All waste plumbing hoses should be kept as short and straight as possible with no dips where waste could collect. The diverter valve should be located for easy access to the selector handle and free of other stored “stuff” that could bump the handle. The handle positions should be clearly marked for no confusion as to tank or overboard. Before mounting, make sure there is enough room for all three hose fittings and hose bends. Use 120- or 90-degree hose fittings where necessary to prevent tight bends in discharge hoses, and make sure to use the correct reinforced hose designed for sanitation systems.
A Y-valve can also be reversed and used in a bilge-pump arrangement to select between two separate bilge areas using only one bilge pump.
In most boats, these valves are used infrequently, so one of the main problems is that they become stiff, hard to operate, and even lock up. The other problem, as with all parts of the onboard sanitation system, is a slight leak either through the hoses or by the housing or handle that could cause odors.
For more on onboard sanitation systems, check out our recent reviews of waste hoses (PS, April 2012), holding tanks (PS, February and April 2012), and holding tank deodorizers (PS, March 2012).