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Old 20-02-2014, 10:16   #1
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Fresh Water for the Head

Recently the sea water around the boat was getting smelly. So since the head is Jabsco electric unit with sea water intake, the foul smell sits in the bowl.

The Admiral is unhappy . So being the boat boy , I had to do something. I added a 3 way ss ball valve. One common outlet to the electric pump. One to the sea water. One to the fresh water low pressure side.

I was warn by a good friend that I have to be very careful when doing this switch over as he made a mistake of not completely turning the 3 way valve ended in having some sea water/pee/poo backing up into the fresh water tank. He said some yachtie completely avoid this risk of ruining the fw tank by having a separate water tank just for the head fresh water supply.

How did you do your fresh water supply to the head and is there a better set up?

Thank you for your replies.
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Old 20-02-2014, 10:28   #2
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Re: Fresh Water for the head

A seperate tank is a very good idea. Where that is not possible, you can install a watts 9D backflow preventer in the freshwater line, between the three way valve and tank. That will prevent comtamination from reaching the tank in any case.

Watts Series 9D Backflow Preventer 1/2" (0061935) - Amazon.com
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Old 20-02-2014, 10:57   #3
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Re: Fresh Water for the head

Your ball valve is a bad idea. You will introduce salt water to your fresh water system every time you turn the valve. This means you will be contaminating your fresh water with bacteria and other small critters.

Why not just rinse the bowl with fresh? That way you flush with unlimited supply of salt water and then use a small amount of fresh to rinse. No need to change any plumbing as long as you have a faucet sprayer that will reach. Also handy to clean up stubborn solid material on the bowl.
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Old 20-02-2014, 10:59   #4
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Re: Fresh Water for the head

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericoh88 View Post
Recently the sea water around the boat was getting smelly. So since the head is Jabsco electric unit with sea water intake, the foul smell sits in the bowl.

The Admiral is unhappy . So being the boat boy , I had to do something. I added a 3 way ss ball valve. One common outlet to the electric pump. One to the sea water. One to the fresh water low pressure side.

I was warn by a good friend that I have to be very careful when doing this switch over as he made a mistake of not completely turning the 3 way valve ended in having some sea water/pee/poo backing up into the fresh water tank. He said some yachtie completely avoid this risk of ruining the fw tank by having a separate water tank just for the head fresh water supply.

How did you do your fresh water supply to the head and is there a better set up?

Thank you for your replies.
At the very least you do NOT want to install the 3 way valve as outlined above- that setup is a ticking time bomb waiting to go off.

The correct way to do this would be check and see if your toilet can be retrofitted with a freshwater fill system, including a vacuum break.

Alternatively, replace the toilet with one that is factory set up for using fresh water.

Freshwater-Flush Plumbing
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Old 20-02-2014, 11:36   #5
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Re: Fresh Water for the head

We have the same toilet I converted to fresh 15+ years ago. I closed off/plugged and disconnect the intake water, installed a separate domestic water pump, wired to the flush button, with a couple of in line one ways as extra measure to prevent back flow. So when the button is pushed the pump turn on. the best is to have a two buttons one for flushing and one for the pump, but one button works for us.
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Old 20-02-2014, 11:44   #6
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Re: Fresh Water for the head

This works with manual heads and should work with electric flush ones as well. Change the intake for the head to a T on the sink drain. Most of the time it will work as a regular intake for salt water. But if the odor is an issue, you can close the seacock, fill the sink with water and then flush with fresh water from the sink. You can eliminate one through-hull and add the ability to flush with fresh water without having to risk cross contamination.
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Old 20-02-2014, 11:44   #7
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Re: Fresh Water for the head

Or do the simple cheap thing. Hook the toilet inlet into the sink outlet (low, below the waterline). Open the outlet's seacock, salt water flush. Close the outlet and run water into the sink, fresh water flush.

I would not use a 3-way ball valve. That'd be bad, mmmmmkay?
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Old 20-02-2014, 12:00   #8
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Re: Fresh Water for the head

Electric heads generally need a decent amount of pressure to get the water into the bowl. I doubt the sink drain idea would work very well. Definitely would not work to suck in sea water. Great setup for a manual head though. Had my Ericson head plumbed this way.
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Old 20-02-2014, 12:32   #9
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Fresh Water for the head

The suggestion of flushing with salt water and then a fresh water rinse via a sprayer from sink or shower is very good. Did that for years and never had a smell problem.
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Old 20-02-2014, 12:35   #10
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Re: Fresh Water for the head

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Originally Posted by Tim R. View Post
Electric heads generally need a decent amount of pressure to get the water into the bowl. I doubt the sink drain idea would work very well. Definitely would not work to suck in sea water. Great setup for a manual head though. Had my Ericson head plumbed this way.

This actually works very well. I used the method of Teeing the galley sink drain in just as I did on my previous boat with manual head. We just close the thruhull when not cruising and fill the sink and flush. When we are out for an extended period, we simply open the thru hull and salt water flush. We run some fresh through at the end of the day when using salt. We have a Raritan Sea Era...
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Old 20-02-2014, 12:35   #11
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Re: Fresh Water for the head

I made a tank out of large 5 or 6in pvc pipe and caps. Installed regular toilet fill valve from Home depot and walla! fresh water supply to 2 heads, put y-valve downstream of tank to head to switch to sea water. ....no worry of back feeding sea water.
Works great.

Chuck
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Old 20-02-2014, 15:37   #12
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Re: Fresh Water for the head

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Originally Posted by Jsol View Post
This actually works very well. I used the method of Teeing the galley sink drain in just as I did on my previous boat with manual head. We just close the thruhull when not cruising and fill the sink and flush. When we are out for an extended period, we simply open the thru hull and salt water flush. We run some fresh through at the end of the day when using salt. We have a Raritan Sea Era...

This will work well with models like the sea era if they have the raw water intake pump. Models that rely on pressurized fresh water like our deluxe will not.
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Old 20-02-2014, 16:28   #13
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Re: Fresh Water for the head

I am lazy, but before I changed to incinolet I kept a small squirt bottle with a mild bleach solution in the heads and would give a small squirt after use. No problems will smell or growth if unused for a period of time. However, straight bleach will eat some rubber parts.
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Old 20-02-2014, 18:38   #14
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Re: Fresh Water for the head

My head is currently plumbed with salt water, but it's plumbed wrong. There's no vented loop and it's running from a demand type water pump. Serious possible sunk boat situation.

Instead of trying to retro-fit an anti-siphon loop and DC relay for the pump, I'm planning on converting to the potable water system by T-ing off the pressurized cold tap in the head. The MasterFlush is supposed to already have an in-line check valve to prevent reverse contamination. I'm going to check with an expert to be sure.
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Old 22-02-2014, 08:33   #15
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Re: Fresh Water for the head

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
A seperate tank is a very good idea. Where that is not possible, you can install a watts 9D backflow preventer in the freshwater line, between the three way valve and tank. That will prevent comtamination from reaching the tank in any case.

Watts Series 9D Backflow Preventer 1/2" (0061935) - Amazon.com
Thanks for the info. This unit looks like a swing gate check valve which require a horizontal installation. I will add a ss spring loaded check valve.
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