When we bought the boat the whole head area smelled bad and we figured the hoses had absorbed the sewer smell and needed to be replaced. And the holding tank was a rubber bladder that was actually intended for fuel, so that had to go too. And the toilet valve was starting to leak a bit. So we decided to rip it ALL out and start "fresh".
Saturday I shut the thru hulls, pumped out the holding tank, and started cutting hoses. It's amazing how much gunk had accumulated in the hoses. I'm surprised we could use the head at all.
To contain the sewage I sprayed that expanding foam stuff into the pipes as I cut them. I was careful to cut above the level of fluid in the holding tank, but still some stinky water escaped into the bilge. Working on heads is absolutely disgusting!
Anyway, I got everything out; holding tank, toilet, macerator pump, two Y valves, and several feet of clogged hose. And Sunday I scrubbed and rinsed every surface behind and under the sink and toilet area with hot water from the shower wand. And suddenly the head is smelling a lot better.
We have ordered a new toilet and Purasan unit which will treat the sewage so we can dump it overboard with a clear conscience. Except not here in California. See, here in California, you must NEVER dump sewage in the water and your Y valve must be locked in the holding tank position and you just use the pump out facilities at the fuel dock. However, the minute we leave California waters we will probably never see another pump out station, so then what do we do?
We figured this solution will work for us. Here in California we will use the holding tank and pump out stations. The holding tank will hold only treated sewage so it won't smell bad. Then after we leave California, we can pump the treated sewage overboard and not feel like we are polluting the ocean.
I know you are on the edge of your seats waiting to see the outcome of all this, so I'll keep you posted.