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novice
novice

Posted: Tue May 31, 2011 4:20am

Post Subject: Holding tank

The holding tank on my wide beam requires pumping out more frequently than usual. What could be the reason for this?

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Tue May 31, 2011 9:51am

Post Subject: Holding tank

Dear Ann, whilst I would love to be able to give you some constructive help the lack of detail, information and history in your question makes anything other than a flippant comment on the amount of time spent in pubs difficult. More frequently than what - other boats or compared with this boat in the past? Is this a professional or amateur fit-out, amateurs have been known to incorrectly connect the tank to the flush & pump out bosses. How large is the tank? If you are comparing with other boats there is every possibility your boat has a smaller tank. Are you sure it is being pumped out properly? some pump-outs need an extra adaptor to seal the probe to the pump out fitting (I carry one for my boat). Is there any chance you have something like a bar of soap in the tank that blocks the pump out pipe when suction is applied? What type of toilet? Some types may leak flushing water through a faulty valve and this would certainly fill the majority of tanks under dump through toilets. Are you diagnosing a full tank by actually looking at the effluent level or by some form of warning lamp or gauge. One type of warning lamp system is known to get its float jambed up. Finally what are you putting in the tank - type of toilet paper, sanitary products, tank treatment, and what toilet cleaning products are you using. If you are comparing past pump out frequency on THIS boat with the present there is a good chance that you have a build up of sludge in the bottom of the tank. With a dump through this may be sorted by either removing the actual toilet and using a kitchen ladle to spoon the sludge out or (depending upon tank size) using a pressure wash lance don the toilet to loosen, dilute and break up the sludge so it can be pumped out. If it has a remote tank then you must hope the tank has an inspection cover fitted so you can get access to carry out the above. I can not help more without a lot more information. Tony Brooks PS we had a hire-boat once where the holding tank was so small it needed pumping out twice within a week, our present ex-hire-boat will go for three or four weeks with two aboard so there is no standard for tank sizes. Some of the plastic ones sold by the toilet vendors look far too small to me.

novice
novice

Posted: Tue May 31, 2011 10:23am

Post Subject: Holding tank

Thank you very much. I suspected more info was needed but find your reply very useful anyway. I started living on the boat March 31st when the first pump out was carried out followed by April 25th, May 11th and again yesterday, May 30th. This seems excessive as, with the exception of a few visitors, I am alone on the boat. I have searched for the tank capacity in the info supplied by the previous owner but no luck. However, from observations, I think a sludge problem is highly likely so will investigate that further. Thanks again.

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Tue May 31, 2011 11:49am

Post Subject: Holding tank

To be honest I suspect tank size because it should not sludge up in that time unless we are talking disposable nappies etc. Measure it in cm and then calculate its volume. 1000cc = 1 litre and 4.6 litres = 1 gallon. It is very important never to put anything down a holding tank toiler unless its toilet paper or something you ate or drunk first. It is also important that you do not use luxury high wet strength toilet paper. You need the paper to disintegrate in the liquid and supermarkets' basic range is probably OK. You also need to build up a good colony of bacteria in the tank that actually breakdown the waste rather than preserve it so conventional blue is NOT a very good idea. Any of the toilet fluids that say the encourage good bacteria will be far better. If you use toilet wipe tissues do not put them down the pan. Be very wary of strong toilet cleaners that contain things like bleach because they may kill the bacteria. If you get a very dirty pan and need to descale it try lemon juice and if that does not work use one of the domestic products immediately before you pump out so it gets removed before it has much chance to kill the bacteria. Tony Brooks

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