Homebuilt Pump out apparatus

Ajax

Super Anarchist
14,605
2,893
Edgewater, MD
I wasn't sure if I should put this in CA, GA or FA.

Has anyone ever built their own shit sucker? The cost of pumping out is just getting stupid and I have to travel to use it because I don't keep my boat at a marina.
A shop-vac might not have the pull necessary to extract from the deck fitting. A Henderson dual-action bilge pump probably would.

I have a workable design, I'm just stumped on the vacuum source. I have a clean-out port in my yard where I can dump the tank after vacuuming the boat tank.

Thoughts? Experiences?
 

nota

Anarchist
I use a shop vac to demuck my koi pond/pool
it will lift mud 6-7 ft rated 5hp but no way that strong
I would try a vac if you have one before spending on a custom pump

a big flexie pipe that can fit down to the tank may work better on a vac or a sealing fitting
 

Ajax

Super Anarchist
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Edgewater, MD
Yeah, I have a couple of shop-vacs. I can create a good seal around the deck fitting. I'll give it a try before I buy anything.
 

DDW

Super Anarchist
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1,012
I'd try a HomeDepot Buckethead (Lowes has an equivalent). This is a very inexpensive (<$25) shop vac type motor that goes on top of a 5 gallon bucket. It has a cult following. Some of the people using them for vacuum generation are cutting the rim off of a second bucket and putting it inside the first to prevent it from collapsing.
 

toddster

Super Anarchist
4,182
965
The Gorge
When I thought of doing something like that (because the pump-outs are closed six months of the year around here) I imagined that the macerator would do the job through some kind of Y valve. But I don't know how far uphill it would push. It would also need some sort of bullet-proof deck fitting / hose QD
 

Ajax

Super Anarchist
14,605
2,893
Edgewater, MD
I'd try a HomeDepot Buckethead (Lowes has an equivalent). This is a very inexpensive (<$25) shop vac type motor that goes on top of a 5 gallon bucket. It has a cult following. Some of the people using them for vacuum generation are cutting the rim off of a second bucket and putting it inside the first to prevent it from collapsing.
I have one. I just doubted that it was powerful enough. I like the idea to keep the bucket from collapsing, that has been one of my pet peeves of the thing.
 

thinwater

Super Anarchist
1,034
133
Deale, MD
A shop vac is going to stink more, because more air is moved at the beginning and the end (during pumping the volume is the volume either way).

Personally, I would go to a composting toilet. I was not a believer at all, then I started using one on my F-24 MKI. If well designed, they are a good answer when pump-out systems are not convenient. In fact, I tested it inside my house for several months before moving it to the boat. Certainly easier than having to work a pump-out cart.
 

Bugsy

Super Anarchist
2,454
724
Canada
Ajax,

I think you are on to something. Many pumpouts at marinas are very homemade-looking. You need a pump, a motor, electrical supply, water supply and some hoses.

Perhaps @Zonker can chime in: he can probably identify a suitable pump that could be hooked up to a small (3/4 or 1 hp?) electric motor. I think you want a commercial grade pump that will provide the necessary lift and will stand up to regular use with minimal maintenance (just 'flush' after use - hahha).

There is nothing complex or magic about this but I would suggest one simple, closed system consisting of:

* a hose that connects to your boat using the appropriate fitting and is connected to the pump inlet
* a hose from the discharge side of the pump to wherever all this is going.

Keep the poop in the pipe (and pump) from start to finish. No muss, no fuss. Lots of water after each pump and that should last forever. Mucking about with pails and home depot pumps sounds..... unpleasant.
 
When a wet dry shop vac overfills when pumping poop it turns into a poop aerator, yes I know...

If you are talking about pumping to something then disposing at home your best bet is a pneumatic diaphragm pump, the all plastic ones are pretty reasonable at most ind hardware places. A small compressor will supply it fine, pretty easy to clean out etc. Would probably want a 3/4 or 1" for particular bits to not block ball checks.
 

jamhass

Anarchist
775
126
I guess I should elaborate on the Whale Gulper idea. As I said both electric and manual pumps work well. I used a nylon pipe nipple to connect to the pumpout fitting. This went to a PVC elbow, then to a wire-reinforced hose fitted to the pump. Another hose fitted to the pump outlet and overboard when dumping at sea. (For a while I had no way to dump the tank at sea and this was my solution for many years.) I put a hose-to-pipe nipple on the outlet hose. This allowed me to easily cap the entire contraption for stowage.

With a long enough output hose, one could easily dump directly to a drain, etc.

When I used a manual pump it took about 150 stokes to drain my 30 gallon holding tank. Flushing then pump and hoses with my deck washdown kept all (nearly) mess and stink free.
 

Ajax

Super Anarchist
14,605
2,893
Edgewater, MD
With the design I have, the shop vac only pulls a vacuum. NO material enters the shop vac.

It's a linear design- Holding tank to deck fitting, then a hose from deck fitting to a portable RV tank, then another hose on the other end of the RV tank to the shop vac which provides the necessary vacuum.

My friend has already done this successfully except that he pulls directly from the holding tank by removing the cap rather than the deck fitting. He admits that this is disgusting and risky. I'm trying to take his design to the next level by pulling from the deck fitting. This adds lift, which is my concern.
 

Ajax

Super Anarchist
14,605
2,893
Edgewater, MD
The mobile pumper boats were charging $5/pump. Any idea how much have they gone up to?
Those sons of bitches NEVER respond on VHF or mobile phone when I call them. They're down to one boat covering the South, West and Rhode Rivers. It's not that they're expensive, it's that you can never make contact with them.
 

Ajax

Super Anarchist
14,605
2,893
Edgewater, MD
(For a while I had no way to dump the tank at sea and this was my solution for many years.)
I'm actually equipped with a waste transfer pump that lets me empty the tank overboard when I'm past the 3-mile limit. There are valves that would allow me to pump the waste up through the deck fitting rather than overboard but "pushing" shit seems waaaaaaaaaaaay riskier than "pulling" shit.

The valve line-up will "let" me do this...I'm not sure that it was actually meant to be done that way, if that makes any sense.
 

Startracker

Member
390
103
Van Isl.
Do not push instead of pull. Ever seen a macerator output line when an owner forgets to open valves and doesn't do up the clamps tight?! It's like watching one of those inflatable wavy dudes but with shit. If you go with shop vac put a muffler on it. Not for noise but for blast control... If available for your vac a gortex filter in the can will work better. Still smelly. Diaphragm pump is the best imo. Less fussing. Really anything rated for some solids and a max head on the suction side over 10' will do. Build it onto a tank with wheels, I like the garden carts with flat bottom and pneumatic tires. add a battery or go ac powered. Keep intake hose as short as practical, add a spot to hang a dedicated fresh water hose coil and nozzle just for cleaning up.
 
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