Free maintnace advise from a pro

Discussion in 'Who's Who' started by boatdoc100, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. boatdoc100

    boatdoc100 New Member

    101
    Apr 9, 2007
    I recently joined your forum in an effort to help Searay owners with there questions. I am a 27 year experienced marine mechanic and run the largest vacuflush dealership in Ohio. Feel free to drop a question. I hope I can help some of you guys out and save you a buck.
    Brad
     
  2. RiverRat

    RiverRat New Member

    Apr 1, 2007
    Creve Coeur, MO
    03 280 Sundancer
    Kohler 5 KW Gen.
    95 13' Boston Whaler Dauntless
    Twin 4.3 MPI
    Alpha 1 Gen 2
    Welcome aboard Buck! Just look around I'm sure you'll find plenty of questions needing answers... Jump in where ever you feel you can help!
     
  3. Four Suns

    Four Suns Head Pot Stirrer TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 4, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    2003 480 DB
    Zodiac ProJet Dinghy
    Yamaha 110vx WaveRunner
    QSM-11 Diesels
    How come when my kids flush an 8 foot section of dental floss down the toilet, it binds up the bellows and the duck bill valves?

    and BTW everyone... "The baton is passed"... thank goodness and welcome aboard.
     
  4. Buckeye Boater

    Buckeye Boater Member

    682
    Jun 19, 2007
    Wooster, OH
    215 Weekender 2006
    Merc 5.0 MPI 260 HP
    Brad,

    Welcome aboard! You're breaking Gary's heart by taking over head responsibility!

    Where in Ohio are you?
     
  5. Asureyez

    Asureyez New Member

    Apr 22, 2007
    Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.
    Sea Ray 460 Sundancer Hardtop 2001 - SOLD
    Cummins 450 Diesels
    Hi Brad,

    Welcome aboard ... With out any objection at all we've elected you, with out vote, as the numnero uno Headman of CSR!

    I have two of these wonders of modern engineering and have never had to get to their innerds and hope I never do. But now that you're here maybe you can give us some advice on the proper "care and feeding" of these necessities!

    Chad
     
  6. gerryb

    gerryb Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 12, 2006
    Somers Point, NJ
    "On Vacation"
    2006 40 Sundancer
    Raymarine E125 & HD Radar + Garmin 5208
    QSB5.9 380 Cummins
    Welcome to the board and thanks for offering assistance.

    (Aside: I'm wondering if you have valuflush maintenance kits for sale or know of a good source for them?)
     
  7. Escapade417

    Escapade417 New Member

    7
    Sep 20, 2007
    Springfield, VA
    320 Sundancer, 2004
    Twin 350 Mags
    Brad,

    I am so glad that you posted. I just joined the board and am looking for vacuflush advice. I am a new owner of an '04 Sundancer, 1st boat with a vacuflush. It worked great for a couple of months. Then I started loosing air pressure....I think. I started to hear the pump run way after flushing. If I leave the "Head System" switch on, the vacuflush pump will run for about 15 seconds. After about 2-3 minutes it will run again for about 15 seconds. I've been keeping the switch off after I flush just to keep the pump from running. Is this due to these infamous duckbill pieces I've read about or something else. Thank you very much from a new board member.

    Edith
     
  8. Four Suns

    Four Suns Head Pot Stirrer TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 4, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    2003 480 DB
    Zodiac ProJet Dinghy
    Yamaha 110vx WaveRunner
    QSM-11 Diesels
    This is my opinion...

    The pump turns on for one reason... the vacuum switch determines there is not enough vacuum in the small tank between the toilet and the holding tank. Not maintaining a vacuum can be caused by several things. Although hoses can come loose between the vacuum tank and the toilet, that is rare and if the toilet is holding water, the vacuum leak is PROBABLY coming from the other direction... and guess what... the most probable thing is the duck bill valves have something stuck OR they have just lost their ability to provide a one-way check valve for the bellows pump due to age/degredation. I see you have a 2004 boat.... it may be time.... have fun!!!

    If you search for duck bill valves with me as the author, I posted some step by step instructions for changing them.

    If it is not the duckbill valves, it could be the bellows pump leaking (not likely though for the age of your boat) or a lose hose clamp... start with the duckbill valves first.
     
  9. Alex F

    Alex F Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    Brad,
    Welcome aboard. I'll take the opportunity and pop the qsn. After last pumpout I flushed the tank twice. Then, I added the SeaLand solution as advised on the can and all was good for a while. Now the level shows 1/2 and we have strong odor. I thought that flushing the tank will help a lot. What would you suggest to get rid of the odor?

    Thanks,
    Alex.
     
