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Old 20-02-2016, 14:21   #1
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Sea water filling toilet bowl...

We have a new-to-us Belize 43 catamaran that we are living on. She has two electric Jabsco heads that work great except the port head will eventually fill with sea water if the thru hull valve is left open. Closing the supply off stops the flow. The water will encroach into the bowl until just below the rim and stop (probably about sea level). Previous owner says this was not a problem in the 5 years he had the boat. I have considered extending the supply line to add an above sea level loop but wanted to see if anyone can tell me what the real cause could be. I am assuming something in the pump is allowing the bypass but cannot figure out what or how.

Thoughts? Suggestions?
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Old 20-02-2016, 14:33   #2
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Re: Sea water filling toilet bowl...

Time to replace the internal valve system
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Old 20-02-2016, 14:40   #3
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Re: Sea water filling toilet bowl...

Which internal valve system? In the pump?
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Old 20-02-2016, 16:00   #4
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Re: Sea water filling toilet bowl...

It's not time to replace anything. Whoever installed the toilet(s) neglected to install a vented loop in the intake...something that's needed on any toilet installed at or below the waterline.

On a manual toilet or a basic electric toilet on which a hose connects the pump to the back of the bowl, it needs to be installed between the pump and the bowl NOT between the thru-hull and pump.... and should be at least 6-8" above waterline at any angle of heel...which will obviously require replacing the short piece of hose the toilet mfr used with two pieces long enough put the loop up where it belongs. You'll need an air valve, aka "vacuum breaker" in the loop (see photo)...they're often sold separately.

However, if your toilet an all-china "throne" that doesn't have that short connecting hose, the vented loop has to be install in the intake line between the thru-hull and the toilet. THAT requires an electric solenoid valve wired to the flush button that closes the air valve to let the toilet prime, opens it to let air into the line to kill the siphon. Jabsco sells the solenoid valve...it's part # 37068-0000 This from Jabsco should educate you on how to install it: http://www.xylemflowcontrol.com/file...noid_valve.pdf
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Old 20-02-2016, 17:08   #5
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Re: Sea water filling toilet bowl...

Thanks Peg. You confirmed my suspicions. Time to shop for the needed parts.
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Old 20-02-2016, 19:27   #6
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Re: Sea water filling toilet bowl...

Are you sure the bowl is filling from the (smaller) supply hose and not the (bigger) waste hose?? The waste hose problem is much more common.
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Old 20-02-2016, 20:08   #7
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Re: Sea water filling toilet bowl...

He said the bowl fills with sea water and the flow stops when he closes the intake thru-hull. I think that pretty much rules back flow from the toilet discharge hose.
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Old 21-02-2016, 02:02   #8
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Re: Sea water filling toilet bowl...

When was the last time you rebuilt the pump? Try getting a jabsco rebuild kit and replace the internals and see if that helps. These things don't last forever you know.
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Old 21-02-2016, 09:10   #9
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Re: Sea water filling toilet bowl...

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
It's not time to replace anything. Whoever installed the toilet(s) neglected to install a vented loop in the intake...something that's needed on any toilet installed at or below the waterline.

On a manual toilet or a basic electric toilet on which a hose connects the pump to the back of the bowl, it needs to be installed between the pump and the bowl NOT between the thru-hull and pump.... and should be at least 6-8" above waterline at any angle of heel...which will obviously require replacing the short piece of hose the toilet mfr used with two pieces long enough put the loop up where it belongs. You'll need an air valve, aka "vacuum breaker" in the loop (see photo)...they're often sold separately.

However, if your toilet an all-china "throne" that doesn't have that short connecting hose, the vented loop has to be install in the intake line between the thru-hull and the toilet. THAT requires an electric solenoid valve wired to the flush button that closes the air valve to let the toilet prime, opens it to let air into the line to kill the siphon. Jabsco sells the solenoid valve...it's part # 37068-0000 This from Jabsco should educate you on how to install it: http://www.xylemflowcontrol.com/file...noid_valve.pdf
If it was never a problem for the previous owner, there are 3 possibilities I can envision:

1) The previous owner is lying.
2) The previous owner always closed the seawater intake valve while underway, opening only when the head is to be used. (Very good idea.)
3) The vented loop (if so equipped) plug is fouled.

I suggest the first step is to review the installation and determine if there is a vented loop. If so, investigate why it has stopped working. If not, install one as Peg suggests.

