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Old 27-03-2008, 05:56   #1
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Electric or Manual Head?

I don't make a lot of changes to boats I buy as far as equipment goes, unless things are broken.

My new boat has a "Baby Blake" electric head with a newer (less than 2 yrs old) electric pump on it.

On my old boats, I had always thought a manual head has less chance of breaking than an electric.

Now that I have this electric head and see that it's just pushing water and waste around via an impellor type thing, it almost seems to me there are less moving parts in this thing than there were in the manual heads.

This head seems to be just a pump, impellor and an anti-backup valve and that's it. Seems less complicated than all the seals/plungers, valves, etc... on manual heads.

I need a *very* reliable head for my charters in a couple months. They are day charters at max capacity, with crew as well. Lots of trips to the head from guests.

Now what does everyone think?

Is a manual head or an electric head more reliable?
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Old 27-03-2008, 06:33   #2
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LE VAC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 27-03-2008, 06:38   #3
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Sean,

I have an electic head that I have converted to manual because of power draw. The electric has worked well, and at times with many people useing it.. It just draws too many amps but worked well.
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Old 27-03-2008, 07:53   #4
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I need a *very* reliable head for my charters in a couple months. They are day charters at max capacity, with crew as well. Lots of trips to the head from guests.
The way I see it you need a toilet that is very easy to use (push button operation) that will not clog easily.
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Old 27-03-2008, 08:15   #5
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The way I see it you need a toilet that is very easy to use (push button operation) that will not clog easily.
Good point... ease of operation is essential.

I was mostly thinking of clogs, digging around in many people's waste and having to touch "icky" things as being a driving factor. Reliability and ease of maintenance sounds good thinking about those things.
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Old 27-03-2008, 09:17   #6
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The Le VAC WILL EAT A TENNIS SHOE!.......
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Old 27-03-2008, 10:48   #7
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My electric works well, have had one clog and dug a spoon out of the impellar (still don't know how that got there). Very easy to operate, but it does suck the juice.

Bill
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Old 27-03-2008, 13:01   #8
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The Le VAC WILL EAT A TENNIS SHOE!.......
So says our bare-footed boat bum friend imagine2frolic.
Ya gotta be careful around moving machinery.
As for spoons - I don't think I'll be dining with caribnsol...
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Old 27-03-2008, 13:07   #9
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Wow... a spoon??

That's incredible. ha ha

Imagine2Frolic: I think the Baby Blake is a kind of Lavac. They're made by the same company, from what I could tell. It seems pretty powerful.

I'm not too worried about power consumption since I have the wind and solar, a little gasoline genset, and a 60 amp alternator on each of my Yanmars. That's all feeding to a 600AH battery bank. Given that I have to motor to docks to pick up the day charter guests, I will undoubtedly have enough power to run the head pump (I think).

Still haven't seen how many amps it draws since the Link 10 is out of sight when you press the button. Maybe that's something I can do with the crew arriving today.
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Old 27-03-2008, 14:19   #10
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Won't a bucket do? With all the head regulations, discharge laws, and everything else a politician can do to us a head seems a waste. Oooooh, I got that mixed up. Politicians are a waste, I wonder if they fall under a no discharge law. Seriously, I use a toilet that has a holding tank. The waste just falls into the base. From the base is the exhaust tube. The tank can be emptied at a way station or by using a macerator pump, pumped clean at sea. The tank only holds enough for about two days waste for two people. It uses no electricity until you turn on the macerator pump.

John
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Old 27-03-2008, 14:35   #11
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Won't a bucket do? With all the head regulations, discharge laws, and everything else a politician can do to us a head seems a waste. Oooooh, I got that mixed up. Politicians are a waste, I wonder if they fall under a no discharge law. Seriously, I use a toilet that has a holding tank. The waste just falls into the base. From the base is the exhaust tube. The tank can be emptied at a way station or by using a macerator pump, pumped clean at sea. The tank only holds enough for about two days waste for two people. It uses no electricity until you turn on the macerator pump.

John
This is good, John.

This is actually what I plan to do when I go cruising. I plan to install a "portapotty" bowl with the little sliding trap door thing, attached directly to a holding tank. No pump involved, except pumpout and macerator.

For now, I have the waste of many people (and a bit of an image) to contend with. I guess I'll keep the electric until it dies and then figure it out from there. Maybe the portapotty would be good at that point. Thanks for reminding me of that one.
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Old 27-03-2008, 15:39   #12
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I agree for a cruising boat the lavac is the most bullet proof choice. But for charter guests, you might look into the Vacuflush systems by SeaLand.

Thye are robust and simple to operate They use a minimum amount of water and power use is insignificant. I had had one for ten years in daily use on a liveaboard boat and never had a problem, other than changing the duckbill valves about every 6 months.

THis compared to other electric heads that seem to go through very expensive pumps on an annual basis.
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Old 28-03-2008, 12:37   #13
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Gord,

I resemble that remark....LOLOLOLOLOL
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Old 12-04-2008, 14:25   #14
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Lavac is what you want/need, no question.

You can make the Lavac manual, electric or BOTH. You can install their electric pump inline above the manual pump and have it operate via a simple button. That way guests have very simple instructions: close the lid, press the button. Thats it.

You dont have to sweat silly single ply toilet paper and if somebody puts a "female product" down the toilet the Lavac is unlikely to notice. We just got back from cruising St. John and the Lavac heads took all the abuse 2 small kids can throw at them no problem. They really do have a lot of power! If something fails with the electrical circuit, the manual pump is already there and it will operate normally. You get easy use and manual backup all in one.



Terry
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Old 12-04-2008, 15:14   #15
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Lubbers as a groups seem incapable of understanding how a typical manual head works. On a recent trip to Mexico I was out on a snorkel charter and half way through the head was filled to overflowing until I went to use it and set things right. This despite the written instructions posted nearby.
The electric may be best from a simple to use standpoint. With your daycharters I would think that the power draw is not as much of an issue as you can charge up back at the dock overnight. For a manual the Lavac as others have said due to its reliable simple operation.
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