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Installing vacuflush and holding tank

 
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ray



Joined: 30 Sep 1999
Posts: 35
Location: Federal Way, Washington

PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 1999 10:35 pm    Post subject: Installing vacuflush and holding tank Reply with quote

Planning to replace the aft Electra-San with a Vacu-flush toilet and holding tank. Boat is a 42 glass-1979. Suggestions on where to place the holding tank and the vacuum tank and related hardware would be appreciated ? Would like as large a tank as space will permit. Thinking 60 gallons if room permits. Intend to leave the Electra-San in the front head. Access for repair is a prime consideration.

ray lockwood
La-De-Da
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Elliott McConnell



Joined: 10 May 1999
Posts: 115
Location: Rockport, TX US

PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 1999 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suggest you call Philip Covault with AER in Seabrook, Texas. He is an expert on Vacuflush systems. 1-800 767 7606
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ray



Joined: 30 Sep 1999
Posts: 35
Location: Federal Way, Washington

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 1999 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Elliott. Was hoping to get advice on best location for the holding tank and the appropraite size. Assume the bilge area somewhere. Will try the number you gave me.

ray

[This message has been edited by ray (edited 10-04-99).]
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Bob Lowe



Joined: 28 Apr 1999
Posts: 3351
Location: Oak Harbor, WA USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 1999 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ray,

The 1979 42' Grand Banks I have seen have all had an original holding tank installed in the central bilge area between the twin engines. Does your boat not have this holding tank or perhaps you have a single engine?

In any event, this would be a good area for the holding tank as would any location that is centered on the boat centerline to eliminate listing due to off center weight. Sixty gallons or more is a good size tank.

The vacuum tank/pump can be installed between the toilet and the holding tank. The closer to the toilet, the better. We have installed the tank/pump in the lower portion of the head cabinet as well as in the engine room. It depends on your head and engine room layouts as well as your personal wishes. I prefer the engine room if possible, as it provides better access for maintenance and is quieter.

Good luck, Bob Lowe
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onward



Joined: 19 Aug 1999
Posts: 5
Location: Oceanport, New Jersey

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 1999 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Give real thought to the vacuflush. When it works it is great. When it goes bad, ie vacuum problems, switch problems etc, it can cost real dough. I had one on a sailboat for several years and I was real happy I had a second head. I would not install it in my next boat, (Hopefully a GB 42) but I will hope for a high quality manual or electric head. One of the best things about the vacuflush was the use of fresh water. I would like to plumb fresh water into the head of my future GB.
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Arnold



Joined: 02 Sep 1999
Posts: 313
Location: Mukilteo, WA USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 1999 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The vacuflush wins my vote for the best head system. However, I would recommend using a second s-12 vacuum pump as my overboard discharge macerator pump if having a spare pump in an emergency is important to you.
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Bob Lowe



Joined: 28 Apr 1999
Posts: 3351
Location: Oak Harbor, WA USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 1999 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Arnold, Vacuflush gets my vote for the best toilet system for marine use.

We have had a Vacuflush on board our boat, Dreamer, for over six years and have not had one problem with the system. Prior to the Vacuflush, we had a Raritan Crown electric toilet on Dreamer as well as on a prior boat. The Crown head was also very reliable, but did require periodic maintenance on the joker valve, seals and impeller.

The things we enjoy most about the Vacuflush is that it uses fresh water, so we don't get that sulfer smell from the salt water and it uses very little water to flush so we get 2 to 3 times the flushes before our holding tank fills up. When you add these things to the fact that we have had to perform no maintenance on the system in over 6 years, it's pretty hard to beat a Vacuflush system.

Good luck, Bob Lowe

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Dave Griffith



Joined: 10 May 1999
Posts: 31
Location: Seattle WA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 1999 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As to location - in my 36 with the original split bunk arrangement, I installed my vacuflush under the starboard bed, outside the storage drawers.
The disadvantage of the this location is that the pump noise when it recyles is louder than it would be if it was in the engine compartment. But that has proven to be a minor issue.
The advantage is that the installation was simple (and therefore cheaper) and all the components can be easily inspected and serviced if that's ever needed.
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ray



Joined: 30 Sep 1999
Posts: 35
Location: Federal Way, Washington

PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 1999 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob, Elliott, Onward & Arnold - Thanks for your opnions and thoughts - really helps. Bob: my GB came with electric heads also and they were pulled by the previous owner. Manual Par pumps were installed & coupled to two ElectricSans. Maybe he pulled the holding tank after installing the ElectricSans which, by design, wouldn't require one ? Anyway, I don't have one now. He believed the simpler the better. I agree with the philosophy but the problem is with the aft ElectricSan which is installed in the cabinet under the sink - odor. The forward ElectricSan is located in the engine room and odor is not a problem so will keep. Rebuilt it two years ago.