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Old 21-02-2016, 11:12   #10
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Re: Sea water filling toilet bowl...

Quote:
Originally Posted by KFuller View Post
We have a new-to-us Belize 43 catamaran that we are living on. She has two electric Jabsco heads that work great except the port head will eventually fill with sea water if the thru hull valve is left open. Closing the supply off stops the flow. The water will encroach into the bowl until just below the rim and stop (probably about sea level). Previous owner says this was not a problem in the 5 years he had the boat. I have considered extending the supply line to add an above sea level loop but wanted to see if anyone can tell me what the real cause could be. I am assuming something in the pump is allowing the bypass but cannot figure out what or how.

Thoughts? Suggestions?
Most likely causes; Worn inlet ball poppet valve; worn joker valve, plugged vent valve on discharge loop. All easily fixed at minimal cost.
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Old 21-02-2016, 12:57   #11
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Re: Sea water filling toilet bowl...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramblinrod View Post
If it was never a problem for the previous owner, there are 3 possibilities I can envision:

1) The previous owner is lying.
2) The previous owner always closed the seawater intake valve while underway, opening only when the head is to be used. (Very good idea.)
3) The vented loop (if so equipped) plug is fouled.
There is a 4th possibility: the PO never used this toilet--or, if they did, did what others do (but shouldn't): always used the shower head or a cup to supply flush water in a misguided attempt to avoid sea water intake odor.

And it just occurred to me that in doing that, they MAY have fried the toilet intake impeller...so the first time the intake seacock was opened, nothing blocking the flow of water...which makes stlll another case for a vented loop, but that may not be the only thing that needs correcting.
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Old 21-02-2016, 13:15   #12
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Re: Sea water filling toilet bowl...

We have the exact same problem on our Schionning Wilderness 1100. The system was installed on build (by me) two years ago and never had a problem until about a year ago. I had worked out that over a period of a several hours the seawater was seeping though the pump until it almost lapped the bottom of the rim. Level stabilised at outside water level. Put it down to symphoning through the pump as components begging to wear with use. Thought about a siphon breaker on inlet from sea cock pump but wouldn't work as pump would prefer to suck air.
Peggy nailed it. (Thanks for passing on your expertise)
We need a syphonbreaker between pump and bowl. Don't think there would be a problem with internal components of pump yet as everything else is still functioning more than satisfacturaly.
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Old 21-02-2016, 15:00   #13
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Re: Sea water filling toilet bowl...

Could someone (maybe PegHall) point me to a general guide to marine sanitation systems, please. I recently bought a cruising sailboat (DownEaster 38) which has a system installed which seems to have all the right stuff, but I am not sure it is hooked up properly. There is a manual head, anti-siphon loop, two Y valves, holding tank an plenty of hoses. I am tempted to take it all apart for cleaning, etc, but want to be sure I put it back together properly.
Thanks in advance
Bob
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Old 21-02-2016, 16:00   #14
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Re: Sea water filling toilet bowl...

The first thing you need is the owners manual for your make/model toilet. That will include drawings showing how it and the rest of the system should have been installed.

It shouldn't be necessary to take anything apart to clean it, only to "rebuild," remove or replace worn or failed parts in toilets and pumps. Muriatic acid--available from any hardware store--will clean even the worst sea water mineral buildup out of hoses and toilets. Replacement is the ONLY cure for stinky hoses...a strong solution of detergent and water is all that's needed to clean out a holding tank.

And while I freely admit to being highly prejudiced, I think most people will agree that my own book is the most complete guide to marine sanitation systems. The complete title is "Get Rid of Boat Odors--A Boat Owners Guide to Marine Sanitation Systems and Other Sources of Aggravation and Odor" The vendor at this link includes the table of contents in its listing:
The New Get Rid of Boat Odors
Also available in both print and kindle from Amazon:
www.amazon.com/New-Get-Rid-Boat-Odors/dp/1892399784/

(Thanks for giving me the opportunity to give it a shameless plug!)

And I am always glad to answer any questions it doesn't, here or via email.
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Old 21-02-2016, 19:42   #15
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Re: Sea water filling toilet bowl...

Peg,

I've got a question for you. We have two Lavec toilets, they both have vented loops on both the intake water and waste water hoses. They both fill with sea water, not effluent. Lid up.

Does this mean the vented loops are not working properly?

How do I fix them, can they just be cleaned?

(PS just found my copy of your book today but didn't think to look this up.)
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