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Old 11-08-2015, 01:55   #16
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Re: My head pump gets stuck and is extremely hard to pump

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Originally Posted by peghall View Post
Lack of lubrication would make it hard to pump, but it wouldn't feel like what you're describing...your toilet would have been squeaking and dragging. You can try putting a couple of tablespoons--more won't help any more, but I don't think it'll help much if any.

Before I go any further, though, I have a couple of questions: what's the make/model of your toilet? Is the toilet equally hard to pump in both the wet and the dry mode? Do you ever switch between the two modes?
I have no idea of the model, but it is a TMC, I guess an older model. When I first picked up the boat, the pump-handle was also 'stuck' at first after it had been standing for months without use. The owner just used some force to get it free and then we were able to pump it from that time (still with some force). Over the time it has just gotten worse and worse, to now where the handle is almost immediately stuck after you leave it.

I have a small switch next to the handle, when its moved down I can pump seawater into the toilet. When I switch it up, then it pumps it out.

Switching between the two modes doesn't change anything in regards to how hard it is to pump the handle.
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Old 11-08-2015, 02:56   #17
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Re: My head pump gets stuck and is extremely hard to pump

Not discounting the inlet or outlet blockage theory (although Vega hoses are relatively short) but had a similar problem (and in the Vega, too) with perfectly unblocked hoses and the solution was to pull about 4 screws out of the pump and lubricate the plunger with lanolin grease every once in a while. You could probably also check the joker valve isn't gunked up while you're at it.
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Old 11-08-2015, 08:18   #18
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Re: My head pump gets stuck and is extremely hard to pump

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I have no idea of the model, but it is a TMC, I guess an older model. When I first picked up the boat, the pump-handle was also 'stuck' at first after it had been standing for months without use. The owner just used some force to get it free and then we were able to pump it from that time (still with some force). Over the time it has just gotten worse and worse, to now where the handle is almost immediately stuck after you leave it.

I have a small switch next to the handle, when its moved down I can pump seawater into the toilet. When I switch it up, then it pumps it out. Switching between the two modes doesn't change anything in regards to how hard it is to pump the handle.
In that case, lubricating the toilet, and keeping it lubricated, MAY be the answer, at least in the short term. But the pump seals, valves and o-rings are have to be worn out due to lack of lubrication more than age, so it also has to need a "rebuild" or "service" kit by now...but all that friction has also had to have scored and scratched the inside of the pump cylinder too, so a rebuild would help some, but not enough to be worth the cost, time and aggravation to do it. The right solution is a new pump. TMC toilets are about the same quality as Jabsco--"entry level"--inexpensive with an average working life of only a few years--so I'd replace the pump. I found it on the TMC "company store" site for $35! TMC-0002801 Replacement Pump Unit for manual marine toilet 99901 or 99903
And it's easy to do...just remove the screws that hold it onto the base, disconnect the hoses, bolt the new one onto the base, reconnect the hoses...and you're done!

If that doesn't give you a toilet that pumps smoothly and easily, you have problems downstream of the toilet that you also need to solve. I can help you do that too.
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Old 11-08-2015, 08:56   #19
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Re: My head pump gets stuck and is extremely hard to pump

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In that case, lubricating the toilet, and keeping it lubricated, MAY be the answer, at least in the short term. But the pump seals, valves and o-rings are have to be worn out due to lack of lubrication more than age, so it also has to need a "rebuild" or "service" kit by now...but all that friction has also had to have scored and scratched the inside of the pump cylinder too, so a rebuild would help some, but not enough to be worth the cost, time and aggravation to do it. The right solution is a new pump. TMC toilets are about the same quality as Jabsco--"entry level"--inexpensive with an average working life of only a few years--so I'd replace the pump. I found it on the TMC "company store" site for $35! TMC-0002801 Replacement Pump Unit for manual marine toilet 99901 or 99903
And it's easy to do...just remove the screws that hold it onto the base, disconnect the hoses, bolt the new one onto the base, reconnect the hoses...and you're done!

If that doesn't give you a toilet that pumps smoothly and easily, you have problems downstream of the toilet that you also need to solve. I can help you do that too.
Yes you're right. For $35 it's hardly worth the trouble of rebuilding it

I will try and have a look at it and keep updated. Should be going back on the boat the day after tomorrow.

Silly question perhaps, but when I disconnect the pump will I be sprayed with piss and seawater?
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Old 11-08-2015, 11:20   #20
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Re: My head pump gets stuck and is extremely hard to pump

Loosen that nut one flat, that the pump shaft goes through and put a small amount of oil on the shaft when its all the way up.
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Old 11-08-2015, 11:35   #21
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Re: My head pump gets stuck and is extremely hard to pump

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Yes you're right. For $35 it's hardly worth the trouble of rebuilding it
Just remember that toilet pump, like anything else, are worth about what you have to pay for them...so I suggest you start saving your pennies for a better quality toilet when you have to replace it.


