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Old 19-11-2011, 04:42   #1
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Jabsco Electric Toilet Woes

I have a Jabsco electric toilet conversion (the noisy one which is a direct replacement for the regular Jabsco hand pump) in my after heads.

The old one gave 10 years of perfect service before giving up the ghost last year -- the motor died. Of course that happened at the worst possible time -- the day before important guests were due to arrive and far from my home port - but that's another story.

I replaced it with an identical unit, a new one. It has never worked exactly right. When I first installed it, it would pump water in but not out. It seemed like it wouldn't prime. Finally after the n-th round of fiddling with it, it started to work. I assumed there had been a small air leak somewhere which prevented it from priming.

The problem reappeared from time to time. Now, a year and a half later, the toilet has stopped pumping out altogether again.

I have had it apart, and everything looks ok. Both impellers are good. I can't find any air leaks.

It behaves really oddly -- it will sometimes pump out if I turn the knob counter-clockwise, that is to the dry flush position. But when I turn the know the other way for a wet flush, it stops pumping out. If I leave it in the dry flush position, it starts pumping water in -- although the intake pump is not supposed to work in that position.

It almost seems like some valve is malfunctioning.

Anyone ever have such a problem?
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Old 19-11-2011, 04:58   #2
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Re: Jasco Electric Toilet Woes

Its a crap job but go through it all again, checking the flow direction and look for the minutest details. Its only a machine, simple to understand.......unlike people.
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Old 19-11-2011, 05:06   #3
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Re: Jasco Electric Toilet Woes

"Crap job" -- indeed.

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Old 19-11-2011, 09:40   #4
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Re: Jasco Electric Toilet Woes

I would guess that you have a defective "control valve assembly" (part 21 on the exploded drawing in the instructions here): http://www.xylemflowcontrol.com/file...Conversion.pdf
That's their term for the wet/dry assembly in manual toilet. Call Jabsco for a replacement...or better yet, replace that piece of junk with a decent toilet.

PS rated the Raritan SeaEra Raritan Sea Era "best budget buy" in their Feb issue this year...available as a complete toilet or just a "conversion" (everything but the bowl, seat and lid) Raritan Sea Era Conversion. Draws half the amperage, less than half the noise. Even less amps and noise if you opt to go with the fresh water version. Hopcar can give you a quote.
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Old 19-11-2011, 10:33   #5
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Re: Jasco Electric Toilet Woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
I would guess that you have a defective "control valve assembly" (part 21 on the exploded drawing in the instructions here): http://www.xylemflowcontrol.com/file...Conversion.pdf
That's their term for the wet/dry assembly in manual toilet. Call Jabsco for a replacement...or better yet, replace that piece of junk with a decent toilet.

PS rated the Raritan SeaEra Raritan Sea Era "best budget buy" in their Feb issue this year...available as a complete toilet or just a "conversion" (everything but the bowl, seat and lid) Raritan Sea Era Conversion. Draws half the amperage, less than half the noise. Even less amps and noise if you opt to go with the fresh water version. Hopcar can give you a quote.

Thanks Peg -- indeed, based on your recommendation, I will be bringing two Raritan Sea Era conversion kits back with me from the States after Christmas. I just have to get the bl**dy Jabsco to work until then! I have the old conversion which worked perfectly other than the motor, which burned out. So now that I've taken the toilet apart for the n-th time again not finding anything amiss -- I guess I'll swap out the control unit for the old one - if I can figure out how. Thanks.
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Old 19-11-2011, 11:00   #6
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Re: Jasco Electric Toilet Woes

If it's only the motor in the old one, would it be easier to swap out the motors than try to mess with the pump?
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Old 19-11-2011, 11:08   #7
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Re: Jasco Electric Toilet Woes

Well, I replaced the joker valve and swapped out the top cover and knob -- and presto, works. Who would have thought that marine toilets could be so mysterious. Now if it will only work until I can replace it with the Raritan - which I am going to make fresh water as well, I think.
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Old 19-11-2011, 11:35   #8
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Re: Jasco Electric Toilet Woes

If you do go with the fresh water version, you can add an optional 3 way flush button (Raritan only shows it with the Elegance, but it'll work with any pressurized flush water toilet) that'll let you only bring in water (nice to have ahead of solids) or "dry" flush or both. Helps to conserve flush water AND holding tank space.
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Old 19-11-2011, 13:54   #9
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Re: Jasco Electric Toilet Woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
If you do go with the fresh water version, you can add an optional 3 way flush button (Raritan only shows it with the Elegance, but it'll work with any pressurized flush water toilet) that'll let you only bring in water (nice to have ahead of solids) or "dry" flush or both. Helps to conserve flush water AND holding tank space.
Exactly what I want! Thanks again for all the good advice.
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Old 21-04-2012, 09:18   #10
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Re: Jabsco Electric Toilet Woes

More Jabsco electric toilet woes.

