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Old 11-06-2019, 13:46   #1
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New head-Raritan Elegance or Fresh Head?

I'm thinking of replacing my electric head (Thetford Newport model). It works, but not great and is loud. The boat is set up for fresh water flush ONLY, as the through hull for sea water inflow was removed by PO.

I'm considering either the electric Raritan Elegance or the manual Raritan Fresh Head. Any advice on choosing one over the other, or experience with either unit?

I'm guessing the Elegance has less chance a clog, but the Fresh Head might be easier to fix if something goes wrong and be quieter. Reviews of the Elegance have been pretty positive. I've found less feedback on the Fresh Head.

And to those folks who might tell me to install a composting head...I seriously considered it but for a variety of reasons that will have to wait until next boat.

Thanks in advance for your help,
--Jim
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Old 11-06-2019, 15:21   #2
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Re: New head-Raritan Elegance or Fresh Head?

I have the Elegance in the head in my master cabin. There are some things that I like and some that I don't care for.

Pros:
It has a great seat, almost like sitting on the commode at home. Comfortable, unlike a manual Jabsco.

The control panel is nice, giving the user a selection of how many flushes they would like to employ.

Aesthetics - Looks like a home commode.

Cons:
It doesn't always move all of the waste into the holding tank. Sometimes it takes as many as 3 attempts.

It is loud in my opinion. Sounds almost industrial, but that may just be my setup.

Power consumption- When I was having some electrical work done, we decided to measure it. We measured 28 amps during a typical flush cycle. I am not sure if this is high or not, but seemed a bit high to me.
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Old 11-06-2019, 15:45   #3
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Re: New head-Raritan Elegance or Fresh Head?

You DO know that the Raritan Fresh Head is a manual toilet, not electric? There aren't a lot of reviews for a couple of reasons, I suspect: 1. it's definitely pricy for a manual toilet, 2. most boat owners who want a manual toilet don't want to sacrifice their fresh water or don't carry enough to sacrifice any for toilet flushing. That said...it's an excellent toilet from a company who still makes everything in the US and provides outstanding tech support.


And so is the Raritan Marine Elegance. In fact, it's the top rated macerating electric toilet...I've yet to see or hear of anyone who doesn't absolutely love it. And although it has a rather pricy list price, I know of at least two retailers who have it for about $700 including the optional "Smart Flush" panel. My pick of the two is Hopkins-Carter Marine in Miami Hopkins Carter Marine Raritan Marine Elegance


Not knowing where you've seen information about the Fresh Head and Elegance, I'm gonna provided the links to their "promo" sheets on the Raritan site.

Raritan Marine_Elegance Promo.pdf FRESH_HEAD Promo Sheet They provide quite a bit of information about each toilet.


Btw...I'm not surprised that you're not happy with Thetford Newport...they never could get it work very well and finally discontinued it. At least one version was powered by D cells!



--Peggie
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Old 11-06-2019, 15:55   #4
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Re: New head-Raritan Elegance or Fresh Head?

Cons: It doesn't always move all of the waste into the holding tank. Sometimes it takes as many as 3 attempts.

Are you adding water to the bowl ahead of use? And using "Full Flush" to flush solids?

Power consumption- When I was having some electrical work done, we decided to measure it. We measured 28 amps during a typical flush cycle. I am not sure if this is high or not, but seemed a bit high to me.

That's very high! According to the owners manual, Raritan Marine Elegance Owners Manual it should only draw 18 amps @ 12v...so it sounds like you may have a wiring issue. I suggest you give Raritan tech support a call 800-352-5630

It is loud in my opinion. Sounds almost industrial, but that may just be my setup.

Another problem with your installation, because the Elegance is actually one of the quietest toilets. Another reason you need to talk to Raritan tech support.


Are you sure it IS an Elegance and not a Jabsco "Quiet Flush?"



--Peggie
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Old 11-06-2019, 16:09   #5
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Re: New head-Raritan Elegance or Fresh Head?

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
You DO know that the Raritan Fresh Head is a manual toilet, not electric?

Not knowing where you've seen information about the Fresh Head and Elegance, I'm gonna provided the links to their "promo" sheets on the Raritan site.

Btw...I'm not surprised that you're not happy with Thetford Newport...they never could get it work very well and finally discontinued it. At least one version was powered by D cells!

--Peggie
Hi Peggie,
Yup, I do know the Fresh Head is manual. I thought that might have some advantages...perhaps quieter and easier to service...although I don't know that.

