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Old 26-12-2006, 13:13   #1
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No water coming into the head

I have a curious problem with my manual head on my sailboat. I have a Wilcox head that is about a 2 years old now. Over the course of the summer cruise it stopped sucking in clean water when pumped with the "flush" lever selected. It will suck waste out of the head but no new water will come in.

I though maybe there was a clog somewhere at the thru-hull or in the hose that brings sea water to the head but everything is OK there. I took the sea-water hose off the head and water came rushing into the boat so no clog there. I also took apart he pump and everything looks in good order there. I thought maybe the seals were worn out but they look fine. Any ideas?

I'm ok with servicing the head but I'm afraid that after servicing it, it still won't work right? The other part of this mystery is that if you fill the head with a bucket of water and pump rapidly the head will begin to draw in sea-water like it is supposed to . This is fine until the bowl is pumped dry and than it stops taking in sea-water. Any help would be great.

Thanks!

-Nate
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Old 26-12-2006, 13:43   #2
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We also have a Wilcox head and that problem can be caused by the head loosing it's prime. To fix that I disconnect the hose that goes from the pump to the back of the bowl at the bowl. Then taking a glass or two of water moving the lever back and forth I slowly pump to get water into the pump on the feed water side. That has done the trick for me a number of times.
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Old 26-12-2006, 16:50   #3
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A pump losing it's prime sounds like either there is a pinhole leak or crack that is allowing air into the lines, or a seal worn out on the pump that is causing the same problem. Both probably would be fixed by an overhaul.
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Old 26-12-2006, 17:29   #4
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If it is a W/C Headmate head the rebuild kit is only a few less dollars than a new head. Sad to say it's easier to replace the head.
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Old 26-12-2006, 18:45   #5
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They are right if it's the plastic head it is probably cheaper to replace -- I have old Imperial heads that are cast bronze etc..
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