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Old 16-08-2011, 12:46   #16
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Re: Lubricating the Head Pump

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Nor rubber ducks. Nor condoms.
Mark, I think your anchor has gone adrift. LOL Duke
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Old 16-08-2011, 19:30   #17
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Re: Lubricating the Head Pump

All the replies are so entertaining that I kept expecting to see one saying I'd have to buy a ticket to see the rest of 'em!

There are two ways to go about keeping a manual toilet pump well lubricated (electric toilets don't need any). One is a never ending job of pouring something into the head every couple of weeks--and always making sure you have it onboard...the other takes all of 10 minutes once a year as part of spring recommissioning--or whenever you do your scheduled annual maintenance (assuming that you actually do any).

What few people know--are prob'ly young to know--is where the practice of pouring vegetable oil into the head originated. The original manual toilets--and a few very expensive ones still in production today--didn't have any rubber or neoprene or plastic internal parts...those parts were all leather. And leather--unlike rubber or neoprene--ABSORBS oil. So in those days an annual or semi-annual slug of veggie or olive oil was all it took to keep a toilet pumping smoothly for months. Today, it's really a waste of good oil, 'cuz rubber and neoprene don't soak up anything...that oil just washes out in a few flushes. So it's a never ending job that does't accomplish much anyway...plus, if you add up all the 2-3 minutes you spend doing it in a year, takes an hour or more, vs the 10 minutes you'd have to spend simply opening up the pump and putting a HEALTHY squirt of a thick teflon grease into it...which, btw, is what's in every pump when it leaves the factory and the reason why toilets rarely if ever need any lubrication for a year, even two years.

The other drawback IMO with the veggie oil method is that too many people wait to use any oil until the toilet has already gotten quite stiff and squeaky...which is long after the LACK of any lubrication has done quite a bit of wear to the seals and o-rings, shortening their lives and reducing the efficiency of the pump.

I've always believed that prevention is always cheaper and easier than cure, and I especially like it when prevention only requires about 10 minutes once a year and costs about $.20, if that much...a tube of SuperLube that can also lube every seacock, y-valve and winch on the boat, and still last 5 years or longer is $5.99 at Ace Hardware.

That's my $.02 worth...but it's YOUR boat, not mine.
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Old 16-08-2011, 20:12   #18
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Re: Lubricating the Head Pump

Is all that oil going into the holding tank? Peggy what would be the effect of an oil slick floating on top of the Holding Tank Soup? Aren't we trying to get air to the soup?
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Old 16-08-2011, 21:04   #19
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Re: Lubricating the Head Pump

You're right..all that oil does put an oil slick on the surface in the tank, which doesn't contribute much to aerobic conditions in the waste. Also just adds more "grease" to the animal fats already in waste that clog up lank level gauge senders.

It takes a while for most boat owners to grasp that everything on land is just an "appliance"...but everything on a boat is a component in a SYSTEM...and anything you do any component is gonna impact the whole system. So a little oil in the toilet bowl isn't JUST a little oil in the bowl.
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Old 24-03-2012, 07:32   #20
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Re: Lubricating the Head Pump

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
All the replies are so entertaining that I kept expecting to see one saying I'd have to buy a ticket to see the rest of 'em!

There are two ways to go about keeping a manual toilet pump well lubricated (electric toilets don't need any). One is a never ending job of pouring something into the head every couple of weeks--and always making sure you have it onboard...the other takes all of 10 minutes once a year as part of spring recommissioning--or whenever you do your scheduled annual maintenance (assuming that you actually do any).

What few people know--are prob'ly young to know--is where the practice of pouring vegetable oil into the head originated. The original manual toilets--and a few very expensive ones still in production today--didn't have any rubber or neoprene or plastic internal parts...those parts were all leather. And leather--unlike rubber or neoprene--ABSORBS oil. So in those days an annual or semi-annual slug of veggie or olive oil was all it took to keep a toilet pumping smoothly for months. Today, it's really a waste of good oil, 'cuz rubber and neoprene don't soak up anything...that oil just washes out in a few flushes. So it's a never ending job that does't accomplish much anyway...plus, if you add up all the 2-3 minutes you spend doing it in a year, takes an hour or more, vs the 10 minutes you'd have to spend simply opening up the pump and putting a HEALTHY squirt of a thick teflon grease into it...which, btw, is what's in every pump when it leaves the factory and the reason why toilets rarely if ever need any lubrication for a year, even two years.

The other drawback IMO with the veggie oil method is that too many people wait to use any oil until the toilet has already gotten quite stiff and squeaky...which is long after the LACK of any lubrication has done quite a bit of wear to the seals and o-rings, shortening their lives and reducing the efficiency of the pump.

I've always believed that prevention is always cheaper and easier than cure, and I especially like it when prevention only requires about 10 minutes once a year and costs about $.20, if that much...a tube of SuperLube that can also lube every seacock, y-valve and winch on the boat, and still last 5 years or longer is $5.99 at Ace Hardware.

