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Old 23-02-2016, 14:24   #1
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Macerator pump-- really that bad?

Hello all-
I am considering re-doing my sewer system to include a macerator pump. I would replace the old (BIG) fiberglass tank with a new smaller one. I would hand pump into it and then , when offshore, eject it with the macerator pump thru a new thruhull.

Then I logged into Amazon to check out the pumps-- and the Reviewers told me to STAY AWAY from J-b-c-. They said the pumps are held together with brass connectors and they corrode, fall apart , and then ----- uuuccckkkk-- in the bilge!

Do you all concur—am I asking for trouble?? OR-- is there a brand out there that is built better than Ja-s-o?

Thanks a lot--

Rick--
Cheoy Lee 32 Offshore, 1979 (Ray Richards)----- "Folie"
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Old 23-02-2016, 14:36   #2
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

Macerators are quite problematic by design. There are stainless blades inside, and they tend to rust over time and gunk up.


The best solution in my opinion is a Sealand T-Pump. It is a bellows pump, and is much more reliable. We always put one of these on a boat we work on it the space is there, as it is a good bit larger.


The second best would be a whale gulper pump. A much better option to a macerating pump.


Chris
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Old 23-02-2016, 14:42   #3
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

The brass rods do rot, but are easily replaced with stainless all thread.

I finally ditched the whole system and went with an ElectroScan and never looked back.
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Old 23-02-2016, 14:54   #4
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

I, too, have been disappointed with the Jabsco macerator pumps, though I've found that the bolts holding them together are stainless and not brass. Regardless, the stainless bolts do corrode with the exposure to the uric acid and the pumps tend to fail producing a mess. I have not had a problem with them jamming much. Usually I'm able to place a straight slot screw driver in the provided slot at the end of the center axle and turn the shaft to free a jam if it's clogged; however, my pump was once overwhelmed with dental floss!

I've had Lanacote (sp) recommended as a coating for the bolts. Maybe I would be wise to change all the bolts one at a time as a refit every year. I can't recall if there's easy access to the bolts for changing them out without a dismantling of the pump.
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Old 24-02-2016, 10:22   #5
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

Mount the macerator at the TOP of the tank. If (when) it fails, you can remove it from the system and repair or replace it without having the contents of the tank draining out around you while you're working.

They are pretty reliable, considering the kind of use they get. They come standard in most new boats. It's not like they're all that awful.
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Old 24-02-2016, 10:31   #6
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

my first Jabsco lasted 15 years before it needed to be taken apart and repaired. The repair lasted 5 years, then the pump was destroyed by SeaChem Toss-In "degrading" packets that didn't degrade.

Second Jabsco pump has been in two years, no problems.
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Old 24-02-2016, 11:46   #7
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

I believe much of the problem comes with the position of the pump and it's lengthy exposure to uric acid solutions. If the pump can receive a fresh water rinse or if it is left dry while not in use this should increase it's longevity.
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Old 24-02-2016, 11:59   #8
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

I think they are great pumps for the right application . I designed and built my own electric heads using these pumps to empty the bowl and send it to the holding tank . They are powerful and much quieter then a normal electric head . Not sure if I would one one at the bottom of the holding tank for discharge . I will be making a video of the head set up soon and posting it on my channel.

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Old 24-02-2016, 12:15   #9
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by witzgall View Post
Macerators are quite problematic by design. There are stainless blades inside, and they tend to rust over time and gunk up.


The best solution in my opinion is a Sealand T-Pump. It is a bellows pump, and is much more reliable. We always put one of these on a boat we work on it the space is there, as it is a good bit larger.


The second best would be a whale gulper pump. A much better option to a macerating pump.


Chris
+1 I have bad experience with macerator pumps on 4 different boats. May the fleas of 1000 camels nest in the armpits of whoever puts them in new boats.
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Old 24-02-2016, 12:27   #10
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

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I think they are great pumps for the right application ............
I agree that the design of the application makes a great difference. I use a manual pump to evacuate my head for transfer to the holding tank, but use my macerator as one option for emptying the holding tank.



This two-dimensional diagram does not show that the actual effluent plumbing from the tank is at the top of the tank, though drawing from the bottom; therefore, if the tank is only partially emptied, the solution remains in the pump body. Fresh water added at the deck pump out can be used to rinse the macerator pump to lessen corrosion.

I can see that it would be much easier to rinse and maintain the macerator pump between the head and the holding tank.

I should also add that the vented loop is no longer present or needed in my system where the through hull remains shut with the handle removed and the access cabinet locked for compliance with the US Clean Water Act.
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Old 24-02-2016, 13:44   #11
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
I believe much of the problem comes with the position of the pump and it's lengthy exposure to uric acid solutions. If the pump can receive a fresh water rinse or if it is left dry while not in use this should increase it's longevity.
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Mount the macerator at the TOP of the tank. If (when) it fails, you can remove it from the system and repair or replace it without having the contents of the tank draining out around you while you're working...
A shutoff valve at the tank outlet can take care of this. After fresh water flush, close the valve. Now there is only rinse water to deal with
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Old 25-02-2016, 13:51   #12
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

Answer to the question: Yes they are. Had several fall apart of the years. Now my holding tank and macerate pump is only there for looks and the US Coast Guard. The tank and pump are kept bone dry except when the pump gets a one second test run with fresh water every so often. So guess where the poop goes? Answer: The same place whale, turtle and fish poop goes. Get over it.
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Old 25-02-2016, 14:17   #13
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

You guys have me worried. My pump shares the through hull with the direct discharge and is below the waterline so would always be filled with relatively clean seawater except during use. How do they hold up in this situation?
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Old 25-02-2016, 17:04   #14
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

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I, too, have been disappointed with the Jabsco macerator pumps, though I've found that the bolts holding them together are stainless and not brass.
They must have changed over recently.
I can't help but wonder if they waited until they'd sold all their replacement brass rods???

In the past they were most definitely brass. I've repaired a couple of them and subbed them with ss.
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