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Old 10-04-2015, 13:47   #16
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

Fresh Water Usage for Heads

The fresh water using heads (e.g. Elegance) do sound like a nice option for many boaters who have ready access to fresh water (marinas) or a productive water maker and plenty of power.

But, I wonder about the gallons of fresh water that may be used by a crew of two or four if the heads are used each day for many days in a row (e.g. 25 days while on a passage)?

Would someone please speak/write to indicate what the real fresh water usage per day might be for those heads (with specific head model)?

Also, does the "fresh water" head require the boat to have a pressurized fresh water tank system (already installed) or does it have its own electrical pump to pull fresh water from the boat's fresh water tank?

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Also, does anyone have opinion or comparison of the electric fresh water (Elegance) compared to a Lavac head?
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Old 10-04-2015, 14:20   #17
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

Peg, I did use the conversion kits, and there is just not that much to it, same bowl, lid, base etc.
essentially a new pump and of course a vacuum break and new Joker valve


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Old 10-04-2015, 14:22   #18
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by [I
Steady Hand;1797762]The fresh water using heads (e.g. Elegance) do sound like a nice option for many boaters who have ready access to fresh water (marinas) or a productive water maker and plenty of power. But, I wonder about the gallons of fresh water that may be used by a crew of two or four if the heads are used each day for many days in a row (e.g. 25 days while on a passage)?[/I]


A fresh water toilet would not be practical for extended passagemaking unless a) the boat is a cruise ship, or b) you have a watermaker. However, unless the boat IS a cruise ship, 2-4 people would almost certainly have to have a watermaker on a month-long passage anyway, so long passages don't have to be a deal breaker for fresh water toilets.

However, it's not absolutely necessary that fresh water toilets ONLY be flushed with fresh water...some of the high end models like the Elegance are available with a option called the "SeaFresh System" that, with the addition of a remote intake pump and some fairly sophistical electrical modifications, allow switch between onboard fresh and sea water at will. If your fresh water toilet isn't quite that snazzy, there's no reason why you can keep a gallon jug or two of sea water next to the toilet, refilling as necessary. In which case it would be a very good idea to put a shut off valve on the toilet intake connection to the fresh water line, so you won't have to turn off water to the whole boat to keep from using it in the toilet.

Would someone please speak/write to indicate what the real fresh water usage per day might be for those heads (with specific head model)?

The average flush from most manual or electric toilets is .6 gallons. The average adult uses a toilet 5x/24 hrs...which would put the flush water consumption at about 3gal/day/person. This can impacted by use of the lee rail when possible..."dry flush" for urine only except for one flush a day to rinse the bowl.

Also, does the "fresh water" head require the boat to have a pressurized fresh water tank system (already installed)...

Yes.

...or does it have its own electrical pump to pull fresh water from the boat's fresh water tank?

Only toilets designed to use sea water have an intake pump.
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Also, does anyone have opinion or comparison of the electric fresh water (Elegance) compared to a Lavac head?[/QUOTE]

They have nothing in common beyond both using electrical power to flush instead hand pumping.The electric lavac simply replaces the manual diaphragm pump with an electric diaphragm pump It does not macerate or offer any other options. The Marine Elegance is a macerating electric toilet that has all kinds of neat "bells and whistles" including an optional 4 option flush panel. It can even chew up a tampon (though not a steady of 'em). Read all about it here: Marine Elegance (be sure to read the Promo sheet).
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Old 10-04-2015, 15:05   #19
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

Steady Hand

The right head depends somewhat on your boat and your habits. If you like to do "spartan" cruising (hand pumps at the galley sink, sponge showers) - like I used to do - then the fresh water flush is probably not for you.

I have the SeaFresh option Peggy mentioned installed because I thought I would switch to salt water on passage. I did once but haven't since then because it isn't that much more time for the watermaker. I test the SeaFresh before going offshore because I'd switch over if the watermaker failed. I'd also switch to paper plates as washing the dishes seems to use a more water than the heads (I expect someone will say they wash dishes with just the morning dew).

