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Old 05-12-2014, 17:46   #1
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New fresh head from Raritan backordered... is it a sign?

One of our heads has a Jabsco manual toilet that is plumbed straight overboard, raw water flush, for when we are offshore.

I had to clean out the hoses because they were 90% calcified.
The thru-hull has a 90 on it that I may break trying to get it off. So I can't see straight out into the deep blue, but I can feel there's a great deal of calcification in there as well.

So I did my best to knock some free. Tried vinegar. Tried some stronger acid (which worked a lot better)

Now when I flush it there still feels like there's a restriction on the exhaust side. So I may have to wait until we haul the boat one last time before leaving to address it.

We tried replacing the toilet with an electric model, thinking if it was easier to flush, it would less likely get calcium build up. But it never quite worked right, so I switched back to the manual.

We saw the new raritan fresh head, and so we ordered that via port supply at WM. Came in to pick it up and found out it was not ordered, so they ordered it. Came back and they said it was not ordered, so they'd overnight it. Came back and they said it was not ordered, it will be here in a few days. Got a call that they are out of stock now and it will be at least 2 weeks.

So pro's:
We could re-purpose the thru-hull for head for the watermaker (it's not about 6' away and we would not use the head when making water obviously)
Better smell
No calcification

Cons:
Uses fresh water
Expensive

So is it a sign? Should we just KISS and stay with the cheapy jabsco and swap it out when it wears out? Put a thru-hull for the watermaker in the optimum spot, since the cost would be about the same as the other toilet?
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Old 05-12-2014, 19:03   #2
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Re: New fresh head from Raritan backordered... is it a sign?

In the last couple of months I have converted both my PHII's to fresh heads, I would not go back, fresh water is much better.
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Old 05-12-2014, 19:24   #3
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Re: New fresh head from Raritan backordered... is it a sign?

Everyone has a different story about heads. Mine is that I'm perfectly happy with the Raritan PHII. When I flush it, I stroke it 12 times, which ensures that the lines are completely flushed. I dump a half gallon of vinegar in it every month, pump it through until the line is filled with it, turn the discharge seacock, and let it sit for at least 24 hours and better yet days if I can. No calcification problems (yet). No smell either, which freaks all my boat owning friends out a bit.

While different locales and and usage patterns lead to different experiences with blockages, I do know that vinegar needs time to work...not hours, but days. And it needs to be part of a regular maintenance regimen.

Personally, given how I use my boat, I would not go with the fresh head unless I had a water maker. I think it really comes down to your fresh water needs/usage as much as anything.
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Old 05-12-2014, 19:56   #4
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Re: New fresh head from Raritan backordered... is it a sign?

I don't have an answer for the head you should use, but can tell you that if you have established calcification in your hose, there is no amount or type of chemical, or easy mechanical way, to remove that to make it new. Replace the hose and fittings when you have the chance.

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Old 05-12-2014, 22:10   #5
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Re: New fresh head from Raritan backordered... is it a sign?

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I don't have an answer for the head you should use, but can tell you that if you have established calcification in your hose, there is no amount or type of chemical, or easy mechanical way, to remove that to make it new. Replace the hose and fittings when you have the chance.

Mark
Here's a tip for you, take off the hose, bang it on something hard, and the calcification comes right out. Very easy.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:25   #6
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Re: New fresh head from Raritan backordered... is it a sign?

Fresh water will prevent calcification -- big plus. But I have not had any problems with smells either in this boat, or the last. Using sea water, the only thing is when you've been off the boat for a while and you have stale water in the lines.

Hot tip for those using salt water -- flush the system through with fresh water before you leave the boat and leave fresh water, rather than salt, in the lines.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:54   #7
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Re: New fresh head from Raritan backordered... is it a sign?

We use 14 pump flushes each morning and once a week 1/2cup of vinegar with fresh water flushed into the lines and left to sit in the line all day. So far so good. Use the other loo during the day.
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Old 06-12-2014, 04:15   #8
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Re: New fresh head from Raritan backordered... is it a sign?

For purposes of my question, keep in mind the head will be used and maintained regularly. I'm not looking for the best weekend boater solution. Water won't have a chance to go stale in there.

I'm just wondering if all these problems with getting it, it's a sign that we should keep it simple. So far I'm still on the fence.
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Old 06-12-2014, 06:12   #9
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Re: New fresh head from Raritan backordered... is it a sign?

Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
Here's a tip for you, take off the hose, bang it on something hard, and the calcification comes right out. Very easy.
Yes, I have done that several times in the past (and I did say EASY mechanical way - I don't consider removing/reinstalling hardened and formed head hose easy). However, getting to that point is a PITA, you risk damaging the hoses, and smell permeation almost always begins immediately after.

I still believe that if a hose has entrenched calcification, it is much better to just replace it (you are taking it off in your case above anyhow) and start using operating and maintenance routines that prevent calcification.

Using PVC is even better.

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Old 06-12-2014, 07:19   #10
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Re: New fresh head from Raritan backordered... is it a sign?

Why don't you try buying the head you want from a different vendor?
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Old 06-12-2014, 07:24   #11
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Re: New fresh head from Raritan backordered... is it a sign?

Freshwater can cause smells. In fact, when I use freshwater, the smell is about the same as seawater.

Why? Because the tap water at my home marina and many locations withing the Chesapeake area have enough sulfate to cause the same reactions that result in seawater stink.

Just sayin'. Generally it will be better, but not a 100% cure in all cases.
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Old 06-12-2014, 07:41   #12
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Re: New fresh head from Raritan backordered... is it a sign?

See I'm thinking maybe your problems getting it are a sign that demand has outstripped suppply.

You do know of course if you simply turn off your salt water supply to your head and pour fresh water into it from a milk jug or similar, you have a fresh head. All a fresh head is a diaphram pump to empty the bowl and a way of allowing fresh water into the bowl with a vacuum break to keep from contaminating your supply.

Just try using a milk jug as your water supply for a month or two to see if it's worth it to you to go the fresh water route. Your smell may be coming from the ring that water comes out of in th bowl itself, and if so it's going to take a through cleaning to eliminate the smell, fresh water won't of course be odor free until after the cleaning.

I have an aluminum waste tank, at least part of me wanting fresh water flush was to extend it's life as well as the smell. Until we can go, we are weekend boaters and I was fighting odors until I converted, the cost of conversion for me was less than rebuilding my PHII's, and they needed that badly
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:06   #13
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Re: New fresh head from Raritan backordered... is it a sign?

1) It's futile to try to clean sanitation hose. Replace it with the best you can find. Make sure it is designed and sold as sanitation hose.

2) If you are getting deposits in your sanitation hose, it is because you are not using enough water to flush them clean.

3) Smells from flushing with sea water are primarily caused by sea life (plant and animal) that comes in with the water and dries up and rots in the rim of the head. A filter on the incoming water may help reduce the odor but probably won't eliminate it entirely.

4) As suggested above, you can close off the seawater intake and flush with fresh water from a jug but it's inconvenient, especially for guests.
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:47   #14
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Re: New fresh head from Raritan backordered... is it a sign?

I know when I go through all the wok of pulling my hose out, it's being replaced by new
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:25   #15
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Re: New fresh head from Raritan backordered... is it a sign?

Quote:
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I know when I go through all the wok of pulling my hose out, it's being replaced by new
As expensive as good sanitation hose is, removing it provides the opportunity to measure how much you need and buy only that much plus a foot or so for insurance. You can tape a piece of 1/4" or so rope to the hose as you pull it out as a pull line to pull the new hose in.
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