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Old 12-10-2008, 10:25   #31
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Raritan had a new head at the Show this week called the Eligance. Will retail for less than $600, has an internal mascerator and vacuum system and does not require the big tank and vacuum pump like the Sealand. Uses either fresh or seawater to flush. I'm ordering two - won't be shipped until after the first of the year. I spoke with theSealand people and they admitted to a problem of clogging with their system becuse of the plumbing length and complexity that is eliminated in the Raritn self-contained unit.
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Old 15-10-2008, 11:05   #32
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Lavac Heads - Gluing Required

Thanks again for all the helpful comments regarding Lavac issues. From what we understand, Lavac is having problems with all these lids on these units coming unglued and are expecting to get a new shipment using another glue. However, they can be successfully glued with 3M Scotch-Weld DP8005 or MrSticky's Polybonder.

The lid rings on our heads come apart after a few pumps (unlike Rebel Heart’s experience) so they do need to be glued and we had tried PVC pipe cement (don't think epoxy would bond). We will try the glue above and see how it goes. If we still have problems, we will try to compensate for the 35' long run on the input water line as suggested by Roy M by using larger diameter hose. The head compartment is constructed of welded aluminum and the pump is forward of this on the other side of a watertight bulkhead with a welded 3/4" pipe passing through the bulkhead however, we will substitute larger ID hose from the sea chest to this point to reduce line friction.

After three months of living aboard with Lavacs, we still have only one of our two heads completely functional so Mrs. Namoian would not be a good reference for Lavacs.
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Old 15-10-2008, 18:42   #33
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Namoian, Take Mrs. N to the marine supply store, open a Wilcox-Critenden repair kit on the counter, open and read to her the instructions. Watch the glazed look on her eyes. Then ask the cost of the repair kit. Watch her eyes bug out. Then ask the price of the toilet, itself. Get her a double martini, immediately.Fix the issues with the Lavac, then forget about it. You really do get to do that with a Lavac. She will then begin to prosylitize for Lavacs. It can be ugly. Imagine her standing on a streetcorner with a sign saying the only salvation lies in your head, figuratively speaking. I find myself mumbling similar things at the yacht club bar when the subject of toilets arises.
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Old 28-11-2008, 06:10   #34
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I've been looking into a Lavac head for awhile now and I don't think you can beat it's simplicity. As complicated as everything else can become, you can't get covered with poo if something goes wrong with your electronics. Anyway, there is only one thing I don't understand...

I've been looking at the installation diagrams on the Lavac site and I see that they show Anti-siphon valves / vented loops in the flush water intake (suction) line and in the combined deck pump-out (suction) / over board discharge line. How does this not introduce air into the lines? Maybe I'm a dunce but, I don't understand how this works. Wouldn't a siphon and the suction from a pump have the same effect on the anti-siphon valve? Wouldn't it "vent" in both situations? How does the pump cause a vacuum in the bowl to suck water past a vented loop in the flush water intake line? Every installation guide I've ever seen says that a vented loop goes on the discharge side of a pump. Alternatively, without the vented loop, what would prevent a siphon in the flush water intake line from filling the bowl? How did all the Lavac owners here install them? Did you do it as per Lavac's diagrams?
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Old 28-11-2008, 19:21   #35
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I haven't read the installation instructions on a Lavac in several years. Everyone that took the hint got one and has quietly gone on to other issues. Newbies tend to be more conservative, so my preaching has been a cry in the WILDERNESS (sorry, my boat's name, it just slipped out). It should read that you can have a siphon break in the exhaust, though mine doesn't because the toilet and hose and holding tank are all above sea level, and the holding tank vent serves the purpose of breaking the exhaust side. The intake side needs some way to break the vacuum generated by pumping out the waste , besides waiting for the seawater to enter via the toilet rim fill holes, otherwise you may be waiting a few minutes before the seat can be lifted open. One simple way is to drill a hole (about 1/8") in an easily accessible part of the hose. When you close the lid and begin pumping the pump (by design, a Henderson bilge pump), you place a finger over the hole while pumping to keep it from leaking and to block the entry of air. Let your finger off, open the lid and check the level of water in the bowl. If you want more, repeat the operation, only count to five before removing your finger. By now you've got the picture. If you are expecting particularly bumpy seas, you can keep the lid up and pump the toilet without using your finger to block the vent hole. The bowl will be pumped dry (as long as you gave the pump a few extra strokes to clear the water over the top of the waste loop. You can get fancier by using a valve in the intake hose, or you can get simpler by doing nothing and simply waiting a few minutes longer for the toilet seat seal to leak in some air.
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Old 02-12-2008, 17:11   #36
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Bobdobbs: Our Lavac's are installed per the manufacturer’s instructions and are now working as well as Roy M. above suggests. I think more recent purchasers like us have been having more problems since Lavac outsourced to Taiwan.

The inlet hose has a tiny hole (a grommet) in it at the high point of the hose in order to admit a small amount of air that breaks the vacuum in the bowl about 45 seconds after flushing. This grommet is tiny, too small to adversely affect the flushing action. Lavac supplies two sizes of grommet to adjust the amount of water left in the bowl. The larger hole breaks the vacuum sooner than the smaller one, thus resulting in less water being drawn in after flushing and left resident in the bowl. Quite subtle those English.

As far as a siphon break on the outlet side, the Henderson diaphragm pump is between the bowl and the ocean and this pump incorporates a rubber valve that lessens the danger of siphoning the ocean in. Our heads are normally routed to a holding tank (like Roy’s) as we live aboard in a marina, but can also be diverted directly to the ocean when offshore. So far no problems here although we did receive a defective pump that I suppose in theory could have caused a siphon problem.

