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Old 22-10-2019, 22:38   #1
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2018/19 TMC Electric toilet problems

Last year I purchased the cheap TMC electric toilet from Whitworths and have had nothing but problems. I was wondering if anyone else is experiencing the following with recent (ie 2018 / 2019) models.

A small foot note that I understand Whitworths bring their own TMC models in from china and that there has been variations on this product over time.

Issues:

1. Toilet paper does not macerate and can form a wand of paper that just spins in the blade - I read another thread about people having this problem. After some research I noticed that Jabsco and earlier TMC models have a sharpened blade. Current TMC blades are blunt. Another customer in the shop suggested he had the same problem and sharpened the blades which fixed this issue... also worked for me and hope this helps others. Whitworths response "...I cannot fathom you having to sharpen as the speed of rotation would easily be sufficient to macerate unless you have been using non soft toilet tissue."

2. Discharge pipe back washes into the bowl. The flapper valve is useless on mine. After flushing, water in the discharge line simply drains back into the bowl. It doesn't mater if this is a 1" or 1m rise of discharge pipe. The valve is clean and seated properly and I have swapped both the rubber valve and base. The only thing I can think to do here is to install a separate check valve. Here's a short video that shows the current TMC valve does not work. Whitworth's response is "...the flapper valve will only stop some return pressure."

https://photos.app.goo.gl/jpNMR9533XGbTTte6

3. Rusting and leaking. The face plate on the motor rusted away within weeks leaving significant staining in the bowl and within a year was to the point that it could no longer form a seal with the toilet base and was leaking water. My suspicion is this is because of a poor quality alloy held in with stainless screws is causing electrolysis. (image attached). Whitworths response "...TMC toilets have had these materials and over many years it has not been an issue..."

While I might be able to work around the first two issues the immediate rusting is a major problem. I'm reluctant to reinstall it if this is a problem others are having and would welcome feedback if anyone is having this issue.

I'd also welcome feedback for a good alternative product. Raritan seems to get a high vote but I don't see it readily available in Australia.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 23-10-2019, 00:02   #2
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Re: 2018/19 TMC Electric toilet problems

I have had one for about 12 months and not had any problems other than it's slow flushing sometimes. I was satisfied enough with it that I am installing a second one in the aft head.

I think the slow flushing may be related to insufficient sea water through the long run of small hose used by the manual toilet the electrical toilet replaced and intend to install bigger hose to see if that solves the problem.
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Old 23-10-2019, 00:49   #3
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Re: 2018/19 TMC Electric toilet problems

Thanks Raymond. That gives me some hope.
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Old 23-10-2019, 05:31   #4
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Re: 2018/19 TMC Electric toilet problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by deandavis1 View Post
.

A small foot note that I understand Whitworths bring their own TMC models in from china and that there has been variations on this product over time.
No they don't.
They are made in Taiwan and im pretty sure Sam Allen is the wholesaler in Oz.

Have had multiple electric TMC toilet across various vessels over 30 years (current vessel has two) and had no problems with the toilet itself apart from general maintenance items.
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Old 23-10-2019, 10:03   #5
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Re: 2018/19 TMC Electric toilet problems

Have installed 2 Jabesco electric toilets and they are great (if not noisy) They macerate well and have used existing hoses from the manual pumps.
Mine are the standard ones , easy to install and 2 years no issues, apart from the baby wipe incident (which still haunts me today)
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Old 23-10-2019, 14:06   #6
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Re: 2018/19 TMC Electric toilet problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simi 60 View Post
No they don't.
They are made in Taiwan and im pretty sure Sam Allen is the wholesaler in Oz.

Have had multiple electric TMC toilet across various vessels over 30 years (current vessel has two) and had no problems with the toilet itself apart from general maintenance items.
Thanks Simi. I may have got the country wrong but it was Whitworths who told me they import for their stores... Maybe incorrectly.

Really only interested in units purchased over the last year to see if this is a problem due to changes. I'm anchored next to someone who has the same issues in a one year old unit.
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Old 23-10-2019, 14:12   #7
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Re: 2018/19 TMC Electric toilet problems

I replaced myTMC (Taiwanese) one with a jabsco soon after buying the boat. Several people tell me it was a very wise choice. They are both as noisy as each other unless you go for the super expensive Quietflush model.
I am keen to hear which branch of Whitworth were so bad with dismissive responses. I find their staff (male and female) are always willing to discuss quality issues and they openly recommend appropriate products.
Roger
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Old 23-10-2019, 15:03   #8
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Re: 2018/19 TMC Electric toilet problems

Interested in your comments. In my previous boat I replaced a poor performing Jabsco with a TMC and was delighted with it’s long term performance. More recently in the last year I have installed a Whitworth's TMC toilet in my current boat. Within a month the waste seal had failed and the waste water back washes in to the bowl. I'm guessing there is a drop in quality in the latest version?
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Old 23-10-2019, 15:24   #9
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Re: 2018/19 TMC Electric toilet problems

I installed two TMC in my two toilets on 2006. I changed one (still with a TMC) only on 2018 for engine failure. The other one is still working perfectly.
Never had problems with these products, apart from the ones procured by my (female) crew.
I have always used commercial paper, choosing the one with only two tissues (that is even the less expensive...)
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Old 23-10-2019, 17:27   #10
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Re: 2018/19 TMC Electric toilet problems

Caveat Emptor You would think that if TMC changed their manufacturer or model, then they would have done due diligence and ensured the new model was at least as good as the previous ones. This article will cost them dearly I suspect.

