Cruisers Forum

Join CruisersForum Today

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 15-01-2008, 21:08   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Springfield, Oregon
Boat: Hunter 38 Forrest Windd
Posts: 4
New Electric Head Plugging Up!

Help! We just bought a new Hunter 38 with the factory installed Electric Flush Head. Almost every day we use the boat, the head plugs when number 2 is done. No paper is put down the head and it takes an average of 2 to 4 hours for it to finally clear thru. Using a toilet plunger does no good at all. Our last boat had the traditional hand operated head and we never had a problem. Our dealer has been reluctant to dig into the problem. My Hunter dealer just kinda stares at me in disbelief. I may be trading the fancy electric whiz bang for the old hand pump style. I'm not happy that the head uses water from our water tank">fresh water tank to flush. The manual recommends a 3 gallon flush on number 2's. Has anyone had the same challenges with their electric heads and where you able to overcome them. Thanx In Advance, Jack

forrest wind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-2008, 22:23   #2
Senior Cruiser
Alan Wheeler's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Marlborough Sounds. New Zealand
Boat: Hartley Tahitian 45ft. Leisure Lady
Posts: 8,038
Images: 102
OK, so how about the make of the toilet for starters. Yep it's a toilet not a head. But lets not go there just now.
So I assume the fesh water being pumped into the bowl is causing the bowl to fill to the brim. Is that what is happening??
Has it had the blockage problem from day one, or has it worked OK and now has started giving problems?


For God so loved the world..........He didn't send a committee.
Alan Wheeler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-2008, 23:33   #3
Registered User
Steve Kidson's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Sydney, Australia
Boat: Hartley 32 RORC; Vixen
Posts: 193
Images: 10
What a Sh$#ty problem to have!!

Seriously though, I have no idea how to solve your problem, just been waiting forever to use that joke

Maybe a change of diet Beer only perhaps; how is your refrigeration??

Fair winds
Steve Kidson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-01-2008, 01:53   #4
Long Range Cruiser
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
Originally Posted by forrest wind View Post
Electric Flush Head.

I got on this boat for a cruise and the owner is showing me around it like a stupid kid with a toy and we are in the heads (theres 2 of them - its a snazzy boat) the toilet has got a neat little button and so I say "hey the toilets got a neat little button!" And the owner puffed his little chest out with pride and said "Push it!". So I did!

Holy Snappin Ducks Butts!!!!!!!!

This sound like a Jumbo 747 starting up and then a vacuum sound like a street sweeper, a sucking sound like a big sucker and a mincing sound like the butcher from hell reverberates right throughout the boat! Loud!! I couldn't hear myself laugh!

Then he showed me the bilges under the kitchen floor (this boat didnt have a galley, it had a kitchen!) and fully half the beam wide is these two huge cylinders: "2,000 pounds per square inch inside those cylinders!" he said. "Shi* under 2,000 pounds pressure? Wheres the manual backup?" I said

Well, two weeks later we were two weeks at sea and we had another 2 weeks to go when the crappers crapped themselves. So we went 2 weeks hangin over the swim platform.

Gimme a Jabsco manual pumper anytime.

MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-01-2008, 06:31   #5

Posts: n/a
You may want to consider a composting toilet. We use one called AirHead. We are very happy with it an will not likely ever return to those other complicated monstrosities.

There is no smell associated with our setup to date. We use a solar vent to keep a slight negative pressure in the tank.

Disposal of waste is simple and in my opinion much cleaner than any pump out I ever used. A nice plus is that we’re not adding unneeded nutrients to the bay.

Since were spending the winter in Annapolis this year I do need to keep a small electric heater going in the Head. The head is always nice and toasty warm

Another nice plus was the space opened up and weight reduction of removing the holding tank, thru-hulls, hoses, pumps, valves...
Good Luck
  Reply With Quote
Old 16-01-2008, 06:34   #6
Registered User
S/V Illusion's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FLORIDA
Boat: Alden 50, Sarasota, Florida
Posts: 1,731
About the best thing that can be said about the Jabsco manual head is that they are cheaply replaceable - which you will likely do often. These are analogous to the Yugo of the car market.

Using fresh water to flush is typical on modern boats as it eliminates the most common source of odor - that being stagnant salt water in the lines and bowl. I wouldn't change that unless you keep the boat in fresh water.

Electric heads typically have a built-in mascerator so the tendency to plug them up is inherently reduced. You might want to check the lines to make sure they were installed properly with no kinks or other problems since the clogging is not likely caused by the head itself but rather the plumbing, clogged vent, etc.

A properly functing good quality electric head will far outlast a Jabsco manual and should require much less maintenance.
S/V Illusion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-01-2008, 06:51   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Boat: GibSea 472
Posts: 322
My heads on my boat are made by Lavac, and one of them is ALSO electric. It is very simple: just a diaphragm pump in line with the manual pump. Works perfect, and at night we manually pump to avoid the noise. Since it works for pipi, I believe that in your toilet, the blade of your macerator(a little spinning blade that grind the dunk) in front of the pump is broken and therefore the pump that is not designed to handle solid wastes just clog. Unfortunately for you, you will have to dismantle the thing, and there your are on your own!. Fixing heads is part of the yachting fun!... Enjoy!
Elie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-01-2008, 08:55   #8

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,742
Elie's idea sounds possible. But I'd tell the dealer no nonsense--if you just took delivery of the boat, he can get his ass down to it and FIX THE PROBLEM. If he postpones more than a week or two, complain to Hunter directly and ask the dealer if he'd prefer that you call a plumber and then take him to small claims court. That's gonna cost him more than simply sending someone down to the boat. (We call that "incentive".)

