Jud - s/v Sputnik

Jabsco toilet rant

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On 7/29/2020 at 7:00 PM, Miffy said:

The only bad thing about the lavac is the inability to courtesy flush/not yet done but kind of want to evacuate bowl. 

 

You need to put on some weight, work on that seal..

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2 hours ago, SASSAFRASS said:

You need to put on some weight, work on that seal..

You never heard the term "rectal prolapse"? :D

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2 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

You never heard the term "rectal prolapse"? :D

Just can't help getting political.  :P

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Lavacs like most are gross, if I can't push a button no joy.  I ended up retrofiting our jabsco electric when the macerator pump died. I had already added a Johnson diaphragm pump for sw supply, same pump as hotel fw. I put in a jabsco diaphragm in the discharge line of the head. The ones use for waste transfer.  It has worked great.

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On 10/3/2020 at 7:56 PM, SASSAFRASS said:

Lavacs like most are gross, if I can't push a button no joy.  I ended up retrofiting our jabsco electric when the macerator pump died. I had already added a Johnson diaphragm pump for sw supply, same pump as hotel fw. I put in a jabsco diaphragm in the discharge line of the head. The ones use for waste transfer.  It has worked great.

Lavacs can be equipped with an electric version of the Mk V Henderson waste transfer pump. In fact, if you have the room you can place a manual version inline with the electric version for redundancy in case the electric pump fails. I read this in the Lavac installation instructions.

I've had Wilcox-Crittenden Headmates and the ubiquitous Jabsco cheap-y toilets and hated them both. The piston seals failed regularly and the shaft seal on the pump handles always leaked (which is gross).  The Henderson pump is nothing more than a giant, robust diaphragm.  I hid the pump in the wet locker behind the toilet so the installation looks very tidy. You can't see anything but the throne when you look in the head.

7-10 strokes and it's gone.

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I think just about anything will work well for the vessel owner and fam for the most part.  We have had all sorts of manual heads over the years.  They all met their end from guests or family visiting.  I had the original head off Dorade for a while, came with all the riveted boxes with service kits etc. Did a full overhaul honed the pump barrel etc.  But the wife put the breaks on it so it went to the maritime center secound hand store. A plaque saying Olin shit here sounded funny at the time.

I think there is too much going on with manual heads, especially ones doing dual duty with water pumping.  For long-term liveaboards they don't have a realistic duty cylcle.  Electrical pumps water and waste are going to do the same thing regardless of who pushes the button.

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Yes, I have had the same experience with the Jabsco.  The stack of water in the hose to the holding tank empties back into the head.  Every spring I replace the Joker valve and it lasts roughly till the end of July, and then we're back to sloshing mess.  Jabsco even has a support video on it:
 

 

However I am open to replacing it if there is a brand that does not have this issue (other than composting).

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29 minutes ago, sonofasailor4x said:

However I am open to replacing it if there is a brand that does not have this issue (other than composting).

I'd think that those using big diaphragm pumps, like the Lavac or the old Wilcox thrones, wouldn't allow this? No joker valves... 

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22 minutes ago, Oceanconcepts said:

I'd think that those using big diaphragm pumps, like the Lavac or the old Wilcox thrones, wouldn't allow this? No joker valves... 

There are checks valves in the Lavac pump.  They seem more robust.  I haven't replaced mine yet. 

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I've heard the Wilcox Crittendons are the only ones to have but they have to be good for as much as they cost. Plus, you really need a roomy head to use them and I don't. So it's Jabsco and replace the choker(joker?) valve mid year.

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I have never heard someone complain about their composting head.  No through hull.. no clogged hoses.  No pump out problems.  

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27 minutes ago, nebe said:

I have never heard someone complain about their composting head.  No through hull.. no clogged hoses.  No pump out problems.  

You are talking about people who get excited about ziplock bags of composted shit at boat shows, yes we have met them.  I think the scale of complaints is a little different in that world.  Have never been around one that doesn't smell.  I've heard endless rave reviews about them from owners but everyone I have seen on a boat or land is a bit on the smelly side.

I was all for it when we rebuilt but the bodily function commands seperating things and the idea of storing compost if not done killed my pitch to the wife. Also they cost the same as a electric head so hard to justify.

 

 

 

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54 minutes ago, nebe said:

I have never heard someone complain about their composting head.  No through hull.. no clogged hoses.  No pump out problems.  