You would also expect that Whitworths would have been much more supportive. Marine gear is expensive and buyers reasonably expect good support from retailers.

Tragic really, as their older models have a a great reputation as solid safe functional units.
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Old 23-10-2019, 17:43   #11
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Re: 2018/19 TMC Electric toilet problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Djarraluda View Post
I replaced myTMC (Taiwanese) one with a jabsco soon after buying the boat. Several people tell me it was a very wise choice. They are both as noisy as each other unless you go for the super expensive Quietflush model.
I am keen to hear which branch of Whitworth were so bad with dismissive responses. I find their staff (male and female) are always willing to discuss quality issues and they openly recommend appropriate products.
Roger
Unfortunately the dismissive response came from their GM in an email. To be fair he was very helpful in providing a replacement but its a lot of effort to continually un/re install this. Hence this thread to try and understand if it is a relatively small number of RECENT units affected or if its across the board.

I understand manufactures/retailers providing a replacement when addressing the main issue is complicated. Even the best companies like Apple do this but I don't want to get off topic.

I appreciate everyone's reply (especially for keeping the conversation polite).

Thanks to Archeb65 as I manly want to hear about 2018/19 installs. I guess its also important to ask for feedback from people who only use salt water flush as I am.

So far I've heard of three recent units having this rusting problem (including mine).
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Old 23-10-2019, 17:55   #12
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Re: 2018/19 TMC Electric toilet problems

We have had our Adams 44 for about 10 years, it came with a TMC and we have a hate hate relationship with it over the ownership. The pump unit has been replaced twice in my ownership with the most recent about 2017. It has always spun the tissue without macerating for us unless we use 'Safe Branded' recycled 2 ply toilet tissue (which is probably great for the environment but not so nice to use).

Our observation is that almost all paper towel and some of the more 'premium' brands of toilet tissue seem to contain a plastic layer to reinforce the sheets. This layer is too much for our (non sharpened) TMC blades to get through.

On rust, yes the motor unit has always rusted on our boat however, the 2017 replacement has been very poor rusting to the point of a brown leak rust stain now being present down the bulkhead face and across the floor to the drain. This was evident after a couple of months with no use and infrequent checking of the boat.

The unit has always back flowed which cruising isn't a problem for us and actually assists with some water in the bowl for next use however.... Offshore racing this is a real problem as the bowl fills often with urine not properly flushed by crew then flows out over the floor.... Smell and mess...

I'll be replacing with a non TMC this season, I too live in Australia and watch the thread with interest for alternatives.
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Old 24-10-2019, 07:15   #13
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Re: 2018/19 TMC Electric toilet problems

I replaced a jabsco with TMC 5 years ago. Just recently had to replace the flapper valve when toilet was sucking in/ out. No other issues. I have a firm rule ‘ no loo paper in toilet’ and have a shower gun fixed in the head. Folk who use the ‘bum gun’. For the first time are generally easily converted, loo paper for patting dry only and goes in a bag emptied regularly. this systems works happily regardless of gender on my boat.
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Old 24-10-2019, 08:46   #14
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Re: 2018/19 TMC Electric toilet problems

There are two things I had on my system, and I think they might have made it a good one but I was using the earlier TMC heads and I did buy them from Whitworths.

I had such a good run without problems I recommended them to others based on my own experiences. I never had any rust on any parts, but a fault all of these systems have is the sharp right angle bend at the base of the bowl.

Most times it works fine--but sometimes one has to add some detergent and allow stools to soak for an hour or so until they will soften and bend and go around that corner--otherwise one has to use a plastic wand to beat them into submission--but almost all of those low profile heads designs have the same problem, not just TMC...

Firstly, the blades need to be razor sharp. If they are not, then I would do this using a Dremel tool or something similar, while using some water in a squirt bottle to keep the stainless steel and stone cool.

Secondly, one needs to run the macerator pump from its own local pony battery--usually it is way too far from the house battery room, so I used the heavy duty tractor battery for the anchor windlass. No problems with lack of power.

That macerator draws about fifteen amps when running properly--so you need heavy cables and good contacts.

Where the manual rocker switch is fitted, I wired this to not to the macerator pump but instead to operate a 30 amp waterproof marine relay. I used heavy duty cables to the macerator from the auxiliary windlass battery relay so that the run of wiring was only a metre or two, minimum wiring of 6 mm tinned twin. If you can get 10 mm tinned twin use it. Sometimes you can get this sort of stuff at military disposals.

I had no problems with the system which received no other maintenance in five years of live aboard use.
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Old 24-10-2019, 13:02   #15
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Re: 2018/19 TMC Electric toilet problems

Most times it works fine--but sometimes one has to add some detergent and allow stools to soak for an hour or so until they will soften and bend and go around that corner--otherwise one has to use a plastic wand to beat them into submission--but almost all of those low profile heads designs have the same problem, not just TMC...

Adding water to the bowl ahead of use helps with this problem. Most people don't realize that solid waste is actually about 75% water, so it dissolves fairly quckly in water. If your toilet isn't designed to bring water into the bowl and hold it, use a beer cup from the sink.

Diet and medications can have a big impact on solid waste 'cuz what goes in determines what comes out. So it's very important to drink plenty of water, tea or just about anything that isn't packed with sugar and eat a high fiber diet.


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