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Thread: Replacing Head intake/outake hoses - E26

  1. #1
    Contributing Member III
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Replacing Head intake/outake hoses - E26

    Hello all - I've been enjoying my first season with my 1988 E26. Great boat, just love it.

    However, there's a rotten egg smell that comes from head whenever I'm pumping flushing water through. From other forums, I've determined that it's likely this is NOT a waste problem, but a case of seaweed and other natural life dying in the intake hose. Problem is, it looks like a bear to replace. The through hull is visible via an inspection port inside the small locker inside the step to the V berth. However, I can barely reach a hand in to touch the clamps, much less fit a screwdriver or wrench in.

    My question - has anyone successfully changed the intake and outake hoses on this boat? Any recommendations about process?



  2. #2
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Portland, OR. Columbia River
    Blog Entries

    Question Access can often be created

    Speaking very much 'in general'... I would advocate adding some access.
    After wrestling with the hose routing and connections inside our head counter area I finally added a large plastic round access port to a solid part of the frp counter face. In your situation you might be looking at doing this for a teak panel -- you could either carefully cut out a rectangular section and then frame it back in with teak pieces, or fit a removable teak louver.

    Owners of sister ships may certainly have a better idea or two!

    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  3. #3
    Moderator Guy Stevens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    San Fran Area
    Blog Entries

    Somtimes there is an easier solution

    I note that you said "when flushing" for the smell....

    Remove the intake from the through hull, flush it with a vinegar,taking care to leave it not just in the hose, but also this will fill the area under the rim of the head where there could be some sea creature entombment. (Gallons are cheap at Costco).

    I put a strainer on all of my head intakes anymore, it has saved the worst smell which is sucking a dead little fish into the space for the flush water discharge below the lip of the bowl.

    Generally a weekend or more with some vinegar is a good solution. It the intake hose does not smell, only when you are flushing the head, then the culprit is what is in the hose, or what is in the area in the bowl.

    Flushing some fresh water through the intake side of the head before leaving the boat helps a lot too, so you may want a little y valve if you are a weekend boater.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Annapolis, MD
    Something else you might want to do is make a simple modification to have the option of flushing with fresh water. I installed a T directly on the seacock for the sink drain, and connected the flush intake to the head to it. Fill the basin with some water and the seacock closed,and when you flush you get fresh water free of any critters. Of course, the down side is if you then use the sink as a sink, you do need to open the cabinet below the sink and open the seacock. I have found it worth the effort though.
    Independence 31

  5. #5
    Sustaining Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Torrance, CA

    I've got a 1985 E26 which should have the same plumbing as yours.

    The raw water intake hose for the head T's into the drain hose for the head sink. If you close the seacock, fill the head sink with water and then push the plunger on the head it will suck the sink water into the head. I'm wondering if you could put mild chemicals into the sink and drain them through the hoses to clean out whatever it is that's causing the hose to stink? Maybe vinegar would work.

    I typically use the head only on trips to Catalina Island and pump out the holding tank at sea on the return trip. Back in port I clean the head using mild soap and fresh water, and pump a few buckets of fresh soapy water into the holding tank, which I pump overboard next time I'm at sea. Sometimes I have to do this twice, but I end up with no significant oder.

    Another thing, slightly off subject, if the head sink occasionally won't drain with the seacock open, try using a small toilet plunger to clear it. It took me years of experimentation to figure this out. There must be an airlock of something that develops in the sink drain hose.

    Feel free to email me if you have other E26 questions. I've owned mine since 1994 and have made several improvements, and maybe can help you avoid some of the dumb mistakes I 've made over the years.

    Captain Don
    E26 Gitana

  6. #6
    Contributing Member III
    Join Date
    Sep 2009


    These are some great suggestions. I certainly like the idea of avoiding the hose change as I don't see any problem with the hose other than the smell. I did put vinegar through the waste hose and found it made a small, but noticeable improvement in the system. However, clearly most of the smell is coming from the intake hose.

    I don't believe my intake attaches to the sink hose, but I'll take another look. Maybe I missed it.

    If not, I'll look into putting some sort of T valve in, plus cleaning out with vinegar. I assume I could just take the hose off inside the head, put a clean oil spout in it, and pour in vinegar. Is that right?


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