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Old 05-06-2013, 12:07   #1
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No flushing water into the head

All of a sudden, the pump in the head of my Catalina 320 (a Jobsco unit) stopped getting flushing water into the head. When I put fresh water into the head manually, the pump empties it out into the holding tank but changing the knob to pull in sea water, it doesn't do anything. I don't feel any pressure on the handle either.

The water inlet valve is open, I tried several times closing and opening it the valve, it didn't do anything. I don't know why and how this has happened, it was working the last time I was on the boat, I closed the inlet valve before leaving and when I came back later (and after a sail) it stopped working. I am not entirely sure how to troubleshoot, any suggestions?
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:21   #2
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Re: No flushing water into the head

Check seawater inlet flow: Shut inlet seacock, disconnect inlet line from head, stick in bucket below waterline, open seacock and see if you get flow - if not inlet is clogged.

If you get flow, time to rebuild the head's pump. Get a rebuild kit. If you haven't rebuilt head before this is almost certainly the problem
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:42   #3
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pirate Re: No flushing water into the head

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Old 05-06-2013, 12:53   #4
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Re: No flushing water into the head

It could be simpler than that; perhaps yu just sucked up some seaweed.

After clearing, install an inlet strainer.
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Old 05-06-2013, 13:02   #5
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Re: No flushing water into the head

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It could be simpler than that; perhaps yu just sucked up some seaweed.
Sorry to sound like an idiot but how can I troubleshoot and clean that? I bought my boat only two weeks ago and as you can imagine, I am new to everything about boating ;-)
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Old 05-06-2013, 13:09   #6
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Re: No flushing water into the head

You may also have a broken switchover (wet/dry bowl) switch on the head.
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Old 05-06-2013, 13:23   #7
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Re: No flushing water into the head

If the intake was clogged there would be "vacuum" resistance on the handle. If there is no resistance, there is either something holding the flapper valve open, a pinhole in the suction line between the head and the intake ABOVE the waterline, or (and I have seen this) some goober plumbed the vented loop on the suction line and not on the discharge line of the head pump. I found one like that once with a piece of tape over the hole in the VL; the tape came off and the owner complained of similar problems as the OP. Never understood who installed that vented loop, not who put the tape over the hole (which rendered the VL inop)
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Old 05-06-2013, 21:35   #8
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Re: No flushing water into the head

I had a similar problem - it was the valve seat.
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Old 05-06-2013, 21:51   #9
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Re: No flushing water into the head

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Sorry to sound like an idiot but how can I troubleshoot and clean that? I bought my boat only two weeks ago and as you can imagine, I am new to everything about boating ;-)
1. Close seacock
2. Disconnect inlet hose
3. Briefly open seacock (only for 1/4 of a second.)

If the boat starts sinking, the thru-hull is not clogged.

(If this sounds like a horrible way to test things, sell the boat and take up golf.)
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Old 05-06-2013, 21:56   #10
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Re: No flushing water into the head

Addendum: It just occurred to me that if your head isn't bringing in outside water, the first thing to check is whether the seacock is actually open. I hate to bring this up, but to a noob sometimes these things aren't so obvious. Is it possible the previous owner shut off the seacock as a safety measure before turning over the keys? To many people, this would be a proper procedure.
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Old 05-06-2013, 22:10   #11
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Re: No flushing water into the head

Tenedos from your description it sounds like the top valve gasket, I had same problem. This kit will most likely solve your problem.
Jabsco Top Valve Gasket
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Old 05-06-2013, 22:19   #12
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Re: No flushing water into the head

Ifyou feel no resistance when trying to suck in seawater, the gasket is probably shot, although usually this is a deteriorating effect not all at once.

As a new yottie, however, you should be thankful that this has happen. You will now discover one of the great joys of sailing -repairing things all the time.

The fact that this is the crapper pump you will have to disassemble (slightly odiferous and sh@tty job is all the better. The only sad part is that you will be doing at the dock and not out in 10 foot waves (only makes the job more fun)

So prepare yourself for one of yotting pleasures.

Do not forget to wear rubber gloves
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Old 05-06-2013, 22:26   #13
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Re: No flushing water into the head

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Do not forget to wear rubber gloves
Or a full suit of armor.
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:09   #14
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Re: No flushing water into the head

Thanks all, I will be at the boat on Saturday and will try
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Old 06-06-2013, 15:47   #15
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Re: No flushing water into the head

Had the same problem....Turned out a small eel had worked its way up the intake hose to the pump. Thought it was seaweed and grabbed it with a pair of needle nose pliers. Gave a pull and the live eel came out and scared the crap out me. (Sorry, bad pun)

You will figure it out. Just start at the begining and apply some logic.
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