Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 10-08-2014, 14:00   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Vancouver, BC
Boat: Union Polaris 36
Posts: 6
Crappy situation - head broken?

Hi,

I'm on a 9 day sailing cruise from Vancouver bc to desolation sound. So far wind and weather are perfect!

Yesterday I experienced my first example of the highs and lows of the cruising life. My head seemed to have become completely logged. I absolutely NEEDED to evacuate the contents of the bowl so I pumped really really hard until something gave. At that point I could pump all I wanted but I couldn't evacuate the nasty mix in the bowl. We were cruising at 6kts heeled over 15 degrees and before the contents spilled everywhere I had to spent next 30 mins evacuating the water with a small container from front head to outside and overboard. No fun.

I took a swim later and I unplugged the thru hull from the outside and managed to take out a small piece of plastic that seemed to be blocking the exit. All good so far. We keep sailing and again we are heeling 20-30 degrees and again the bowl filled up from the outside this time with nasty nasty water. I had to repeat the whole scenario of before. I only finally stopped water intrusion when I shut off the valve at the thru hull.

The head is a Jabsco with a twist lock up down pump mechanism.

Any thoughts if this can be fixed? I think I broke the evacuation pump seal or something. I can still pump water into the bowl, just not out!

Thanks for the help everyone.
Emmanuel




Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________

__________________
chillmobil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2014, 14:09   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Homeport: Oswego, NY
Boat: 1993 Sabre 362 #113
Posts: 347
Re: Crappy situation - head broken?

Not familiar with the Jabsco head so I can't provide you with a short term solution, other than rebuild kits are available, see: JABSCO Jabsco Service Kits & Parts for Manual Toilets | West Marine

The long term solution is to replace it with a Raritan PHII. They are reliable and well built.

Good Luck!
__________________

__________________
Dave Lochner is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2014, 14:35   #3
Nearly an old salt
 
goboatingnow's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,649
Images: 3
Re: Crappy situation - head broken?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lochner View Post
Not familiar with the Jabsco head so I can't provide you with a short term solution, other than rebuild kits are available, see: JABSCO Jabsco Service Kits & Parts for Manual Toilets | West Marine



The long term solution is to replace it with a Raritan PHII. They are reliable and well built.



Good Luck!

Despite what is said about them. The Jabsco head is a reliable and easily maintained unit. I've had a pair that are over 20 years old and still performing well.

It sounds like you damaged the joker valve.

Dave
__________________
Check out my new blog on smart boat technology, networking and gadgets for the connected sailor! - http://smartboats.tumblr.com
goboatingnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2014, 14:45   #4
Moderator
 
Pete7's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Solent, England
Boat: Moody 31
Posts: 8,533
Images: 14
Re: Crappy situation - head broken?

Agree with Dave, joker valve first. Black round thing with a slit in it at the base of the pump.

If that doesn't work don't bother with the overhaul kit, go straight for a new pump which is nearly the same price and save a lot of faffing around.

Pete
__________________
Moody 31 - April Lass
Pete7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2014, 15:10   #5
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,666
Re: Crappy situation - head broken?

Chillmobil,

The piece of plastic that you removed from the discharge line, was is brittle or flexible? If flexible, it might be from the joker valve as suggested above, but if it's brittle, I'm having trouble imagining what it might have been. Did the plastic get accidentally dropped in by someone? children aboard with toys?

If the toilet is working properly if you turn off the outlet valve after pumping out, you'll have time to ponder the situation. Sometimes outlet hoses get sclerotic with a buildup that gradually closes them. It is some form of calcium salt, I believe, that is precipitated out of the salt water by urine. Such hoses require removal and banging out and physically breaking up the clogging stuff, or replacing. How you prevent them clogging is to pump many more times. If you put some food color in the bowl, you pump out, and have someone watch till the effluent is clear, you can determine the minimum # of pumps to clear, and make that plus 5 be standard for your toilet.

Your toilet should never be hard to pump. Something caused the back pressure. When you felt something give, maybe that was the plunger in the pump, maybe it cracked, but I think you're going to have to use it as is, or "bucket and chuck it," for the rest of your holiday. Your toilet will need to be taken apart to find out what's wrong, but if you can get a complete rebuild kit for it in Desolation Sound, maybe you can try devoting one day to fixing it. Plumbing usually isn't too mysterious. Suggest you fill the bowl with a strongish bleach mixture and let it set an hour to sterilize it before you pump out and work on it. I'm sure there are trees you can beat out your hoses on.

You said you shut off the water at the through hull, was that the fill line or the discharge through hull fitting? I'm having difficulty imagining how the water coming in was filthy unless it was back-filling through dirty hoses, which would make it the discharge line that was open, so the dirty water re-entered through the joker valve into the bowl. I've never seen a broken joker valve: they get hard and quit working, they may get deposits of stuff in them, but broken would be a first to me! They are supposed to be flexible enough to let discharge out through them and firm enough to close so the bowl doesn't refill.


Don't let it ruin your vacation. "Today's misfortune is tomorrow's adventure." You can win this one.
__________________
Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2014, 16:19   #6
Registered User

Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 666
Re: Crappy situation - head broken?