I've also have never heard of anyone using a composting head being particularly honest about what they do with liquids in the territorial waters of the United States. The amount of sewage that cruising sailboats can generate is trivial when compared to cruise ships - but it is pretty silly to be an environmental evangelical while not even complying with the most straightforward regulations.

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3 hours ago, kinardly said:

I've heard the Wilcox Crittendons are the only ones to have but they have to be good for as much as they cost. Plus, you really need a roomy head to use them and I don't. So it's Jabsco and replace the choker(joker?) valve mid year.

Raritan PHII, manual or electric. I just replaced the joker valve for the first time after fourteen years.

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2 hours ago, Miffy said:

I've also have never heard of anyone using a composting head being particularly honest about what they do with liquids in the territorial waters of the United States. The amount of sewage that cruising sailboats can generate is trivial when compared to cruise ships - but it is pretty silly to be an environmental evangelical while not even complying with the most straightforward regulations.

Well, the urine of a healthy person is essentially sterile, although that probably still doesn't comply with regulations. If you are dumping the piss jug in open water, I don't think you can even measure the concentration. I have never had a spot of trouble with three or four Jabscos across several boats (my secret? A tablespoon of vegetable oil once a week) but I will probably look at a composting head if I need to replace the current Jabsco.

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The fact you can't use a type one approved devise in a whole swath of the Puget sound, but a few miles north you can dump raw at your leisure is pretty lame.  The composting thing is a choice for sure.  Our friends used two five gal buckets with seats and a tote of cedar chips for 45 years.  It takes practice...

 

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2 hours ago, Jim in Halifax said:

Well, the urine of a healthy person is essentially sterile, although that probably still doesn't comply with regulations. If you are dumping the piss jug in open water, I don't think you can even measure the concentration. I have never had a spot of trouble with three or four Jabscos across several boats (my secret? A tablespoon of vegetable oil once a week) but I will probably look at a composting head if I need to replace the current Jabsco.

As I said - dilution and the low density of cruising boats makes it a regulatory issue not an environmental one - but it is just a topic too many evangelicals don’t acknowledge. 

In re sterility... my clinician partner says it is sterile in the bladder; but basically picks up all the bacteria along the way while it travels thru the urinary tract. I wouldn’t drink piss is what I’m getting at. 

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2 hours ago, Miffy said:

As I said - dilution and the low density of cruising boats makes it a regulatory issue not an environmental one - but it is just a topic too many evangelicals don’t acknowledge. 

In re sterility... my clinician partner says it is sterile in the bladder; but basically picks up all the bacteria along the way while it travels thru the urinary tract. I wouldn’t drink piss is what I’m getting at. 

Not my preferred beverage either. Single malt is pretty good for open wounds or open mouths...

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8 hours ago, Jim in Halifax said:

Well, the urine of a healthy person is essentially sterile, although that probably still doesn't comply with regulations. If you are dumping the piss jug in open water, I don't think you can even measure the concentration.

Yeah, this. I've got a Lavac, it works fine. Still plan on swapping it out for a composting head. They don't fully compost, that's true, but I don't regard that as anywhere near as much of an issue as direct overboard flushing or storing 60+ litres in a holding tank, then flushing it as there are exactly zero shoreside discharge stations anywhere near my place.

Besides neither myself nor my GF are that precious about body wastes. Sure shit stinks and I'd rather not smell it but the forced air ventilation heads with an activated carbon filter in the stack should be OK. I plan on installing one in some guest accommodations I'm currently building and we'll try it out there first.

FKT

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4 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Yeah, this. I've got a Lavac, it works fine. Still plan on swapping it out for a composting head. They don't fully compost, that's true, but I don't regard that as anywhere near as much of an issue as direct overboard flushing or storing 60+ litres in a holding tank, then flushing it as there are exactly zero shoreside discharge stations anywhere near my place.

Besides neither myself nor my GF are that precious about body wastes. Sure shit stinks and I'd rather not smell it but the forced air ventilation heads with an activated carbon filter in the stack should be OK. I plan on installing one in some guest accommodations I'm currently building and we'll try it out there first.

FKT

If it's legal to use there, we were very happy with the electro scan. Only issue was low salinity in Puget sound so I had to use a salt tank, small tank with water treatment salt pellets once a month for three people. Can go direct over no smell power was never a concern.  Sodium chloride and steel might be a concern around the thru hull not sure there.

