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Old 15-01-2008, 21:08   #1
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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

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Old 15-01-2008, 22:23   #2
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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?


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Old 15-01-2008, 23:33   #3
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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??

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Old 16-01-2008, 01:53   #4
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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.

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Old 16-01-2008, 06:31   #5

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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
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Old 16-01-2008, 06:34   #6
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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.
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Old 16-01-2008, 06:51   #7
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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!
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Old 16-01-2008, 08:55   #8

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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.
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Old 16-01-2008, 13:29   #9
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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.
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Old 16-01-2008, 13:44   #10
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we sail a hunter 36 and love the elctric head never had a single issue with it... nock on wood...
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Old 16-01-2008, 15:56   #11

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3 GALLONS PER FLUSH?!?! Good grief! Most modern home toilets don't take that much. You better have some truely impressive holding tanks!
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Old 16-01-2008, 17:32   #12
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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.
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Old 16-01-2008, 17:58   #13
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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.

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Old 16-01-2008, 21:49   #14
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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.
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Old 16-01-2008, 22:20   #15
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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.


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