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Old 08-07-2014, 02:21 PM   #1
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Default Poop problem!

Hello all,

Recently been having an issue with the head on my 2001 Maxum 2900SCR. In a nutshell, the water was not draining even though the pump was working. Called the mechanic out and he took off the lines and used a bucket to catch water and the head flushed no problem. Then we moved onto the piped. He snaked the line and said there were no apparent obstructions.

We had previously pumped it out so we felt that that was not the issue (I do it regularly) and there is no pressure build up since I have before and since taken the waste cap off and still had the same problem. The mechanic also did this and then plunged the toilet and waste came out of the waste tank at the back of the boat. He then told me that I needed to pump out which I did again on Sunday. I certainly didn't get 16 gallons out of it by a long stretch but the head worked so so.

So, if the flush is working, there are no obstructions in the lines and the tank has been pumped and it's still not operating properly, what's my next step? The only thing I can think of is that there is some kind of sludge build up in the tank. I know that the boat sat for a while when it was with the previous owner but that was years ago. There don't appear to be any leaks in the system and the engine compartment is clean as a whistle. Can anyone recommend something to put in the tank that could break down the sludge if it is the cause? Maybe any other ideas I may have missed?

The specs say this is a 16 gallon holding tank. Anyone know if it's aluminum or plastic? I'd appreciate any feedback.

Cheers all! Hope you're having a great summer.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:53 PM   #2
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Is this a manual hand pumped head. vac flush, else...

Not sure but could the vent be clogged? With the waste cap removed it would compensate for a clooged vent.

The tank is plastic. Mine is loacted in the engine compartment. Try tracing the waste line from the deck fitting back to the tank to find it.
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:01 PM   #3
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It's a regular pump out station at the marina. Never had a problem with it before so I am thinking it is more than likely a residual sludge problem. There's no blockage between the tank and the waste outlet on the back of the boat for sure.
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:41 PM   #4
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I was referring to you boats toilet not the pump station. The holding tank has a vent out the side of the boat to displace air as poop and water enter it as well as to prevent it from collapsing from suction when pumped out.
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:14 PM   #5
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I see what you mean. Yes, that was checked right at the beginning and rechecked when he snaked the line from the toilet to the tank. No problems were found at the time. This is a real PITA, no pun intended... ;-) Thanks for the ideas so far. Much appreciated.
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Old 08-08-2014, 01:23 AM   #6
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Let me try again does your toilet have a handle that you pump to flush it or do you just hit a button to flush?

The vent is a small hose that goes from the holding tank to a fitting that vent on the outside of the boat, this could be clogged.
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Old 08-08-2014, 12:27 PM   #7
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It has a button and electric motor to flush. The vent line is clear.
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Old 08-08-2014, 11:56 PM   #8
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Got it. So not clear to me, is everything now working? There are additives to help break down poop try you local marine or RV store
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:20 PM   #9
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I've read this three or four times and (embarrassedly) I have to admit I'm not really clear on the problem.

Are you saying you are having problems flushing an electric flush toilet that was diagnosed by your mechanic as being the result of a full holding tank despite having repeatedly having the system pumped out?

The holding tank is a roto-molded plastic. Provided you have been using marine toilet paper, only flushed marine toilet paper, use holding tank chemicals, and get regular pump-outs, there should be no solid matter in the holding tank.

Are you using the same pumpout each time? Those pumps require regular service. Try going somewhere else.
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:59 PM   #10
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Hey guys, sorry for the late reply. I've been away but I do appreciate all of the help to try and get to the "bottom" of this! ;-)

So yes, I have the electric motor that flushes the toilet and I use the pump out regularly. I use marine paper always.

There does not appear to be any blockage in the pipes and they have been snaked and no one has been able to find anything. When I press the flush, the water starts spinning and then starts to fill back up. If I would keep the button pressed, I am sure that it would overflow. After the flush, quite often there would be gurgling and almost like a blowback of air into the bowl. Originally I thought it was a vacuum issue (perhaps I still do) but it does the same thing with the waste cap on the stern removed. We've run a wire down the breather tube and no blocks were encountered.

Shrew, I do use the same pump out and have done so since I've owned the boat. You have me wondering if that's the issue now. That said, it always looks to do the job.... I'm just perplexed that such a simple system could be causing me so many headaches.
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Old 08-29-2014, 02:09 AM   #11
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sounds almost like the macerator is either worn out or wired backwards.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:29 PM   #12
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OK, I see now. This isn't a pump out problem. With all toilets, there is a Water IN and a Water OUT. Both Manual and electric commonly use raw water. if water is coming in, but not going out AND you've confirmed that there is no blockage, then the problem is with the discharge side of the pump. Rebuild/replace the pump and you will more than likely fix you problem. I suspect you hear the pump spinning and the raw-water side is working, but the side that pumps from the head to the holding tank needs to be rebuilt.
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Old 09-10-2015, 05:24 PM   #13
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Sounds like you need your joker valve replaced. I have only ever seen this happen with a bad joker valve. Sick bastard that called it that... :P
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Old 09-10-2015, 06:59 PM   #14
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This sounds similar to the issue I had and then one day it just stop working so I replaced my Jaco pump system and it is working better than ever. It always brought the water in but was real slow at getting out, remember the tank is higher than the toilet so if the pump is not working properly you could be getting the water coming back down from the line into the toilet hence the gurgle sound.
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Old 09-10-2015, 08:31 PM   #15
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Sorry Jabsco
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Old 09-11-2015, 01:38 PM   #16
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Zombie Thread!!

This thread is over 1 yr old. I doubt the OP has gone through the entire season with a non-functioning head.

Let's try to avoid resurrecting old threads.
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