A FloJet Macerator Pump Made It Possible

A FloJet Macerator Pump Made It Possible

Fran and I have been RVing for over 19 years now. Most of that time as full timers.  We’ve stayed in many RV parks and campgrounds and other places. In all those years I’ve never had a need for a macerator pump. That changed a few months ago.

In mid November 2012 we we’re parked at Lake Minden, a Thousand Trails park about 20 miles south of our hometown of Yuba City.  Our plan was to alternate between Lake Minden and Lake of the Springs, another nearby Thousand Trails park, through the Holidays then head south to Arizona.

That changed when we got a call from #4 son Drew.  He told his Mom that he wanted us to park in his driveway for the holidays. He said he was committed to do whatever it took to make us comfortable there. He has a big driveway so we drove into town to talk about the logistics of where we would park and how we would get hookups.

Drew & Jennifer's Driveway.
Drew & Jennifer’s Driveway. Plenty of space and lots of Shade too.

We did some basic measuring and decided there was plenty of room at the back of their driveway to park our house.

Water wasn’t a problem, there was a faucet nearby. We determined that, with the help of his Brother Kurt, Drew could install a new 30 amp circuit with an RV receptacle box. We would need a 50 foot RV extension power cord to reach the RV and the power cord would have to run across the driveway. That meant we would have to protect it from car traffic. Some 2x4s fastened together with a space between for the cord would solve that problem.

30 amp RV outlet on a dedicated circuit.
30 amp RV outlet on a dedicated circuit.

Which left us with the problem of no practical way of dumping the holding tanks. There was no suitable access to the main sewer line. It was at least 150 feet away. We discussed using a toter tank and Drew said he would be willing to do the toter shuttle whenever we needed it done. But I knew he had no concept of how often the process would need done and what a hassle it would be. Also if we needed an ‘emergency’ dump he may not be available.

The solution seemed to be a macerator pump. The Flojet Portable RV Waste Pump only required a 3/4 inch garden hose and, according to specifications, had the ability to pump the waste up to 50 feet. Not needing to dump into a large sewer line meant we could use a drain clean out but we didn’t have one. Drew said he could plumb an extension off the drain line of the laundry room through the outside wall.  The 3/4inch ‘sewer hose’ would cross the driveway with the power cord.  Only problem was we needed about 60 feet of hose to reach the RV.

With a bit of hope and a reasonable plan I ordered a FloJet and purchased a 75 foot hose with the thought that if the pump couldn’t handle the whole length we would cut it to the length we needed and see if that would work.

ewer hose connection.
A drain clean out and some off-the-shelf plumbing parts and we have a ‘sewer hose’ connection.
Running the power cord and 3/4 inch 'sewer hose' across the driveway.
Running the power cord and 3/4 inch ‘sewer hose’ across the driveway.
Not the ideal solution but it work.

Of course the macerator pump having a 12 volt electric motor meant it needed a 12 volt power source. I chose to run a line under the RV directly from the batteries (30 amp fuse at the battery). I purchased a 50 foot 12 gauge extension cord, cut the ends off and fished the cord  from the batteries back to the sewer dump valves.  I used the wiring kit that came with the macerator pump but used a different  plan for the installation that better fit my needs.

12 volt power line for macerator pump
12 volt power line for macerator pump run under the RV from the batteries.
Power switch for the macerator pump.
Power switch for the macerator pump.
I used the wiring kit that came with the pump but wired the power switch to fit my needs. The switch is wired in permanently and when not in use it is stored inside to hatch to the RV power cord compartment.

I’m happy to report the macerator pump worked just fine even with the full 75 foot hose.

I kept the macerator connected all the time we were there which allowed us to dump the tanks whenever we wanted with the same convenience of  a standard RV sewer connection.

FloJet Macerator Pump connected to the RV
FloJet Macerator Pump
The pump is left connected when we are parked. The clear elbow make it easy to see when the tanks are empty.

You gotta know that pumping through a 3/4 inch hose isn’t going to be as fast as dumping the tanks through a 3 inch hose directly into sewer pipe but I was expecting it to be slower than it is. I can dump a 45 gallon tank in about 5 minutes although I have not timed it exactly. That is fast enough for me even when dumping all three tanks. I’m not in a big hurry.

We developed a routine where I dump the gray tank evert two to three days and the two black tanks every other time I dump the gray tank.  On this schedule we didn’t have to be especially conservative with water usage.

We stayed At Drew & Jennifer’s through the holidays to the end of January when we headed for Arizona. After a couple months in AZ we spent about a month in So Cal at #1 son Mark’s home.

We’ve been staying at Mark’s for years and even though the sewer connection wasn’t all that close I managed with an 35 foot length of 3-inch sewer hose. Even though it worked it was never satisfactory.  This last visit was different since I used the macerator pump. What a difference it was too. I wish now I would have bought a macerator years ago just to use at Mark’s house.

So, here it is mid-May 2013. We are back in Yuba City, again parked in Drew & Jennifer’s driveway. I’ve had time to really put the FloJet to the test and it is still working great.