[/QUOTE]Silly question perhaps, but when I disconnect the pump will I be sprayed with piss and seawater?[/QUOTE]

That'll be one way to find out whether your tank vent is blocked. I recommend that you close the inlet seacock first. And wee bit more advice:

Prepping for a job is the most important part of ANY job...and repping to replace or rebuild a toilet starts with thoroughly rinsing out the pump and plumbing--the whole system--with plenty of clean water BEFORE taking anything apart...clean water isn't nasty. So lube the toilet--which hopefully will get it working again--and flush a couple of buckets of clean FRESH water through it. Put plastic garbage bags or disposable aluminum pans under hose connections to catch any spills. (Warming hoses with a blow dryer makes them easier to remove and replace). Have a couple of rolls paper shop towels (super heavy duty paper towels, all I've ever seen are blue) handy...you'll need 'em. Use the phone in your camera to take photos of the pump and pump connections before you take anything apart so if you need to know how to orient something, you can see how it goes.

I suspect you prob'ly need to replace all the hoses too, but let's get the toilet working first.
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Old 11-08-2015, 11:36   #22
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Re: My head pump gets stuck and is extremely hard to pump

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Hi guys,

Suddenly the pump for my head has gone extremely tight and is almost impossible to pump.

Could it be a matter of lubricating it somehow or what could it be?
There was just a whole discussion on that. Search back a bit. I think it started with flushing cooking oil?
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Old 11-08-2015, 12:03   #23
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Re: My head pump gets stuck and is extremely hard to pump

Recently had a similiar problem. Went away after pumping out the holding tank. Have a look at your vent outlet to see if anything is coming out. You may have a full holding tank and now your efforts to pump waste are forcing sewage up through the (small) outlet line. Thus lots of pressure.
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Old 11-08-2015, 23:47   #24
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Re: My head pump gets stuck and is extremely hard to pump

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Hmm. I don't know how to explain it, but it's like it gets glued to the position I leave it in. I have a photo of the pump and toilet here:



After I use tremendous force (much more than my girlfriend is able to do on her own) I can get it unlocked and I can pump it - but still very hard. Which is why I suspect it needs some sort of lube.

As you can see on the image, it is an old toilet.
Olive oil or vegetable oil will do - may be a bit more than a tablespoon- and you need a sign above the toilet to state: "Do not throw anything in this toilet unless you have eaten it first"
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Old 12-08-2015, 14:33   #25
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Re: My head pump gets stuck and is extremely hard to pump

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Distasteful as it sounds, it looks like that pump can be disassembled somewhat easily. The amount of force you describe is a bit excessive for just a sticking seal IMHO, but there is not much to lose by trying some oil first.
Would YOU take it apart for $35? That's a what new TMC pump costs.
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Old 12-08-2015, 15:02   #26
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Re: My head pump gets stuck and is extremely hard to pump

Peggie, take a look at the picture he posted. It says TMC in the bowl but the pump looks like a copy of the old Brydon Boy to me. What do you think?
Very old TMC?
Inlet valve stuck closed?
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Old 12-08-2015, 19:17   #27
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Re: My head pump gets stuck and is extremely hard to pump

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Peggie, take a look at the picture he posted. It says TMC in the bowl but the pump looks like a copy of the old Brydon Boy to me. What do you think? Very old TMC? Inlet valve stuck closed?
I'm pretty sure it is a TMC, and maybe not THAT old. Compare this photo of a TMC manual toilet TMC-99901 Manual Marine Toilets Small with the photo of his toilet...note the blue top on both pumps. They're identical.
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Old 13-08-2015, 09:27   #28
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Re: My head pump gets stuck and is extremely hard to pump

Hey guys,

Pumping some virgin oil down the drain worked wonders. Like, wow. It's so smooth and easy to pump now. Even when I bought the boat it was 800% more tight than now. Amazing.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 13-08-2015, 14:03   #29
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Re: My head pump gets stuck and is extremely hard to pump

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Hey guys,

Pumping some virgin oil down the drain worked wonders. Like, wow. It's so smooth and easy to pump now. Even when I bought the boat it was 800% more tight than now. Amazing.

Thanks for your help!
Great that the simple check worked BEFORE you started tearing stuff apart

Now you need to decide whether you are going to get some real head lube or take the pump apart and grease it. I don't know what "virgin oil" is, but vegetable type oil isn't really a long term solution as it is going to collect in the tank.
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Old 13-08-2015, 14:46   #30
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Re: My head pump gets stuck and is extremely hard to pump

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Great that the simple check worked BEFORE you started tearing stuff apart

Now you need to decide whether you are going to get some real head lube or take the pump apart and grease it. I don't know what "virgin oil" is, but vegetable type oil isn't really a long term solution as it is going to collect in the tank.
Just normal olive oil like the other guy wrote. I flushed it straight out and not into the tank. Then afterwards gave it a couple of good flushes with clean water. Seems like it did the trick for now. I will try and check again next time im on the boat to see if it's still alright. Really don't want to play plumber, but we'll see what happens.

Thanks again guys.
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