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Old 01-01-2013, 09:00   #1
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Seawater Inflow To Toilet Clogged

This morning, hand pump on toilet would not pump in any seawater for flush. Worked fime last night. We are moored in grassy area, so assumed problem was grass clogging intake line through seacock? Went unfer with snorkle gear and got wire up intake hole about 2 inches. Best I could do with current. Still not pumping in seawater. Could just be clogged higher up line? Suggestions for a solution?
Also, if not clogged in seawater line, I suppose it could be the toilet hand pump gone bad? Raritan manual toilet. Are there valves, bladders, gaskets in the pump that would cause it not to pump seawater?
Any advice or suggestions are very welcome.
Thanks in advance.
JEdward
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:03   #2
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Assume seacock/thru-hull is open..... Might try closing it and disconnecting hose at thru hull and see if it is blocked between thru- hull and toilet.... If not get on your diving gear.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:28   #3
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Re: Seawater Inflow To Toilet Clogged

Quote:
Originally Posted by JEdward View Post
This morning, hand pump on toilet would not pump in any seawater for flush. Worked fime last night. We are moored in grassy area, so assumed problem was grass clogging intake line through seacock? Went unfer with snorkle gear and got wire up intake hole about 2 inches. Best I could do with current. Still not pumping in seawater. Could just be clogged higher up line? Suggestions for a solution?
Also, if not clogged in seawater line, I suppose it could be the toilet hand pump gone bad? Raritan manual toilet. Are there valves, bladders, gaskets in the pump that would cause it not to pump seawater?
Any advice or suggestions are very welcome.
Thanks in advance.
JEdward
Hopefully you have a raw water strainer between the thru-hull and the toilet. If not, you should install one, even a small strainer will do. If you have, in fact, injested grass, disconnect the line between the thru-hull and the toilet and run a snake through it (one can make a "snake" by simply spiraling the end of an un-bent wire coat hanger around a small dowl for a few inches). With the hose removed you'll also be able to tell whether any debris has made its way to the pump (it doesn't take much to keep the discharge flapper from seating). If the line and toilet valves are clear, reconnect the hose to your through hull, extend it vertically above the water line, open the through-hull and jamb the bell end of your pressurized gas airhorn over the hose end and give the horn a few prolonged blasts. The gass pressure through the hose will blow just about anything out of the hose/through-hull fitting. (BTDT) Then close the through-hull and reconnect your hose and you should be good to go. (The foregoing takes onger to explain than to actually do.)

FWIW...
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:30   #4
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Re: Seawater Inflow To Toilet Clogged

Is the pump handle hard to move in one direction? If it is then it's likely that you have a clogged inlet. If it isn't then it's likely a stuck or failed valve in the pump.

Which model Raritan? Manuals are online. They have exploded views to show you how it works.

Troubleshooting involves isolating where the problem lies. Disconnect the inlet at the pump, hold the hose below the waterline to see if there is flow, and/or connect a short hose to the head in a bucket to see if the pump works.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:32   #5
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Re: Seawater Inflow To Toilet Clogged

Add an inlet strainer. Grass is a problem in some areas I sail too. You don't nee the winterization valve.

The clogging is almost always inside the pump, which is the reason for the stainer; it's a large pain. Place the strainer somewhere easy to reach. It is also above the waterline.

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Old 01-01-2013, 10:47   #6
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Re: Seawater Inflow To Toilet Clogged

I had a similar issue. The valve seat had failed.
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Old 06-01-2013, 10:39   #7
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Re: Seawater Inflow To Toilet Clogged

Ladies and Gents . . .
. . . who responded to my clogged toilet seawater inflow question, thanks you. This is first opportunity online to respond. Writing response from my phone is very slow and difficult.
Results/Actions: Sitting in our current very grassy mooring area, the inflow line now has magically started working again, and the stopped, again, several times. That just reinforces the clog of grass, I assume.
Sadly, getting to the toilet seawater seacock on this boat takes a very small person who also is a contortionist. Upon attempting, I was reminded that I was in big trouble if I ever had to hammer a wood wedge into the seacock if there was a failure! Scary.
No, there is no strainer in the line, and I now will install one. But, getting to the seacock . . . ?
To: thinwater . . .thanks for the pix, perfect installation, and I am very envious at the spacious area in which you had to install the strainer! Nice.
I will next try to look up diagrams on the Raritan site.
BUT, are there any things I should check . . . and which I can correct . . . without closing the seacock? Perhaps there is a partial solution until I can tackle the strainer installation?

Again, many thanks.

JEdward
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Old 06-01-2013, 11:01   #8
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Re: Seawater Inflow To Toilet Clogged

I don't feel that grass is clogging the intake and then unclogging. I am more inclined to believe that the pump is the problem.

For a temp fix you could run a line to the head from a different location and put a plug in the current hose.

Next time it wouldn't pump, take the inlet water line off at the head itself and see if water flows out if you hold it a level below the water line. The boat isn't going to sink from this, but have small plug on hand to plug it if needed.

Long term not only do you need to install a strainer, you need to move your intake to a place that you can get too! Next time I need to mess around with my inlet I'm going to tee the intake to the sink drain line. That way I can flush the line with fresh water etc by shutting the valve, pouring water into the sink, and pumping the head.
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Old 06-01-2013, 11:08   #9
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Re: Seawater Inflow To Toilet Clogged

It's either the pump or the inlet is clogged. Try back flushing it to eliminate that possibility. If it flows freely out then it is not clogged and the problem is your pump. Also, get a good sized internal strainer that is inside the boat where you can access it without having to go for a swim as soon as you can.
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