Remember, you've already paid for the privlege of a warranty and working parts.
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-01-2008, 13:29   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Colombo
Posts: 1,059
I agree, if it is a new boat the dealer should fix it.

But if you want to have a ferrit around first then the following might help.

Given that it is connected to fresh water I am picking that it is likely to be a Jabsco QuietFlush (I think that's the model name). In which case they need a pressure supply of either fresh water or of salt water. That is the water supply has to come off the pressure side of the fresh water pump (or can be a saltwater pump such as a deck wash pump). The volume and pressure needed is on the installation instructions but from memory is about the full capacity of normal fresh water pumps. So a problem on the fresh water supply could be a cause and I would guess more likely to show when flushing solids.

Just a note: In my view it is dangerous to have pressurised saltwater inside a small boat as a pipe or fitting failure on the pressure side of the pump means one will pump the sea into the boat until noticed (or sink ).

The other possible problem, if that model toilet is some sort of blockage or damage in the pump but would wonder if that so seeing your problem is intermittent.

But the thing I would check first, again if that model toilet, is that the joker valve on the outlet side of the pump (its in the discharge fitting) is fitted the correct way round - it is not unknown for whoever installs the toilet to pop this valve in the wrong way round (in case not known it should be oriented with the closed end away from the toilet). If this has been fitted the wrong way round the toilet tends to work with liquids but not reliably with solids.

When checking it and if the wrong way round, make sure the duck bill has not been turned inside out by the pressure of stuff trying to be forced through it in the wrong direction. If it has been turned inside out by the pressure then is best to replace it rather than just uninvert it.
MidLandOne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-01-2008, 13:44   #10
Registered User
Brandywine's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Napa, CA
Boat: Shopping for catamaran
Posts: 76
we sail a hunter 36 and love the elctric head never had a single issue with it... nock on wood...
Brandywine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-01-2008, 15:56   #11

Posts: n/a
3 GALLONS PER FLUSH?!?! Good grief! Most modern home toilets don't take that much. You better have some truely impressive holding tanks!
  Reply With Quote
Old 16-01-2008, 17:32   #12
Marine Service Provider
AnchorageGuy's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wherever the boat is!
Boat: Marine Trader 34DC
Posts: 4,618
As a tech for a dealer I can tell you that the dealer that sold you the boat needs to correct this issue for you no questions ask. If after it is corrected and functioning properly you still don't like it then change it out. But get on the dealer and have them make it right first. BTW, we are a dealer for Hunter and other builders.
Chesapeake Bay, ICW Hampton Roads To Key West, The Gulf Coast, The Bahamas

The Trawler Beach House
Voyages Of Sea Trek
AnchorageGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-01-2008, 17:58   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 363

No idea what kind of toilet you have.... We had a Vacuflush on the Sea Ray 34' Sundancer we had and it was great. Lots of use, never clogged or gave any problems, used very little power and you determined how much water you used on each flush. If the task was "larger" as the case may be.... you simply put a bit more water in the bowl before flushing. With 2 kids on board and as much as we used that boat the head got a real workout.

Tspringer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-01-2008, 21:49   #14
CF Adviser
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 7,316
New boats always have Gremlins (some just smellier than others). On Toilets it is usually items like MidlandOne identified, or some damage during installation like something non digestible getting flushed into the system (Teflon tape)
You should have the toilet removed, dismantled and inspected. I’m sure you’ll find the culprit, either caused during installation or by operation (white rats or otherwise).

If it is not operator error than your warranty should cover it.
Modern power toilets like Tecma and others are incredibly robust and you shouldn’t experience problems provided you follow instructions.
Pelagic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16-01-2008, 22:20   #15
Moderator Emeritus
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,178
The fact that the head does not work like it is supposed to is not your problem. If they are refusing to fix the problem then it is time to start getting nasty. Put it in writing what the problem is and that you want the problem fixed within a certain amount of time. If they have not fixed the problem by the time that you specified, then it is time to go to court.

Don't let the responsible parties bully you, accept their foot dragging or accept their excuses.

You are now at the bottom of their priority list because you are an expense and no longer a potential commission.

It does not matter what type of head it is and don't try to fix it yourself or try any home remedies.

Make sure is stays their problem until rectified. Don't let it become your problem.


Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Electric Winch Handle??? AnchorageGuy Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 42 22-05-2014 20:19
Electric Outboard JohnnyC Auxiliary Equipment & Dinghy 23 28-02-2010 05:01
November 3 - Plugging Right Along skipgundlach General Sailing Forum 0 03-11-2007 13:17
BST HP Electric Inflator svHyLyte Product or Service Reviews & Evaluations 2 31-08-2007 08:15

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 20:16.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.