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watson524

Help with vacuflush and fresh water winterizing plans

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Hi there,

First year with the boat and also with any kind of fresh or grey water in a boat. We're going to let the dealer winterize the engine and outdrive since it's brand new and I haven't had time to study up as much as I'd prefer but I figure the vacuflush and fresh water we can do ourselves either on the lake at last pumpout or once we get it back from the dealer from the engine/outdrive stuff. I've done a bunch of reading and process seems to vary widely so I'm wondering if I can get some opinions on my steps? When we get to the pump out on the lake, I'm figuring we'll have about 1/2 tank full on the vacuflush and about 1/2 tank of fresh water

1.) Clean bowl with non abrasive cleaner (do you use a toilet brush too? it's ceramic like home), hold open ball valve and clean under rim well

2.) Go to pump out and get tank pumped, during pumping, I'll leave the flush valve open and water pump on so that a bunch of fresh water is also coming through the bowl, into the lines and the holding tank so we get that as clear as possible //Should I pour any AF down the bowl at this time and let them stop sucking when we see that come out in the pump line site glass?

3.) Empty fresh water holding tank by spraying from an on deck hose. 

4.) A AF to fresh water holding tank (a few gallons?) and spray from all 4 hoses (wet bar and head sinks, transom and bow showers) on board until pink comes out sprayers 

5.) Flush toilet so AF runs through the lines from fresh water tank to toilet bowl and over to holding tank

6.) Add some AF to both head and wet bar sink drains and let it run through to overboard (AF chaser to any water in the line - or should I just drop the lines from the sinks and drain into a bucket? Wetbar sink really doesn't have a trap/bend so I suspect it'll be empty, haven't looked under cabinet in head sink)

7.) Pour AF in toilet bowl (a gallon total a bit at a time?) and flush a few times //Is this redundant with step 5? Do you leave remaining in the bowl or should bowl itself be totally dry over winter?

How does this sound? I did see in one Dometic manual that you don't have to disconnect the water supply to the toilet if you use the AF but it also notes to empty the holding tank after you get the AF in there but I don't have a pump out option on land. 

thank in advance!

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When cleaning the bowl do not use any type of cleaner that has bleach.

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2 hours ago, watson524 said:

First year with the boat and also with any kind of fresh or grey water in a boat.

Excellent list.

2. Good idea if you can.

6. Both work.  I use AF.  Less disassembly.

7. I leave mine dry, but flush the AF through.

2 hours ago, watson524 said:

How does this sound? I did see in one Dometic manual that you don't have to disconnect the water supply to the toilet if you use the AF but it also notes to empty the holding tank after you get the AF in there but I don't have a pump out option on land. 

With a little disassembly of the holding tank, a wet-dry shop vac works just fine.  Can be messy though if the system was used a lot, or the pump out so-so.  

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1 hour ago, mpm330 said:

When cleaning the bowl do not use any type of cleaner that has bleach.

Normal bleach has chlorine in it. Chlorine should NOT be used in a Vac-u-flush system.

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Anyone have any recommended toilet/ball valve cleaners they use? I know Dometic sells their own but that seems extreme

Also - should I be using this lube stuff I see to periodically flush through to keep the seals flexible or is that overkill?

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14 hours ago, Curt said:

With a little disassembly of the holding tank, a wet-dry shop vac works just fine.  Can be messy though if the system was used a lot, or the pump out so-so.  

lol, some people think this is nuts but it works very well for me and I've gotten used to doing it every year.  I flush some dishwashing detergent through the bowl a couple of times, then I get in the ski locker, disconnect the 7 screws holding the tank down to the locker floor, disconnect the in and out hoses and the quick connect electrical connection and pull the tank out.  Depending on how full it is, that's probably the toughest part but the locker is pretty big so I have plenty of room.  Take the tank out to the furthest point in the backyard, empty it out for some lawn fertilizer...:D...then hose it down with soap and clean it really well.  Then reconnect it.  It's a pretty @#$%@#tty job loooooool, but works awesome and much better than pumping jack diddly.  Pumping is only during the season in the slip if the tank gets full but it rarely does.

I have another method to get every drop of water out of the water tank that works excellent also.  Do the same thing to pull the antifreeze out at the beginning of the season.

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2 hours ago, Hatem said:

lol, some people think this is nuts but it works very well for me and I've gotten used to doing it every year.  I flush some dishwashing detergent through the bowl a couple of times, then I get in the ski locker, disconnect the 7 screws holding the tank down to the locker floor, disconnect the in and out hoses and the quick connect electrical connection and pull the tank out.  Depending on how full it is, that's probably the toughest part but the locker is pretty big so I have plenty of room.  Take the tank out to the furthest point in the backyard, empty it out for some lawn fertilizer...:D...then hose it down with soap and clean it really well.  Then reconnect it.  It's a pretty @#$%@#tty job loooooool, but works awesome and much better than pumping jack diddly.  Pumping is only during the season in the slip if the tank gets full but it rarely does.

I have another method to get every drop of water out of the water tank that works excellent also.  Do the same thing to pull the antifreeze out at the beginning of the season.

