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Old 11-28-2006, 07:31 PM   #1
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graywater transfer pump

has anyone had any experience with this mod? it's by the guy who has written great info about electrical and plumbing topics.

http://bart.ccis.com/home/mnemeth/grwater.htm

the mod is to install a graywater transfer pump that allows you to pump water from your gray tank into the black tank. it allows you a few more days of boondocking (according to the author) because your gray tank becomes less full as a result of transferring it to the black tank.

he's written a logical description about it and it looks interesting to me. any concerns against doing it? OR is it even worth considering? keep in mind, i'm doing a complete shell off so if it's a matter of while you're at it kind of thing....
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Old 11-28-2006, 07:39 PM   #2
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Sounds Interesting

That's certainly an ingenious idea. I had problems with the gray water filling up quickly when we first started camping but my wife and I have since learned to conserve water during showers and dish washing.

If you do install this set up I would find a convenient location for that filter. It may become clogged - soap scum, a small piece of food or paper towel remnant, etc. could cause a problem.

I'll certainly keep this mod in mind if we find ourselves boondocking frequently.

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Old 11-28-2006, 07:48 PM   #3
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That sounds like a viable option. But...

My concern is usually more about NOT filling up my black tank. I feel that I have more options with a full grey tank than I do with a full black tank.
Options include:

I can use my blue tote to empty the grey tank, I don't use my tote for the black tank - personal preference.

I can run a hose down a gopher hole - depending on where I'm camping.

FWIW,
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Old 11-28-2006, 08:00 PM   #4
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I agree with Dave, if I have a concern it's about overload on the black tank. The grey waste is far easier to deal with. I'm also not fond of using the blue portable for black tank draining - if you have a slip up with that it's pretty ugly for you and your neighbor campers where with the grey water it's at least manageable. The other options would be to either put in a larger grey tank, or have two of them in tandem if you have the room
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Old 11-28-2006, 08:16 PM   #5
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disclaimer: while i have lots of backpacking/camping experience (i.e. being efficient in the outdoors), i have no trailer boondocking experience.

with that said, if i'm out boondocking and concerned about filling the black tank, aren't i going #1 outside and only using the toilet for #2? if that's the case, how is a 20 gallon black tank going to get filled up so fast? maybe i'm too used to backpacking where even your #2 is done in a cathole outdoors.

i didn't realize filling the black tank was as much of/if not more than a concern as the gray tank. maybe it's not worth the trouble of the graywater transfer pump. if that scenario holds true, my plan of a 20 gallon black tank and a 26 gallon gray tank leads me to believe that a 26 gallon black tank may be more appropriate. hmmm....
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Old 11-28-2006, 08:45 PM   #6
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David,

If you decide to proceed with this project, I would suggest using a flexible impeller 'macerator' pump. The cost is a little more, but you don't need to worry about it plugging up with a tissue or a carrot peel, and it pumps about 3X faster than a regular water pump. Cost is a little higher, about $150.
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Old 11-28-2006, 08:58 PM   #7
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There are campsites that do not frown on the dumping of washwater on the ground, others do. You will find more places to get rid of washwater than you will blackwater. A full blackwater tank is much more of an incovience than a full greywater tank. A hose with a female connection an no male connection is a handy tool to have in your hose locker it can put washwater in your gopher hole where it is allowed.
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Old 11-28-2006, 09:04 PM   #8
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David,
I don't mean to minimize the problems you may have with a full grey tank. If it's full, and the water is backing up in your shower and you can't dump it into a blue tote, or down a gopher hole, then you have a problem.

On the other hand, if your black tank is full, and it's backing up...that's a problem of a different sort.

I just feel that you have more flexability in most situations with grey water, and your only option with a full black tank is to hook up and go to a dump station or use your blue tote for black "water", and I just don't use my tote for that.
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Old 11-28-2006, 10:41 PM   #9
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i think i see this clearly now. it's obviously much more of a headache and a hassle if your black tank becomes full. there's really no remedy short of taking the trailer to a dumpsite (and yes, i don't like the idea of transfering it to a blue boy either). so why would i want to put more water in the black tank than i have to.

if your gray water tank becomes full you have options such as a dave mentioned. SO why have another piece of gear in the trailer when you probably don't really need it (i.e. the pump dedicated for the transfer). looks like a no-go on the transfer pump idea.

thanks for the help on this one

time to find another topic to occupy my brain for the next couple of days.
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Old 11-29-2006, 12:25 AM   #10
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Someone has done it!

Carlos Ferguson did this in the refurbishment of his 62 Safari. The thread is here, look at #317.
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
David,

If you decide to proceed with this project, I would suggest using a flexible impeller 'macerator' pump. The cost is a little more, but you don't need to worry about it plugging up with a tissue or a carrot peel, and it pumps about 3X faster than a regular water pump. Cost is a little higher, about $150.
If you choose this option, I would route the discharge to not only the black water tank but to a valved garden hose connection. This allows you to pump the gray water a long distance 100+ ft.) from your unit, Very handy while boondocking.
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Old 11-29-2006, 11:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarheel
There are campsites that do not frown on the dumping of washwater on the ground, others do.
Rick-
Be carefull Rick, its not so much what a campground will allow, state laws are over-ruling campgrounds these days and there are very few states that allow the dumping of gray water anywhere. I know Georgia still does allow it but most all of NE will not with very stiff fines. Check regulations very carefully before dumping gray water on any ground surface.
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