Forward head black water tank copper fitting replacement


Kevin Schmit
 

Good morning!

I got a chance to take care of an aging problem while conveniently tied to the dock this week.  

About 6 months ago I noticed a small pinhole leak in the copper hose fitting in the forward head while installing new head hoses.  I temp repaired the pin hole problem using JB weld but I knew it was a ticking time bomb.

Sure enough, last week I noted the sound of squirting water in and around the same copper fitting.  Further investigation revealed another hole on the opposite side of the fitting.  Enough was enough, I knew it was time to conduct a proper repair.

I started by removing the old copper using a set of vice grips to twist out as much of it I could with brute force.  80% of it came out with the pliers.  I then used my drill bit step tool to grind out the remaining copper, glue and gunk.  I ground out just enough until I got clean fiberglass chips coming out of the hole.

Goal was to get a clean, dry surface in which to get the West System epoxy to grab when installing the new fitting without enlarging the hole too much.  The hole is 1.5” in diameter.

Next issue was to determine what kind of fitting to use…?  I thought about replacing the copper with bronze but I like using PVC fittings (above the water line only) with black water if possible.

I found a 1.5” to 1.5” hose barb to hose barb fitting would fit nicely.  I also like the idea that the head hose now has barbs to grab into while clamping compared to the old smooth copper fitting.

I dry fit everything together first and then made some colloidal silica thickened epoxy (peanut butter consistency), epoxy coated both the hole and the new fitting mating surfaces and then tapped into place using a small hammer.  I wanted to get the new fitting sunk in at least 3/4”.  Lastly I taped the joint with some tape just to keep any epoxy from dripping out.  After 24 hrs of cure, the repair is successful!


--
Kevin & Kristen Schmit
KIANA
SM #362
Currently in Brunswick, GA for the holiday


Michael Winand
 

Nice work, the aft head will be in the same condition. The copper is not a good thing for black water, urine and copper will react, eating away the copper. 
Michael Nebo sm251 

On Sun, 28 Nov 2021, 10:57 pm Kevin Schmit, <kevschmit64@...> wrote:
Good morning!

I got a chance to take care of an aging problem while conveniently tied to the dock this week.  

About 6 months ago I noticed a small pinhole leak in the copper hose fitting in the forward head while installing new head hoses.  I temp repaired the pin hole problem using JB weld but I knew it was a ticking time bomb.

Sure enough, last week I noted the sound of squirting water in and around the same copper fitting.  Further investigation revealed another hole on the opposite side of the fitting.  Enough was enough, I knew it was time to conduct a proper repair.

I started by removing the old copper using a set of vice grips to twist out as much of it I could with brute force.  80% of it came out with the pliers.  I then used my drill bit step tool to grind out the remaining copper, glue and gunk.  I ground out just enough until I got clean fiberglass chips coming out of the hole.

Goal was to get a clean, dry surface in which to get the West System epoxy to grab when installing the new fitting without enlarging the hole too much.  The hole is 1.5” in diameter.

Next issue was to determine what kind of fitting to use…?  I thought about replacing the copper with bronze but I like using PVC fittings (above the water line only) with black water if possible.

I found a 1.5” to 1.5” hose barb to hose barb fitting would fit nicely.  I also like the idea that the head hose now has barbs to grab into while clamping compared to the old smooth copper fitting.

I dry fit everything together first and then made some colloidal silica thickened epoxy (peanut butter consistency), epoxy coated both the hole and the new fitting mating surfaces and then tapped into place using a small hammer.  I wanted to get the new fitting sunk in at least 3/4”.  Lastly I taped the joint with some tape just to keep any epoxy from dripping out.  After 24 hrs of cure, the repair is successful!


--
Kevin & Kristen Schmit
KIANA
SM #362
Currently in Brunswick, GA for the holiday


Alan "Woody" Wood
 

Nice job Kevin.

I’m thinking of replacing mine soon, not because of corrosion but there seems to be a blockage in it. I presumed it was calcium and tried acid but to no avail. Next step would be to drill into it but would the original fitting have had an inverse U-bend inside the tank to prevent back pressure on the feed pipe when the tank is full?

I’m not sure if I read that somewhere or just made it up in my head but it would make sense and I wouldn’t want to destroy it with the drill if there is. 

Anyone know anything about this?

- Woody


Andrew & Kate Lamb
 

We have replaced both lower holding tank outlets and replaced with PVC tubes – both were straight copper tubes with very little inside the tanks – both very corroded and starting to leak. I drilled a hole through the visible part and twisted to remove, with some work with long-nose pliers afterwards, but this was relatively easy to do.

