I think are fairly unusual outside of Black Prince / Pinder built narrowboats. There used to be two such tanks on my boat, which was designed to serve a family of 8-10 people for a fortnight. 

Edited by BlueStringPudding
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Before I removed mine, it was 250 litres, big plastic thing which sat on the floor. Used to last two of us around 10 days, and that's putting loo paper down and flushing with a bit of water.

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1 hour ago, Andy Br said:

Hello all,

 

Just sorting out a narrowboat prior to use. Part of that includes re-modelling a bed which. houses the pump out tank.

 

It is a 110 litre tank. This seems a bit small to me and there is plenty of space, not far off the centre line, to increase the size.

 

just wondering how long other people's tanks fill with normal use. We are a family of four and will be using it for long weekends, possibly up to a week at a time. 

 

I know it's a 'how long is a piece of string' question but comments appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Andy

Just be aware that if you fit a big tank which is off-centre, you'll be able to tell how full it is by how much the boat heels over...

 

Assuming the bed is lengthwise, you could probably get a 2' wide tank like this close to the centreline:

 

https://www.leesan.com/shop/tanks/rotary-moulded-holding-tanks/75-gallon-340-litre-holding-tank-1500mm-x-610mm-x-410mm.aspx

 

Or an even bigger one if you want to use the full length of the bed. Depends how much height you have available, best to sit them on the baseplate (with something underneath to prevent rusting) rather than across any bearers, but this is difficult to do unless planned in when the hull is built which is unlikely to be doable in your case.

 

A tank that size should easily do four of you for a week, or maybe more if you follow the yellow/brown advice ?

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This thread raises another question. What sort of tank do folks use for a dump-through loo?

The moulded plastic tanks available from Leesan and the like may be fine for macerator or vacuum toilets, but they don't look robust enough to take the weight of a person sat on the loo.

Belfast currently has two welded steel tanks beneath the Traveller dump through loos, but these are 25 years old and rusting, and I can foresee an unfortunate accident should we keep them much longer. But what to replace with?

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13 minutes ago, David Mack said:

This thread raises another question. What sort of tank do folks use for a dump-through loo?

The moulded plastic tanks available from Leesan and the like may be fine for macerator or vacuum toilets, but they don't look robust enough to take the weight of a person sat on the loo.

Belfast currently has two welded steel tanks beneath the Traveller dump through loos, but these are 25 years old and rusting, and I can foresee an unfortunate accident should we keep them much longer. But what to replace with?

Mine was a plastic dump through, made from what looks like 10mm high density polyethylene. Rock solid and very heavy, it was a struggle with two of us to lift it out. You could stand on top of it without any flex, and the toilet was on a corner so it was even stronger. 

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6 hours ago, Andy Br said:

Hello all,

 

Just sorting out a narrowboat prior to use. Part of that includes re-modelling a bed which. houses the pump out tank.

 

It is a 110 litre tank. This seems a bit small to me and there is plenty of space, not far off the centre line, to increase the size.

 

just wondering how long other people's tanks fill with normal use. We are a family of four and will be using it for long weekends, possibly up to a week at a time. 

 

I know it's a 'how long is a piece of string' question but comments appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Andy

 

 

We are a family of four and we would fill a 20l Thetford cassette in 2 days. That would equate to 11 days with a 110 litre tank. 

If you stick with your original tank, it's worth investigating the 'full warning light', as you hear of these being set up very conservatively and coming on with the tank only just over half full. 

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16 minutes ago, booke23 said:

 

 

We are a family of four and we would fill a 20l Thetford cassette in 2 days. That would equate to 11 days with a 110 litre tank. 

If you stick with your original tank, it's worth investigating the 'full warning light', as you hear of these being set up very conservatively and coming on with the tank only just over half full. 

Very useful that thanks! 

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We had stainless steel tanks on hire boats with dump throughs. They were a bit flexible so we fitted a length of plastic rain water pipe, wedged and glued in vertically just behind the hole, from the tank bottom to the underside of the top. This took the flex out and worked well

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  • 3 weeks later...

Glad I found this  subject as yesterday I started to remove my toilet, a dump through Sealand .I believe the mild steel tank has started to perish  so I need to change the tank. I have looked on the internet and at plastic manufacturers and have to decide. I must say I have never found any problem with the dump through toilet and I have had the boat 18 years. I have removed the toilet and the wash hand basin all of which sat on the tank. So I need a tank that is strong enough to take some of the weight. I was interested to read Davids comments about the strength of his plastic waste tank so I am leaning in that direction.

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9 minutes ago, Lazwal said:

Glad I found this  subject as yesterday I started to remove my toilet, a dump through Sealand .I believe the mild steel tank has started to perish  so I need to change the tank. I have looked on the internet and at plastic manufacturers and have to decide. I must say I have never found any problem with the dump through toilet and I have had the boat 18 years. I have removed the toilet and the wash hand basin all of which sat on the tank. So I need a tank that is strong enough to take some of the weight. I was interested to read Davids comments about the strength of his plastic waste tank so I am leaning in that direction.

 

Ours in welded plastic with some internal baffles and is strong enough. Its now 20 years old and I worry about the welds failing but have no evidence to support this worry.

 

There was one weakness, the Sealand/Traveller plastic mounting flange is not of huge diameter and the loo did rock from side to side just a little. This was in part due to a poor installation as the hole in the tank was cut too big and had compromised one of the mounting screws. I made a large diameter "repair washer" (about 12" diameter) from thick engineering plastic. This screws to the top of the tank with 6 stainless screws and the original flange bolts to this with holes tapped directly into my plastic. This made a huge improvement.

 

.................Dave

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Thank you David, that was a concern of mine the security and sturdiness of the mounting around the hole.Looking at the Lee Sanitation site where I purchased the pan only nine months ago,it stated the hole should be 141mm.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All,

 

Just to let you know that I am taking the opportunity to replace the Vetus 110 litre tank with a 250 litre tank.

 

I ordered from direct water tanks, it took less than a week to arrive and looks perfect. It's very heavy plastic and I ordered undrilled so I can fit the Vetus fittings from the old tank. It is also quite squat so will fit under the bunk well.

 

 https://www.directwatertanks.co.uk/250-litres-baffled-water-tank-flat

 

Cheers for your replies.

 

Andy

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