Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 16-11-2011, 10:07   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 9
Lavac Flush Water Problem

I have been pulling my hair in trying to fix the problem with the sea water flush for the Lavac toilet on my sailboat. Any suggestions will be much appreciated! I've had this boat for nearly two years and the toilet has been working fine until this spring. It began to get harder and harder to draw the flush seawater in, and eventually there's hardly any water being sucked in at all. I've pretty well taken apart the whole system, multiple times, to find the root cause but so far no luck.
- The same seawater intake also feeds the Lavac in the forward head, which works fine, so intake is not a problem.
- The inlet hose runs from the seacock and loops to about 5 ft above waterline and to the toilet; the height seems reasonable.
- The inlet hose goes through two right-angle joints. The clamps are tight and there's no air leak that I can detect.
- There's a small red plastic plug inserted into the hose at the top of the loop and I assume that's the bleed value. The bleed hole must be very small as I can't see it. In any case I can detect no air leaks there.
- The Lavac seems to work fine and draws a vacuum just like my other head. The seat gets sucked down and stays down for 20 seconds or so. But little water gets drawn in, and the bowl stays empty regardless of how many strokes I pump.

Ideas?

Thanks
Ben
__________________

__________________
bh100014 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-11-2011, 10:37   #2
Registered User
 
mbianka's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,125
Images: 1
Re: Lavac flush water problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by bh100014 View Post
I have been pulling my hair in trying to fix the problem with the sea water flush for the Lavac toilet on my sailboat. Any suggestions will be much appreciated! I've had this boat for nearly two years and the toilet has been working fine until this spring. It began to get harder and harder to draw the flush seawater in, and eventually there's hardly any water being sucked in at all. I've pretty well taken apart the whole system, multiple times, to find the root cause but so far no luck.
- The same seawater intake also feeds the Lavac in the forward head, which works fine, so intake is not a problem.
- The inlet hose runs from the seacock and loops to about 5 ft above waterline and to the toilet; the height seems reasonable.
- The inlet hose goes through two right-angle joints. The clamps are tight and there's no air leak that I can detect.
- There's a small red plastic plug inserted into the hose at the top of the loop and I assume that's the bleed value. The bleed hole must be very small as I can't see it. In any case I can detect no air leaks there.
- The Lavac seems to work fine and draws a vacuum just like my other head. The seat gets sucked down and stays down for 20 seconds or so. But little water gets drawn in, and the bowl stays empty regardless of how many strokes I pump.

Ideas?

Thanks
Ben
Ben:

I'd amost be willing to bet that your bowls intake fitting or intake hose is clogged with some marine growth or debris.
__________________

__________________
Capt. Mike
mbianka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-11-2011, 10:50   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
rebel heart's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,190
Images: 3
Re: Lavac flush water problem

Gross picture, but check out the amount of buildup in my lavac's hoses.

Rebel Heart - Sailing, cruising, liveaboard blog and website - Eric's Blog - oh wet plumbing system, how foul and disgusting art*thou
__________________
rebel heart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-11-2011, 11:00   #4
Registered User
 
mbianka's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,125
Images: 1
Re: Lavac flush water problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Rebel heart:

But. his problem appears to be with the intake side of the Lavac not the output side. BTW how many years was that build up in you hoses? Yikes!
__________________
Capt. Mike
mbianka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-11-2011, 11:02   #5
Moderator... short for Cat Wrangler
 
sarafina's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: San Francisco
Boat: Cal 28 Flush Deck
Posts: 5,559
Images: 56
Re: Lavac Flush Water Problem

oh man. Dude, that is NASTY...


Our composting head arrived a week ago and is sitting in the hall (otherwise known as the haul...) waiting to go to the boat for install. We went with the c-head and are pretty excited. We can trade tips on effective usage ; -)

But them there hoses... way yuck ; -)

Worse than the diapers I bet!!
__________________
Sara

ain't what ya do, it's the way that ya do it...
sarafina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-11-2011, 11:53   #6
Sponsoring Vendor
 
HopCar's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Miami Florida
Boat: Ellis Flybridge 28
Posts: 3,160
Re: Lavac Flush Water Problem

