With proper plan­ning you won’t go plumb crazy

Canal Boat - - Back Cabin -

Marine waste spe­cial­ists LeeSan of­fers the fol­low­ing on the proper win­ter­i­sa­tion of marine toilets to save mess, money and masses of work which may be caused by the dam­age in­flicted on plumb­ing and toi­let mech­a­nisms by freez­ing.

It’s dif­fi­cult to sep­a­rate toilets from the plumb­ing gen­er­ally. The higher pipes and fit­tings are at most risk over win­ter; those in­stalled lower ben­e­fit from the above freez­ing tem­per­a­ture in the wa­ter un­der­neath the boat.

When con­sid­er­ing hold­ing tanks, it is al­most un­heard of for wa­ter to freeze in any way that will dam­age them un­less the tank is filled to the point where wa­ter is in the tank vent. There is a school of thought that it is bet­ter to leave the fresh­wa­ter tank nearly filled to main­tain its clean­li­ness. If you would rather drain the tank, ide­ally close the breather in some way, but be sure it is opened be­fore re-com­mis­sion­ing the sys­tem.

Do not use nor­mal ve­hi­cle an­tifreeze in a do­mes­tic plumb­ing sys­tem be­cause it is poi­sonous.

Win­ter­is­ing your toi­let

First, you will need to es­tab­lish if the toi­let flush­ing wa­ter is pro­vided from the boat’s fresh­wa­ter sys­tem or from the out­side flota­tion wa­ter.

Sys­tems flushed with flota­tion wa­ter

In these cases, win­ter­i­sa­tion of the toi­let is en­tirely sep­a­rate from win­ter­is­ing the boat’s do­mes­tic wa­ter sys­tem. Close the in­let sea­cock and dis­con­nect the hose from it. Make sure to re­con­nect this hose be­fore re­open­ing the sea­cock.

Make up a mix­ture of anti-scale so­lu­tion. This can be vine­gar­based or a pro­pri­etary prod­uct such as LeeS­cale. Draw this so­lu­tion through the sys­tem by pump­ing the toi­let. Leave in sys­tem for 24 hours. Block the pipe to con­tain the so­lu­tion.

Next, flush this so­lu­tion out of sys­tem with a strong mix­ture of wa­ter and soft wash­ing up liq­uid.

Now drain the sys­tem, where pos­si­ble fol­low­ing the guide­lines for your type of toi­let. Re­con­nect the hose to the sea­cock and leave with sea­cocks closed.

Sys­tems flushed with on­board fresh wa­ter

Make up a mix­ture of anti-scale so­lu­tion, such as LeeS­cale. Flush the toi­let sys­tem thor­oughly by pour­ing this so­lu­tion into the bowl and flush­ing. Leave the so­lu­tion in sys­tem for 48-plus hours. No danger if left longer.

Now dis­con­nect the in­let hose at the do­mes­tic fresh wa­ter pump and re­place this with a short hose draw­ing from a con­tainer of anti-freeze so­lu­tion. Al­low this to go through the en­tire plumb­ing sys­tem by open­ing each tap and op­er­at­ing the toi­let. This negates the need to drain the sys­tem.

This so­lu­tion must be a prod­uct specif­i­cally sup­plied for fresh­wa­ter do­mes­tic sys­tems such as LeeFreeze and thor­oughly flushed through again with fresh­wa­ter at recom­mis­sion­ing.

When flush­ing any marine do­mes­tic sys­tem with an­tifreeze, pour a so­lu­tion of wa­ter and soft wash­ing-up liq­uid into the toi­let bowl and flush through with the anti-freeze so­lu­tion. This will pro­tect the valves and other rub­ber com­po­nents.

Chem­i­cal type

There’s not much to do with these, make sure they are com­pletely empty, give them a good wash­ing out, dry them thor­oughly and per­haps put a small amount of a “fra­grant” chem­i­cal in the tank to guard against smells. de­pend­ing on age and use, (the toi­let not the owner!) some chem­i­cal toilets have re­place­ment ser­vice parts and these should be re­placed iafter a mal­func­tion or leak.

Mac­er­a­tor type - San­i­marin

Turn off wa­ter sup­ply and hold this pipe over a con­tainer at floor level to drain wa­ter. Op­er­ate the toi­let to open the valve and al­low all resid­ual wa­ter to drain out.

Dump through type - Trav­eller

This toi­let is some­times called a Mans­field and is sim­i­lar, for win­ter­i­sa­tion pur­poses, to the foot op­er­ated Vacu­flush. Turn off wa­ter sup­ply. Put a shal­low tray or cloth un­der­neath the foot pedal. Re­move wa­ter pipe by un­screw­ing from the bot­tom of the foot pedal mech­a­nism. De­press foot pedal to empty fresh wa­ter.

Hand pump type - Jab­sco

Op­er­ate the hand pump in “dry bowl” mode to empty bowl as much as pos­si­ble. Then close sea­cock to turn off wa­ter sup­ply. Put a cloth un­der the drain plug at the base of the toi­let to catch resid­ual wa­ter.

Re­move the drain plug by turn­ing quar­ter of a turn anti-clock­wise. Op­er­ate the pump again to clear out any re­main­ing wa­ter.

Elec­tric Vacu­flush type - Do­mes­tic

Turn off wa­ter. Dis­con­nect in­let wa­ter hose from sup­ply and hold over a shal­low con­tainer at floor level to drain. Op­er­ate toi­let to fully empty wa­ter. Af­ter work­ing on any of the above toilets make cer­tain that all pipes are re­con­nected. Don’t for­get to turn wa­ter sup­ply back on be­fore use.

Us­ing a kit will erad­i­cate in­let wa­ter smells

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