Any idea as to which head (Elegance or Fresh Head) would use less water? (Holding tank is literally on the other side of the bulkhead and below the toilet so it's a short, downhill run if that makes a difference.) I don't care about using up my fresh water supply. We have 90 gallons and our problem is more often the water getting stale by not turning over the fresh water supply tanks often enough.) I do care about not filling up the holding tank too quickly.

Thanks for the information links and sources to purchase, I really appreciate it.

As to the Thetford Newport...wow, I can't imagine it running on D-cells. Mine is definitely hooked into the DC circuitry. But a maintenance kit for it sells for a mind boggling $175 online. That's a down payment on nicer head.

Jim
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Old 11-06-2019, 18:44   #6
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Re: New head-Raritan Elegance or Fresh Head?

Both toilets allow you to have control of the amount of flush water. Both toilets allow you to bring in water ahead of solids (which you should always do 'cuz a lot less flush water is needed to rinse the bowl). The Fresh Head--actually any manual toilet--gives the option of using "dry bowl" except to rinse the bowl after the flush. The optional "Smart Flush" panel for the Elegance gives you several more options: in addition to bringing in water and dry bowl for urine only it has a "low water" flush for urine and a minimal amount of TP...FULL flush only when needed. And fwiw, the "push button convenience" that any electric toilet offers is a LOT easier for landlubber guests to use than any manual toilet.


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Old 11-06-2019, 19:05   #7
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Re: New head-Raritan Elegance or Fresh Head?

Jim,
We have a Fresh Head and like it. Easy to control how much fresh water you use per flush. We switched out from a salt water electric Jabsco for a couple of reasons, but mainly to reduce the waste smell from the salt water critters that were also decomposing in our waste tank. Works great and it helped reduce odors a lot and it doesn't really use too much fresh water.

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Old 12-06-2019, 08:14   #8
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Re: New head-Raritan Elegance or Fresh Head?

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
[I]Are you sure it IS an Elegance and not a Jabsco "Quiet Flush?"



--Peggie
Uh...yes. I am quite sure as I have the receipts to verify its purchase and installation.
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:35   #9
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New head-Raritan Elegance or Fresh Head?

I converted our PHIIís to a fresh head as soon as the kit became available.
It worked fine, but the Wife could clog it, requiring too much force on the pump handle and that plastic it was mounted to would break.
Then I converted the forward head with a Sea Era kit, with the smart flush control panel.

Iíve heard complaints about the robustness of the sea era toilet, but ours has worked flawlessly for years and we are full time on the boat.
I believe the smart flush control may be one reason why, itís hard to mess up pushing a button. The flush is fully automatic and we have had no trouble with ours at all.
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:55   #10
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Re: New head-Raritan Elegance or Fresh Head?

We must be doing something wrong w/our Fresh Head since it hardly takes any pressure on the handle to flush it.

If there are a large amount of solids, you may need slightly more force to flush, but do it slowly and it works fine. Nothing even coming close to breaking the handle.

Wife loves it.

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Old 12-06-2019, 09:56   #11
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New head-Raritan Elegance or Fresh Head?

I think she was putting too much paper in it, or not enough water whichever way you want to look at it, and rather than it being a point of contention I put in an electric head that is automatic.
I left the outer one manual as a backup, and can easily convert the electric one back to manual needed.
You remove the entire base to confer to a sea era reusing the bowl and seat.
The fresh head conversion uses the existing base and bowl and seat of course.
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Old 12-06-2019, 11:05   #12
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Re: New head-Raritan Elegance or Fresh Head?

Maybe that's the difference, we don't put paper down the head. Even the disintegrating type can be an issue.
We add the TP to the paper burn that I've set up in an old charcoal magma grill off the back.
Use us less TP now also based on your (A64) suggested bidet. It works great. The only minor hiccup in the install was to find risers to adjust the seat height to compensate for the added bidet thickness, but that was really no big deal.


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Old 12-06-2019, 12:09   #13
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Re: New head-Raritan Elegance or Fresh Head?

Have Elegance no regrets.
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Old 12-06-2019, 17:16   #14
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Re: New head-Raritan Elegance or Fresh Head?

Having both manual and electric, my experience has been, the electric is easier to repair than the manual, my initial thought was, " it would be easier to obtain manual parts, other than the other", but in this day and age, one can pretty much have parts shipped anywhere on the planet.
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Old 12-06-2019, 17:37   #15
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Re: New head-Raritan Elegance or Fresh Head?

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Having both manual and electric, my experience has been, the electric is easier to repair than the manual, my initial thought was, " it would be easier to obtain manual parts, other than the other", but in this day and age, one can pretty much have parts shipped anywhere on the planet.

Personally, I would always carry a repair kit for the rubber parts for either type, but having a spare 12V motor would be a little pricey for "just in case".


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