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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    161

    Default Toilet pipes crud build up

    I have read lots of posts on the toilet problems but I still have some questions. Our Toilet is a Jabsco Manual type positioned below the waterline level.
    What is the crud that builds up in the discharge pipe and how can it be prevented or reduced, What causes it, is it the Uric acid and seawater reacting. How can I remove the build up in the plastic tube that joins the bowl to the pump unit. I know I will have to replace the outlet pipe this winter , is has done 30 years so I cannot complain.
    Jabsco say they have a toilet cleaner which you use like a domestic loo cleaner and it is supposed to keep the build up a bay but will not harm the environment or the toilet valves, anyone tried it?
    The does the inlet pipe get a crud build up. I know the rotten eggs pong from the water in the pipes when you first flush it after not using it for some time is caused by the seawater sitting in inlet pipes. In mine the inlet pipe is direct from the seacock to the pumo and then from the pump up in a loop from the pump to the U bend and back down to the bowl. This bit of pipe seems to be worst it get warm from the sun on the hull, perhaps this makes it worse. Is there a simple solution to this smell other that giving it a good flush through when you first go aboard.
    Lastly the methods for putting the 38mm (1.5 inch) pipe in the fittings. Manufactures say put the pipe end in boiling water to soften it and it should go on easily. Others add that when it is soft tap a wooden taper bung in the pipe to stretch it. I like the idea if the tapered bung but do you let the pipe cool and set a bit before you slide it on the hosetail.

    Look forward to your responses.
    David MH

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Winter in Falmouth, summer on board Rampage.
    Posts
    5,168

    Default Re: Toilet pipes crud build up

    Crud in the outlet pipe. It’s a variant of limescale, caused by the reaction of uric acid in urine with calcium salts in sea water. It’s impossible to completely prevent it forming but you’ll minimise it by flushing the toilet well with sea water and then pumping it dry plus pumping air through the pipe work. Jabsco reckon on 7 pumps per metre of outlet hose to put enough air through to push out most of the flush water. You need a strong acid to dissolve the crud; brick cleaner will do the job but others will reckon vinegar will do.
    The inlet pipe shouldn’t get any limescale build up as there’s no urine for it to react with. We’ve got a gadget that Jabsco used to sell which you can fit between the inlet sea cock and the toilet: you put toilet freshener tablets into it. That kills the smell. Couldn’t spot it when looking on their site the other day, so they may no longer make it.
    Always heated the end of the hose with boiling water and fitted it whilst hot, never bothered trying to use a tapered plug to permanently widen the hose end.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Home: Kent. Boat: Chichester
    Posts
    43,553

    Default Re: Toilet pipes crud build up

    Quote Originally Posted by davidmh View Post
    I have read lots of posts on the toilet problems but I still have some questions. Our Toilet is a Jabsco Manual type positioned below the waterline level.
    What is the crud that builds up in the discharge pipe and how can it be prevented or reduced, What causes it, is it the Uric acid and seawater reacting. How can I remove the build up in the plastic tube that joins the bowl to the pump unit. I know I will have to replace the outlet pipe this winter , is has done 30 years so I cannot complain.
    Jabsco say they have a toilet cleaner which you use like a domestic loo cleaner and it is supposed to keep the build up a bay but will not harm the environment or the toilet valves, anyone tried it?
    The does the inlet pipe get a crud build up. I know the rotten eggs pong from the water in the pipes when you first flush it after not using it for some time is caused by the seawater sitting in inlet pipes. In mine the inlet pipe is direct from the seacock to the pumo and then from the pump up in a loop from the pump to the U bend and back down to the bowl. This bit of pipe seems to be worst it get warm from the sun on the hull, perhaps this makes it worse. Is there a simple solution to this smell other that giving it a good flush through when you first go aboard.
    Lastly the methods for putting the 38mm (1.5 inch) pipe in the fittings. Manufactures say put the pipe end in boiling water to soften it and it should go on easily. Others add that when it is soft tap a wooden taper bung in the pipe to stretch it. I like the idea if the tapered bung but do you let the pipe cool and set a bit before you slide it on the hosetail.

    Look forward to your responses.
    David MH
    The scale which forms in the outlet pipework is the result of bacterial action on nitrogen compounds in the "waste" This results in the production of ammonia . The ammonia raises the pH this leads to the deposition of carbonate scale.

    More through flushing will help to prevent this.

    Periodically flushing some acid through the system will help to prevent any scale that is formed from building up.

