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Macerators, leaks and fixes


Dennis H
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Let's talk about macerators. You know the installed poop grinders. First off, let me say this post is not about the pros and cons of using them. My coach came with one and I would not buy another coach without one. That said, over the years it has had it's share of issues. I pull mine apart and clean it at the same time I do all my other annual servicing of my rig. However, it has always bothered me that it seems to be struggling at times. I just figured it must have been something we ate. 🙂 Then there is the bypass do-hickey that sprung a leak a couple years ago. A glob of JB Weld and it leaked no more. At least until last week, then it started trickling a bit. Sooooo....

We are wintering in Arizona, it's a new year, the weather is beautiful and I am bored so I thought I'd tackle the macerator project. A quick check thru the internet showed I could order a replacement part for the low low price of $34.95 plus tax and shipping. After a long pause at the computer to confirm I was reading everything correctly, I removed the offending part and made a trip to my local Home Depot. Scrounging through their PVC aisle, their brass fittings as well as their drip system aisle I came away with a solution. The register showed about $8 including taxes. I was getting excited. Back to the coach to assemble the parts. Assembled everything and it worked like a charm. However, the pump, as usual, was acting up. So I removed it, cleaned it and reassembled it. While I had it off, on a whim, I put it on my coach battery. WOW! Thing ran like a scared puppy. So, I began the tedious job of tracing down the wiring in my coach, looking for any voltage drop. I was showing 13.4 VDC at the battery and only 12.3 VDC at the relay. Upon activating the switch, that voltage dropped to 11.5 VDC! Not good. Back I went to tracing the wiring. Apparently Monaco did some strange stuff wiring things. The macerator source is in the rear run bay where it's fused. From there it goes thru several looms and finally comes out in the wet bay. They used 14ga wire, insufficient for a Jabsco pump but maybe sufficient for a Thetford. Dunno, but mine has a Jabsco. Back to HD where I purchased a 50' spool of 10 ga wire and a 10 ga in line fuse holder. I then ran a new wire from the house battery bank directly to the wet bay. I now have a dedicated wire from the source to the switch and then to the motor. What a difference! Emptying the black tank first, smooth and fast, followed by the grey water to clean everything out. The pump ran like never before. Not a hint of a slowdown or hiccup.

Big difference!!! If you have a macerator system in your coach and it seems to be struggling or just not up to par, you might want to check your wiring. 50' of 10 ga wire is $20 at HD. You can run a test wire from your batteries to your pump switch and see if that perks the pump up. If it does, as it did mine, you can simply run a new wire for the pump and be a happy camper again.

I'm sharing my experience in the hopes it helps someone else. If you need pictures of the bypass gizmo I made, let me know and I'll post it. Eight bucks versus forty and you can afford to take your honey out to dinner and Mickey Ds!! 🙂 🙂
Happy New Year everyone!....Dennis

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Edited by Dennis H
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Great info, Dennis. Brings me back to my boating days before upgrading to a land yacht. Had a few sh*tty stories, mainly from guests treating the head like a trash can!🤬 I love being the envy of my camping group of friends. While they are setting up their stinky slinky's for a week-long stay, I put the macerator wand in the drain at the end of the stay.😁👍

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18 minutes ago, HarleyR said:

Great info, Dennis. Brings me back to my boating days before upgrading to a land yacht. Had a few sh*tty stories, mainly from guests treating the head like a trash can!🤬 I love being the envy of my camping group of friends. While they are setting up their stinky slinky's for a week-long stay, I put the macerator wand in the drain at the end of the stay.😁👍

Same here. Gave up living aboard my Newporter 40 to go Land Yachting. Kinda miss it though.

 

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I have never been a fan of the macerator's especially after being stuck behind a ole fart trying to empty his tanks at a campground community dump.  When they break down or stop going, many folks do not know what to do next.   It takes me less than 5 minutes to dump my tanks, put some fresh water in the bottom of my black tank and boogie boogie down the Blvd.  JMHO, Chuck B  

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  • 1 year later...

Can you tell me how to bypass the masserator? It seems the pump has quit working and I am needing to drain my tank.  

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Simple! Shut both dump valves. Purchase dump hoses. Disconnect dump hose connected to macerater( hopefully it has nothing in it. Connect new hoses to dump connection and other end to sewer connection and dump black then gray.

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13 minutes ago, Gary M said:

Simple! Shut both dump valves. Purchase dump hoses. Disconnect dump hose connected to macerater( hopefully it has nothing in it. Connect new hoses to dump connection and other end to sewer connection and dump black then gray.

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Thank you

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7 minutes ago, 96 EVO said:

Ha!

Chances of that are slim to none. Have a bucket ready!

I have my bucket here ready.  

2 hours ago, GypsyJo said:

Thank you

Is there a fuse or something to reset masserator? It ran for a minute then just stopped.  

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44 minutes ago, GypsyJo said:

I have my bucket here ready.  

Is there a fuse or something to reset masserator? It ran for a minute then just stopped.  

If yours is in a box, there is on on the motor also. May have to take out and clean around the blade.

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Edited by Gary M
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I'll be trying to get into it this week.  I have covid and haven't been able to do much but I'm on my way to recovery.  

Thank you again. 

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30 minutes ago, Chuck B 2004 Windsor said:

When you are trying to macerate, replacing blown fuses, impellers, etc,  I attach my good quality sewer hose, pull the dump valve, when the whoosh stops, I disconnect the hose, and I am on my merry way, usually within 5 minutes.

Sorry Chuck, 8 years now using the Sani-con exclusively, I'm not going back to the stinky slinky!

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Oh your not wrong.

I just find the enclosed system, unscrew a little bottle cap, super easy to put back in the bay, sanitary system, works for me!

I find the secret to keeping a sani-con system working well is keeping long hair out of the grey tank. I installed a fine holed rubber screen over the shower drain several years ago, and had no issues since.

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11 hours ago, 96 EVO said:

Oh your not wrong.

I just find the enclosed system, unscrew a little bottle cap, super easy to put back in the bay, sanitary system, works for me!

I find the secret to keeping a sani-con system working well is keeping long hair out of the grey tank. I installed a fine holed rubber screen over the shower drain several years ago, and had no issues since.

I hadn't thought of the long hair.  My granddaughter had been with me this winter and had hair down to her waist.  I better find one of those screens to put over the drain.  

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