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Old 20-05-2013, 07:12   #1
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Have three electric heads and looking to replace.

I just purchased a 2006 boat that has three electric Jabco heads. The owner said he had nothing but problems with them and would recommend getting the Raritan heads.

Any recommendations here? And should I leave one as a manual or is there an electric head that also has a manual option?

Thanks!
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Old 20-05-2013, 07:16   #2
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Originally Posted by solecollector View Post
I just purchased a 2006 boat that has three electric Jabco heads. The owner said he had nothing but problems with them and would recommend getting the Raritan heads.

Any recommendations here? And should I leave one as a manual or is there an electric head that also has a manual option?

Thanks!
We are very happy with our Raritan Atlantis heads, fresh water flush. 8 years full time and only recently did I replace joker valves.
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Old 20-05-2013, 07:20   #3
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Re: Have three electric heads and looking to replace.

Do you have a photo? Just kidding - you take some amazing photos my friend.

The boat is a Lagoon and I'm unsure if I can just replace part of or do I have to replace the whole thing (bowl and all)? I had a CSY 44' for years and this is the first boat that I had electric heads - or a gen set for that matter...! So tons of things to learn about.
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Old 20-05-2013, 08:07   #4
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Re: Have three electric heads and looking to replace.

You have a lot of options.
You can buy complete new motor/pumps for your Jabsco toilets.
Jabsco 37041-0010 Toilet Motor / Pump Assembly 12 v.

If you want to get away from Jabsco, you can buy a Raritan Sea Era Conversion kit.
The Sea Era has a very good reputation and is a little quieter than the Jabsco.
You would reuse your Jabsco bowls as the Sea Era was designed to use the same bowl.
Sea Era Conversion Kit - 16LI012

If you want to go first class, the Raritan Elegance is about as good as a marine toilet gets. It has many options including fresh water flush, different mounting options, bowl color, and bowl size.
Raritan Engineering | Marine Elegance

If you want to keep a manual toilet aboard I recommend the Raritan PHII.
Without spending a thousand dollars, this is the most reliable manual marine toilet. It is available with an electric drive but I don't recommend that option. It takes a very good manual toilet and turns it into a bad electric toilet.
Raritan Engineering | PH II and PHE II Manual Toilet

If you have any questions about these, you can contact me by email through my website. I'd love the chance to supply which ever option you choose.
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Old 20-05-2013, 12:37   #5
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Re: Have three electric heads and looking to replace.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solecollector View Post
I just purchased a 2006 boat that has three electric Jabco heads. The owner said he had nothing but problems with them and would recommend getting the Raritan heads.

Any recommendations here? And should I leave one as a manual or is there an electric head that also has a manual option?

Thanks!

Our 11-year-old Jabsco electric head works fine. Replaced the motor assembly last year, after a simple shaft seal swap didn't replace the slight leak that was just starting... but that was relatively simple, actually fast...

Might depend on the nature of the "nothing but problems" your PO experienced.

-Chris
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Old 20-05-2013, 13:00   #6
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While I do prefer Raritan toilets over others our Jabsco electric head has been fantastic. Coming up on 3 years as our primary toilet living aboard and still works great. I have a spare set of controls and pump but have not needed them.
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Old 20-05-2013, 21:49   #7
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Re: Have three electric heads and looking to replace.

Been researching and discussing with my wife the whole boat/waste/head/toilet thing lately.

The first thing she said was

"That ones looks easier to clean" she has a point as everything is covered and it presents a smooth solid surface. I realize the internal working are covered and would require a whole break down to fix/repair, but she does have a point.

Easier to Clean?
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Old 21-05-2013, 00:40   #8
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Re: Have three electric heads and looking to replace.

Don't be too hasty. If the PO didn't know how to manage them they would get issues and blame the toilets. A common problem is not enough flush water going through to prevent calcification in the piping and/ or growth around the outlets. Also not enough flush water means smells from dead seawater creatures in pipes ending up in the bowl. Some say you should flush for 15 to 20 seconds each time.
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Old 21-05-2013, 01:39   #9
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Re: Have three electric heads and looking to replace.

What kind of Jabsco toilets are they? I have had the tall conversion kits, and had endless trouble with them. I don't like the idea of them, using impellers instead of diaphragm pumps, and Jabsco is not known for good engineering.

But the Jabsco "quiet flush" models (not the conversion kits like I have had) are completely different, and might be better. As someone correctly stated -- you should be sure you're using them correctly before you toss them overboard.

