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Old 26-03-2011, 23:54   #31
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Re: electric heads

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Peghall,

We have an old Groco manual pump that I rebuilt once (fresh water system), and it seems to work almost as good as the toilet at home. My wife would like something more automatic in function, and I've been considering replacing our old Groco with their K series Electric Deluxe Toilet. Any comments on this model?
You connected a manual toilet to your fresh water system? That's a BIG no-no! Groco doesn't make a toilet that's designed to use onboard fresh water...and connecting the EB or K to the fresh system is even more risky than most toilets because those toilets have a very nasty habit of recirculating when they get enough age on 'em to wear down a machined part in the pump.

To answer your question: The Model K electric Groco Model K instructions is what I call a "hybrid" toilet...a manual toilet to which a very expensive motor that does nothing more than replace the pump HANDLE has been added. It's still the same manual pump. The Raritan PHEII is another one. I'm not a fan, 'cuz putting a motor on a manual toilet turns a perfectly good manual toilet into a very poor excuse for an electric toilet. The motor pumps it faster and with a shorter stroke, causing it to take longer to prime each time, wearing out seals, valves and o-rings a lot faster, which means more frequent rebuilds are needed...and also to choke on flushes that slower more deliberate manual pumping could push through. Those toilets also cost considerably more than electric toilets that are designed to be electric toilets. And then there's maintenance...manual toilet pumps require lubrication and frequent maintenance..."real" electric toilets need no lubrication and no maintenance beyond a rebuild every 5-6 years.

For some reason, sailors like the idea of a toilet that can be converted to manual in the event of a catastrophic power failure. Seems to me, though, that if you don't even have enough juice to flush a toilet, whether you can or not is the least of your worries...'cuz you won't have nav equipment, communications equipment, lights, auto pilot, and prob'ly not even an engine...but you WOULD still have a bucket!

So if you want an electric toilet, buy one that's designed to BE an electric toilet...don't settle for just a motor that replaces the pump handle. Practical Sailor just did a review of electric toilets...they rated the Raritan Marine Elegance Raritan Elegance toilet "best of show" and the Raritan SeaEra Raritan Sea Era "best budget buy." If your budget will stand the Groco model K electric, there's more than enough room in it for the Elegance...I'd go with that one and the optional "smart flush" panel.
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Old 27-03-2011, 11:21   #32
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Re: electric heads

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You connected a manual toilet to your fresh water system? That's a BIG no-no! Groco doesn't make a toilet that's designed to use onboard fresh water...and connecting the EB or K to the fresh system is even more risky than most toilets because those toilets have a very nasty habit of recirculating when they get enough age on 'em to wear down a machined part in the pump.
Our boat came already plumbed that way, and I didn't know about the no-no factor until later. I have to say though I don't see where the problem comes in with our particular setup, because the fresh water coming into the toilet is at the top of the toilet rim for filling purposes only. A "gate valve" next to the toilet must be opened first before fresh water can fill from the toilet rim (whether under pressure or not), and the valve is closed after filling or using the toilet. There is approximately 16" of hose between the valve and the toilet rim, and any contaminate that could possibly be entering the fresh water line would be trapped in this line "after" the valve. Under pressure the fresh water constantly moves through the line filling the bowl from the rim until the valve is closed, and manually the fresh water only moves through the line while pumping. Everything in the toilet bowl goes straight to the holding tank while pumping. Based on how I understand this setup is working, I don't see where the no-no factor comes in to play...do you?

While I didn't know the manual Groco toilet I have was not designed to work with fresh water, it certainly has not been a problem to use this way to date. The rebuild I did was to replace worn out o-rings at the pump piston and handle, and a rectangular gasket on the pump body that leaked slightly using the HF Master kit.

