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Pogo Junior

Signature 330 Holding Tank

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Hi Everyone, 

The holding tank in my Signature 330 has a level indicator. Right after pumping out, the level indicator shows "POWER". After a few days of use, it went to 3/4. So we continued using it for a while until we were able to reach a pump out station. It was still showing 3/4 at that time we were at the pump out. But when I tried to open the cover for the discharge port, there was pressure and some of the stuff spilled out. 

So my question is whether my tank level indicator is faulty. Does it not show FULL or something similar?

Thanks for any help.

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Define a 'few days'..... I've gone 2 weeks without pumping out and never over flowed the holding tank. Are you sure you got it all pumped out? 

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I am pretty sure I pumped it out completely. I even had to flush the toilet twice after the flow of stuff stopped and pumped out again. The level indicator retuned to just POWER. There was heavy use after that because of some friends who visited but the indicator only went as far as 3/4. We continued use for 2 days more watching the indicator that stayed at 3/4. And that’s when I pumped out again and the spills. 

So my question is does the level indicator flash FULL at anytime after 3/4? Or is 3/4 the final warning?

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2 hours ago, Pogo Junior said:

I am pretty sure I pumped it out completely. I even had to flush the toilet twice after the flow of stuff stopped and pumped out again. The level indicator retuned to just POWER. There was heavy use after that because of some friends who visited but the indicator only went as far as 3/4. We continued use for 2 days more watching the indicator that stayed at 3/4. And that’s when I pumped out again and the spills. 

So my question is does the level indicator flash FULL at anytime after 3/4? Or is 3/4 the final warning?

You had friends aboard?? Ah, that raises the question, "Did they know how to use the head?"

I had one friend that fulled the bowl completely. He did not know how to flush.................. Now he's calling me in panic!

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What year is your 330?  

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9 hours ago, Pogo Junior said:

So my question is whether my tank level indicator is faulty. Does it not show FULL or something similar?

The indicator might not necessarily be faulty.  Yes, it should have a full indicator of some sorts, like a red light at the FULL indicator once it reaches full capacity.  But the reason it's probably not reading that is because of that built-up pressure you're getting when you opened the cap.  That sounds like a possible over-vacuum effect.  Your vacuum pump might not be shutting off when it reaches its stop point and over-pressurizing the tank, creating that pressure and pushing the shhtuff all the way through the pump-out line.

Does the pump run for a long time after each flush? 

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19 hours ago, Pogo Junior said:

Hi Everyone, 

The holding tank in my Signature 330 has a level indicator. Right after pumping out, the level indicator shows "POWER". After a few days of use, it went to 3/4. So we continued using it for a while until we were able to reach a pump out station. It was still showing 3/4 at that time we were at the pump out. But when I tried to open the cover for the discharge port, there was pressure and some of the stuff spilled out. 

So my question is whether my tank level indicator is faulty. Does it not show FULL or something similar?

Thanks for any help.

If you had pressure in the tank and there are any models of Vac-u-flush. So you might want to call them. But it sounds like your air vent filter is clogged. Not that you over pressurizing the tank. Is poo goes in, air must come out.

https://www.marinesan.com/category-s/303.htm   Note the white tank and to the top left is the filter. I am thinking since were talking about a 330, your tank is more like this.

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20 hours ago, Pogo Junior said:

But when I tried to open the cover for the discharge port, there was pressure and some of the stuff spilled out

That's the sign of an over-pressurized tank, not a clogged filter.

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1 hour ago, Hatem said:

That's the sign of an over-pressurized tank, not a clogged filter.

 

1 hour ago, Hatem said:

That's the sign of an over-pressurized tank, not a clogged filter.

Again, there are different models out there that you not taking into account. Your making a flat statement that does not hold true for all models. I am not even sure myself. Such as the tank that I had the link on. That would not be true!! If that filter was clogged, poo could not get and then you might have some pressure in the tank.  

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If the exhaust line is clogged, you probably are not getting a full pumpout and that is why your tank is overflowing.

Start with the simple fix first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for all the replies. I will re-evaluate all the possible conditions that led to this "disaster" based on your comments.

By the way, I examined the level indicator and it only has 3 indications: "POWER" means the system is active and is always on whatever is the level of stuff in the tank is, "3/4" is supposed to warn you that it is nearing full. And the last one is "DO NOT USE" which is obviously the indication that the tank is already full. 

I have never gone to the point where the indicator is lit at the DO NOT USE level. I always pump out when at the 3/4 indication. That's why it was a complete surprise to me when the system acted that like it was about to explode. Now, every morning, I try to open the pump out port very slowly to check if it is pressurized. So far, it is not.

Will give update when something new happens.

Thanks again.

 

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19 hours ago, jeffk said:

If the exhaust line is clogged, you probably are not getting a full pumpout and that is why your tank is overflowing.