It’s nice being neighbors with our son, daughter-in-law and the grandkids. You can’t really get to know them until you spend time with them. Time you just can’t find if you’re camped 20 miles out from town. The macerator pump and some ingenuity made it possible.


Empty holding tanks with the press of a switch!

Eliminates bending, reaching and straining to open the waste valve on your RV. Attach the hose and press the switch to drain your tank. An LED indicator shows when valve is open, to avoid accidental leaks and spills.

Easily attaches to your manual valve. Draws less than 2.5 amps of 12-volt power during operation. Opens and closes in about 2 seconds. Manual override if power fails. Fully sealed motor. Made of aluminum, stainless steel and ABS plastic, so it will not rust or corrode. Includes switch with LED indicator and label for mounting near valve. Barker 3″ Auto Drain RV Waste Valve


 
 

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17 Responses to "A FloJet Macerator Pump Made It Possible"

  1. We just bought a used pump from an individual. We are new at this so would like to ask you a couple of questions if you do not mind.

    We are having trouble getting the plastic attachment on the motor home that the tube goes into loose, it is stuck, don’t want to break it, any suggestions?

    The clear attachment that came with the pump will not go onto the pump, it starts but will not click into the lock mode. Is there any lubricant or what can we do?

  2. What type of tool is being used to cut the front of the macerator? It looks like some type of lathe. What ever it is I don’t have one. Any suggestions what else I can use to cut the macerator?
    If I can possibly cut the macerator correctly, what PVC fitting can I ask for at the hardware store?

  3. I did not make any physical alterations to the macerator pump. The only thing I did was add Anderson Power Poll connectors to the pump’s power line. Because it was not intended to be installed permanently the connectors allow the pump to be removed from the sewer line for cleaning and/or storage.

  4. Thank you for your reply. Somehow I asked the question to you. I was looking at your post also and your set up was going to be my second choice, only because I purchased a sea flo macerator in error and I am trying to make it work. I was trying to ask the question on open road forums. There is an article with pictures called home made macerator.
    After reading all the posts I came up with an idea to make the sea flo macerator work. If it’s a success I will post it here.
    Thanks again.

  5. My husband hooked the water house up to ours to flush out the 3/4 ” hose we use. He left it hooked up but, closed off the grey and black water…well, somehow it backed up into our rv! What a mess! We love the pump and have had it for several years and this had never happened…HELP!

  6. Wow, I can imagine the mess. But, from what you have explained, I cannot imagine how that happened. Sorry, I just can’t work that out in my brain. Maybe more specific info about the process?

  7. We found, what we think, was the problem…our grey water valve broke and did not shut completely (something we were not aware of), allowing it to back up into the pipes and on into the rv! We were not living in the rv, only in and out doing some repairs and very little grey water was being used, if any. We will have to get this fixed and cross our finger for the next doniker dumping!

  8. So interesting, I have my fifth wheel parked in my daughters back yard, I planned to hook up to their sewer but we are on a flat and it is a slight grade up to the sewer and it will not pump up we are about 25 feet away from it someone suggested a macerator pump but I am female and no nothing about them, do u think it would work, we have water and electric connections. Do you need a special toilet? We only need it for the toilet. Would love some suggestions

  9. Shirley, A macerator pump will certainly work for you. I use a FloJet portable RV macerator pump. You will also need a minimum 3/4 inch garden hose long enough to reach the sewer connection. A 1 inch diameter hose would be better but can be expensive. You will also need a source of 12 volts to power the pump. Re-read this article and study the photos. If you have specific questions post them here and I’ll try to answer them.

  10. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a macerator for a long time. You still have to flush out the black tank after emptying though, correct?

    We do mostly boondocking, but have run into RV parks where our hose actually went uphill until I put out a bunch of wood blocks and leveling ‘Legos’ to give us at least a hint of downhill flow. Sounds like the macerator would have totally eliminated this problem.

    Your well written description article has helped immensely. Thank you.

  11. It should not be necessary to flush the black tank every time you dump. But that depends on how ‘frugal’ you are with water. It you have plenty of water in the black tank before you dump it, the less you’ll need to flush it after.

    A macerator pump can be handy and the hose is usually easier to store.

    We’re happy you found the information helpful. We all learn from each other.

  12. We just bought a flojet
    First time using on grey tank had not tightened fully and the Flo jet came off!! Very glad it was not the black tank

    When tank was empty water was still in the hose (we did not back flush but will do in future). Any tips for getting water out of the hose when finished (we held hose up and walked it to the drain but was not the cleanest way due to dripping. Any good tips please before I try the black tank please????

  13. Emptying the holding tanks is never truly sanitary. We can only do our best to minimise the mess.

    ‘Walking the hose to the drain’ is the only way I know to empty it, but flushing it with clean water first is recommended. Take your time emptying the hose to get as much water out as you can. Once empty, you can connect the ends together to minimise dripping and odor.

  14. We bought the flojet but I’m wondering if we need to have a heavy duty hose or just a good quality 3/4″ garden hose? Thanks!

  15. It is the diameter of the hose that is most important, 1″ inch would be better but 3/4 inch is the minimum recommended by the manufacturer and I have had no problem using that size. The hose’s durability depends on where and how much you plan to use it.

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