Quote:
To answer your question: The Model K electric Groco Model K instructions is what I call a "hybrid" toilet...a manual toilet to which a very expensive motor that does nothing more than replace the pump HANDLE has been added. It's still the same manual pump. The Raritan PHEII is another one. I'm not a fan, 'cuz putting a motor on a manual toilet turns a perfectly good manual toilet into a very poor excuse for an electric toilet. The motor pumps it faster and with a shorter stroke, causing it to take longer to prime each time, wearing out seals, valves and o-rings a lot faster, which means more frequent rebuilds are needed...and also to choke on flushes that slower more deliberate manual pumping could push through. Those toilets also cost considerably more than electric toilets that are designed to be electric toilets. And then there's maintenance...manual toilet pumps require lubrication and frequent maintenance..."real" electric toilets need no lubrication and no maintenance beyond a rebuild every 5-6 years.
I didn't know this about the K-Model pump, so that's good information to know...I need further research.

Quote:
For some reason, sailors like the idea of a toilet that can be converted to manual in the event of a catastrophic power failure. Seems to me, though, that if you don't even have enough juice to flush a toilet, whether you can or not is the least of your worries...'cuz you won't have nav equipment, communications equipment, lights, auto pilot, and prob'ly not even an engine...but you WOULD still have a bucket!
The reason I find the ability to convert to manual nice, is in the case of the motor breaking...not because of boat electrical problems.

Quote:
So if you want an electric toilet, buy one that's designed to BE an electric toilet...don't settle for just a motor that replaces the pump handle. Practical Sailor just did a review of electric toilets...they rated the Raritan Marine Elegance Raritan Elegance toilet "best of show" and the Raritan SeaEra Raritan Sea Era "best budget buy." If your budget will stand the Groco model K electric, there's more than enough room in it for the Elegance...I'd go with that one and the optional "smart flush" panel.
Thank you for the suggestions, and I'll study those toilets more.
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Old 27-03-2011, 11:58   #33
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Re: electric heads

My boat originally had the Jabsco manual pump that was supplied from my fresh water tank. Just the thought that within the pump unit, it contained both my drinking water and sewage was a little discomforting. Fortunately we only used the boat 2 months before it was brought home for many improvements and we limited to our water usage.
I was originally planning on the Jabsco electric pump conversion, but 2 things prevented me from going that route. 1st was it still indirectly combined both my fresh water tank and sewage as the manual pump did. 2nd was I didn't like the fact the control knob was right there next to the toilet seat. Face it, splatter and poor aiming is inevitable. Not an item I want to be touching. Though the same applies to the manual pump handle.
Therefor I choose the Jabsco Quiet flush conversion kit. It replaced the toilet base with the electric macerating pump only, and the supply water is introduced at the top of the bowel by way of the vacuum break solenoid for a no cross contamination between sewage and freshwater supply possible. Plus the control buttons are mounted up on the wall, out of the 'splatter-zone'. Very happy with my choice. Just wish it was a little quieter, but since it is just a few seconds per use noise, really not an issue for us.
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Old 27-03-2011, 15:46   #34
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Re: electric heads

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Face it, splatter and poor aiming is inevitable. Not an item I want to be touching. Though the same applies to the manual pump handle.
Men should make a habit of sitting on the head not standing over it, then there are no issues.
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Old 27-03-2011, 16:41   #35
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Re: electric heads

We have a Sea Era and a quick price search found it to cost more than my best deal on Elegance. It's with a Purasan (fresh water) head. I find it's been good except when somone puts chunky stuff in it. So as we all know chunky stuff does not belong in the head.

So what is bettter about the Elegance? It does "look" more like at home but that alone isn't why I'm on the boat. The Sea Era has been great. Last boat had the basic Jabsco with a long sea water hose (sucked). All raw water hoses for anything need to be ASAP (As Short As Possible). Multiple through hulls are OK.
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Old 27-03-2011, 20:57   #36
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Re: electric heads

I think you'll see what's better about the Elegance if you spend a little time reading all about it on the website. But in a nutshell, the Sea Era is a basic macerating electric toilet--a "Chevy truck"....The Elegance is a Lexus, but for about the same price as a Chevy. It has a much more powerful pump and macerator than the SeaEra...designed to use pressurized flush water and is MUCH quieter than other freshwater toilets including the SeaEra...offers a choice of 4 flush options (the SeaEra has one...you need to read the rest.
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Old 27-03-2011, 21:26   #37
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Re: electric heads

