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Old 08-09-2008, 21:44   #16
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Carl:

If I was dating, I'd probably get an electric as well. The Lavac Popular manual ships with a diagram of how to install the electric and manual if you like. I have the manual "behind bulkhead" mount (show in the pictures above); I can't believe I made that work. My friend has his mounted on the bulkhead and it looks like an octopuss (the rest of his boat is beautiful though).

I also agree on the inept visitors, but that's true with a lot of heads. At leat with lavacs you can just say "shut the lid and pump a bunch". With others you need to give the "flip it to flush, then pump x times, then flip it to dry, then pump y times".
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Old 05-10-2008, 22:25   #17
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Problems with the Lavac Toilet

I see that the comments here are consistent with what I have read about Lavac toiletsĖ they have a great reputation and the concept sounds like a great improvement over more complex units.
Iím sorry to offer an heretical opinion however, our experience with Lavacs not been that great on the new sailboat that we took delivery of this July and Iím glad we have two heads as only one or the other has ever been functional at one time. Both toilets pump effluent up to holding tanks above the water line. The problems include:
a) One toilet bowl arrived broken. This was a shipping problem and not Lavacís fault and the supplier was great about replacing it.
b) The forward head failed to achieve an adequate seal. If either the lid or seat gaskets donít seal properly, you canít get enough vacuum to flush. The builder tried to glue in the gaskets (after talking to the supplier) however they still didnít seal properly and eventually we had to order a replacement seat and lid Ė this did the trick and the toilet worked reasonably for a while. The seal has now become intermittent.
c) The aft head has a different fault. It seals well and flushes however again, right from installation, the Henderson pump allowed fluid to seep back through it down the discharge hose so that the bowl refills with whatever was previously pumped up the discharge hose (seawater if adequately flushed). If the bowl was not pumped dry after the last use, the volume of fluid seeping back down through the hose is just enough to overflow the bowl. We have ordered a pump rebuild kit.
d) Getting the vacuum break grommets in the supply line to be just the right size has been OK although a little fiddly.
This is the sixth boat we have owned and we have never had anything like the number of problems that we have with the Lavac units. I still like the concept and hope to eventually get them working properly.
Ian
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Old 05-10-2008, 22:38   #18
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Namoian, it sound like you got monday or friday assembled lavacs, or perhaps like many manufacturers they have gone to China and quality control has disappeared. I bought a 2nd hand lavac and fitted a new Henderson Mk5 pump made for lavacs, pumping to an above the waterline holding tank and have not had a problem, other than experimenting with the dia of the vacuum break as Blakes never replied to my emails and the local supplier doesn't stock the original ones.
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Old 05-10-2008, 23:08   #19
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lavac

I tried to use a Jabsco macerator but had failure after failure & Jabsco could not help. I tried to use it instead of the hand pump & in the end fitted the jabsco diaphram pump that is being supplied with the Lavac & had no trouble with it. It has a 30sec timer to run the pump.
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:49   #20
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I have found, in Lavacs having sealing problems, that a simple adjustment of the nuts holding the toilet seat assembly resolves the issues. What seems to happen is that an enthusiastic owner clamps down hard on the nuts, which changes the angle of the seat relative to the bowl, in effect, canting it back slightly. Try slightly loosening the mounting bolts. I think you will find your problems resolved.

With respect to "backwash", remember that the pump is merely evacuating whatever is in the bowl and hose to the point gravity sends it to the holding tank or "elsewhere". Simply give the pump a few extra pumps each time to ensure that only clean seawater is in the line past the "tipping point".
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:22   #21
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I let the lid sit where it wants to with the nuts loose. Then I snug them down by hand, and have never had a problem with sealing. Replaced the gaskets once, and I wouldn't glue them..........BEST WISHES.....i2f
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Old 06-10-2008, 13:34   #22
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Thanks for the tips and information.

I don't think the tightness of the seat bolts is the problem as tightening and loosing them (right off) makes no difference. We did find that by taking the seat from the one that works and putting it on the one that didn't, corrected the problem on that toilet. Also the new seat/lid assembly worked for a few weeks. I am coming around to the Steve Pope's opinion about quality control.

