My boat was delivered with one of those incredibly noisy Jabsco electric
toilet conversions in the aft (my) heads. It worked fine until the motor
burned out. Then the replacement never worked right. It would fail to prime and fail to discharge. It drove me crazy.
I decided that these are crap, and four years ago, I bought two Raritan
Sea Era toilet conversions, supposed to be a drop in fit.
Well, they fit the toilet bowl, but everything else was different, and I couldn't fit one of them in the forward heads. So I moved the Jabsco
to the forward (guest) heads, and installed one of the Sea Eras aft.
Four years later, they have both worked flawlessly, and used heavily over many thousands of miles and many months of living aboard
Today I did the first maintenance
on the Sea Era -- replaced a joker valve. Which is what made me think of this topic.
Now after this amount of experience, I'm no longer sure that the Jabsco ones are crap. This is heavier, and seemingly more heavy duty, than the very light and plasticky Raritan
. It's much noisier (two impellers vs one impeller and one diaphragm
pump) but this doesn't really bother me. The Jabsco has the advantage that you can separately drain the bowl; the Raritan has no such control. The Raritan could use such a control, as its discharge pump is not as powerful as the Jabsco's. The Raritan also backflows disgustingly.
Why did I have that weird priming problem with the Jabsco before I moved it? I have no idea. I drove me absolutely crazy. But it disappeared after I moved it.
In general no major complaints about either these last four years, but it seems to be that neither of these is the perfect marine
The perfect marine
toilet would be made of bronze (like the Skipper
manual toilets). It would have superb hydraulic engineering so that it would never fail to prime, and never backflow. It would be designed to come apart easily for service
without spilling disgusting liquids all over the place. It would have powerful, high quality motors with long service
lives. It would have a switch, maybe, to allow you to select a high flow rate for direct overboard
discharge, and a lower one for holding tank
. It would, unfortunately, be expensive.