The Elegance control panel has a separate button for "short flush" (e.g. pee). I've got it dialed down to where flush water is probably about a pint of water. But I do this for holding tank capacity not water usage. The problem I experienced with the Lavac (which was salt water) is that standard practice, as someone mentioned, is to pump a lot (10 or 20 full strokes). Not a problem with overboard discharge but a lot of water with a holding tank inshore.

As mentioned, I had a Lavac. Of all the manual heads it was the most clog proof and had the fewest fidgety parts. The pump handle requires strength - 10 full vigorous pumps. Small children can't flush it and some women struggle. The hand pump requires regular maintenance and I had to replace the seat suction seals twice - which are expensive.

The biggest problem was that guests couldn't figure it out. They kept wanting to lift the seat after a flush while the suction holds it down. I don't know why this was so confusing but it was. (this is also a problem for the very seriously sea sick who can't wait 30 seconds between flushes to heave again).

With the Elegance you push a button, it has less maintenance, less clogging (as in "hard" pumping to clear), and works pretty much like a home toilet.





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Old 10-04-2015, 15:18   #20
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

Before you start ripping out the old one and before you order the gold plated comode check your measurements and how the new one will install.

Mine to replace the head needs a hole cut in the fibreglass at the base.

Also many designers didnt give a damn about the smallest room in the boat and not all heads will fit.
Will u be able to clean around it?

Will your knees hit the door?
Can u still shower in there?

Btw Jabsco has a Mini Me size head.


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Old 10-04-2015, 16:35   #21
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

Peggie and Carl:

Thank you BOTH for your nice detailed answers to my questions. Your writing was clear, long enough to make good sense to someone learning the issues, helpful, and will be remembered. I appreciate you both took the time to write such a good response.

MARKJ: I know what you mean. I have been looking at boats and some look like the head compartment will not allow a composting head to fit due to the floor slope, tight space, or odd angles. So, you raise some good points!
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Old 10-04-2015, 16:41   #22
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

Peggie wrote: "The average flush from most manual or electric toilets is .6 gallons. The average adult uses a toilet 5x/24 hrs...which would put the flush water consumption at about 3gal/day/person. This can impacted by use of the lee rail when possible..."dry flush" for urine only except for one flush a day to rinse the bowl. "

So, about 3 gallons of fresh water per day per person.

For a couple on a boat, that is about 6 gallons on average per day just to flush.


While I can see that would not be a problem for a boat that goes daysailing or is used for only a few nights away from a marina, or for a boat with a daily use of the water maker or for a boat with many hundreds of gallons of fresh water tankage….

It might be too much for a smaller "long distance voyaging" boat that does not want to run a generator every day or may not have a water maker and most likely has smaller tanks. Six (6) gallons of water (for flushing alone) per day is another Jerry Jug that might need to be hauled to the boat and lifted and decanted into the tank.

So, I like the idea of having the Fresh Water Flushing Head, but I think I would want to have the option to use the salt water as possible or when needed.

Peggie mentioned the use of a gallon bottle of salt water to flush when on a passage, if the boat is on fresh water restrictions. I like that practical solution too.
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Old 10-04-2015, 17:07   #23
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

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Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
So, I like the idea of having the Fresh Water Flushing Head, but I think I would want to have the option to use the salt water as possible or when needed. Peggie mentioned the use of a gallon bottle of salt water to flush when on a passage, if the boat is on fresh water restrictions. I like that practical solution too.
Or MAYBE a fresh water head isn't the best choice for all passagemaking boats. When thinking about the advantages of having one, people tend to overlook the fact that once you get further than about 5 miles from shore, sea water is a LOT cleaner than coastal sea water...partly because it's deeper and therefore not as influenced by animal and vegetable bottom life, and also because it's beyond most of the influence from runoff. And clean sea water isn't anywhere near as smelly as coastal sea water. Add to that that toilet(s) are far more likely to be flushed directly overboard in open ocean--eliminating, or at least greatly reducing--the odor problems associated with plumbing and tanks. That makes the simplicity of a manual sea water toilet a lot more attractive to passagemakers than it's likely to be to coastal weekend warriors.