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You don't have to take my word for it, but a weekly dose of WHITE vinegar does work. And you don't have to use the shower head after it.
Peggie:

Do you know if the vinegar treatment is ok to use with a Lavac manual system? Is it a cup of vinegar once a week?
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Old 27-03-2011, 21:48   #38
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Re: electric heads

Vinegar is safe to use in ANY toilet, treatment device or plumbing.
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Old 27-03-2011, 23:45   #39
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Re: electric heads

Back to the OP:

I didn't switch to electric (macerating) toilets as much for the sailors I'd have aboard as for the non-sailors. The latter group comprise the folks, in my experience, who so quickly can turn a two-hour sail into a septic disaster, given more primitive technologies.

No amount of vinegar solves that sort of problem.
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Old 15-08-2017, 14:07   #40
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Re: Electric Heads

New to site and hoping I'm doing this right. I have a Beneteau 423 and considering switching to electric toilets. Raritan Elegance seems like the best choice but I wondering what the group's thoughts are on going with a Vacuum Toilet instead. I was on a much larger boat with vacuum toilet and they seem to work really well. Just not sure if it requires too much room and plumbing for my boat. The Rattan seems to be self-contained and should fit without any problem. BTW, what the difference between "post quick reply" and "Gp Advanced"
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Old 15-08-2017, 14:20   #41
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Re: Electric Heads

One more newly question. Once I leave a Tread, how to I get back to it and how do I know if a question I post gets a reply. Guess that 2 questions, sorry
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Old 15-08-2017, 16:43   #42
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Re: Electric Heads

First, welcome aboard!

The Raritan Elegance is the top rated macerating electric toilet today. I've yet to hear of anyone who doesn't love it. And fwiw, Raritan is one of only two US toilet mfr who still mfrs everything in the US (Groco is the other one, but they only make two toilets, both of which are excellent, but neither is electric.

The vacuum toilet you asked about is the VacuFlush...a lot more expensive than the Elegance if you know where to shop. I recommend this retailer Hopkins Carter Marine Raritan Marine Elegance The recently former owner is an active participant on this site and still offers excellent discounts to forum members. His username is HopCar. It has two components--the bowl assembly and the "vacuum generator" which is remote from it in the bilge. If the bilge is too shallow for it, it has to go into a settee or locker somewhere...which means a lot more plumbing and loss of storage. I had one on two of my own boats...if I were toilet shopping today, I'd go with the Elegance.

To answer your questions "post"quick reply" just posts what you've written. "Go advanced" opens it to a screen that'll let you add photos among other "bells and whistles" like emojies that you may or may not choose to use.

New replies to a thread show up in bold type and have little yellow box in front of 'em.

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Old 15-08-2017, 21:19   #43
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Re: Electric Heads

Peg -

You do a service to the whole community and I have a kindle copy of your

2nd edition Get Rid of Boat Odors

So if amps and initial cost are no issue would pairing the Raritan Elegance with the Lectra San together be a good combination for a brand new system? Does that put me in USCG compliance?
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Old 15-08-2017, 22:25   #44
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Re: Electric Heads

First, thank you for the kind words!

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Peg -So if amps and initial cost are no issue would pairing the Raritan Elegance with the Lectra San together be a good combination for a brand new system? Does that put me in USCG compliance?
Depends on where you cruise. If you're on the Great Lakes, New England or other areas that are "hotbeds" of 'no discharge zones," he answer is no. If you're mostly in waters where the discharge of treated waste is legal, then the answer is definitely yes...except with a toilet designed to use fresh water, I'd go wiith a PuraSan Raritan Purasan EX , which doesn't need salt, instead of the ElectroScan (current version of the Lecra/San. The PuraSan has a lower price tag and lower power consumption.
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Old 16-08-2017, 17:49   #45
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Re: Electric Heads

REALLY good stuff here! Thank you!
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