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21 hours ago, Jim in Halifax said:

Well, the urine of a healthy person is essentially sterile, although that probably still doesn't comply with regulations. If you are dumping the piss jug in open water, I don't think you can even measure the concentration. I have never had a spot of trouble with three or four Jabscos across several boats (my secret? A tablespoon of vegetable oil once a week) but I will probably look at a composting head if I need to replace the current Jabsco.

I've never heard that before.  Interesting.  So, keeps the macerator lubricated?

How do people combat the saltwater/urine scale which causes clogs in raw water toilets?

My last boat was fresh water, but my new boat is raw water.   I wonder if I should convert to fresh water (yes, we have a water maker). 

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13 minutes ago, MauiPunter said:

I've never heard that before.  Interesting.  So, keeps the macerator lubricated?

How do people combat the saltwater/urine scale which causes clogs in raw water toilets?

My last boat was fresh water, but my new boat is raw water.   I wonder if I should convert to fresh water (yes, we have a water maker). 

The scaling actually is a chemical reaction between urine & saltwater not being fully evacuated from the lines - google Peggy Hall, she's basically the guru of marine sanitation & the practical advice is to limit runs to as short as possible and to ensure that operators of the head flush more than just to evacuate the bowl but to push enough water thru the line such that the discharge is either in the tank or evacuated to outside the boat.

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34 minutes ago, MauiPunter said:

I've never heard that before.  Interesting.  So, keeps the macerator lubricated?

How do people combat the saltwater/urine scale which causes clogs in raw water toilets?

My last boat was fresh water, but my new boat is raw water.   I wonder if I should convert to fresh water (yes, we have a water maker). 

I'm a complete convert to freshwater flushing. My current boat uses VacuFlush systems which require fresh water but even on my old Irwin with a standard Jabsco and limited freshwater tankage, it was well worth it. There's no scale and no odors from leaving saltwater in the bowl for extended periods. Even if you stick with saltwater plumbing and just fill the bowl using the hand shower to flush the lines before leaving the boat makes a huge difference. 

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Dosing with vinegar regularly takes care of any scale.  If you have multiple women on board all the setup advise goes out the window, they will do what they do.

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Last winter I replaced my entire Jabsco head with a new Jabsco.  Now, after a season of only mild use, I can pump the bowl empty, leave the switch to "empty bowl," and still have a cup or two of wastewater run back into the bowl. Is the joker valve not sealing?

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27 minutes ago, Israel Hands said:

Last winter I replaced my entire Jabsco head with a new Jabsco.  Now, after a season of only mild use, I can pump the bowl empty, leave the switch to "empty bowl," and still have a cup or two of wastewater run back into the bowl. Is the joker valve not sealing?

I'd suspect your vented loop is not breaking the siphon. I don't think joker valves are supposed to seal 100% - they are there act as a check, so the waste doesn't come back while the pump is pulled up for the next 'purge' stroke...at least that's my understanding. Of course a bit of hair or TP stuck in the joker valve will also impeded sealing. Have you tried 50 - 60 strokes in "Flush" mode (not "Dry Bowl") to seat if you can flush the joker valve and improve sealing?

EDIT: maybe the Headmistress will magically appear to enlighten us, or am I confusing forums?

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1 hour ago, Israel Hands said:

Last winter I replaced my entire Jabsco head with a new Jabsco.  Now, after a season of only mild use, I can pump the bowl empty, leave the switch to "empty bowl," and still have a cup or two of wastewater run back into the bowl. Is the joker valve not sealing?

Pretty normal, about a year and I pull and clean ours, usually get a couple cleanings and replace.  The nature of the valve has it fill up the body with pee rocks etc.  We have several feet of head on it and it holds fine.

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2 hours ago, Miffy said:

 flush more than just to evacuate the bowl but to push enough water thru the line such that the discharge is either in the tank or evacuated to outside the boat.

I was taught 15 pumps after the bowl is clear.