Food for thought anyway....
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Old 10-04-2015, 17:20   #24
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

Peggie, More good points. You know your heads!

Yes, I think too often discussions on this forum tend to be "one size must fit all" and not enough is given to the various ways and places people use their boats.

On a weekender in bay or lake, a head is just a minor inconvenience, and on some boats used for daysails it may be hardly used.

Unless there is a large daysailing crew of both sexes aboard for a party with lots of beer.

On a couple's long distance voyager, a head is a (usually) essential "comfort" feature of the boat and keeping it functioning smoothly is a priority (no waiting till the boat docks).

I can see how the "electric fresh water flush head" would be nice and even preferable in some but not all boats. Conversely, someone else (perhaps a small boat without a water maker and without large water tanks) may only want the most simple (no electricity required, no fresh water flushed) head for living on the hook and living simply (or lowest cost).

At this point I am looking at 2 head boats and am considering one to be made into a composting head, with the other a more traditional marine head/toilet.
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Old 10-04-2015, 17:52   #25
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

Very surprised no one has mentioned the Blake Lavac. Simple. No odors.
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Old 10-04-2015, 18:04   #26
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Hey, I've got a Skipper II head that I replaced with a composter (one of the best upgrades IMO ). It was working fine when we pulled it off the boat a few years ago, although it has been sitting in an unheated garage ever since. Might need some valve changes, but I'm sure it's still fine. It's a great head, but I have no use for it anymore.

Shipping would be a PITA, and kinda costly, but it retailed for over $1000, so I'd be happy to let it go for $200 + shipping costs from Thunder Bay, Ontario.

I even have a repair kit and some valve parts somewhere....

http://www.usna.edu/Sailing/document...headrepair.pdf

That sounds like a heck of a deal. That head used to be the gold standard from what I have heard. I'm sure time marches on but maybe Peg could comment on how these stack up today?
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Old 10-04-2015, 18:30   #27
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

simple Jabsco head with holding tank. Add an aquarium pump to the holding tank to constantly pump odors overboard. There is never an odor onboard my boat.
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Old 10-04-2015, 23:12   #28
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

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That sounds like a heck of a deal. That head used to be the gold standard from what I have heard. I'm sure time marches on but maybe Peg could comment on how these stack up today?
As you prob'ly know, the original Skipper was made by Wilcox-Crittenden and was indeed the gold standard in manual toilets (although Groco is likely to argue that point)...a bronze "throne" made to last 100 years with minimal maintenance. It used to be that you could send the pump back to W-C for a complete overhaul if it needed more than you wanted to do to it, but those days ended when Thetford bought Wilcox-Crittenden a few years ago and then discontinued the entire W-C product line because there just isn't enough profit in repair parts for toilets that rarely need any.

However, the Skipper II wasn't made by W-C, but by Thetford, only for a couple of years. It's not nearly the quality that the original Skipper was. The asking price of $200 with a repair kit thrown in is a decent deal if shipping from Canada with all the customs brokerage fees etc and international rates don't drive that up too much. The biggest downside is, no one in Thetford customer service knows a thing about any W-C branded product, even those Thetford made...so there's no tech support, no trouble-shooting help whatever. And the only parts left for any of the W-C products are rebuild kits and whatever else is left on Thetford's shelves.
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Old 10-04-2015, 23:51   #29
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

I currently have PHII but on my previous boat replaced it's old cracked Jabsco bowl with Jabsco mini model. As it was on sale for $99 (down from $149 reg. price then) it was a steal so instead of getting just a bowl I replaced the whole thing. Can't really say that I see much difference between Jabsco and PHII as far as the regular use is concerned. And if I ever have to repalce PHII I would probably get Jabsco again as I don't see any justification for the huge difference in price.
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Old 11-04-2015, 08:33   #30
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

Composting head, no holding tank per se, and no thru hull.
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