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Old 07-05-2012, 10:59   #1
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Jabsco electric head troubleshooting

Hello,

I have a 6 year old Jabsco 370100090 electric head that is having a hard time pumping raw seawater into the bowl and I am trying to figure out what could be wrong. The specific problem is when the button is pushed the pump turns on but little to no water enters the head. What water does go in only comes out the holes on the back side of the bowl (I don't see water on front side of the bowl). The water that does go into the bowl sometimes doesn't look like fresh water (hopefully you get my meaning )

The raw water comes in from a thru-hull fitting which has a seacock connected to the line running to the head. A few weeks ago, the pump was acting funny so I took it apart and found a broken impeller which I replaced. I was thinking there was a blockage in the raw water line, seacock, or low inlet pressure. I disconnected the raw water line from the pump and replaced it with a line stuck in a bucket of water. When the pump was activated it pulled the water from the bucket so the pump seems ok. Blowing on the raw water line doesn't seem to indicate any blockages in the line or seacock.

Would anything on the discharge side of the pump effect the raw water that is pumped in (blocked tank vent, joker valve, etc)? Since I mentioned that sometimes the water that enters the bowl through the top of the bowl doesn't look "fresh", is it possible for discharge in the waste line to make it back to the raw water outlet?

I have read a number of posts on this site and understand that the Raritan Sea Era is potentially a better product than Jabsco. Will the Raritan Sea Era conversion kit fit an existing Jabsco Bowl or is better to replace everything? The newer Quiet flush Jabsco's now seem to have a user controlled water level which would be useful to "pre-fill" the bowl. Does the Raritan have something similar?

Tim
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:45   #2
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Re: Jabsco electric head troubleshooting

have you checked your incoming hose for blockages from outside??? is prime reason for failure.
your toilet is only as good as your routine maintenance and your usage of it.
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:09   #3
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Re: Jabsco electric head troubleshooting

One the outside of the boat there is a grate over the thru-hull fitting. I checked that the grate and thru-hull were clear. I wasn't able to get the line off the seacock (need to play with it when I get some time). I pulled the line off the inlet on the head and unscientifically blew really hard into the line. It felt like there was no blockages, but to really check I was planning on blowing out the line with a compressor.

Should there be a inline strainer somewhere? I didn't see one near the sea-cock or in the line between the head and the where it goes into the wall. I am "guessing" that the line is straight through to the sea cock but I guess there could be a tee or strainer near the sink. I will need to double check that.

Thanks

Tim
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:37   #4
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Re: Jabsco electric head troubleshooting

If you have a good flow of water coming out of the pump discharge hose when you activate the pump then the blockage is someplace in the toilet. There are little holes around the rim where the water comes out and they sometimes get blocked by various things sucked up by the pump. If possible take the toilet outside and see if you can force water thru it with a shore water hose. If nothing else that should help clean it out and open up the holes. If it is really plugged you might have to run a small wire thru the holes in the rim to open them up.
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Old 07-05-2012, 13:18   #5
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Re: Jabsco electric head troubleshooting

Another question in the long running saga of heads

I also have an electric jabsco with the same problem. Mine uses fresh water from a tank which is higher than the pump so no excuses for not delivering a good flush, but like you say, it just dribbles in via a few holes at the back of the rim and doesnt give a good all round flush

Its the nature of this particular beast
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Old 07-05-2012, 13:49   #6
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Re: Jabsco electric head troubleshooting

I'm guessing that the problem is one of two things...or both: either sea water mineral buildup in the head inlet hose and channel in the rim of the bowl that's all but blocked the flow of flushed water entirely...or...The toilet is 6 years old...it's impellers move flush water and bowl contents through through the toilet. The intake impeller brings in flush water, the discharge impeller pulls bowl contents out of the toilet and pushes it to the tank or wherever...impellers don't last forever, which is why the recommended rebuild schedule for all macerating electric toilets is every 5-7 years.

So while a new toilet would solve your problem and the SeaEra is definitely a major upgrade (and yes, your bowl WILL fit the SeaEra "conversion") you may only need a "service kit" and/or some muriatic acid.
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Old 07-05-2012, 13:52   #7
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Re: Jabsco electric head troubleshooting

Try cleaning the hard water mineral buildup (it can occur in fresh water systems too) out of the channel in the rim of the bowl and the holes in the rim.
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Old 07-05-2012, 14:07   #8
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Re: Jabsco electric head troubleshooting

My head was brand new and did it from day one
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Old 07-05-2012, 14:29   #9
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Re: Jabsco electric head troubleshooting

Brand new doesn't rule out mfr'g debris, poor quality control...holes that just were never opened completely. Jabsco toilets are no longer made in the US...some in Mexico, some in Asia... So I'd check the channel and holes to make sure they're open.

