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Old 04-08-2008, 14:29   #1
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Lavac Head

Any opinions on the Lavac Popular head?

thanks
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Old 04-08-2008, 14:30   #2
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It will eat a tennis shoe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-08-2008, 14:31   #3
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Talking

the best simplest head available.
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Old 04-08-2008, 15:25   #4
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We have had ours for over 5 years. The only maintance we have done is one lid seal replacement (total work time < 3 min!).

WE LOVE IT!!! Se our "Gear Reports) in the "Position Reports" area of our web pages.

Greg
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Old 04-08-2008, 15:58   #5
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Sounds like you all would recommend it!

Thanks so much
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Old 04-08-2008, 16:33   #6
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Let's see, you could spend more money on a better known pump, then pay even more money for the spares kit, then, there's the instruction manual for overhauling the unit. Don't lose any of the myriad springs, leather washers, weird rubber "joker" valves, and lots of gaskets. And you can enjoy the consequences of putting one of the components on upside down. It's a great diversion for what would have been an otherwise boring Saturday.

Or better, you could hire someone to do it for you! Especially if you are on vacation and really want to have a grand experience. The Lavac is too easy and too reasonably priced. Where would you get the intestinal fortitude if not from challenges like repairing a marine toilet?

The installation of a Lavac is much too simple, leading to possible boredom. Four holes to bolt it down. One supply hose to clamp on. One discharge hose to lead to the Henderson bilge pump, then up and over to the holding tank. And learning to use it is so darn frustrating. You may actually have to wait a couple minutes for the vacuum seal to break before opening the lid to use it again. You should really consider how this investment will alter your cruising life.
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Old 02-09-2008, 12:58   #7
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Had ours for four years now. Replaced the lid seal once and cleaned out the buildup in the pump twice. In four years I would say we've put in about an hour's worth of maintenance on our Lavac head. Wouldn't have any other!
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Old 02-09-2008, 13:16   #8
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I wanted to get one BUT I couldn't manage to mount the pump in a manner that the installation directions call for, there simply wasn't enough space. I don't recall the details but I would suggest that you carefully measure to be sure there is room for the head and the pump which is a Henderson MkV?
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Old 02-09-2008, 14:02   #9
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You can mount the pump in many places. Try to keep it as low as possible, or not too high above the bowl. It's easier to push water and waste than it is to pump it. You can use other pumps (Mine is a Whale 10 because I wanted a heavier duty unit). Be sure that you have routed the exhaust hose to the highest point before entering the holding tank or overboard throughhull, so that once the waste has cleared the hose, everything behind it is clean seawater.
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Old 02-09-2008, 14:15   #10
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The pump can be either surface mounted (sometimes on the wall behind the head), or is available in a version that allows mounting underneath a cabinet (which I have done). Frankly, I've had no difficulty finding adequate space on my current cat or my previous Cartwirght 36 - you will lose only a little space in the most vanity cabinets. And I echo all of the postive comments above about their utility - a truly great product.

Brad
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Old 02-09-2008, 14:51   #11
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it's on order

I've got one coming. Thanks to all who shared their experience

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Old 07-09-2008, 10:45   #12
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Anybody using the electric pump?
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Old 07-09-2008, 22:39   #13
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Here's some pictures of when we installed our Lavac and I got a chance to throw that other pos out the window.

Rebel Heart - The boat and her crew - Pictures - Head install*weekend
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:19   #14
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Bravo! Doesn't it feel great to know SOMETHING is finally finished on a boat?
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:46   #15
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I have two Lavac's - one manual, one electric. I also love it but head technology has come a long way. Especially electric. Not sure what I'd do now if I was buying new. Not a big problem because, as others have mentioned, it's just about impossible for a Lavac to wear out.

The biggest problem I've had is that guests (or at least my guests) can not figure out the Lavac. Even after careful instruction they still get confused. I now have them do a "dry run" (so to speak) while I watch, but even then 50%+ forget how to do it later. Now, I may have particularly inept guests but that's a topic for another thread.

I'm also a fan of the electric unit. While I find the manual easier, all women - to date - much prefer the electric. Since my goal is to sail with women, the sissy image of the electric seems a small price. (again, maybe this has something to do with the women who come on my boat - certainly off topic).

The electric pump motor packed up a couple of years ago. It's a pretty unique piece of British engineering that is very expensive. St. Brendans Isle (one of the main US dealers and great service), sold me a Jabsco waste pump as a replacement that is just fantastic. Quiet, full 1 1/2 inch, no filter, easy to disasemble if it clogs (never has) and plenty powerful. Much cheaper than the old Lavac elecrtric pump. I like the pump so much that I'm going to buy another to replace the black water macerator pump. It's Jabsco 50890-1000

Carl
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