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Old 29-07-2011, 05:42   #1
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Dropped in Head - Now What ?

My first post and what a bonehead question to ask! So I dropped my folding knife in the head and could not get it out. Now I can't see it or reach it with my fingers any more. So what are my options for either retrieving it or flushing it? I have not had the head apart before as the boat is new to us. The hose to the holding tank is long and winding.

The head is a Wilcox-Crittenden head mate.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 29-07-2011, 06:31   #2
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Re: Dropped in head - now what.

Well that's buggered it

Assuming you don't want to take the rather drastic action of selling the boat and buying another, all the toilets can be taken apart.

You haven't said which model you have, but when I did ours (blocked waste pipe) I sent wifey ashore for the day with the credit card. Wore only a pair of shorts and set to work dismantling the heads. Actually it wasn't as bad as I expected. If its the Jabasco type of heads replace the joker valve whist your at it because they are cheap and fail eventually.

Any pipes that appear encrusted with a concrete material on the inside need to be taken ashore and beaten against a wall to remove said build up.

As for the knife well tie to a piece of string, chuck over the side and go sailing.

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Old 29-07-2011, 06:35   #3
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Re: Dropped in head - now what.

Oops, just seen you did name the make.

Wilcox-Crittenden head mate

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Old 29-07-2011, 06:36   #4
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Re: Dropped in head - now what.

Looks identical to a Jabsco, go easy with the self tapping screws they are only in plastic and easy to put too much pressure on them.

I would expect your knife to be in the horizontal pipe between the bowl and the pump.

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Old 29-07-2011, 06:39   #5
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Re: Dropped in head - now what.

http://www.chessie.com/boat/documents/Head-Mate.WC.pdf
This manual might help.
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Old 29-07-2011, 06:42   #6
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Re: Dropped in head - now what.

it likely did not go far. I would get the rubber gloves out and take the bowl off first should only be 4 bolts. Then use a coat hanger or such to try and fish the knife out of the tube that connects to the pump assembly. if this fails you can remove the pump assembly and push the knife to one end or the other. Good luck and happy fishing. Oh the jokes I could come up with now lol
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Old 29-07-2011, 06:49   #7
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Re: Dropped in head - now what.

Pete7 Thanks for the replies, I was afraid the word "dismantling" was going to be used. Oh well, I guess I will have another opportunity to learn more about another system component.

DeepFrz Thanks for the link to the manual. That helps.

The wife just reminded me how happy she is that I dropped the knife and that it wasn't her.
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Old 29-07-2011, 06:52   #8
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Re: Dropped in head - now what.

Sailvayu - I will give that a try. We are heading to the boat for the weekend, so am anxious to give this a shot. Thanks.
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Old 29-07-2011, 06:59   #9
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Re: Dropped in head - now what.

I don't think you have to remove the bowl, just the plug on the end of the outlet cylinder. Have a bucket under there though, you might get some nasty stuff leak out.

However, it might be a good time to get a repair kit and rebuild the pump. I guess that depends on when it was last done.
Good luck...
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Old 29-07-2011, 07:08   #10
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Re: Dropped in head - now what.

Did you try a magnet on a string or attached to a wire coathanger???? Even SS is sometimes a little bit magnetic (!!) Perhaps worth a try??
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Old 29-07-2011, 07:14   #11
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Re: Dropped in head - now what.

DeepFrz - Thanks again. I hadn't noticed the plug on the outlet cylinder in the manual yet. See it now though. Fantastic! I love this forum. I wish I knew when the pump was last rebuilt, that was one of the questions I wished I had asked the PO, but never the less is on the "to do list".
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Old 29-07-2011, 07:22   #12
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Re: Dropped in head - now what.

chrisjs - When I first dropped it in I could reach it with my fingers but could not get the knife to make the corner to come back out so even if a magnet would pull it back into view I'm still buggered.

I believe I will be attaching a lanyard to the knife when I get it back.
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Old 29-07-2011, 07:40   #13
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Re: Dropped in head - now what.

You will need that knife back to cut your steak .....
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Old 29-07-2011, 07:46   #14
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Re: Dropped in head - now what.

Let the "streak" jokes begin.
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Old 29-07-2011, 17:11   #15
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Re: Dropped in head - now what.

Actually, I think there's a much easier way than removing the bowl... Part #34 in the exploded drawing is a threaded cap that you should be able to remove fairly easily. That should give you access to reach into that pipe with needlenose pliers or industrial tweezers (up to 8" long, you can buy 'em at any hardware store...don't know how anyone manages to get along without 'em) and pull it out. That's where it has to be--in that pipe (part #33)...maybe still directly below the bowl. 'Cuz no way could it have made turn to get out the discharge. So there shouldn't be any other dis-assembly required beyond removing that plug. Be careful not to damage the gasket...wrap the threads in teflon tape before putting it back.

However, I'm trying to figure out how it ever made it out of the bowl.
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