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Dampervan
Dampervan

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:09pm

Post Subject: Pump out problems

We have a 2006 ex-hireboat (since Oct 12) and have had problems emptying the tank on pump out (which is a timed system (6 mins only)) since arriving at the Marina here in Stone... the WC is a Tecma macerator type and is working on the minimum flush but the tank doesn't empty within the allotted timeframe... we seem to be the only moorers having this problem and even 2 tokens doesn't give the desired result.... any suggestions please??

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:24am

Post Subject: Pump out problems

Once again I could do with more details so I can make a considered judgement. What is the physical size of the tank, does it use the hull & base plate as part of its structure or is it a separate tank? Assuming the pump out has a sight glass in the hose what colour is the effluent as the pump out progresses and when was the pump out machine last serviced? Can you see a vacuum gauge on the pump out machine and if so what doe sit read throughout the session? How well does the probe fit your pump out fitting - does sit leak air into the system? Hire boats tend to have very large tanks so the simplest explanation is that there is simply not enough time to pump the tank right out. If the probe to fitting joint is leaking air it will reduce the amount of effluent sucked out in a given time as would something in the tank blocking the outlet pipe - this is where looking at what is passing through the sight-glass and how fast it is moving helps the diagnosis. A faulty pump out machine with low suction would have a similar effect. If the tank uses the hull as a side and bottom then you just might have a leaking weld allowing canal water to be sucked into the tank but then it would look much cleaner in the sight glass. Have you checked the tank breather is free of obstruction because a blockage would stop air being drawn into the tank as it is emptied so stopping the effluent flow, however if this was the cause I would have expected the tank to ping or bong as it was distorted by the vacuum onside it. My suggestion is to take the boat to a manned pumpout facility that is not timed and be advised by the operator but do not tell them of your problem unless they too can not empty the tank. I carry an adaptor that screws into my pumpout fitting that gives a far better seal. This is especially true if your boat is (say) 15 years old or more. Modern probes sometimes seem too long for the fitting. Have a look at http://www.leesan.com/index.asp?m=3&b_idno=6 &t=LeeSan and scroll down. The adaptors are reddish brown in their picture. Tony Brooks

Dampervan
Dampervan

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:53pm

Post Subject: Pump out problems

Many thanks for the prompt reply Tony. The tank is about 1.5x0.4x0.4m and is separate from the hull. Thje boat is 7 yrs old. There is no sight glass on the pumpout as it has been previously broken several times and replaced by a steel tube section. I use the provided rubber cone adaptor to ensure a seal to the fitting... I had the thought that there may be a loose fitting seal in the pipe to the tank from the gunnel access point which would allow air in and reduce the pump suction... checking it is a bit of a task though...

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:20pm

Post Subject: Pump out problems

So that is about 240 litres if absolutely full or about 53 gallons. My tank is far larger than yours and it certainly pumps out in less than 6 minutes. Make sure the breather is clear and then I am afraid you need to start looking at that suction line. There could still be a problem with the machine though. I have found that BW machines sometimes lose suction so I have to pull the probe out an replace it. Tony Brooks

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