Your advice on center bilge for the tank and vacuum pump in eng room makes sense. If I locate the holding tank just ahead of the gen which would put it about midship between the two engines, would that be about right? Thinking if I leave the forward ElectricSan installed and independent of the aft Vacuflush and holding tank, I gain the independence of two separate systems. Does that make sense to you ?

ray
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John Gadow



Joined: 08 Jun 1999
Posts: 169
Location: Madison, WI , USA (home port - Kenosha, WI)

PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 1999 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are also contemplating installation of Vacuflush heads in our 1987 GB-42, for different reasons than stated above. We live in a (Great Lakes) freshwater environment, so head odor is not a major problem. However, the entire Great Lakes region is a zero discharge zone, and the notoriously small standard GB holding tank requires frequent pumpout. We have two Groco manual heads which work just fine, but it's hard to train guests to use a small amount of water per flush. Even with encouragement to use shore facilities, two to three days between pumpouts is typical when cruising with guests.
All the GB-42s we've seen have a single holding tank beneath the genset, between the fuel tanks. Both heads drain to this tank. Calculated capacity is about 35 gallons, but we estimate effective capacity at less than 25 gallons. The Vacuflush would gain considerable time between pumpouts. We're thinking of installing one Vacuflush in the aft head this winter, to test it. Physical installation appears straightforward, and there is plenty of room for the vacuum unit in the vanity cabinet. We can add sound deadening inside the cabinet if noise proves to be a problem. Vacuflush recommends a separate vacuum tank setup for each head.
Ideally, we'd like to add a second holding tank to serve the forward head, but installation is a problem. There is a large void in the bilge on centerline just forward of the engine room bulkhead, but access to insert a rigid tank seems impossible without tearing up the forward cabin deck. Based on past experience with sailboats, a flexible tank is not an option. If anyone has dealt with this situation, we'd be interested in your solution.

------------------
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Bob Lowe



Joined: 28 Apr 1999
Posts: 3351
Location: Oak Harbor, WA USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 1999 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ray,

Your proposed location for the holding tank sounds good, as long as it doesn't interfere with maintenance on the genset or other systems. If it looks as if it will interfere, perhaps moving the genset forward and installing the holding tank aft against the bulkhead will work. You may even be able to put in a larger holding tank.

There is a lot to be said for having two independant systems. At least one should be working at any time.

Good luck, Bob Lowe
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Fred Mueller



Joined: 27 Apr 1999
Posts: 133
Location: Mamaroneck, N.Y. USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 1999 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have 2 independently plumbed vacuflushes going to a 40 gal. holding tank under the vberths on my '79 GB 36. There is no problem with weight distribution. Use only an authorized vacuflush dealer. They make holding tanks and have the knowhow to retrofit old tanks, as well as do a first class installation. My contact is Mike Starito, President of Northeast Marine Sanitation, 516-752-7608(NY) or 800-352-4323(outside NY), or call SeaLand 800-321-9889.
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Bob Lowe



Joined: 28 Apr 1999
Posts: 3351
Location: Oak Harbor, WA USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 1999 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John,

Several years ago, we installed a Vacuflush system on a 42' GB Europa of similar vintage to yours, complete with holding tank. The holding tank was installed in the companionway forward of the engine room bulkhead, similar to the area I believe you are describing.

It wasn't easy and the size of the tank was determined by the hatch opening and some calculations, but, it was done and came out well. I believe we were able to get a 30 gallon tank in there.

I hope this helps.

Good Luck, Bob Lowe
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Philip Covault
Guest





PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 1999 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been reviewing the discussion on holding tanks and VacuFLush systems. I agree that the engine room location is probably best, as already mentioned, most of the 42's of the 80's had a holding tank between the engines. A good source on quality holding tanks is Ronco Plastics in California. They have several hundred tanks to choose from and fittings can be installed at no additional charge in any location of your choice. Newer 42's have the holding tank located aft of the mains and under the generator bed. Not my favorite place but I suppose it is of. Remember two things when installing a holding tank. (1) Be sure to locate it in a location that will NOT affect normal trim or running angle of the boat and (2) VacuFlush systems use only a pint or perhaps a little more for each flush, so you actually may not need a huge tank. By using VacuFlush systems, you actually increas holding capacity by 400% because concentional marine toilets use a gallon or more of flush water per flush. Do the math!!!! Even at a quart per flush with VacuFlush, that is 1/4 the flush water of a conventional system.

I have installed a number of marine toilet systems and many were VacuFlush, when I owned and operated a sanitation business in the Texas Gulf Coast area. I am now working for AER Marine Supply in Seabrook, Texas as purchasing manager and VacuFlush Super instructor for dealers in 10 states. We train and certify installers and service people for the marine and RV industry. I would be happy to put you in touch with Ronco or discuss any aspects of VacuFlush systems. You may call me @ 800-767-7606 from 8:00AM to 5:00PM Central Timg, Monday thru Fridays. Good luck and let me hear from you!!!!
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