That's my $.02 worth...but it's YOUR boat, not mine.
I would buy this except that my new pump squeaks after only two months??? I cant see waiting another ten to lubricate it. Granted, there are five of us using it.
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Old 24-03-2012, 09:24   #21
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Re: Lubricating the Head Pump

It may just be that it wasn't as well lubed as it should have been when it left the factory. Or, 5 people living aboard COULD be using the toilet enough to exhaust the grease in the pump that quickly . However, there's no rule that you can ONLY use thick grease to lube the toilet once a year...that's only as often as is necessary for most people. You can't spare 10 minutes every 2-3 months to do it? That's certainly cheaper and easier than pouring something down the toilet every other day! And if you schedule it as preventive maintenance, even once a month, your seals and o-rings will last a LOT longer!

But...your joker valve won't...it'll wear out much faster with that many people using the toilet every day. Most people should replace the joker valve at least annually...you should replace it at least quarterly. Here's why:

JOKER VALVE 101

Most people think that the only thing the joker valve does is acts as a check valve to stop backflow from returning to the toilet or odor from the tank from escaping through the toilet. But that's not a joker valve's most important function...in fact, the joker valve is THE single most important replaceable part in a manual toilet.

Here’s how the discharge half of the pump works: On the upstroke of the piston, a vacuum is created in the area beneath the piston. This causes the joker valve to close tightly, and the flapper valve beneath the pump to open, allowing some of the contents of the toilet bowl to be drawn into the bottom half of the pump. Then, on the down stroke of the piston, the flapper valve is slammed shut, and the effluent is forced out of the bottom of the pump, through the joker valve, and off down the line. But when the joker valve becomes worn and/or there's a buildup of sea water minerals on it, it can no longer seal tightly on the upstroke of the piston...less vacuum is generated when you pump it. And as it becomes more worn less and less vacuum, till finally the bowl contents simply move up and down a bit, but don't go anywhere. Sometimes the flapper valve needs to be replaced too, which is why toilets should also be rebuilt at least every 5-6 years as PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE.

You prob'ly won't notice the loss of efficiency at first because it's so gradual...same as we don't see that we've gotten a little older than we were yesterday when we look in the mirror each morning. But I guarantee you that if it's been two years or longer since you replaced the joker valve, you need to pump the toilet at least 50% more times to move the bowl contents to the tank or all the way out the thru-hull....IF they're getting there at all any more.

Marine toilets have moving parts that require maintenance. PREVENTIVE maintenance is called that because it PREVENTS problems that have to be fixed. You get to do PREVENTIVE maintenance on YOUR terms, when it's convenient for YOU...unlike repairs, which NEVER are needed at a convenient time.
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Old 24-03-2012, 09:59   #22
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Re: Lubricating the Head Pump

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
It may just be that it wasn't as well lubed as it should have been when it left the factory. Or, 5 people living aboard COULD be using the toilet enough to exhaust the grease in the pump that quickly . However, there's no rule that you can ONLY use thick grease to lube the toilet once a year...that's only as often as is necessary for most people. You can't spare 10 minutes every 2-3 months to do it? That's certainly cheaper and easier than pouring something down the toilet every other day! And if you schedule it as preventive maintenance, even once a month, your seals and o-rings will last a LOT longer!

But...your joker valve won't...it'll wear out much faster with that many people using the toilet every day. Most people should replace the joker valve at least annually...you should replace it at least quarterly. Here's why:

JOKER VALVE 101

Most people think that the only thing the joker valve does is acts as a check valve to stop backflow from returning to the toilet or odor from the tank from escaping through the toilet. But that's not a joker valve's most important function...in fact, the joker valve is THE single most important replaceable part in a manual toilet.

Here’s how the discharge half of the pump works: On the upstroke of the piston, a vacuum is created in the area beneath the piston. This causes the joker valve to close tightly, and the flapper valve beneath the pump to open, allowing some of the contents of the toilet bowl to be drawn into the bottom half of the pump. Then, on the down stroke of the piston, the flapper valve is slammed shut, and the effluent is forced out of the bottom of the pump, through the joker valve, and off down the line. But when the joker valve becomes worn and/or there's a buildup of sea water minerals on it, it can no longer seal tightly on the upstroke of the piston...less vacuum is generated when you pump it. And as it becomes more worn less and less vacuum, till finally the bowl contents simply move up and down a bit, but don't go anywhere. Sometimes the flapper valve needs to be replaced too, which is why toilets should also be rebuilt at least every 5-6 years as PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE.

You prob'ly won't notice the loss of efficiency at first because it's so gradual...same as we don't see that we've gotten a little older than we were yesterday when we look in the mirror each morning. But I guarantee you that if it's been two years or longer since you replaced the joker valve, you need to pump the toilet at least 50% more times to move the bowl contents to the tank or all the way out the thru-hull....IF they're getting there at all any more.

Marine toilets have moving parts that require maintenance. PREVENTIVE maintenance is called that because it PREVENTS problems that have to be fixed. You get to do PREVENTIVE maintenance on YOUR terms, when it's convenient for YOU...unlike repairs, which NEVER are needed at a convenient time.
Great post! Thanks Peg..
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