Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Black Tank Secrets



I have been monitoring this process on ADAGIO since you began the effort. So far, I would say, "Great Job!"

I have wondered about exactly how the "fill tube" extends to near the top of the tank, but I have no idea exactly how it is made, nor am I sure about how many versions of the black water tank exist in the total production of the SM...things may vary from hull number to hull number. The things I am mostly sure about are:
  1. The "filling tube" extends to the top because if it did not, when the joker valve fails, the entire contents of the black water tank will drain into the toilet, probably overfilling the toilet into the shower and eventually into the gray water tank.
  2. The exit tube/valve is directly below the pump-out port on the deck.
  3. We should expect the life of the black water tank to be about 20 years, but that will shorten proportionally to the quantity of chemicals added to the flush water.
  4. Joker Valves will fail and the life of most Joker Valves is about 4-5 years, also shortened proportionally to the quantity of chemicals added to the flush water.
  5. Because of #4 above, and if you do not want the entire black water tank overflowing into your toilet, shower, and gray water tank; change the Joker Valve in 2-3 years.
  6. None of this is fun.
Good luck and keep us posted. 


CW Bill Rouse
Admiral, Texas Navy
Commander Emeritus

Amel School
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550

+1(832) 380-4970

On Thu, Apr 5, 2018 at 11:53 AM, gary@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

Hello all!

I have been replacing the copper pipe nipple thingies in both black tanks.  Three out of four of the copper inserts came out without too much of a fight.  On two of the copper pipes, leaks had developed from a crack that had developed at the point where the bonding wire is clamped on. From that point, the cracks expanded and ran up into the fiberglass of the tank.

The fourth and final piece of copper did not yield. It would not budge for quite a while, but eventually broke free for just a small amount of motion. The piece would wiggle, and move up and down maybe 1/2 inch but it refused to come free. 

Finally, after several hours of bending, pounding < /span>screwdrivers between the copper and the glass, vise grips and channel locks of various sizes I finally got it to break free.  Well, actually, it tore free. What I had in hand was apparently not the complete tube. It seem that this one, unlike the others, runs completely through the tank's 'nipple' and is attached via a hose clamp to a pipe/sanitation hose that is inside the tank.

I remember from the sm2000 diagram that there was an internal 'lifting' pipe but I don't think I saw it a attached to the copper tubing.  At any rate, I have most of the copper tube out but the internal piece, which is still attached to a hose of some sort, won't be coming out. It is just not possible to reach it through the bottom of the tank and I'm pretty sure there's no other access.

I got the inspection mirror up there and it looks like that hose is displaced, but not a significant block.  I'm suspicious that it may have been partially detached for quite a while already...

My initial assessment is that there's nothing I can do about it.  I also think that it shouldn't present too much of a problem in the short run so I'm not ready to run off to find a repair solution right now. 

When we get to Martinique next Spring I will talk it through with the fine folks at Amel.

My question is whether or not anyone has run into this before, if anyone knows if this is "standard" construction (I noticed that s/v D elos had no such problem during their recent episode with a similar problem).

Now to start the cleanout/cleanup process! :)

Best wishes!

Gary W.

sm #209, "Adagio"

Fethiye, Turkey ... prepping for ARC 2018


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