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Old 23-02-2016, 14:47   #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 concuróam I asking for trouble?? OR-- is there a brand out there that is built better than Ja-s-o?

Thanks a lot--

Rick--
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Old 24-02-2016, 06:46   #2
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

Jabsco. You're talking about Jabsco, right? No need to be coy about the name. The biggest benefit of a forum like this one is the ability to discuss with others their specific experiences with specific products. For all to reap that benefit you have to name names.

That said, I have no experience with Jabsco macerator pumps, so I can't answer your question. But I am interested in hearing the answers of others.
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Old 24-02-2016, 07:16   #3
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

FWIW we have a Jabsco electric head conversion, which includes a macerating pump, on the aft head on our boat and it has worked without fail for many years. The key is doing routine maintenance and ensuring that nothing goes in the head other than human waste and "thin" toilet paper. Anything else can (and almost certainly will) foul the pump and clearing it will be a really crappy job. You can help the pump's endurance by running a bit of fresh water mixed with a dose of "SaltAway" through the head after its been used and the bowl cleared.
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Old 24-02-2016, 07:28   #4
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

Here is a cheaper pump and better reviews,
Amazon.com : Johnson 12V Macerator Pump : Boating Bilge Pumps : Sports & Outdoors

Ivan
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Old 24-02-2016, 08:28   #5
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

We had two macerator pumps on our Hunter which never seemed to work when we needed them. I think the issue is that they need to be used frequently in order to avoid clogging and the impeller becoming destroyed in the corrosive slurry. Since our system required weekly pump outs, the macerator pumps never got used enough.
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Old 24-02-2016, 08:47   #6
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

I have a big Jabsco macerator on my boat for the past 15 years. Used infrequently. Never leaked. Last season the bearing froze, I just bought the exact replacement Easy to change, and nothing fell apart.
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Old 24-02-2016, 08:53   #7
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

There are some other threads on the forum about Jabsco electric toilets. I checked them out because I am converting over to one. Most of them said they work fine as long as they are maintained properly.
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Old 24-02-2016, 09:00   #8
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

I had a Jasco pump with the brass bolts and it failed within a year. They have changed to stainless steel bolts and that should fix the issue.
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Old 24-02-2016, 09:00   #9
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Folie View Post
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.
Why not just mount the small holding tank high enough, en just use gravity to empty it. That is how it's done on many boats. Any (macerating or not) pumps go between the head and the tank, not the tank and the outflow...
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Old 24-02-2016, 09:08   #10
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

Jabsco uses 4 studs to hold the pump body to the motor, these studs are cheap. I've had some pumps perform fine for 10 years, only had one that leaked when less than a year old because one of the studs had snapped. Either it snapped from the torque of operation or was overtightened on assembly. Some people replace the studs with stainless when installing a new pump. If not used frequently they will bind up, most have a slot on the shaft so you can get it unstuck with a screwdriver. Since I've only had one failure in decades I just inspect a new pump before installation.
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Old 24-02-2016, 09:12   #11
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

I have 2 on my boat. I is still original from installation late 2000, the other I replaced 2 years ago when it started binding up. I could have just rebuilt it but for the price I decided to just replace it and feel that 13 years was good service life.
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Old 24-02-2016, 09:39   #12
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

I have a Whale Titan manual pump for overboard discharge of my holding tank. More than ten years with no leaks or blockages. It only takes about 50 strokes to empty my 35 gallon tank. Easy peasy.


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Old 24-02-2016, 10:05   #13
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

I have had a Jabsco fail after one year. The same with a very expensive Sealand. I now have a whale manual pump that has worked flawlessly. Bought it used for $20.
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Old 24-02-2016, 10:35   #14
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

We have a Dometic Sealand TW-Series Macerator and Discharge Pump" model T12 (12 volt). Which, according to the instructions, works with a manual pump toilet, not a vacu-flush. Toilet paper goes into a little stainless trash can with a lid and liner, not into the head.

The macerator was already installed on the boat when we bought it, so it is at least a 2013 model. The original installation instructions have a 2007 date on them.

Just like the OP, we pump from the head into the holding tank, then pump out either at the dock using the on-deck opening, or discharge via the macerator pump while at sea, following the 3-mile rule. (The Y-valve remains in the "tank" position at all times.)

Since cruising, we have used the macerator pump at least weekly and haven't had a single problem with it. Not one. It has worked flawlessly with the flip of a switch. (Knock on wood.) Once the tank is empty, we switch the macerator pump off, then manually pump fresh seawater from the head into the tank to "rinse" the tank, hoses, and macerator, then activate the macerator pump again. On the ocean, we have been able to clearly see the discharge, and rinse until the discharge water is clear. Total time to empty and rinse the 27 gallon holding tank is about 5-10 minutes.

On a side note, when we repaired a hairline crack in the original fiberglass holding tank, we discovered that the waste exit tube had shifted and was no longer sucking from the bottom of the tank, but instead was about half-way up. When we re-positioned the tube, the tank suddenly had twice the capacity. Imagine that.

Best of luck!
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Old 24-02-2016, 11:52   #15
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Re: Macerator pump-- really that bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
FWIW we have a Jabsco electric head conversion, which includes a macerating pump, on the aft head on our boat and it has worked without fail for many years. The key is doing routine maintenance and ensuring that nothing goes in the head other than human waste and "thin" toilet paper. Anything else can (and almost certainly will) foul the pump and clearing it will be a really crappy job. You can help the pump's endurance by running a bit of fresh water mixed with a dose of "SaltAway" through the head after its been used and the bowl cleared.
If you hadn't eaten it first or wiped your butt with it don't flush it. A macerator should give you good service.
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