    The rotten eggs smell is due to bacterial action on the sulfates in the water in anaerobic conditions. The solution maybe a system which does the flush water with a small quantity of a "disinfectant", such as LeeSan's Seasmart system

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    South Oxfordshire, Gosport and Wellington New Zealand.
    Posts
    8,113

    Default Re: Toilet pipes crud build up

    White vinegar is an inexpensive and reliable way of keeping a fairly new pipe clean-not sure it would be of much use on 30 years of build up.

    I buy 20 litres from ebay in 5 litre containers.

    When the boat is left, the inlet valve is turned off, white vinegar-I estimate about 2 litres-is poured into the bowl which is then pumped dry and the outlet valve turned off. This leaves the whole outlet pipe with a vinegar solution in it.

    Been doing this for almost ten years with two boats. The vinegar fizzes in the bowl which never gets any build up.

    I placed a piece of the clogging scale from a fellow clubmembers boat in a container of white vinegar, and while it did NOT disolve it, it made the outside considerably softer. Soft enough to go out with the flow of water. If you agitated the solution near the piece of build up, it was possible to see the surface breaking down.

    No doubt stronger acids will have a more active result, but the vinegar treatment works for me.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    bromsgrove, worcs
    Posts
    147

    Default Re: Toilet pipes crud build up

    Hi, I've used the Jabsco brand toilet cleaner. In my experience it does nothing to mitigate build up ... my policy is to invest in a length of new high quality vetus O/L hose every 5 or 6 years. Not a big expense in the scheme of things for a well operating heads and the vetus stuff is a doddle to fit. Vinegar would be cheaper though ! Phil

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Ammersee, Bavaria
    Posts
    5,107

    Default Re: Toilet pipes crud build up

    If you have a build-up of scale, whatever you do, don't disturb the pipe unless you are removing it to replace it or completely clean it out.

    My toilet story .....

    My boat is an ex-charter and I bought it at about 10 years old. About 16 years in, my Jabsco pump handle started leaking so needed attention. I just bought a new pump as I didn't particularly want to take the old one apart and fully service it - yuk!!!. It came off easily and was a piece of cake to replace. Job done I thought.

    Unfortunately, the damage was done. In removing the pipe I had started to dislodge 16 years of scale that had built up on the inside of the pipe. This scale, when combined with sh!t and toilet paper then blocked the exit sea-cock. So yep, you guessed it, I took the other end off and dislodged yet more of the scale - which blocked the sea-cock again a few days later. By the 3rd time I put 2 and 2 together and realised that the pipe was full of scale and every time I disturbed it, the scale broke off and travelled down the pipe to block the sea-cock - so after getting intimately aquainted with the digestive machinations of my crew on 3 seperate occasions in one week, I took the pipe out completely and bashed it, jumped on it, whacked it off the pontoon and generally took my frustration out on it until all the scale was removed and then I re-fitted it. So far, all good.

    Never again!!! .... If I ever have to disturb the pipe again, it will be replaced, no question. In fact, I'll probably pay someone else to do it.
    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    1,412

    Default Re: Toilet pipes crud build up

    Quote Originally Posted by Baggywrinkle View Post

    Never again!!! .... If I ever have to disturb the pipe again....
    Whacked out the crud in our pipe:

    With a sheet winch handle on the pontoon in Boulogne mid 90s. A Kleenex had blocked the tiny bore remaining. No problem refitting it, quite floppy in a 30 degree heatwave. Not sure other pontoon occupants appreciated my efforts during their cockpit lunch.

    With a lump hammer on the shoreline at Salcombe mid 2000s, about 7 in the morning. The previous day, at anchor, I had set out to replace the leaky loo, but a bit like your story, didn't appreciate that every time I touched the pipe, scale would dislodge and interfere with the works. Penny eventually dropped about midnight after all afternoon and evening spent assembling and disassembling etc etc.

    With a lump hammer in Falmouth Yacht Harbour on a cold wet day this June. Blockage similar to the one 20 years previous.

    So once every 10 years seems about right.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Far S. Cornwall
    Posts
    13,230

    Default Re: Toilet pipes crud build up

    If you want to put folk off their lunch just smear some peanut butter round your mouth and complain you've been sucking at the outlet for hours.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Greenwich
    Posts
    7,478

    Default Re: Toilet pipes crud build up

    We change ours every couple of years and the build up is quite extensive - using a holding tank and therefore always pumping the absolute minimum to clear the bowl doesnít help but practice means itís a clean and 30 minute task.

    Buying seaflow butyl next time so may start using more acid to keep it clean longer.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: Toilet pipes crud build up

    When we leave our boat we pour a couple of pints of fresh water into the bowl and flush it out. We get no smell from the heads which still has its 20 year old plumbing.

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