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Old 25-06-2015, 09:21   #1
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Need Vacu-Flush Toilet Troubleshooting Help

I've got a Sealand Vacu-Flush System with fresh water. After pulling it out of winter layup and a pump out, the vacuum pump would continuously run seemingly never reaching the correct pressure. The next day I attempted to run the system again, this time the pump started and kicked off when the Vacu-Flush Status Panel Swtich kicked off like a breaker tripping.

Any suggestions on fixes or troubleshooting greatly appreciated.
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Old 25-06-2015, 09:46   #2
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Re: Need Vacu-Flush Toilet Troubleshooting Help

If you don't have the owners manual--which includes a troubleshooting guide that describes just about every possible symptom, probably causes and cures that V/Flush can develop, call SeaLand tech support:800-321-9886 Ask 'em to send you manual for future use.
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Old 25-06-2015, 10:17   #3
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Re: Need Vacu-Flush Toilet Troubleshooting Help

If you let it run for a minute or so, and then flush, do you have vacuum?
If yes, your vacuum sensor has failed. It could be fouled, you can try using whatever cleaning regime you prefer to see if it clears up.
If you have an older sensor, the new ones are designed better, but they are pricey (I think around $150)
If no, it's most likely the duckbills, but it could be a hole in the bellows.

As for the pump throwing the breaker... I just had that happen myself so I will let you know what I find when I start troubleshooting it.
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Old 25-06-2015, 10:20   #4
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Re: Need Vacu-Flush Toilet Troubleshooting Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
If you don't have the owners manual--which includes a troubleshooting guide that describes just about every possible symptom, probably causes and cures that V/Flush can develop, call SeaLand tech support:800-321-9886 Ask 'em to send you manual for future use.
http://www.nwexplorations.com/OceanF...ner_Manuel.pdf

Troubleshooting starts on page 10
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Old 25-06-2015, 10:26   #5
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Re: Need Vacu-Flush Toilet Troubleshooting Help

The best thing I did was buy the vacuum tester and check it at different points but the duck bill valves in the pump ate the most likely problem


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Old 25-06-2015, 12:53   #6
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Re: Need Vacu-Flush Toilet Troubleshooting Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
If you let it run for a minute or so, and then flush, do you have vacuum?
If yes, your vacuum sensor has failed. It could be fouled, you can try using whatever cleaning regime you prefer to see if it clears up.
If you have an older sensor, the new ones are designed better, but they are pricey (I think around $150)
If no, it's most likely the duckbills, but it could be a hole in the bellows.

As for the pump throwing the breaker... I just had that happen myself so I will let you know what I find when I start troubleshooting it.

Thanks all for the quick responses!

Since the issues have started, it's not building any vacuum at all, at least at the bowl.

Since I just had a pump out, is it possible that the pump out may have caused these issues (too much vacuum on the pressure side/ broke a solid loose that is now clogging the pump or duck bill valves)?
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Old 25-06-2015, 17:00   #7
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Re: Need Vacu-Flush Toilet Troubleshooting Help

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Originally Posted by eslovett View Post
Thanks all for the quick responses!

Since the issues have started, it's not building any vacuum at all, at least at the bowl.

Since I just had a pump out, is it possible that the pump out may have caused these issues (too much vacuum on the pressure side/ broke a solid loose that is now clogging the pump or duck bill valves)?
I don't think so. Having the boat pumped out via the deck fitting would not typically draw waste through either of your pumps. If the duckbill valves haven't been replaced in a while, they might have developed a crack during winter storage. Buy new duckbills (it should take 2 pairs), take the pump apart, clean it up, and inspect them, and replace as needed.
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Old 26-06-2015, 09:18   #8
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Re: Need Vacu-Flush Toilet Troubleshooting Help

Just this morning the vacuflush head I used kept cycling like you describe. I jiggled the foot thing and it stopped. Seal achieved, apparently. Cracked me up because it's what one does for a household toilet.
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Old 26-06-2015, 10:23   #9
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Ardemco (Costa Mesa distributor that handles VacuFlush replacement parts) offers good phone and e-mail tech support. Contacts there are Walt and Rick.
walt@ardemco.com and rick@ardemco.com. I would start with Walt. Phone numbers are: 949-722-7672 and 800-253-0115. Best of luck!
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Old 26-06-2015, 19:05   #10
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Re: Need Vacu-Flush Toilet Troubleshooting Help

The Vacuflush system should be maintained according to the manufacturer's instructions.

On my system, I periodically disassemble the system and clean all the parts. I also pump out and scrub the interior of the tank walls, to aid in a visual level detection.

The breaker will trip on an over current condition. A DC motor draws maximum current when stalled. My guess based on all the symptoms is that the Joker (duckbill) valves have failed, with probably one of the valves now inverted. There is likely material below the bellows, in the pump, with that material not possible to compress or move properly through the system, stalling the motor.

It is unlikely that the pumpout caused the failure. The Vacuflush holding tank has an integrated vacuum break valve. That valve opens when the pumpout goes rapidly, allowing air into the tank to prevent the tank from collapsing.

The tank is always at atmospheric pressure. During pumpout, air enters the tank from the breather vent to replace the pumped out fluid.

My suggestion is to avoid opening a failed Vacuflush system. The Platypus Club uses that as a rite of initiation. I hear it is disgusting. Create and post a video if splitting plumbing on a failed Vacuflush system.

My suggestion is to instead use a plunger at the toilet bowl. Fill the bowl w/ water. Shut off the fresh water. Turn on the vacuum generator. Use the plunger to force the water through the system, towards the vacuum generator / holding tank.

Seal the plunger to the bowl for the push stroke. Tip the plunger to the side before the plunger relaxes to prevent a suction stroke. Keep forcing water one way into the system until the inverted Joker valve reverts to normal, or at least stops preventing proper flow.

Once suction is restored, run LOTS of fresh water through the system. Then disassemble and clean the parts. It is likely that new Joker valves are required.

Do NOT overtighten the plumbing retaining the Joker valves. It will deform the rubber keeping them partially open, causing vacuum leaks and cycling.

Tighten the Joker valve plumbing to lightly snug.
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Old 29-06-2015, 08:43   #11
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Re: Need Vacu-Flush Toilet Troubleshooting Help

Hello,
I have 3 vacuflush, with 2 VG4 vaccum tank and 2 holding tanks... Check if water stays in the bowl. If not you have a leak one the gasket. Clean it... most time that is a little piece of paper or something else. With the time, some dirt, paper, stay in the vaccum tank. Only one solution... take it out, open and clean it... You will understand... That's very easy to do. Clean the 4 2"duckbill valves. Important, the outlet pipe nut is anticlockwise thread. Clean also the tube between the vaccum tank and the holding tank. These are very simple mecanism. Only pumps, tubes and duckbill valves. Last thing, it doesn't smell good...
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