Start with the simple fix first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The exhaust line was not clogged. I was able the pump everthing out. The problem was that the indicator did not say the tank was full but when I opened the cover, there was strong pressure that pushed materials out.

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19 hours ago, Pogo Junior said:

I have never gone to the point where the indicator is lit at the DO NOT USE level. I always pump out when at the 3/4 indication. That's why it was a complete surprise to me when the system acted that like it was about to explode. Now, every morning, I try to open the pump out port very slowly to check if it is pressurized. So far, it is not.

That's good, then.  Have you used it in between these checks of opening the cap to the pump out port?  Also, do you leave the switch to the vacuum on all the time, or do you turn it on only before someone is going to use it?

1 hour ago, Pogo Junior said:

The exhaust line was not clogged. I was able the pump everthing out. The problem was that the indicator did not say the tank was full but when I opened the cover, there was strong pressure that pushed materials out.

Do you have access to the tank, or is it in a tight spot and hard to get at?  Which one is it out of the link that was posted a few posts above, the white one with the detached vacuum pump or the black one with the built-in pump?

I have the black one and it's in the forward end of the ski locker which is directly next to the head, so I have really easy access to it.  I pull it out every fall as part of the winterizing process and dump it out, clean it with detergent and rinse it a couple of times, reconnect it and flush a half gallon of AF in it just incase there's any water left anywhere.

Very easy:  there's 2 electrical quick-connects to disconnect, the vacuum hose which is a small, 3/4" line with a hose clamp, the flush line which is a threaded coupling and the pump-out hose which is a rubber, snug plug and 5 screws that bolt it down to the floor.

5VqHoAc.jpg

Once I disconnect it, I just pull it closer to the opening and this is really the toughest part, getting it out of the locker and on the deck because if it's full, it's heavy and there isn't much to grab on to it well.  Plus you risk getting a bit of pee and poop on you lmao!  But hey, I always say "what's a little bit of @#$%@# amongst family," right? :D Worst case is put a few rags into the two openings and you're all set but I've been doing this for 4 years now so I got it down pact.

kR58sup.jpg

You can see how easy it is to disconnect.  The threaded coupling at one end, the snug, rubber fitting to the left and the 3/4" vacuum hose connects to the pump just under that metal plate.  And the 2 quick-connect electrical fittings are marked with the blue tape.

KoFFyLH.jpg

Take it to a special spot in the backyard (this year we had some early snow) and dump it out.  I had already flushed some antifreeze into it to "help out" with whatever odors I might encounter.  It was all #1 this year, no one dropped a deuce which makes it juuuuuust a bit more tolerable.  :haha-7383:

F9GJYeS.jpg

Couple of drops of dishwashing detergent and a couple of washes and rinses and back in she goes.  The whole process takes about 45 minutes, maybe less.  And in your case, if you're able to do this, you can examine to see if there is anything blocking the hoses or something not right and fix it.  Also check the hoses and if you have a compressor, just a few PSI of air you can clear the lines especially the pump-out line.

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Pogo, is your system like the one in my link? It should be around a 25 to 30 gal tank. 

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On 11/19/2018 at 7:26 AM, Iggy said:

Pogo, is your system like the one in my link? It should be around a 25 to 30 gal tank. 

Mine has a separate vacuum generator. I can only see the vacuum generator but haven’t seen the holding tank itself.

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Hi Hatem,

I think my system is with a separate vacuum tank. I haven’t seen the actual holding tank yet. I suspect it is down below somewhere. I will try to trace from the hoses. I could see the vacuum tank only. It’s a white tank with nothing in it but probably air.

I usually turn off the vacuum and turn it on just when we use the bowl. It turns off automatically after about less than a minute. At that point, we can flush our pee at least 3 times before it needs recharging. I leave the vacuum switch on only when other people are around so as to make sure they can flush normally.

I suspect the problem was with an overcharged tank, like you said. But how did it reach that point? What were the possible causes of the overcharge. Isn’t there a vent that should release excess pressure from the tank?

 I always make sure the holding tank is empty every time I pump out. When there is no more material coming out, I flush the bowl twice and continue pumping again. At that point, I can see that clearer water coming out. Then I flush again twice, and pump out again to see the clean water come out. That’s when I am sure the tank is really empty.

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Do not trust the level indicators..... Get in a routine of pumping out when you feel it is about half full. It's not that big of a deal. 

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6 minutes ago, Phillbo said:

Do not trust the level indicators..... Get in a routine of pumping out when you feel it is about half full. It's not that big of a deal. 

I always pump out when I go out since the pumps are just by the entrance of the marina. So on the average, it’s once a week with two adults using the toilet on weekends. But with this incident, I would probably use the marina bathroom more often, just for our peace of mind.

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12 hours ago, Pogo Junior said:

Hi Hatem,

I think my system is with a separate vacuum tank. I haven’t seen the actual holding tank yet. I suspect it is down below somewhere. I will try to trace from the hoses. I could see the vacuum tank only. It’s a white tank with nothing in it but probably air.

