View Full Version : Purasan issue, seeking answers please!!

05-15-2016, 02:58 PM
Ok, so here's my issue. We bought the boat a few months ago. It has a Purasan system on board with two Raritan Atlantes heads. Every time we flush we get a horrible sewage smell outside of the boat. Bad enough that we don't want to use them when our boating neighbors are here. At one point we had some sewage shooting out of the vents when we flushed. I ran some water down the vents thinking they may have been clogged. The smell still continues. I've pumped the tanks a few times still to no avail. It also appears to get worse when the holding tanks indicate half full. The remote indicator panel never goes below 1/4 tank when pumping out. This is not a vacuum system. For some reason I just can't figure this one out. :confused::confused::confused::confused: Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

05-15-2016, 06:28 PM
Have you validated that you have the treatment tablets for the system? It might just need new ones put in.

05-15-2016, 09:59 PM
Yep, new tablets were put in about a month ago. Going to do some prodding tomorrow and see if I can find anything obvious. Maybe disconnect the vent hoses and do a thorough cleaning. That is if I can get to them.

05-16-2016, 06:34 AM
You need to take a hard look at how your system is set up. If you are running your Purasan systems and they are running correctly and you are in an area where they are allowed, then there should be no tanks involved in the process. You should flush, the water/waste goes from the Atlantes heads, to the Pursasan system to be treated, then it goes overboard. If your Purasans are plumbed into holding tanks, then you are just wasting time, money, and electricity. Treated waste from a Purasan that goes into a holding tank is going to end up smelling.

If you do not feel knowledgeable enough to track all of this down yourself, then hire someone to do it. There is something going on here that you do not understand. Once you understand how your system is set up, then you can figure out how to make it work correctly.

05-16-2016, 06:41 AM
You need to see if your vent line has a carbon filter to scrub the stink out of the air before it's pushed out of the tank. I built my own out of PVC pipe and aquarium filter media and carbon that you can buy at any walmart.

I didn't have a Purasan system. Mine was simply a holding tank, but I too would clear the docks when I flushed my toilets. Once I installed this, there were no more problems. 1 thing though, you need to ensure you manage the level of waste in your tank because saturating the carbon in this air filter will reduce the life of it big time. I made my carbon canister to where it was serviceable. The store-bought ones will run you ~$75 and are not serviceable. The one I built cost me ~$35 to make.

05-16-2016, 08:38 AM
on previous boats we had with holding tanks we used chemical deodorizers we bought at Walmart in the rv section. we never ever had a smell from our tanks. now we have a purisan and over board discharge and no holding tanks.i do however use chlorine tabs in the water strainer plus the tabs for the purisan.

05-16-2016, 06:06 PM
So there is where I'm a bit confused with the setup. The previous owner told me that the waste goes through the Purasan system, then to a holding tanks. In my case, two holding tanks. Once the tanks are full then they either need to be pumped out or discharged over-board where appropriate. I have to empty the tanks when they are half full because the sewage smell is awful outside after every flush. I haven't tackled the system yet. It's not the easiest to get to and requires removing some duct work to really get to the hart of it, but I'm hoping to do that witching the next day or two. I hate not knowing a system and the correct way it should be operating. I'm going to get ahold of Raritan and see if they can give some insight.

05-16-2016, 07:09 PM
Is it leaving one holding tank and then hitting the 2nd before it can be dumped overboard?

05-16-2016, 08:08 PM
Good question, and one I don't have an answer to. Hopefully I'll know more when I climb down there and check it out.

05-16-2016, 08:48 PM
Yuck. What a nasty problem to have to deal with. Is there any point in calling Raritan and asking their expert for his take on the matter? Vic Willman used to be their guru, an amazingly nice guy, who knew everything about it, but I think he retired. Might be worth asking, though. Once you've taken a good look at your set-up, and have the model numbers at hand, you should be able to answer questions they might have, get some answers, and maybe save yourself a lot of trouble. Peggie Hall's updated version of her book on boat odors might also be worth a read.

05-17-2016, 06:54 AM
Your system is set up wrong. The Pursan system grinds and basically shocks the waste - killing about 99% of the bacteria. That treated waste is then OK to directly discharge overboard IF you are in an area that allows it. To take treated waste from a Purasan system and store it in a holding tank is 100% wrong. The 1% of bacteria that is left will grow in the holding tanks. It is anaerobic bacteria - that is what causes the smell.

So, your system is plumbed wrong. Since it it plumbed wrong, it has probably been used wrong. I have no doubt that the previous owner flushed chemicals down the toilet. Those chemicals probably killed the plates in the Purasan system.

Here is what you need to do. First find out if where your boat is docked allows the treated waste from the Purasan to be discharged directly overboard. If so, then you can retain the Purasans and plumb them for direct discharge. You will need to verify that your Purasan systems still operate correctly - as I said earlier, the plates in the system are probably fried. Also, be aware that the discharge - while odor and bacteria free - is not necessarily clear. Depending what you are disposing of, it can be anywhere from slightly discolored to brown. If you cannot discharge directly overboard, then you need to rip out or bypass the Purasan systems and go directly from your toilets to the holding tanks. If you use the system correctly, it will not smell.

Vic Willman did retire. And, he was an extremely nice and helpful guy.

Also, if you do have a filter on your vent line, it was ruined when it got wet and must be replaced.

05-17-2016, 07:20 AM
eastenboater likely has it right.
Yes Vic was amazing!

05-17-2016, 01:10 PM
Vic even made a house call. Houseboat call. Long before we were ready to drill holes in our newly-built hull, he and his lovely wife stopped by, and we had a most pleasant visit, and learned a lot. We eventually decided that despite the charming Mr. Willman's kindness and expertise, we couldn't go that route. Discharging even well-treated waste into our coastal Carolina waters was soon prohibited, and the more we read about holding tanks and the challenge of finding working pumpouts along our dreamed of cruising routes, the more it seemed we'd have to rethink the whole plan. The traditional flusher was going to be far nastier, heavier, more expensive, and much more complicated than we wanted to deal with. Worst of all, my nose is infamously sensitive. So, we went another direction, and years later, are still very pleased. No stink, no clogs or broken parts, no chemicals, no black water discharge, and no through-hulls! I'm so glad we didn't have to rip out a bunch of fancy plumbing first!

06-01-2016, 04:34 AM
What easttnboater said is correct with the exception of the plates in the Purasan....The Purasan has no electro plates....thats in the Electroscan...which converts saltwater to chlorine. If your Purasan is the old 1201 model...using raw water to fill the canister convert it to the 1202, which uses fresh water to fill the chlorine canister. Also the pre-EX Purasans were all gravity flow from the csnister to the PURASAN...The newer EX uses pressure from a pump to force it out of the canister into the system, and you can so progrm th unit fr th correct amount of water to enter the csnister vs the old trial and error clamp method.

Vent filters are just a band aide fix....if the holding tank is properly installed, no, filters and no smell....the larger the size vents and more air the better...1.5" and cross vented into the tank is ideal.

Like anything else the Purasan requires maintenance.....the only way to know if its working properly is if you get water in the canister and it drains out.....fittings tend to clog, as well as the drain holes in the canister...(not so much now with the retro kit, which uses a basket and loose tablets)

The majority of people think just because their boat has a treatment system on it they are legal...and they havent check to see (and probably wouldnt know what they were looking at anyway) if its working properly or not....and why in the world would a person wanna discharge 80 to 160 gallons over at once....