I replaced one of my Jabscos with the Raritan Sea Era conversion (bought from HopCar; thanks!). I have been using it for a year without the slightest problem, and it is much quieter. So far so good -- hope this good service continues.

One really big advantage of the Jabsco conversions is that you can pop them off in two minutes and pop on the manual pump unit in another two minutes. This is the closest I know to an easily convertible electric-to-manual marine toilet. In the case of the Jabsco conversions, this feature was useful as the electric units failed so often. Unfortunately, the Jabsco manual pump is also very carpy (sorry for the pun), so it was often a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Electric toilets have such huge advantages over manual ones that I would really never go back, and if you have reliable ones, wouldn't worry too much about the manual backup.

One of the biggest problems with sanitation on board is that it is hard, with a manual toilet, to pump enough to really clean out the pipes, with the result that calcification and bad smells occur. With an electric toilet, it is easy to wash plenty of seawater through. It takes a surprising lot of pumping to get clean water all the way through the anti-siphon loops.

Electric toilets also generally macerate, which greatly reduces the risk of clogs compared to manual toilets.

I personally would never go back.

As to fresh water versus sea water -- in my experience, sea water flushing works just fine and is mostly odor-free, as long as you pump them enough. The lines will also not calcify as long as you have pumped enough to get all the urine out (which is what causes calcification, when it reacts with sea water). You do get the blast of stench after you've been away from the boat as the sea water has rotted in the intake lines, but that goes away quickly. I don't really see much point in fresh water flushing other than having one less through-hull, worth considering on new builds (but not so much on boats like mine which already have the extra holes).

The trick of plumbing the sea water intake into a sink drain is a great tip, on boats where that works. That eliminates the blast of stench problem as you can flush out the intake side with fresh water (also dead simple winterization) every time you leave the boat. Won't work on boats like mine with separate gray water tanks and pumps, however, rather than direct discharge of gray water.
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Old 21-05-2013, 01:42   #10
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Re: Have three electric heads and looking to replace.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DumnMad View Post
Don't be too hasty. If the PO didn't know how to manage them they would get issues and blame the toilets. A common problem is not enough flush water going through to prevent calcification in the piping and/ or growth around the outlets. Also not enough flush water means smells from dead seawater creatures in pipes ending up in the bowl. Some say you should flush for 15 to 20 seconds each time.
+1!

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Old 21-05-2013, 01:52   #11
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Re: Have three electric heads and looking to replace.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DumnMad View Post
Don't be too hasty. If the PO didn't know how to manage them they would get issues and blame the toilets. A common problem is not enough flush water going through to prevent calcification in the piping and/ or growth around the outlets. Also not enough flush water means smells from dead seawater creatures in pipes ending up in the bowl. Some say you should flush for 15 to 20 seconds each time.
Agree completely, all the urine needs to be completely flushed through to prevent calcification and therefore smell. The only problem with good flushing is that holding tank size starts to become an issue if there are several people on board.
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Old 21-05-2013, 02:03   #12
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Re: Have three electric heads and looking to replace.

Lavac. One diaphragm pump; no stinky head; can be electrified; 4 years liveaboard fault free. Simple brilliant engineering.
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Old 21-05-2013, 03:01   #13
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Re: Have three electric heads and looking to replace.

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Agree completely, all the urine needs to be completely fushed through to revent calcification and therefore smell. The only problem with good flushing is that holding tank size starts to become an issue if there are several people on board.
Meh, if you are required to use a holding tank in your area, then fresh water flushing starts to show its benefits.

And if your system is plumbed so that the discharge must go through a vented loop before getting into your holding tank, then you've really got problems, even if you're only one person on board.

I'm lucky to be in tidal waters where everything goes straight overboard -- so you can put a lot of sea water through without worrying about it.
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Old 21-05-2013, 03:32   #14
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Re: Have three electric heads and looking to replace.

Macerated & straight overboard is good food for the fish but holding tank stuff is toxic. However some areas require holding tanks for various reasons(some stupid) and this is where loo problems prevail.
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Old 21-05-2013, 04:37   #15
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Re: Have three electric heads and looking to replace.

Quote:
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Macerated & straight overboard is good food for the fish but holding tank stuff is toxic. However some areas require holding tanks for various reasons(some stupid) and this is where loo problems prevail.
I think the environmental issues are more complicated than that, but yes -- lots and lots of sea water is a real good thing in a marine sanitation system.
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