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Holding Tank Vent filter savings

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by CSkipR, Jan 11, 2014.

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  1. CSkipR

    CSkipR Member

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    I replace this Sealand filter about once a year. Depending on where you go they are from $75- $125. After replacing my most recent one I decided to cut open the old one. Its a 2" piece of PVC. I found it filled with granulated charcoal and a round piece of screen on each end to keep the charcoal inside. See pictures.

    So I ordered a 4lb jug of activated charcoal from buyactivatedcharcoal.com. Went to HD and picked up a 2" Fernco coupling. Cleaned pvc and screens with hose and put new charcoal in pvc tube and used the Fernco coupling to put back together. Total cost. $4.00 coupling and 4lb box $35. The charcoal should last me for the next 5-10 yrs.

    Anyone else do this? All I can say is there are some huge margins with this component.

    Attached Files:

  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I've had the screen inside of the filter can disintigrate and then the charcoal gets packed into the vent hose blocking it. Quite honestly, I don't think you'd smell anything outside of the boat 99% of the time without having the filter like all of the boats built before 1990.
  3. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Zip lock & vacuum pack the charcoal and put it on the top shelf of the freezer.

    Like the Jiffy mart or 7-11, it's the convince that is a part of the cost. Dometic also has to make a zillion % profit on anything they sell.

    I've thought about your same project, but for me and my customers, I make one trip a year chasing these things down in da bilges and it's done.
    I'd rather sell & install a fresh assembly in one pop and work on something (anything) else.
    And there is no charcoal inventory to worry about.

    I change at least 20 standards and near another dozen of the 1 1/2" models on our customers boats a year.

    For the DIYr, You keep track of the charcoal and schedule, can easily access the install point, then maybe it's worth it. First time the charcoal spoils, your $avings are gone.
  4. CSkipR

    CSkipR Member

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  5. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    I prefer your clamp connector vs the threaded as on the eBay version. With the clamp you don't have to pull the hose of the end fitting to unscrew the assemble...

    Those filter are a pain. Unless the vent is close to an frequently open hatch or near the cockpit or aft deck, they re usually not worth having.
  6. CSkipR

    CSkipR Member

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    Pascal,
    Thanks for the feedback. Yes the locations in most boat including mine are not easily accessible.
  7. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Skip, if it works for you and your DYI project works, then go for it. I didn't mean to say anything negative.

    And, I have a skinny step-son that changes them out in one hit. My fat A%^(parts) can't get in some of those places. Darn designers.
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    You should see when the holding tank gets overfilled, they implode inside and the charcoal gets packed into the vent line and well takes some motivation to get out.

    Skip, honestly I'd just remove the vent filter on your boat. It's not near any openings and less hassle to deal with. They don't do a whole lot of good anyways.
  9. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    And if you have a plastic tank, next time you pump out the tank collapses and gets damaged because air can't come in...

    Or when th tank gets pressurized after you flush...

    And if you re really unlucky, you pump out right after someone has flushed, and get a 10' brown geyser when you open the cap...
  10. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I think I've had it all happen and seen about everything. On one boat about a year ago, the holding tank is plastic and located under the companionway between the staterooms. It has a 6" threaded cap that has the sender in the center, has a 3/4" wood hatch above it and then carpet that tucks in over that.

    WELL, one of the owners kids left the pedal stuck all of the way down on one of the vaccuflush heads. It pumped the tank completely full, blew the threaded cap off, blew the hatch and carpet up, spewed a geyser 5' up the fabric walls, and everything fell back into place (hatch/carpet) like nothing ever happened, besides the companionway carpet was soaking wet and wall fabric (cloth). The holding tank was near empty before this happened, and the water from the vaccuflush made the holding tank water relatively clear. The owners wife came up to tell me the carpet was soaking wet in the companionway. Well once I investigated what happened and she found out that she walked barefoot over raw sewage. Well the boat was for sale and we were doing a 12-14 day trip to the Bahamas every single month on her. The boat then went from for sale to seriously for sale and was sold a month or two later after we replaced all of the wall covering and the carpet throughout the entire boat. The cloth wall covering seperated from the foam it was glued to at the bottom 2-3' of it and looked like a shower curtain hanging on the wall, why builders can't just use vinyl is beyond me. The vent filter for the holding tank imploded and there was charcoal wedged 2' either way in the vent lines that was a bear to get out of them.

    On this same boat, I was changing a Jabsco or Shurflo macerator pump every single month, once on every trip in the Exumas. I couldn't figure out what was going on with them, the impellor area was clean inside and the inpellor was intact but the shaft was always snapped for the impellor. On the last trip, a ton of makeup wipes fell out of the hose going to the pump and I finally figured out the 13 year old daughter was playing let's practice makeup, and flushing her wipes down the toilet. arrrrrrrrrgggghhhh. I've since retrofitted a Sealand pump for the new owners and we haven't had an issue since.

    Holding tanks and heads have to be the ABSOLUTE worst part of the business. LOLOLOL
  11. CSkipR

    CSkipR Member

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    holding tank vent line filter

    You guys have some good stories. Capt J that's funny although not to the owner or owners wife.
  12. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    I'll start another, your imagination can take over;

    Wife and three daughters all with long hair.

    Every 6 months I had to clear, snake, repair or replace something.

    Then one of the daughters found out about smoking in the head with a vent fan. No body knew till I started pulling cig butts from the system.

    AARRUUGG


    Did it again, carried aweigh with stuff stories,,,
  13. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    And how old is the smoking culprit and how much trouble did she get into? I think if it were me, I'd have her cleaning the butts out of the head system.
  14. Belle

    Belle Member

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    Some basic head/toilet rules: In determining the maintenance of a toilet in a home or office or a head at home, where each male is considered a factor of 1, each female shall be considered a factor of 3.7, except each teenage female shall be a factor of 6.9.

    Only exception to this is when the men's room has urinals. Then dudes are somehow drawn to do totally insane things such as gum, cigs, paper, or anything else for no freaking reason at all so that for urinals only they get a factor of 8.2.

    All that info is contained in the official "Plumbers' Guide to Clogs, Crap, and Collected Toilet Trash"

    Most of our friends who join us on the boat are females and we have some instructions they're given. You know simple things like "If you're top heavy don't try to see how far over the side you can lean before the weight causes you to make a big splash." No serious stuff like what kind of shoes and basic do's and don'ts. But heads are a biggie and we're pretty explicit and basically tell them you don't follow this rules and you'll face more latrine duty than Will Stockdale.

    I guess girls just aren't as use to putting things in holes or something cause a lot of them just don't seem to grasp that the pipe isn't infinite in nature or capacity. And don't ever tell them to try to limit the flushes or something or they'll try to put seven days of tp and make up wipes and hand wipes and tampons and everything else they can imagine into one freaking flush.

    Oh and my numbers officially verified by the janitor where I use to teach who said if you want to turn a guy off girls just have him maintain their restroom a few months.

    Now dudes don't get off completely free. What is it about urinals that makes them brain dead? Do they not grasp by the name of them that they're only intended for one thing? Urine. Seems sort of simple.

    Like seriously the by far worst task on a boat is the heads and holding tanks and macerators and all that crap. And if the people on the boat don't cooperate it really becomes a super s....y job.
  15. Bamboo

    Bamboo Senior Member

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    I've got plenty of stories but frankly I don't mind working on toilets; no one bothers you, they never come in to give you advice and when the system works as designed you are a hero. :D
  16. Laurence

    Laurence Senior Member

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    Saintly!

    Talk about glass half full. Wow!