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Changing Hoses

12PT

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Sep 30, 2021
3
Pearson 332 Merritt
I read from the HeadMistress posts that prior to working on changing hoses, you should flush the system with a lot of water. The head on my boat (Pearson 332) goes to a Y-valve with one direction going to the holding tank, but the holding tank has no outlet that would allow you to flush a lot of water through. If I followed those instructions, I would have to go to a pump out station many times (my holding tank is pretty small). Am I missing something that I need to know?
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,750
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Typically at pump out stations there is water. Pick a slow day at the marina and fill and pump the holding tank several times. A busy weekend day is probably a bad time. Use an old hose, not the one you use to fill the water tanks, to fill the tank. When you fill from the outlet the water disturbs the crud at the bottom of the tank and cleans the hose.
 
Jul 19, 2013
314
Pearson 31-2 Boston
To flush a holding tank, you just need to run a section of garden hose as from the bottom of the tank to a lower point overboard, with a shutoff valve. Run your pressured water through the hose and then close the valve so you maintain a head of water in the he hose. Place the hose in the holding tank, and start filling the tank as you open the valve on the drain hose. The water going into the tank should flow overboard. If you doing this while the boat is in the water, and the holding tank is not above sea level, than I am unsure how this will drain.
 
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Dec 2, 1997
8,098
- - LIttle Rock
Pick a slow day at the marina and fill and pump the holding tank several times.
As I've posted many times, flushing out a holding tank does not require filling it. Put water into it via the deck pumpout fitting--'cuz that sends the water into the tank at the bottom to stir up any sludge so it can be pumped out---to a depth of 6-8"....pump that out. Repeat, repeat...till you're pumping clean water. If you have macerator pump, add a few gallons of water once more and turn it on to rinse out the macerator and it's plumbing. This should be done at least 2-3x/season and especially as part of prepping for winter or other extended layup.

Now you're ready to replace hoses.

If this is your first time replacing hoses, a couple of tips that should prevent it from being a nasty stinky job:

Start with the highest connections, duct tape the ends as you remove each one.

Warming the old hoses a bit (I always used a blow dryer) will make them easier to get off the fittings.

Put a plastic waste basket liner under each connection to catch any spills.

Warming the hose also makes it easier to get the new hose onto the fittings. Lubricate the inside of the hose and the outside of the fitting with a little K-Y...it's a water soluble surgical jelly that dries out and is also much slipperier than dishwashing liquid.

And I'm sure you already know that all hose connections should be double clamped, with screws 180 degrees apart...or at least 90 degrees if access makes 180 impossible.

--Peggie
 
Jan 18, 2016
668
Catalina 387 Dana Point
What ^she^ said. But I like to use absorbent puppy piddle pads to catch the spills. They're terribly useful around the boat for lots of stuff.
 
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12PT

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Sep 30, 2021
3
Pearson 332 Merritt
Thanks very much for the responses to my post. I did not think about adding water to the outlet. In my case, I can’t do it at the pump out station since it is manned by an attendant and all they provide is the pump out, ie, I am not allowed to turn the equipment on and off. So perhaps I can combine the advice to come up with a workable solution. I do believe I need to change the hoses, although from external inspection, they feel and appear in very good condition.
 
Dec 14, 2003
1,304
Hunter 34 Lake of Two Mountains, QC, Can
I do believe I need to change the hoses, although from external inspection, they feel and appear in very good condition.
If they do not leak perhaps you do not need to change them. What about the smell ? Over years, even though hoses look good, smell will permeate through them. If they do not smell, you're probably good to go. If unsure, run a clean rag on them, then smell the rag. You should get your answer then. Good luck
 
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Jan 7, 2011
2,839
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
Thanks very much for the responses to my post. I did not think about adding water to the outlet. In my case, I can’t do it at the pump out station since it is manned by an attendant and all they provide is the pump out, ie, I am not allowed to turn the equipment on and off. So perhaps I can combine the advice to come up with a workable solution. I do believe I need to change the hoses, although from external inspection, they feel and appear in very good condition.
If you can’t add water from the dock, maybe you can pump the head in wet mode…while the dock hands work the vacuum pump.

Greg
 
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Dec 2, 1997
8,098
- - LIttle Rock
I do believe I need to change the hoses, although from external inspection, they feel and appear in very good condition.
Whether to replace hoses depends on their age and/or whether they stink. The average working life of any hose is about 10 years because rubber and plastics dry out, becoming hard, brittle and prone to cracking and splitting. So if they're nowhere near 10 years old and aren't stinky, there's no need to replace 'em. I would flush them all out very thoroughly, though.

--Peggie
 
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12PT

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Sep 30, 2021
3
Pearson 332 Merritt
If you can’t add water from the dock, maybe you can pump the head in wet mode…while the dock hands work the vacuum pump.

Greg
Excellent idea, except I may try it in dry mode with someone pouring buckets of clean water into the head instead of the brackish water available in wet mode. Thanks. 12PT
 
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Dec 14, 2003
1,304
Hunter 34 Lake of Two Mountains, QC, Can
The idea of rinsing the tank by pouring water from the deck waste outlet is that the water goes in from the bottom of the tank which greatly helps in loosening up what's caked on the bottom. When you pour water in by pumping the head and/or emptying the bowl, the water is admitted in the tank from the top so it does not have as good a cleaning impact. Perhaps on a slow day you can tip the pump-out operator a few bucks and he'll do it for you. Good luck
 
Dec 2, 1997
8,098
- - LIttle Rock
Actually it's NOT illegal to flush WATER overboard. If it were, it would be illegal to flush gray water directly overboard.

However, flushing the toilet to put water into the tank won't stir up sludge because the inlet fitting on the tank is at the top of the tank...water from the toilet will just fall in. If your marina doesn't have a hose connected to water at the pumpout dock, demand they install one...if for no other reason, spills happen, there has to be a way to hose them off decks and/or the the dock.

It's also important to rinse out any macerator pump and it's plumbing fairly regularly. If you can't do that at the pumpout dock, and you have a washdown pump (sea water will work ok for this job), pick a low traffic day to take the boat out beyond 3 miles (or at least far enough out to avoid attention) and use it to add water to the tank via the deck pumpout fitting while you run the macerator.

--Peggie
 
Dec 2, 1997
8,098
- - LIttle Rock
Nope...it's only what's IN the tank that matters. But because perception is at least 90% of reality for some people, it's best to be discreet when rinsing out the tank and macerator plumbing at sea, whether inside OR outside 3 miles.

--Peggie
 
Jun 11, 2004
1,204
Oday 31 Redondo Beach
Nope...it's only what's IN the tank that matters. But because perception is at least 90% of reality for some people, it's best to be discreet when rinsing out the tank and macerator plumbing at sea, whether inside OR outside 3 miles.

--Peggie
Thanks for the reply. That's interesting. I wonder how many times the tank would need to be rinsed before the effluent level (fecal coliform) would be low enough to be considered legal? (That's just a retorical question. No need to respond).

Thanks for sharing your knowledge over the years.
 
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