The only other thought I have is that the intake line run to the forward head is about 35 feet (it comes from the main seachest and is looped up about 5 feet) and provides too much resistance for the feeble vacuum produced by the Lavac to overcome. The toilet does seal for about 30 seconds as it is supposed to. It worked for a few weeks with the new seat/lid assembly but no longer.

Ian
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Old 06-10-2008, 13:56   #23
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Are there any "Made in China" marks on any of the parts?
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Old 06-10-2008, 16:27   #24
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I just got mine installed and I saw no CHINA marks anywhere.

It's a winner for sure. The pump is mounted just behind the bowl. All waste goes to holding tank only. Five pumps max and she's empty..
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Old 06-10-2008, 20:40   #25
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The Lavac toilet lid is marked "Made in Taiwan". The supplier in Florida apparently remarked that they had other reports of defective lids.
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Old 11-10-2008, 20:26   #26
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More on the Lavac problems - note these are new units. They are apparently made in Taiwan now (sticker on lid) and I recommend caution if buying one.

The builder of our boat just repaired the heads again and reported that:

"Just to let you know that I rebuilt the Henderson pump for the aft head. The outlet valve was definitely faulty but I replaced the inlet one also. I tried the head and found that the lid for the seat was faulty (ie the inner plastic ring was loose as before). So changed it for the one from the front head, and so the aft head now works with no run back. I will have to contact Lavac again as they really do have a quality control issue. This faulty lid is the one they sent as a replacement. I think I will try to get them to send more than one so that we have at least one spare. I am afriad I am loosing confidence in these heads."
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:00   #27
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Okay, more info helps! Irregardless of the diameter of the intake thruhull, use adapters to allow a larger supply hose (even as much as 1 1/4-1 1/2") from the thruhull to just below the toilet, switching down to the 3/4" or so at the toilet. This applies to ALL plumbing on the boat. Pumps push better than they suck. Trying to pull water that long distance means you are facing massive friction, and your pump would have to be much larger to overcome the resistance. Simply make it easier for the water to flow to the far toilet. Your pump will work better and last longer, and the toilet will behave much better. Remember, the toilet pump (whether it's the Henderson, or a Whale or whatever) is creating a partial vacuum in the bowl when it evacuates the contents of the bowl. This partial vacuum is what pulls the seawater into the bowl thru the rim holes. It's not the most efficient way, and made less so if the line losses are greater from the friction of 35 feet of small diameter supply hose.
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:57   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Namoian View Post
More on the Lavac problems - note these are new units. They are apparently made in Taiwan now (sticker on lid) and I recommend caution if buying one.

The builder of our boat just repaired the heads again and reported that:

"Just to let you know that I rebuilt the Henderson pump for the aft head. The outlet valve was definitely faulty but I replaced the inlet one also. I tried the head and found that the lid for the seat was faulty (ie the inner plastic ring was loose as before). So changed it for the one from the front head, and so the aft head now works with no run back. I will have to contact Lavac again as they really do have a quality control issue. This faulty lid is the one they sent as a replacement. I think I will try to get them to send more than one so that we have at least one spare. I am afriad I am loosing confidence in these heads."

I actually have that exact problem; it happens every now and then and was driving me crazy. On the upper lid (not the seat), there's a plastic ring that got pulled out, causing the vacuum to break. I couldn't figure it out for the life of me.

Then I noticed the plastic seemed a little pushed out, so I pushed it back in, and then everything's been wonderful again.

To be honest, I don't really view it as even a mediocre problem. The only problem I've had in over a year of daily use at this point is that vacuum leak, which was fixed by pushing on something with my finger.

When it happens again (I think the vacuum is "sucking" the two pieces apart during flushing), I'll epoxy the piece back in and be done forever.
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:59   #29
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I can't stress it enough though. If the "big" Lavac issue can be fixed with your finger, and long term with 5 minutes and some glue, that's nothing compared the endless sea of problems that other marine heads develop.
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:17   #30
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I have the Sealand Vacuflush. It came with the boat and I have been extremely happy with it. In the past 3 years I have done nothing but use the heck out of it. It uses a ball valve to seal and so far no problems. Just push the valve pedal down and away goes the S____t. I have a wheel chair bound person on the boat a lot. being able to flush the toilet while the person is still sitting is sometimes very important.
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