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41 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

I was taught 15 pumps after the bowl is clear.

yikes!  that's murder on the holding tank capacity unless 12 of them are "dry bowl"  

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I wonder what the legal opinion is WRT pumping the offensive stuff into the holding tanks and then swinging the Y valve to the overboard to finish flushing with plenty of clean seawater. Around here, few people bother with a holding tank unless: in a lagoon or restricted harbour; in a marina; off a swimming area; or in the Bras d'Or Lakes (the only "No Dumping" area in my cruising waters AFAIK). We just don't have the volume of pleasure boats to make OB discharge a problem... Both Halifax NS and Victoria BC used to dump all their municipal sewage directly into the ocean as recently as a decade ago. THAT was a problem but federal and provincial governments ponied up to fix it.

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12 hours ago, SASSAFRASS said:

If it's legal to use there, we were very happy with the electro scan. Only issue was low salinity in Puget sound so I had to use a salt tank, small tank with water treatment salt pellets once a month for three people. Can go direct over no smell power was never a concern.  Sodium chloride and steel might be a concern around the thru hull not sure there.

BC allows no overboard discharge of sewage, even treated, in zero-discharge zones. I think that's dumb, I'd put in a Lectra San in a second to replace our holding tank if it was legal.

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4 hours ago, Israel Hands said:

Last winter I replaced my entire Jabsco head with a new Jabsco.  Now, after a season of only mild use, I can pump the bowl empty, leave the switch to "empty bowl," and still have a cup or two of wastewater run back into the bowl. Is the joker valve not sealing?

I “pickle” our head in fresh water basically after every time we’re not on board.  No, or far fewer anyway, minerals crystallize on the joker valve, etc. that way.  Head sink drain tees, with a valve to head saltwater inlet.  I close salt water inlet, fill head sink with fresh water, and lump it through the toilet system almost all the way.  Keeps head smelling much nicer too (since no zooplankton one the fresh water to decompose and stink).

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4 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I “pickle” our head in fresh water basically after every time we’re not on board.  No, or far fewer anyway, minerals crystallize on the joker valve, etc. that way.  Head sink drain tees, with a valve to head saltwater inlet.  I close salt water inlet, fill head sink with fresh water, and lump it through the toilet system almost all the way.  Keeps head smelling much nicer too (since no zooplankton one the fresh water to decompose and stink).

This is essentially what I described above but via the hand shower. I'd just use the shower to fill the adjacent toilet bowl as the last flush before leaving the boat. 

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12 hours ago, Ishmael said:

BC allows no overboard discharge of sewage, even treated, in zero-discharge zones. I think that's dumb, I'd put in a Lectra San in a second to replace our holding tank if it was legal.

It was a little different when we were there, something like in a known waterway outbound at five knots.  They hadn't even finalized the law changes for Puget sound being a NDZ and we got boarded for safety check.  It was there first item. Type ones no longer accepted.

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My new boat has Jabsco Electric Flush toilets.  Now that I have spent some time on the boat, I am noticing something and I wonder if its related to discussions previous.  After the bowl is evacuated, slowly over time, the bowl fills up with liquid.  Look mostly like urine.  Shouldn't the bowl stay empty after a flush?   Is this related to the "joker" valve discussion above?

Another thing that is kind of annoying. The flush button doesnt work unless I push the button to put water into the toilet.  Then the evacutation button works, but it also adds more water to the boat before it sucks it out.   Seems like if you are only doing a #1, why would you need to have to push the button to add water to the bowl.   Seems like it will make the tank fill up much faster.

 

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12 hours ago, MauiPunter said:

My new boat has Jabsco Electric Flush toilets.  Now that I have spent some time on the boat, I am noticing something and I wonder if its related to discussions previous.  After the bowl is evacuated, slowly over time, the bowl fills up with liquid.  Look mostly like urine.  Shouldn't the bowl stay empty after a flush?   Is this related to the "joker" valve discussion above?

Another thing that is kind of annoying. The flush button doesnt work unless I push the button to put water into the toilet.  Then the evacutation button works, but it also adds more water to the boat before it sucks it out.   Seems like if you are only doing a #1, why would you need to have to push the button to add water to the bowl.   Seems like it will make the tank fill up much faster.

 

I didn't like the control board so it went away in short order.  Put in a relay for the macerator and two automotive bullet style buttons, one for water in one for poo out.

You do have options on the setup on the board, I can't remember it's either program change or on the back you move pins.  You can change the flush times and water times etc.

Backflow is as a above, pull the joker and clean or replace.  Try dosing with white vinegar regularly and maybe up your flush water time some.

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