I bought two Raritan conversions, but I have had too many more urgent things to do on the boat to get around to installing them yet.

Then my Dad gave me another Jabsco conversion for Christmas -- a not-so-subtle hint that he's tired of pumping the Jabsco manual toilet in the forward heads.

I decided to pop that on instead of the malfunctioning Jabsco unit since it's a 15 minutes job versus a whole day to fit a new Raritan.

What do you know? This one does the same d*mn thing as the last one did. The outlet pump fails to prime, letting the bowl fill up with sea water. It will usually start pumping, then stop when all the water is out and it's sucking air, then the bowl starts to fill up, then sometimes it starts to pump out again when the bowl gets half full.

What a total PITA. I am stumped - why would it do this? The original Jabsco conversion, with which the boat was originally delivered, worked flawlessly for about a year, then the motor gave up the ghost. Now I've replaced it TWICE with identical units, and both of the replacements have this priming problem -- and on the outlet side, not the seawater intake.

WTF?
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Old 21-04-2012, 09:47   #11
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Re: Jabsco Electric Toilet Woes

If both a manual toilet AND the electric conversion are doing the same thing, that's pretty good indication that the problem isn't the toilet, it's elsewhere in the plumbing.

Step 1. Read the installation instructions for both toilets...what did you do wrong both times?

Step 2. Check the head discharge hose for mineral buildup that's reduced the diameter enough to create just enough back pressure to prevent the toilet from flushing till the water in the bowl creates enough pressure to overcome it.

Step 3. Check your tank vent and any y-valves for a partial blockage that's doing the same thing.
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Old 21-04-2012, 10:26   #12
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Re: Jabsco Electric Toilet Woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
If both a manual toilet AND the electric conversion are doing the same thing, that's pretty good indication that the problem isn't the toilet, it's elsewhere in the plumbing.

Step 1. Read the installation instructions for both toilets...what did you do wrong both times?

Step 2. Check the head discharge hose for mineral buildup that's reduced the diameter enough to create just enough back pressure to prevent the toilet from flushing till the water in the bowl creates enough pressure to overcome it.

Step 3. Check your tank vent and any y-valves for a partial blockage that's doing the same thing.
Thanks for that, Peg.

I did read the instructions over and over again. I will read them again. The boat was delivered from the yard originally with one of these Jabsco electric conversions and all I did was pop in a new one (both times). I was careful to use the right base gasket (no flapper valve). But your point is well taken -- I will read and check through everything again.

I have had the discharge hoses off several times and there has been no mineral buildup. I flush the toilets out with fresh water before leaving the boat for more than a day, and use Harpic regularly.

I am discharging directly overboard so no tank or vent issues.

My manual toilet is in the forward heads -- the electric is aft. Problem is not exactly the same but does give pause for thought. Manual toilet forward is hard to pump and there is some backflow after pumping. Hmmmm.
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Old 21-04-2012, 17:14   #13
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Re: Jabsco Electric Toilet Woes

Have you thought to check the thru-hulls to see whether any sea life has set up housekeeping on 'em that's created a partial blockage?
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Old 21-04-2012, 17:33   #14
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Re: Jabsco Electric Toilet Woes

My manual toilet was sooo hard to pump yesterday I stripped it down and for some reason the gasket was rubbing on the wall, so i used some tap lube $5 and it can nearly work by itself. I can be such a small thing for them to just not work, also you could turn off seacock and disconnect hose to make shore there is no blockage.
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Old 21-04-2012, 18:16   #15
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Re: Jabsco Electric Toilet Woes

...for some reason the gasket was rubbing on the wall...

The reason is simple: when your toilet left the factory the pump was slathered in thick silicone grease, which is why it pumped smoothly. But the grease only lasts a year--two at most if the season is short--so toilet pumps require RE lubricating. It should be done as preventive maintenance every year, 'cuz if you wait till the toilet becomes hard to pump, the friction has seriously deteriorated ALL the seals and o-rings that rub against the inside of the pump cylinder, not just the one.

I don't know what "tap grease" is, but if it's petroleum based grease, it's the wrong thing to use, 'cuz petroleum damages rubber. Buy a tube of synthethic teflon or silicone grease...open up the pump and put a HEALTHY squirt of it into it...close up the pump again and pump a few times to spread it all over the inside of the pump.

And change the joker valve...that should be done annually. If you don't know what a joker valve is, it's a rubber cup shaped thingy with a slit in the bottom and "lips" on the outside located in the discharge fitting on your toilet. If you want to know WHY the joker valve should be changed annually, search for "joker valve 101" in this forum.
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