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Pumping out a port-a-potty

Discussion in 'Marine Plumbing and Sanitation' started by scottr, Jan 30, 2014. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. scottr

    scottr

    Joined Feb 25, 2010
    23 posts, 0 likes
    Pearson 28
    US Wickford
    I have a Thetford port-a-potty with the five gallon holding tank. This has served us just fine for short trips but we are planning a longer one this summer. Given that this isn't the version that can be plumbed to a pump out, and I would prefer not to dump it in a public restroom, do you think it is possible to rig it to use a standard pump out? I have an extra cap for the holding tank and am thinking if I can drill a hole of the proper size, possibly with some backing plate if needed, and a small vent I could take the holding tank into the cockpit and use the pump out.

    I've seen a setup using PVC pipe that could be connected to the pump out then put into the holding tank, but I'm thinking that my cap idea is better than carrying around the PVC pipe, especially after it's been used, albeit, rinsed afterwards.

    What do you think, will my idea work? Has anyone tried it?

    Thanks,

    Scott
     


  2. woodster

    woodster

    Joined Sep 15, 2009
    6,240 posts, 262 likes
    S2 9.2a
    US Fairhope Al
    up at the top of this page is a search button...type in pumping out a porta potty and hit search and you will find a lot on this subject...

    regards

    woody
     


  3. scottr

    scottr

    Joined Feb 25, 2010
    23 posts, 0 likes
    Pearson 28
    US Wickford
    Woody,

    I had tried that and there was much discussion of to dump or not to dump, but I didn't see anything about a cap modification like I'm thinking about. (Maybe I missed it though) I thought about just inserting a deck pump out fitting into the cap but the smallest flange I could find is just a bit bigger than the cap so I don't know if I can secure it to the cap and even if I can there is no room for a vent.
    I was hoping someone had already done this.
    Based on previous threads it seems that some pump outs have a porta pottie adaptor, but I don't want to depend on that. Hmmmm, I wonder if I can buy my own adaptor for less than a bazilion dollars. I'll have to look into that.

    Scott
     


  4. Alan Gomes

    Alan Gomes

    Joined Nov 22, 2011
    577 posts, 71 likes
    Ericson 26-2
    US San Pedro, CA
    I have the Thetford 555P that is setup for overboard discharge/pumpout and it works quite well. Maybe you could check with Thetford and see what the cost would be just for the part that attaches to the tank where the cap normally is. This part contains the pickup tube as well as the vent. The toilets in the MSD vs. non-MSD version are otherwise identical as far as I can tell. If the cost isn't too high it might be worth just buying it and being done with it.
     


  5. Benny17441

    Benny17441

    Joined May 24, 2004
    5,455 posts, 325 likes
    CC 30
    US South Florida
    Do yourself a favor and upgrade your unit to one that can be hooked up to a deck fill. That way you will not even have to move the tank on to the cockpit nor deal with an adapter. Having to lug the tank, even just to the cockpit is an undesirable task not to mention bacterial contamination. It would be an upgrade well worth investing in.
     


  6. scottr

    scottr

    Joined Feb 25, 2010
    23 posts, 0 likes
    Pearson 28
    US Wickford
    Thanks for the input everyone. I was hoping to keep both the dump and the pump out options, but I think I will take the advice and go with a porta pottie that can be pumped.
     


  7. centerline

    centerline

    Joined Mar 20, 2012
    3,983 posts, 186 likes
    Cal 34-III, MacGregor 25
    US Salem, Oregon
    so far, at every pump out station I have used, they have had a PVC adaptor they used to empty our porta potty.... although you do have to move the holding tank out of the boat, the convenience of being able to carry it ashore and dump when your at a facility without a pump out is a convenience I wouldnt trade off...

    this statement is made in consideration of our small 5gal tank capacity with 2 people using it and the few and far between pump stations where we boat.
    boats with a higher capacity sanitation tank usually have the ability to make it to the next station.... we dont always have that option, but we can always find an onshore or floating facility that we can carry and dump in to....
    a fixed 5 gallon Fixed mount MSD does not always make sense in some areas....
     


  8. kito

    kito

    Joined Sep 13, 2012
    2,011 posts, 134 likes
    1979 Hunter Cherubini 30
    US Clemmons
    I have the Thetford 5 gallon like you only I purchased the msd version with pump out and vent connections. May be cheaper just getting a new one. I also have mine plumbed with a manual waste pump for when in legal waters.
     


  9. scottr

    scottr

    Joined Feb 25, 2010
    23 posts, 0 likes
    Pearson 28
    US Wickford
    Thanks for the additional input. I wasn't sure how common it is for the pump out stations to have an adaptor. Maybe I will visit some by land and see how common it is in NE. I may be making more out if this than I need to.
     


  10. Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Joined Dec 2, 1997
    6,847 posts, 519 likes
    - -
    US LIttle Rock
    Easy to do

    If you're even a little bit handy with a hole saw, installing a pumpout fitting in the tank would be easy and very inexpensive to do, using a li'l doodad called the Uniseal and a couple of pieces of PVC: check it out here UNISEAL Uniseal Instructions
    If you're willing to also run a vent line and pumpout line and install a deck pumpout and vent thru-hull, you'll have a fully functional "MSD" portapotty that you won't have to move to the cockpit to pump out.
     


    Brad Bates likes this.
  11. Andy1237

    Andy1237

    Joined Jun 30, 2004
    446 posts, 1 likes
    Hunter 340
    US St Andrews Bay
    Re: Easy to do

    PEGGY! You're back? Missed you.
     


  12. Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Joined Dec 2, 1997
    6,847 posts, 519 likes
    - -
    US LIttle Rock
    No...Just can't resist an occasional "drive by shooting"...:) But thanks for the good thoughts.
     


  13. scottr

    scottr

    Joined Feb 25, 2010
    23 posts, 0 likes
    Pearson 28
    US Wickford
    Thanks Peggy! That looks like the ticket.
     


  14. CharlzO

    CharlzO

    Joined Jan 14, 2014
    210 posts, 11 likes
    Newport Newport 28
    US Fair Haven, NY
    I second the thanks to Peggy. I wasn't sure what I would do with my head situation with my Excalibur rebuild, but that takes a good chunk of the figuring out of the equation :)
     


  15. Brad Bates

    Brad Bates

    Joined Jan 9, 2017
    2 posts, 0 likes
    Cal Cal29
    US Coffee Springs
    Thanks for that info. Just bought your book too as I need to do a full install of an MSD head.
     


  16. Sturtzebecker

    Sturtzebecker

    Joined Sep 11, 2017
    10 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 270
    US Berkeley
  17. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,982 posts, 2,271 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    Double clamp those hoses if you can. That’s one place you don’t want a failure. Nice looking install however!
     


  18. Sturtzebecker

    Sturtzebecker

    Joined Sep 11, 2017
    10 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 270
    US Berkeley
    Good point. Thanx
     



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