The jabsco is easy to service. Water returning suggests a jammed open joker valve at base of pump. Remove large stainless screws, separate pipes and remove 3 pointed valve. Should not be able to see light through valve. Scrape surface of valve to remove calcium buildup. Restore system.
If what you found is a small piece of hard white plastic, you've probably broken the switch-over mechanism at the top of the pump. Easy to get at but might need a total pump replacement.
__________________
dlymn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2014, 17:03   #7
Moderator Emeritus
 
Ex-Calif's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Singapore
Boat: Maxi 77 - Relax Lah!
Posts: 11,514
Images: 4
Re: Crappy situation - head broken?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlymn View Post
The jabsco is easy to service. Water returning suggests a jammed open joker valve at base of pump. Remove large stainless screws, separate pipes and remove 3 pointed valve. Should not be able to see light through valve. Scrape surface of valve to remove calcium buildup. Restore system.
If what you found is a small piece of hard white plastic, you've probably broken the switch-over mechanism at the top of the pump. Easy to get at but might need a total pump replacement.
I am leaning towards this scenario, that the fill/evacuate switch was defective and when you were trying to pump "out" the valve was stuck between positions and you were pumping against the switch head. Enough pressure and you broke it. The switching valves and pieces are pretty lightweight plastic.

Now the valve switch is broken you will need to fix it and will need parts. I am in agreement that if you have used this toilet until the parts are worn out just buy the whole pump and save yourself some drama. I tried bodging repairs a couple for times and they lasted like a couple of months at best.

My routine now is to keep a spare pump kit and overhaul it at 3 years regardless. Then I buy a new kit for the spares locker. It's bad enough to have to mess with a toilet and brutally annoying to have to do it underway or on a trip.
__________________
Relax Lah! is For Sale <--- Click
Click--> Custom CF Google Search or CF Rules
You're gonna need a bigger boat... - Martin Brody
Ex-Calif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2014, 17:15   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
DeepFrz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Boat: None at this time
Posts: 7,930
Re: Crappy situation - head broken?

What happened to your holding tank?
__________________
The Blue Dot Campaign. This Changes Everything.
DeepFrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2014, 18:34   #9
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,666
Re: Crappy situation - head broken?

I guess DpFrz is suggesting that chillmobil's holding tank is overfilled. Chilling thought, and certainly a possible source of new, filthy water.

Ann
__________________
Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2014, 18:36   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
DeepFrz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Boat: None at this time
Posts: 7,930
Re: Crappy situation - head broken?

Actually Ann, I was wondering why he wasn't using his holding tank in that location.
__________________
The Blue Dot Campaign. This Changes Everything.
DeepFrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2014, 18:48   #11
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,666
Re: Crappy situation - head broken?

We don't know that he wasn't. It's irrelevant to the discussion, anyway. Judge not, and all that. The poor guy's on annual vacation, or something like, in the middle of nowhere, and he has a toilet problem.

A possible scenario is that he has a full holding tank, that back-filled through its vent line unbeknownst to him, so couldn't pump. But I also think that Ex-Calif's suggestion that he broke the little lever meets all the points of the problem.

Ann
__________________
Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2014, 19:19   #12
Senior Cruiser
 
DeepFrz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Boat: None at this time
Posts: 7,930
Re: Crappy situation - head broken?

Well, according to his post he was trying to pump out. Ann, the middle of nowhere is always somewhere these days, with 400,000 boaters in BC. Didn't mean to hijack the thread, just asked a simple question.

Sewage Disposal Sites at Marinas and Harbours | Georgia Strait Alliance
__________________
The Blue Dot Campaign. This Changes Everything.
DeepFrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2014, 19:30   #13
Registered User
 
mtarcher's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: BVI
Boat: Beneteau 361
Posts: 70
Images: 7
Re: Crappy situation - head broken?

Hi chillmobil,

I had a similar occurance on my Jabsco, that left me less than happy about being the go-to guy for toilet repairs. One morning, my Admiral complained the toilet was no longer working! I tried to pump out the "effluent" but it just came tight...it would draw water in but couldn't pump out. After emptying the bowl (always a fun chore after it's been used) and draining the pump base, I dismantled the joker valve area. Found a fluffy (originally pink) head band completely blocking the valve. We figured out that she had had it in her hair the previous evening and it must've fallen out of her hair while sitting and contemplating the errors of my ways. The pump worked normal after reinstalling everything.

I suspect that trying to force the pump to work might have broken part of the system. Hopefully, it was just a joker valve that needs to be replaced. If more than that, I have found that replacing the whole pump will probably be just a little more expensive than to buy all of the various parts.
__________________
mtarcher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2014, 20:00   #14
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,666
Re: Crappy situation - head broken?

According to his post, he was trying to pump out, but he did not state whether to holding tank or to sea.

Just sayin'. I will knot discuss the pros and cons of poo police on this thread.

Ann
__________________
Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2014, 20:04   #15
Registered User
 
crazyoldboatguy's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Chicago
Boat: Alden auxiliary ketch 48'
Posts: 857
Re: Crappy situation - head broken?

Get a service kit. Pull the toilet. Dismantle same. Inspect parts. Compare service kit parts to parts in toilet. If one is obviously defective you have likely found your culprit. Clean internals. Replace parts with service kit parts. Reinstall. If it works - have a nice rest of your vacation. If it doesn't, get a new toilet.
__________________

__________________
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
crazyoldboatguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
head

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Through Hull-Valve Broken or Not-Broken? Jado27 Monohull Sailboats 15 16-03-2016 07:14
410: crappy problem, the joke(r) is on me Bliss-Schip Lagoon Catamarans 6 24-03-2014 14:33
Crappy Improv Pump Question! Mambo Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 10 13-01-2012 23:14
Crappy new gas cans... Jack Long Product or Service Reviews & Evaluations 8 16-09-2008 20:11



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:31.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.