I think the Lavac is still a good choice. Now I must look and see if I can say something useful on another topic - rigging, electronics, engines, anything but toilets.
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Old 23-04-2009, 17:15   #37
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I have a Lavac that I inherited with the boat and I dont like the henderson type pump design. I fitted new seals and it leaked from the seal so I tightened it until it cracked the casing and then backed it off half a turn ( standard engineering procedure Non??)
Anyway it still bloody leaked and I had cracked it
a friend gave me a spare pump that he claimed had been reburbished..

Yeah guess what..? It leaked...

Im going to buy a new pum and wondered if i could use summat different like a whale manual pump
i thought i saw a Henderson made of aluminium once but havent sourced one. They are all plastic

I also thought i might install a whale Gulper in line and have electric luxury. has anyone tried the gulper with a Lavac>
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Old 23-04-2009, 18:01   #38
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I'm glad this thread came up again. I have a Lavac with Henderson pump flush mounted thru the bulkhead behind the bowl maybe a foot higher and the exit hose has a vented loop. No problem with seal leaks or bad components and it usually flushes just fine - unless tp or any other "bulkage" is tried. Last weekend It thru in some shrimp shells (Lisa says "what were you thinking?" :-). Anyway it pumps but with huge pressure to get any water to move. Guess I'll have to open the pump to clean it out (and send the girlfriend away for the afternoon).
Any tips?
Thanks. John
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Old 23-04-2009, 18:31   #39
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Two shots of nice Tequila, a pair of rubber gloves, a bucket and some paper towels. Drink the Tequila, put on the rubber gloves, spin off the cover of the Henderson, dip your fingers, daintily, into the opening and fish around, extract anything you find and dump it in the bucket. Close the cover, go on deck and wash the bucket out, discretely of course, in the water. Take the paper towels and clean up the work area, disposing of the towels. Have two more shots and smile. Don't forget to remove the rubber gloves before imbibing. Then reflect on what you would have faced with a naughty Wilcox-Crittenden or Jabsco. Smile some more.
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Old 23-04-2009, 21:08   #40
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One more step before removing the cover plate...

It is a good idea, before removing the cover plate on the Henderson, to place a bucket or similar container directly below the pump so as to "collect" the torrent that pours out.
Don't ask how I know this...
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Old 23-04-2009, 22:39   #41
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It is a good idea, before removing the cover plate on the Henderson, to place a bucket or similar container directly below the pump so as to "collect" the torrent that pours out.
Don't ask how I know this...
Or how about removing the head all together and leaving the bucket in its place?...
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Old 24-04-2009, 02:31   #42
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Originally Posted by Squeaks View Post
I'm glad this thread came up again. I have a Lavac with Henderson pump flush mounted thru the bulkhead behind the bowl maybe a foot higher and the exit hose has a vented loop. No problem with seal leaks or bad components and it usually flushes just fine - unless tp or any other "bulkage" is tried. Last weekend It thru in some shrimp shells (Lisa says "what were you thinking?" :-). Anyway it pumps but with huge pressure to get any water to move. Guess I'll have to open the pump to clean it out (and send the girlfriend away for the afternoon).
Any tips?
Thanks. John


Funny you should mention this problem. Last year I put my boat in the water after a haul out and very shortly afterwards I had a similar problem.

The issue was pee Grit. When sea water mixes with urine it forms a solid gritty substance that builds up in the seacock etc.

This stuff reacts violently to strong acidic cleaning fluids and will spit back in your face if you are stupid enough not to be wearing goggles when poring it in the sea cock. Please don't ask me how I know this

needless to say I should have discovered all this on the hard but I thought it was clear enough



After my visit to the local Hospital eye clinic a few times to confirm I hadnt blinded myself for life, I then had to pay for another lift out and hold while i sorted this. which involved employing the services of a gentleman with a huge monkey wrench who made the 'Incredible Hulk' look like Mother Teresa.

The seacock was totally blocked by now and had to be cleaned as a replacement couldn't be found in time but it cleaned up OK. Pee Grit is rock hard. One symptom that might manifest itself is if your seacock is a bit stiff as mine was ( the acid was not helpful for this!)

Having sorted this, I am still plagued with pump problems but I think (almost unbelievably) that many on this thread who stand by the Lavac are right. It's simplicity should be respected.

I now regularly:
1/ dont flush toilet paper through as a rule
2/ I flush more thann once to ensure that the pipes are full of water not solids and grit forming pee.
3/ flush througfh with vinegar etc at regular intervals.
4/ When I leave the boat for a long period, I flush with fresh water and washing up liquid to clweart the pee and moisten the lavac seals.
5/ The heads should smell fresh and clean when you return to the boat

My catchphrase?

"Know your Lavac........Looooove your Lavac."

Hope this helps.

Pirate B
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Old 26-04-2009, 10:28   #43
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Two shots of nice Tequila, a pair of rubber gloves, a bucket and some paper towels. Drink the Tequila, put on the rubber gloves, spin off the cover of the Henderson, dip your fingers, daintily, into the opening and fish around, extract anything you find and dump it in the bucket. Close the cover, go on deck and wash the bucket out, discretely of course, in the water. Take the paper towels and clean up the work area, disposing of the towels. Have two more shots and smile. Don't forget to remove the rubber gloves before imbibing. Then reflect on what you would have faced with a naughty Wilcox-Crittenden or Jabsco. Smile some more.
Substituted w/ vodka yesterday, only took abt 45mins including minor clean-up. Found several offending shrimp and some calcification (more regular vinegar doses ahead) but, alas, same pressure required to pump. Suspect a 90-degree elbow fitting at the seacock - the likely clogging culprit from the get-go. Another plumbing project ahead - oh boy. But it's not Lavac's fault!
Thanks all for the great advice and laughs :-).
John
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