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Winter projects: plumbing

While winterizing in the late fall, I noticed that the seal on the top of the holding tank finally decided to go. Not catastrophic, still holding water in the bilge, but bubbles coming up when pumping the head. That and some nastiness in the water tanks prompted my big winter project, now nearing completion: re-plumb all water systems, and replace those wobbly old thru-hulls and seacocks while we're at it.

For the blackwater system I opted to put a 25 gallon polyethylene tank under the "L" of the port settee, just forward of the galley sink. Ronco Plastics makes one that I swear was designed just for this area - fits perfectly with a bit of modification to the box. This had the added advantage of working perfectly with the existing hose routing. No need for new deck opening or vent, can simply bypass the old tank fittings.

For freshwater I used that snazzy color coded PEX stuff with the quick connect fittings - couldn't be easier. (Pics below were taken before I got to this part)

The last piece of this particular puzzle will be adding a deck wash up by the anchor, and plumbing both head and deck wash to be able to use either fresh or salt water. This will be a bit tricky given the various materials and hose sizes. If anyone has done something similar I'd appreciate any advice you might have.

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I like that location for the holding tank. Mine will weep just a bit if it is totally full, but not at all if it isn't full. So I am considering alternatives. Unfortunately, on Eliana, the Racor filter, the macerator pump, a manual bilge pump, as will as other fuel lines to the tank are in that area. :(

I'm curious on the fresh water plumbing to the head. What is done to isolate the head from potential contamination of the fresh water tank?
 
I used a check valve just at the point where the supply for the head, hand pump in the galley sink (and future deck wash pump) splits off from the supply to the fresh water pump. I reasoned that it should be as far upstream as possible so that when the fresh water pump is running it only pulls from the tanks and the head/deck wash side of the system is effectively isolated. If I see any evidence of backflow I may add a second check valve just before the Y-valve selector for the head intake.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Keefer

Check valves are notorious for not closing properly and blow by. Would you be better adding a petcock that needs to be manually opened when you want to shift from salt to fresh water?

Jim
 
Hi Jim,

I suppose defaulting to saltwater intake for the head except when using fresh probably would accomplish the same thing, but probably a good idea to install a secondary shutoff as well.

Keefer
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Keefer

Do you keep the boat at a dock where fresh water is available? Will you then shift to salt water when you are off cruising?

This spring I am replacing all the hoses that feed the holding tank. When we installed the new 36 gallon tank in the V-bunk, I thought I would save some money by using the $4 per ft sanitary hoses. Turns out those hoses are emitting a stale odor. This time we bite the bullet and spring for the $9 per ft hose and hope for better results. I would love to have the option of using fresh water in the system, but Dana lives on a mooring all summer without fresh water available.

Jim
 
I visualize a small isolation tank. 1 or 2 gallons, airtight, with the head drawing from the bottom, and the fresh supply feeding the top. Since it is air tight, an airspace would separate the supply from the output. You would need to figure a way to prime it, but it should work fine once that was done.
 
We are indeed in a slip, and I have found that the best way to keep water fresh during those long hot Chesapeake summers is to use it as fast as possible. That and some Clorox, anyway. Will switch to salt water during long term cruising or whenever fresh is running low.

For the head I went for the $9/foot hoses. Ours had been done previously using a mishmash of hose types and PVC. A wonder it lasted as long as it did.

We have some friends who have switched to fresh water for the head with good results reported as to odor minimization. I will ask what they did for isolation and report back. Warren your tank idea seems like a good one.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Warren
I am not visualizing your tank idea for Keefer. Could you present a diagram that would explain the theory?

Jim
 
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