Man this is a lot of work, way over kill. IMO

 

.

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I've been doing this for 10 years. Buy 4-5 gallons of RV antifreeze.

-- Turn batteries on

-- Empty the water tank, pick any sink or two

-- Add 2 gallons to water tank, run one sink (hose) at a time till pink comes out. Start closest to tank one at a time, moving forward.

-- Add 2 more to tank, flush head till pink comes out. flush a few more.

-- Take boat to marina to get pumped out. add last gallon to head and flush into system.

-- flush the remainder of the antifreeze from water system into head. I leave about an inch or two in the bowl.

-- Leave system On, to go into vacuum.

This leaves about 2 gallons of AF in the head tank and the water tank almost empty. My head tank is only 6.5 gallons, even with the leftovers from the last pump-out and the extra gallons of AF to dilute it there's more than enough room for expansion if it freezes.

 

My sinks drain overboard. No need to worry about them.

 

.

 

 

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17 hours ago, watson524 said:

Anyone have any recommended toilet/ball valve cleaners they use? I know Dometic sells their own but that seems extreme

Also - should I be using this lube stuff I see to periodically flush through to keep the seals flexible or is that overkill?

I just use what ever I have in my hand at the time. Sparkle, Srubbing Bubbles. Its important to leave fluid in the bowl, it will evaporate over the winter, as you dewinterize it you'll add water to the system. Then just clean it again.

 

.

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1 hour ago, Toddler said:

Man this is a lot of work, way over kill. IMO

Well, I'm certainly not suggesting others do the same thing, it's just what works for me because the first season I had the boat, couldn't get the stuff pumped out because of the wrong fitting on the pumping hose.  So I was forced to find another solution while the boat was in the driveway and winter creeping up.  I tried a shop vac but that didn't work either, so I got in there.  Took about 45 minutes to figure out how to disconnect it and pull it out that first time.  Now it takes me less than 5, total of about 20 minutes to remove it, clean it and reconnect it, so it's really not that bad.  And it's clean as a whistle, to boot.  And what's getting a little crap on you, amongst family? :haha-7383:

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37 minutes ago, Toddler said:

I've been doing this for 10 years. Buy 4-5 gallons of RV antifreeze.

-- Turn batteries on

-- Empty the water tank, pick any sink or two

-- Add 2 gallons to water tank, run one sink (hose) at a time till pink comes out. Start closest to tank one at a time, moving forward.

-- Add 2 more to tank, flush head till pink comes out. flush a few more.

-- Take boat to marina to get pumped out. add last gallon to head and flush into system.

-- flush the remainder of the antifreeze from water system into head. I leave about an inch or two in the bowl.

-- Leave system On, to go into vacuum.

This leaves about 2 gallons of AF in the head tank and the water tank almost empty. My head tank is only 6.5 gallons, even with the leftovers from the last pump-out and the extra gallons of AF to dilute it there's more than enough room for expansion if it freezes.

My sinks drain overboard. No need to worry about them.

Thanks for this. Looks like I'm on the right track but I think yours is simplified a bit so this is perfect. I think I have some pink and also some blue or purple floating around. I got paranoid on the old boat with some of the winters we've been having around here. I'll be sure to test it before I use it. Don't know if AF that has sat a few years goes bad but it's easy enough to test.

@Hatem no offense, but no chance I'm taking my tank out.... mine's not in the ski locker anyway, it's back towards the batteries and would be a total pain.

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I actually think that's not a bad idea to pull the tank out and thoroughly clean it.  Would help prevent the stink from getting bad.  But I do like Toddler does.  Pump out at the marina.  Drain water tank.  Fill water tank with 2 gallons of A/F.  Fill toilet bowl 2-3x with A/F and flush.  Run sink until all lines are filled with pink.  Done.

I have been using Clorox toilet bowl cleaner for 10 years without any problems.  I also put a splash of bleach in my water tank everytime I fill it.

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I think I didn't realize it was ok to leave ANYTHING in the tank, pink or otherwise over the winter so this is good to hear that it's fine since others seem to always have a bit in there.

I too add a bit of bleach (and after learning here, it's a very small bit lol!) into the fresh water on each fill. We haven't had any stink anywhere. I also add a treatment thing to the tank with each pumpout (tho I won't after the last one).

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55 minutes ago, watson524 said:

@Hatem no offense, but no chance I'm taking my tank out.... mine's not in the ski locker anyway, it's back towards the batteries and would be a total pain.

Lol, no worries, none taken.  Just sharing my "unconventional, crappy" method. :lol:

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5 hours ago, Hatem said:

Lol, no worries, none taken.  Just sharing my "unconventional, crappy" method. :lol:

:beer-7687-1:

 

.

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On 9/14/2018 at 8:14 AM, Toddler said:

Man this is a lot of work, way over kill. IMO

 

.

Yep!!

I pump the boat, than I flush down about 6 or 7 gals of clean water. Rock the boat, and pump out again for the winter. After that, i flush down about 1/2 gal of AF. Fot me, it works.

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