  10. boatdoc100

    boatdoc100 New Member

    101
    Apr 9, 2007
    Gerryb- I have all parts and kits needed to sevice your vacuflush toilet. If they are not on my web store at www.marinediscounters.com you may call me direct at 419-625-0605 and I will ship to you
    Thanks
    Brad
     
  11. boatdoc100

    boatdoc100 New Member

    101
    Apr 9, 2007
    I will need more information to help diagnose. Sounds like something may be stuck in the duck bill valves or they may be in need on replacing. Fill your toilet bowl with water and flush through all at once. If this does not cure the problem the first thing to do is replace the duck bills. Maintance is just replace them every 4 to 5 years.
    Brad
     
  12. boatdoc100

    boatdoc100 New Member

    101
    Apr 9, 2007
    Alex F--- If the odor eminates from outside the boat after a flush, installing a vent filter will eliminate it (or replacing an existing one). To check if you have one simply look in the vent line from the holding tank. This filter is filled with activated charcoal and scrubs the air clean as it flows through. If odor comes inside the boat after flush, but vacuum pump not cycling, check for leak at holding tank, vent line cracked or broken or a loose tank watch mounting into top of tank.
    For more advise or to talk in person feel free to call 419-625-0605 in Ohio.
    Thanks
    Brad
     
  13. Sea Gull

    Sea Gull Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2006
    CT
    2015 L650 Fly #509
    CAT C-18, 1,150 HP
    deleted
     
  14. Escapade417

    Escapade417 New Member

    7
    Sep 20, 2007
    Springfield, VA
    320 Sundancer, 2004
    Twin 350 Mags
    Many thanks to Gary and Brad. I am going boating tomorrow, so I will try filling the toilet and flushing. If that doesn't work, I'll get the duckbills and replace them. One way to help with the smell is to get one of those paper masks from a home store, like they use for drywall sanding. Then put a dab of Vick's in the mask. You won't smell the bad stuff then. Thanks for the advice, I'll let you know how it works out.

    Edith
     
  15. wkearney99

    wkearney99 Active Member

    581
    Feb 23, 2006
    Bethesda, MD, USA
    34'
    Twin 6.0L w/ZF inboard V-drives
    I've had to service the waste tank sender twice (and have a replacement to install any day now) and can attest to the unpleasant stink. It's bad but if you've ever changed a baby's diaper it's on par. The Vicks dabbed in the paper mask is a great tip!

    Just pump out the system FIRST. Pump it out once, use a hose to put a lot of fresh water back in through the waste outlet and then pump it out the second time. Flush it once or twice in between the pump-outs. Oh, and it doesn't hurt to put some tank detergent in there before all this. That helps loosen the gunk for the subsequent pumping out. It would be quite a bit more unpleasant to work on any of this without having pumped out first.
     
  16. Escapade417

    Escapade417 New Member

    7
    Sep 20, 2007
    Springfield, VA
    320 Sundancer, 2004
    Twin 350 Mags
    I tried filling the toilet bowl with water and flushing all at one. But...it started doing it again. So. I'll try the duck bills now. Many thanks!!
     
  17. MC1600

    MC1600 New Member

    304
    Oct 4, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    Hey there, Brad. I just came across your post here while doing a search as I'm having an issue with my vacuflush right now.

    When I turn my head system on, the pump runs for about 10 seconds, then shuts down for about 10 seconds, then comes one for about 10 seconds, etc... Everything else works as it should (ie, it removes stuff from the head, fills the waste tank, and then the head refills with fresh water.

    I spoke to the mechanic that replaced my water pump (on the engine) the other day, and he recommended cleaning the rubber seal in the head itself, and coating it with some petroleum jelly. His thinking was that some debris may be getting stuck in there, and that was preventing the system from pressurizing.

    Well, I did that, and it's still running on/off/on/off, etc.

    So my question to you is...now what?? I guess I want to see if this is something I can fix myself without having to deal with the issue of whether this is something passport will cover.

    Thanks!
     
  18. boltman

    boltman Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 28, 2005
    Flint/Swartz Creek MI, Ported in Whitehall/Montagu
    480 Sedan Bridge
    "Sea Ray's Best Boat Ever Made"
    700 hp MANS Diesels Thundering Cathedrals of Torque!!
    Ok I'm done, I'm tired and I'm afraid........ What the Hell is a Duck bill, I'm sure my vacuflush has them, but I've never had an issue......not on wood..... so what the Hell are they...?

    The Boltman.........
     
  19. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    Boatdoc is a goner....something to do with not following the rules............

    There are several head pros here, but they seem to be asleep so here's a start:

    The vacuflush system is really quite simple. When on, the system is charged with a vacuum from the valve in the base of the head all the way to the tank. There is a vacuum switch on the vacuum canister that tells the pump when the vacuum is low and to turn on the pump. With your symptoms, you are losing vacuum and the most likely place is the seal in the bottom of the head. There is a ball valve that rotates and it either wears the teflon seal or there is some debris on the gasket. first try cleaning the seal by opening the ball and holding it open while you clean the seal where the ball seats with a suitable soft rag or paper towel. Next lubricate the seal like your mechanic has advised and give the system another try. The system is very simple and that is the usual problem with lost vacuum.

    Duck bill valves are little rubber check valves on the diaphram pump the allows the system to close one side and open the other as the diaphram cycles. When the diaphram reverses it travel the duckbills operate in reverse so you get suction on one side of the pump and pressure on the other each time the diaphram cycles. A picture is worth 1000 words.......take a look at your owner's packet in the SeaLand manual and you will quickly understand.
     
  20. MC1600

    MC1600 New Member

    304
    Oct 4, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    Thank you! I will try the cleaning and vaseline route again. I will also check out my manual tomorrow while I'm at the boat for that 1000-word picture! IF it ends-up being those duckbills, they look pretty cheap to buy. How easy/difficult is it to change those out myself? I am moderately mechanically inclined.
     

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