[alberg30] Head

blancs at us.net blancs at us.net
Mon Jan 24 07:12:00 PST 2000

From: blancs at us.net

Where do people put holding tanks? My TDX tank was under the port side v-berth. It seemed hopelessly broken and I couldn't find parts so I installed a big porta-pottie as a stop-gap solution. It actually works quite well for the four of us for three or four days - except that it's six gallon capacity makes it too tall for comfort - but we'll need more capacity to stay our longer.

Any holding tank suggestions?

Also, where are folks finding pumpout stations?


Kevin Blanc
Terrapin, #254

On Mon, 24 January 2000, George Dinwiddie wrote:

> <html><body>
> <tt>From:</tt> <tt>
> George Dinwiddie <gdinwiddie at min.net></tt>
> <br><br>
> <tt>
> The Alberg 30 came with a standard marine head with direct overboard<BR>
> discharge.  On our boat, it's a "Brydon Boy" head, a model long <BR>
> since discontinued, though rebuild kits are available from Fawcett's<BR>
> in Annapolis.<BR>
> <BR>
> The tank and treatment system you mention is the Mansfield TDX<BR>
> Type I MSD.  About 15 years ago, the Alberg 30 Association made<BR>
> a group purchase of these units and had group work days where<BR>
> they installed them.  These units have about an 8 gallon tank,<BR>
> a bottle of formaldehyde, and an electronic control unit.  They<BR>
> chemically treat the sewage and mechanically pulverize it for <BR>
> legal discharge overboard (except in zones designated "no <BR>
> discharge").  I would strongly recommend not pumping these<BR>
> out in creeks or harbors.  Wait until you're in deeper water<BR>
> with a good exchange with the ocean.  You don't want to increase<BR>
> the nitrogen load on the ecosystem even if you've kill the<BR>
> coliform bacteria.<BR>
> <BR>
> Sealand purchased this business from Mansfield and called the<BR>
> product SAN-X.  The parts are interchangeable.  Sealand <BR>
> discontinued support for these units a few years back, but<BR>
> I *think* they may be supporting them again.  I've not needed<BR>
> any parts since then, so haven't investigated.<BR>
> <BR>
> The head itself operates just like any other marine head.<BR>
> you pump the contents, and as much water as you feel is<BR>
> necessary, into the tank.  You want to make sure everything<BR>
> makes it to the tank, but you want to pump as little water<BR>
> as possible so you don't fill up the tank.<BR>
> <BR>
> To operate the treatment system, you flip the switch to <BR>
> "treat and discharge."  There will be a delay, and then<BR>
> the chemical pump puts about a quart of formaldehyde into<BR>
> the tank.  Then the macerator pump runs for about 20 <BR>
> minutes.  We prefer to do this while motoring because <BR>
> of the power drain.  When it's done, a light comes on and<BR>
> you can pump the tank out.  The way most of these were<BR>
> installed on the A30, this is done with a Whale gusher 8<BR>
> pump mounted such that the handle extends through the <BR>
> bulkhead into the head compartment.  Open the through-hull<BR>
> and pump until the tank is empty.  Pump a little water<BR>
> into the tank via the head and then pump the tank out again.<BR>
> <BR>
> It's pretty basic and simple.  When you rebuild the pumpout<BR>
> pump, you should try to get a nitrile rebuild kit instead<BR>
> of neoprene.  That's much harder to find.<BR>
> <BR>
> More recently, people have generally been putting in holding tanks<BR>
> (a.k.a. Type III MSD).  The advantages of a holding tank includes:<BR>
>       1. no discharge into the water at all (you have to go to<BR>
> a pump-out station).<BR>
>       2. you don't have to mess about with that nasty chemical,<BR>
> formaldehyde.<BR>
>       3. you can get a bigger tank to fit into the same space<BR>
> as the TDX unit, or you can fit a tank into a different space.<BR>
>       4. a holding tank is much cheaper to purchase than a<BR>
> treatment system and there are no moving parts or electronics<BR>
> to die.<BR>
> <BR>
> The biggest disadvantage is that you do have to go to a pump-out<BR>
> station to get rid of the effluent.  This is becoming much <BR>
> less of a problem in many areas.<BR>
> <BR>
> Many people with holding tanks also have a means to pump them<BR>
> overboard in an emergency or when offshore more than 3 miles.<BR>
> This increases the complexity of the plumbing.  Also, if the<BR>
> system in not "secured" in the no-overboard-pumpout setting,<BR>
> you are in violation of U.S. law.<BR>
> <BR>
> Hope this helps,<BR>
>       George<BR>
> <BR>
> <BR>
> bydel at aol.com wrote:<BR>
> > <BR>
> > From: bydel at aol.com<BR>
> > <BR>
> > I would be very interested in a discussion on the operation of the head. I purchased #441 a few weeks ago and got to spend a day poking about on her. She is now in Annapolis and I am in North Carolina. If I remember correctly, I was told that she has a Mansfield Head with a small holding tank under the V-Berth.<BR>
> > There was a bottle of something next to the head and the pump handle. Also to the right of the head was a black switchplate with a switch, although I can't remember what it said on the plate.<BR>
> > I know that this is pretty basic, but I have to start somewhere.<BR>
> > <BR>
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