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Old 19-05-2011, 23:22   #1
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Convert Jabsco Y Valve, into a 3 Way

I have a small cabinet that my vented loop, premium sanitation hose, seacock etc fits in. The tank is located forward from the cabinet, but this is where I have all the cool little valves.

Here is the problem- The space between the vented loop and seacock can only fit 1 Jabsco locking Y valve. It's only a 2 way though. I need to turn it into a 3 way. Can it be done?

I drew a picture to make explaining easier.

I want to be able to go from the head straight to the seacock (offshore only of course) and that's arrow #1. Check

I want to be able to go from head to holding tank. It has to go to arrow #2 and then arrow #4. Check

I have a deck pump out, but for simplicity and since it's not a problem I'm leaving that out.

So here is the issue.
..- I want to go from Holding tank via #5 arrow, then #3 arrow to the sea cock. But, the large Y valve will not allow me do the #3 arrow.

Is there a way to safely remove a piece so I can also have this 3rd option on this Y valve? It all fits so nicely, and I really was patting myself on the shoulder a little to soon. Then I realized that it would not work if I can't modify it.

These are the 2 Y valves I have. The large Y valve is the one I'm having issues with.
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Old 20-05-2011, 08:08   #2
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Re: Convert Jabsco Y valve, into a 3 way

You're trying to create a floating Chernobyl!

First let's talk about the vented loops--you'll need one in the toilet intake and one in the line to the seacock. BOTH should be at least 6-8" above waterline AT ANY ANGLE OF HEEL, not just at rest...which, on most sailboats, puts 'em 2-3 FEET above the toilet. The intake vented loop needs to be installed between the pump and the bowl...if you put it in the line between the thru-hull and the pump, it'll prevent the pump from priming. Knowing all this, is that cabinet still the place to put 'em?

I'd return the Jabsco y-valve and exchange it for a Whale. Reason: Good y-valves have a "barrel" inside that the handle rotates to line up with the holes...the Jabsco has only a flimsy little "gate" that the handle swings from side to side to block/unblock the flow. Even a grape seed can jam it...and I've never seen one that's more than a couple years old that doesn't leak. The Whale is the same price or less and is top quality. Drill a hole in the handle to run a tie wrap through it.

Now...about your proposed plumbing:

Coming out of the toilet, go to a y-valve--the ONLY y-valve in the system...one side to the tank, the other side to a vented loop and then the thru-hull.

Instead of a y-valve in the TANK discharge line, we're gonna install a second fitting (I'd pump out and THOROUGHLY flush out the tank before doing this)...it's actually easy to do, thanks to a li'l doodad called the Uniseal UNISEAL (scroll through ALL the pages to see how it works and to get to the prices, which are dirt cheap). A piece of pvc pipe and you have a new fitting.

You're gonna run the second line to a tee in the toilet discharge line installed just before the vented loop.

However, there's one li'l detail you've overlooked: unless the entire tank is above the waterline, you're gonna need a pump--either a macerator pump or a manual diaphragm pump--to dump it. We need to figure out where to put it.

That accomplishes everything you want to do cleanly and simply.
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Old 21-05-2011, 16:14   #3
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Question Re: Convert Jabsco Y Valve, into a 3 Way

Very slightly off topic, but......

I do have a leaking Y-valve and am about to service it by replacing the o-rings. Has this been found to cure the problem?

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Old 21-05-2011, 19:19   #4
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Re: Convert Jabsco Y Valve, into a 3 Way

Weelll...maybe. What's the mak/model of the y-valve?
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Old 21-05-2011, 19:55   #5
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Re: Convert Jabsco Y Valve, into a 3 Way

Peghal, Thanks for the in depth response. I really appreciate it. This is the factory placement for the vent loop and it's about 30" above the head intake. Also, the water vent height is the same place. I drew a better diagram of how the system is layed out. It was all finished (brand new) when I bought the vessel. The problem was the surveyor told me to add a Y valve.- It used to go like this...
Head to the Holding tank only. Then from the holding tank it went to deck plate or to the seacock. So I was told that adding the y valve before the tank was what needed to be done for offshore.
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Old 22-05-2011, 00:34   #6
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Question Re: Convert Jabsco Y Valve, into a 3 Way

Sorry, peghall, it's a Jabsco Locking Y-valve model 45490-1000.

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Old 22-05-2011, 01:25   #7
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I know most holding tanks are in the bilge but would it be ok to put the tank above the water line and gravity feed to the sea. Assuming you are pump and flushing it to the tank anyway. Antisiphon installed etc.
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Old 22-05-2011, 08:58   #8
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Re: Convert Jabsco Y Valve, into a 3 Way

Now you know why I'm not a fan of Jabsco Y-valves...I've never met one that doesn't leak. You can try replacing o-rings--at least, unlike Jabsco's toilet service kits, they don't cost almost as much as the equipment...if it works, good. If it doesn't, replace it with a Whale or a Henderson...or a Bosworth.
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Old 22-05-2011, 09:12   #9
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Re: Convert Jabsco Y Valve, into a 3 Way

Actually, the tanks on most sailboats AREN'T in the bilge because the bilges are too shallow. So they're under berths and in settees on most of 'em. That doesn't provide many locations where the whole tank can be above waterline, either.

But it can be done. I'm not a fan of the idea because it usually means that waste is left sitting in the toilet discharge line to run back into the bowl. I'm especially not fond of installations that send everything through the tank, 'cuz that results in sludge buildup in the tank discharge line and on the bottom of the tank left to dry out and turn to "concrete" if the tank isn't thoroughly rinsed out frequently.

But it can make sense to eliminate the tank discharge pump on boats that rarely have to use a tank...so IF you install a y-valve that allows you to avoid using the tank except while in waters where you have to, and IF you religiously replace the toilet joker valve at least annually...and IF you install a separate thru-hull for the tank discharge that you can keep closed except when dumping the tank, it should work ok.
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Old 14-09-2011, 13:24   #10
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Re: Convert Jabsco Y Valve, into a 3 Way

The configuration you're asking about is a very standard configuration for Lavac head installations and is the installation I have on my Alberg 35. See Lavac Marine Toilets - Installation Notes for details.

I am looking for a replacement valve myself, having tried the Jabsco and do not like it at all. If I find a solution I like, I'll post.
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