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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Boat Building can be soooo Glamourous!

Certification in VacuFlush Marine Sanitation Devices (aka toilets and poo tanks) This last week I got some training on installation and maintenance of VacuFlush Systems. Put on by Marine Sanitation of Seattle. Anyone whoever has owned a boat with a head knows these things are often smelly and a pita to maintain. Inland and coastal overboard discharge regulations require holding tanks for the poo. So, head systems have become complicated. Nevermind they are often manual and require some knowledge by the user on how to properly operate. VacuFlush systems put a new twist on head systems. They have been around for years and are often found in motorhomes and travel trailers. The idea is that it relies on a vacuum, instead of water, to flush the bowl. A pump keeps the system behind the bowl in a vacuum, then, when flushed, uses the vacuum to evacuate the bowl into the holding tank (quite quickly actually). In fact it uses a little fresh water, but overall consumes %60 less water than regular head systems. And, since it is fresh water, it is less smelly (often it is the seawater that is the cause for head smell). And, now that I am in the know, they are easy to service and repair. One nice thing about these systems is that they have created "all-in-one" systems that have the holding tank, vacuum pumps, overboard and deck discharge fittings. Designed to fit some of the more common spaces. We will probably use two of these all-in-one units for the Westsail as they are compact and easy to install.
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3 comments:

mickey said...

RJ,
any thoughts on the Lavac heads? I've been thinking of replacing mine with one of these. The vacuflush systems look like they have too many components to retrofit, plus are pricey.

BTW, if the vacu-flush is what I remember, everyone who's flushed an airplane toilet has had the vacu-flush experience (if not the same brand :)

rj said...

Mickey,

Never had any experience with Lavacs. But it seems everyone who has one likes it.

Retrofitting a VacuFlush can present problems in that you have at least one more component (vacuum generator) to find a place for. And, you may not be able to reuse your existing holding tank (Dometic does make parts to help retrofit tanks).

Yeah, they probably make the ones on airliners.

We are going with them because their all-in-one units will make installation and maintenance a snap for our layout. Also, now being a vendor, we do get a price break. ;-)

The Incredible Hull said...

I had a Laval on my last boat and can heartily recommend them. Cleaning the pump every 6 months or so is the only maintenance. Try and place the pump where you can remove it easily. This was my system;

http://www.downeastyachts.org/how-to/How-To_holding_tank_DE38_eriu/index.html

Happy New Year
Gerry