I usually turn off the vacuum and turn it on just when we use the bowl. It turns off automatically after about less than a minute. At that point, we can flush our pee at least 3 times before it needs recharging. I leave the vacuum switch on only when other people are around so as to make sure they can flush normally.

I suspect the problem was with an overcharged tank, like you said. But how did it reach that point? What were the possible causes of the overcharge. Isn’t there a vent that should release excess pressure from the tank?

 I always make sure the holding tank is empty every time I pump out. When there is no more material coming out, I flush the bowl twice and continue pumping again. At that point, I can see that clearer water coming out. Then I flush again twice, and pump out again to see the clean water come out. That’s when I am sure the tank is really empty.

Thats my point, there should be a vent filter as in the link from my past post.

It should be changed out every year. If its clogged, than you can get that pressuse in the tank. Which is not caused by the system over pressureing it self. Just by share physics, poo goes in and air must come out.

One way to test Hatems theory, if you open the thru hull. Does the vacuum pump turn on? If not, and i am sure it won't, that its not over pressureing itself. 

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Hello Iggy,

Where is vent filter supposed to be located? Is it near the tank or near the exterior wall of the boat. I will try to look for it and see its status.

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It should be by the thru hull where you punp out.  The filter should be connected to the tank itself. It almost melts down, be comes hard and clogges. Google  to get idea of what it looks like. But it is in the link from my past post.

You want the air in there so the poo can breaks down. 

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15 hours ago, Pogo Junior said:

Hi Hatem,

I think my system is with a separate vacuum tank. I haven’t seen the actual holding tank yet. I suspect it is down below somewhere. I will try to trace from the hoses. I could see the vacuum tank only. It’s a white tank with nothing in it but probably air.

I usually turn off the vacuum and turn it on just when we use the bowl. It turns off automatically after about less than a minute. At that point, we can flush our pee at least 3 times before it needs recharging. I leave the vacuum switch on only when other people are around so as to make sure they can flush normally.

That's what I do, too.  I turn it on (or tell whomever is going to use it to turn it on themselves once they contort themselves and get into the head lol) and don't keep it on all the time.  I'm just like that, don't like to keep systems on that only get used periodically if they don't need to.  Others here think it's best to keep them on, for good reasons also.  For example, water pressure.  I only put it on when someone needs to use one of the faucets or the head, otherwise I keep it off since it's not being used 90% of the time.  Makes more sense to me.

15 hours ago, Pogo Junior said:

I suspect the problem was with an overcharged tank, like you said. But how did it reach that point? What were the possible causes of the overcharge. Isn’t there a vent that should release excess pressure from the tank?

That's what I'm thinking, but I could be wrong.  If you opened the cap to the pump out and you had not only pressure but actual shhhhtttuufff spew out, that seems like an over-pressure issue.  But, if there is a clog somewhere, particularly at the vent line filter connection to the tank, then I suppose it is possible for that pressure to build up at the pumpout port like it did.  But I think the only way for that to happen (vent filter gets clogged) is for the tank to get overfilled with shhhhtuuuff to the max where it actually blocks the filter which is connected to the top of the tank.

But IIRC, you pumped out at 3/4 and never got the holding tank filled to the max, so that doesn't make sense that the filter is clogged.

Maybe when you pumped out the first time, some of the shhhttuuff didn't make it out of the pump out hose and was left stuck in the line between the tank and the cap.  Then when you closed the cap, now you trapped that crap between the tank and cap and as you used the toilet, it built pressure that forced that crap to the back of the cap so that once you opened it....baddabing!  I think that's very possible.

If you look at how a typical vacu-flush system like yours is constructed, aside from the overboard discharge, think of how does shtuufff get stuck from the pumpout line (which is dockside discharge and the holding tank?  There has to be a way for it to be forced up into that and what else can cause that pressure to push it up there?

Vacuflush%20System.jpg

When you look at this system, for example, which shows a filter, it's a bit odd that the filter would get blocked to the extent where it would create over-pressure like what you had.

86feb52.jpg

If this is your tank (which is probably the one you have,) you can see where the vent filter is right at the top.  So I guess if the tank gets too full and reaches the filter, it can block it and clog it enough to cause this backup pressure problem through the pumpout port.  But you're saying you don't think it ever got to that full extent, right?  Otherwise, I don't see how a filter can just get clogged with methane gas, unless you have a nuclear digestive system lmfao! :D 

28%20HTS-VG%20TW%20monitor%202.compresse

15 hours ago, Pogo Junior said:

I always make sure the holding tank is empty every time I pump out. When there is no more material coming out, I flush the bowl twice and continue pumping again. At that point, I can see that clearer water coming out. Then I flush again twice, and pump out again to see the clean water come out. That’s when I am sure the tank is really empty.

Excellent.  Good way to do it.  Looks like you have it under control.

 

 

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