Leaky Macerator

August 19, 2009
hoding tank PVC T to macerator and deck discharge
Holding tank PVC T to macerator and deck discharge

When the holding tank was 3/4 full the Jabsco 18590 macerator leaked from one of the top acorn nuts and from the seal. The macerator was replaced in 2002 and used maybe 5 times since then, so why this kind of failure? It’s bolted to a bulkhead and attached to some rigid PVC, could be:

…attachment points don’t flex enough

…not used enough

…but probably, like everything on a boat, just deteriorated over time

PVC ball valve with plug
PVC ball valve with plug

Instead of putting in a new macerator in place of the old one, how about removing this failure point and installing a valve to close it off from the plumbing when not needed?

If the holding tank was above the waterline, I could have a hose going out of the ball valve down to the thru hull and the tank could be emptied by gravity. But the tank is mostly below the waterline. And the fuel pump is in the way of adding a macerator.

I have some options:

  1. Move the fuel pump to another location. That means new fuel lines and wiring.
  2. Change the PVC and hose locations
  3. Don’t put a macerator on

Option 3 wins. Most of our sailing is inside 3 miles of the coast where it is illegal to empty the holding tank. The few times we’ve used the macerator was on the way back from Catalina. Just doesn’t seem worth it to add a macerator with the plumbing design the way it is. Didn’t really need that ball valve, did I?

OK! On to the next project!


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