There could also be a blockage or a kink in the line from the tank.............
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Old 07-05-2012, 18:29   #10
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Re: Jabsco electric head troubleshooting

Turns out there is a blockage in the sea water line. I put the inlet line on the outlet of the pump and ran a new hose on the inlet to a bucket of water. The pump was pulling the water from the bucket but only a little. When I disconnected the outlet the water drained from the line so something is blocking it. Disconnected the line from the seacock and ran a fish tape through it but ran into something midway. I plan on blowing out the line tomorrow.

Thanks
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Old 07-05-2012, 18:43   #11
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Re: Jabsco electric head troubleshooting

3/4" sanitation hose is cheap...Save yourself some effort and aggravation by replacing it. Shields or Trident #148 flex PVC is the hose you need.

And while you're at it, check your head discharge line for a buildup and replace the joker valve in the discharge.
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Old 09-05-2012, 19:06   #12
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Re: Jabsco electric head troubleshooting

Turns out I was wrong, there isn't a blockage in the raw water line. I fished it, blew it with compressed air, etc. As mentioned previously, the head is 6 years old. I bought the boat last year and the dealer that I bought it from said they replaced the pump since it "sounded weak". After using it a few times I found that it was drawing A LOT of amp's, to the point of lights dimming when the button was pushed. I took the assembly apart and found a broken impeller which I replaced. I did not replaced the gaskets and other pieces since I did not have a maintenance kit. Once it was put back together, it seem to be a lot better but then I noticed the raw water was not entering the bowl.

My guess at this point is a gasket/seal failure to the point where it does not have the suction on the inlet side that it should. My options are a) buy a maintenance kit and rebuild it b) buy a new Jabsco / Raritan assembly (motor included) c) buy a new head including the bowl (Jabsco or Raritan). The existing bowl doesn't look all that good so I am not opposed to buying everything at once.

Any suggestions as to the best course of action? I really don't want to mess with this anymore. Are Raritan Sea Era's really that much better (amperage and pump power) than Jabsco? I see that Hopkins-carter has a Jabsco for $289 and the best price I can find on a Sea Era is $399. Thoughts?

Thanks

Tim
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Old 09-05-2012, 20:43   #13
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Re: Jabsco electric head troubleshooting

Are Raritan Sea Era's really that much better (amperage and pump power) than Jabsco?

Yes! In fact the SeaEra was purposely designed to be a "plug 'n' play" drop in upgrade/replacement for the Jabsco 3700xx series...even the mounting bolt hole patterns are a match.

I see that Hopkins-carter has a Jabsco for $289 and the best price I can find on a Sea Era is $399. Thoughts?

Go with the SeaEra "conversion" Raritan Sea Era Conversion It includes everything but the bowl seat and lid...your existing bowl--in fact, ANY bowl that has the standard 4 bolt mounting bolt pattern--will fit it., saving you both shipping cost and purchase price. However, you need to be aware of a VERY importan point:

You said, " After using it a few times I found that it was drawing A LOT of amp's, to the point of lights dimming when the button was pushed."

Leading me to strongly suspect that the toilet is NOT on a separate dedicated circuit, with its own separate breaker, as it should be....that instead, it's on the same circuit as the lights and maybe even other things that reduce available power to the toilet. Low voltage will destroy any electric motor and could be part of the source of your toilet problems. So...when you do install a new toilet, run a new circuit for it...a circuit shared by NOTHING else except possibly a Type I MSD (onboard waste treatment device) if/when in the future you ever want to add one). And make sure your batteries are good...keep 'em charged. And read--really READ and absorb!--the installation, operation and maintenance manual for it. That's here: Raritan Sea Era Ask questions before doing anything...my least favorite posts are, "I did (blah blah blah)...is that what I should have done?"
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Old 21-05-2012, 05:03   #14
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Re: Jabsco electric head troubleshooting

Hello,

Thanks for all of the advice. I ended up replacing the Jabsco with a Raritan Sea Era and couldn't be happier. The Raritan works flawlessly, is much quieter, and seems to be designed better (at least the parts were well thought out). Hopefully, I won't have to deal with head problems again for awhile

Thanks

Tim
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