We have replaced one of the inlet copper pipes – it was less corroded than the outlet pipes and was much harder to replace because there was much more copper pipe inside the holding tank and on the end inside the tank was attached a piece of 38mm hose that formed a loop into the tank. We had to remove the lower part of the copper tube first and then had to pass a grinding tool inside the pipe to cut the upper portion of pipe inside the holding tank.  Once this was done we were able to retrieve the inner copper pipe piece and attached hose. This was replaced by a long straight piece of 40mm diameter PVC tubing it was not possible to add hosing on the inside again but I was able to pass the PVC tube close to the top of the inside of the holding tank.

 

Andrew

 

Ronpische SM472

Canet-en-Roussillon

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> On Behalf Of Alan "Woody" Wood via groups.io
Sent: 29 November 2021 12:56
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Forward head black water tank copper fitting replacement

 

Nice job Kevin.

I’m thinking of replacing mine soon, not because of corrosion but there seems to be a blockage in it. I presumed it was calcium and tried acid but to no avail. Next step would be to drill into it but would the original fitting have had an inverse U-bend inside the tank to prevent back pressure on the feed pipe when the tank is full?

I’m not sure if I read that somewhere or just made it up in my head but it would make sense and I wouldn’t want to destroy it with the drill if there is. 

Anyone know anything about this?

- Woody


Courtney Gorman
 

Try a piece of rigging in the drill open the end a bit it will chew out anything.  
Cheers
Courtney
Trippin
54#101


-----Original Message-----
From: Alan "Woody" Wood <woody@...>
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Nov 29, 2021 6:55 am
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Forward head black water tank copper fitting replacement

Nice job Kevin.

I’m thinking of replacing mine soon, not because of corrosion but there seems to be a blockage in it. I presumed it was calcium and tried acid but to no avail. Next step would be to drill into it but would the original fitting have had an inverse U-bend inside the tank to prevent back pressure on the feed pipe when the tank is full?
I’m not sure if I read that somewhere or just made it up in my head but it would make sense and I wouldn’t want to destroy it with the drill if there is. 
Anyone know anything about this?

- Woody


Christian Sloane
 

Hello there, another follow up question from a newbie owner…
what did you put inside on the other end of the 1.5” to 1.5” hose barb to hose barb fitting?  
Did you use hose, or a section of PVC straight up, like a stand pipe to replace the function of the copper pipe you removed?
Our boat is same vintage, and I suspect I will have to do this at some point…
thanks in advance!

Christian and Jane
Escapades, SM #350
San Diego and Fort Lauderdale




On Nov 29, 2021, at 3:55 AM, Alan Woody Wood <woody@...> wrote:

Nice job Kevin.

I’m thinking of replacing mine soon, not because of corrosion but there seems to be a blockage in it. I presumed it was calcium and tried acid but to no avail. Next step would be to drill into it but would the original fitting have had an inverse U-bend inside the tank to prevent back pressure on the feed pipe when the tank is full?

I’m not sure if I read that somewhere or just made it up in my head but it would make sense and I wouldn’t want to destroy it with the drill if there is. 

Anyone know anything about this?

- Woody



 

Christian,

There are two brass/bronze fittings on the bottom of the black water tank, input and output. The output referred to in this thread does not have anything inside the tank that is attached to it. The input does have either a hose or the bronze pipe which is connected to the input and runs inside the tank to almost the top of the inside of the tank. The purpose of this is if the input is opened or loosened, you will not drain the entire contents.

Bill


CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
View My Training Calendar

On Tue, Nov 30, 2021 at 6:32 PM Christian Sloane <csloane@...> wrote:
Hello there, another follow up question from a newbie owner…
what did you put inside on the other end of the 1.5” to 1.5” hose barb to hose barb fitting?  
Did you use hose, or a section of PVC straight up, like a stand pipe to replace the function of the copper pipe you removed?
Our boat is same vintage, and I suspect I will have to do this at some point…
thanks in advance!

Christian and Jane
Escapades, SM #350
San Diego and Fort Lauderdale




On Nov 29, 2021, at 3:55 AM, Alan Woody Wood <woody@...> wrote:

Nice job Kevin.

I’m thinking of replacing mine soon, not because of corrosion but there seems to be a blockage in it. I presumed it was calcium and tried acid but to no avail. Next step would be to drill into it but would the original fitting have had an inverse U-bend inside the tank to prevent back pressure on the feed pipe when the tank is full?

I’m not sure if I read that somewhere or just made it up in my head but it would make sense and I wouldn’t want to destroy it with the drill if there is. 

Anyone know anything about this?

- Woody