Interesting problem. My bet is a blockage in the intake hose at one of the elbows. The red plug at the top of the loop is a puzzle. Normally you wouldn't have a vent in the intake hose of a toilet. The proper place for a vented loop is between the intake pump and the bowl and also in the discharge hose. The vents should always go in a pressurized hose, not a suction hose. Since you can't see a hole in the red plug, it probably isn't a vent.
This brings up the question of how do you prevent a Lavac from siphoning? You can't put a vent between the intake pump and the bowl as you would do on a more conventional toilet. Peggy Hall, where are you?
__________________
Hopkins-Carter Marine Supplies & Fishing Tackle
What You Need, at the Price You Want...with Service!
HopCar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-11-2011, 11:54   #7
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,594
Re: Lavac Flush Water Problem

The only time our LAvac doesn't suck in water is when the seat doesn't seal so we sit on it and pump. The only other reason possible is a blocked input line...

try sitting on it and pumping..
__________________
Randy

Cape Dory 25D Seraph
rtbates is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-11-2011, 11:57   #8
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,594
Re: Lavac Flush Water Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
Interesting problem.
This brings up the question of how do you prevent a Lavac from siphoning? You can't put a vent between the intake pump and the bowl as you would do on a more conventional toilet. Peggy Hall, where are you?
reach over and close the seacock!!!

Baring that there is, or should be per Lavac, a valve with a small hole mounted in the intake path at the top of the loop. This should break any siphoning I do believe.. The size of the opening determines how much water ends up in the bowl after pumping, so yes, it's breaking the siphon or else the bowl would over flow
__________________
Randy

Cape Dory 25D Seraph
rtbates is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-11-2011, 12:14   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: cruising the world
Boat: Cross 46 Trimaran
Posts: 25
Re: Lavac Flush Water Problem

Returned to the boat after having been away for a couple of months. Was having the same problem as you. Turns out there were a lot of little fish living in my thru hulls and one of them got sucked up in the intake hose after I opened the thru hull and pumped the head. The fish was in the inlet to the BOWL itself. I was able to remove the intake hose and pull the fish out and all was well. But your blockage may be further in. Might try attempting to suck some bleach in through the intake.

The red plug is, indeed, the bleed valve. Very important part of the system. Make sure it stays clear... otherwise you get a little too much water in the bowl. (HopCar, this is the absolute correct place for the bleed plug on a Lavac).

I've had 2 Lavacs for 15+ years and they are awesome.

Cheers,
Bruce
s/v Migration
Lautoka, Fiji


__________________
bbalan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-11-2011, 21:22   #10
Sponsoring Vendor
 
HopCar's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Miami Florida
Boat: Ellis Flybridge 28
Posts: 3,160
Re: Lavac Flush Water Problem

Bruce and Randy, That is interesting information about the vent in the Levac intake line. I guess that huge diaphram pump can handle the little bit of air introduced by the vent. On toilets with smaller pumps it's enough to cause loss of suction. Now that I think about it, I see that it would put a limited amount of water in the bowl when you quit flushing so you don't start off with a dry bowl the next time. Those Levac guys are pretty clever.
__________________
Hopkins-Carter Marine Supplies & Fishing Tackle
What You Need, at the Price You Want...with Service!
HopCar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-11-2011, 21:45   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 114
Re: Lavac Flush Water Problem

Try removing the intake hose from the bowl and instead replace it with a short section ending into a bucket with water. Then try to pump and see if the unit works normally. If it does then you will need to trace the intake hose back to the Y that must be in the line as you said there are two lavacs using the same thru hull. Good luck
__________________
PEACETIME is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-11-2011, 11:01   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 9
Re: Lavac Flush Water Problem

Everyone, thanks for the input.
I put in a by-pass hose from the seawater intake to the bowl, and it draws water fine. So the problem is somewhere within the hose, even though it seems to keep the pressure (the seat does stay sucked down). I think I will just replace the old hose.

Ben
__________________

__________________
bh100014 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
flushing, lavac, water

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cruisers: Pressurized Fresh Water ? Beersmith Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 80 22-11-2011 02:46
Refilling Water Tanks ironhorserider2 Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 19 29-09-2011 07:01
Impeller / Sea Water Pump Problem in Volvo MD2040 hoaga Engines and Propulsion Systems 6 08-08-2011 14:59
Groco Model K Shooting Water Out of Bowl During Flush retomas Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 11 28-07-2011 22:54
Head Odors Sailagain Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 19 15-07-2011 11:06



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:17.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.