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Old 20-01-2013, 11:44   #1
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Silicon for heads. has anyone heard of this?

My motor home friend suggested that I use silicon in the head. oil is not good for rubber. He said the silicon protects the rubber parts, promotes a smooth surface throughout the system. This should help keep the hoses from going bad and smelling. Does anyone have experience with this? Thanks, Carole/eye can sail
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Old 20-01-2013, 15:39   #2
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Re: Silicon for heads. has anyone heard of this?

G'Day Carole, and welcome to CF!

As to your query -- I assume that you really mean silicone, not "silicon" which is a mineral element. One has to wonder which of the thousands of silicone based compounds your friend means, how he proposes to introduce it to your MSD system, what he thinks the effect upon the holding tank might be or, if a straight through system, what the effects upon your local environment might be.

Many people routinely flush vegetable oil through marine heads, both to lubricate the pumps and perhaps do something magic to prevent salt buildup in the hoses. The practice has mixed reviews amongst cruisers. Substituting silicone based oil (likely what your friend is proposing) would replicate the lubrication, perhaps improve upon it, but would have an unknown effect on conditions in the holding tank. I rather doubt that it would somehow attach itself to the internal surfaces of the plumbing and "promote a smooth surface throughout". Many silicone oils have a specific gravity greater than one and are not miscible with water, so would tend to pool in the bottom of a tank and just lie there.

Frankly, I would view this practice with great doubt.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 20-01-2013, 15:51   #3
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Re: Silicon for heads. has anyone heard of this?

Truly we just put one drop of Euclyptus oil in the toilet after each use, it's not enough to hurt hoses or rubbers.

When we leave the boat for a week we drain and flush the holding tank through and add a teaspoon of oil to the tank.

Twelve months latter we still have NO SMELLS and the heads work fine. Try it, it's cheaper than Dunny Deoderant and works.....
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Old 20-01-2013, 15:52   #4
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Re: Silicon for heads. has anyone heard of this?

Just cook with lots of olive oil.
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Old 20-01-2013, 21:33   #5
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Re: Silicon for heads. has anyone heard of this?

I'm in the camp of no oil in the toilet. The idea of pouring oil in a toilet dates back to when marine toilets used leather cups to seal their pistons to the cylinder wall. The leather could absorb some of the oil and be lubricated for some time. This was also before the days of holding tanks.
With todays o-ring pistons the oil just washes out after a few flushes. I don't know what it does to a holding tank but an oil slick in the tank can't be good. My guess is that it cuts off the oxygen and kills the good bacteria.
Jabsco recommends greasing the inside of their manual toilets with Vaseline. I've always used a grease that says it won't harm rubber, usually silicone grease.
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Old 20-01-2013, 22:30   #6
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Re: Silicon for heads. has anyone heard of this?

Lot's of discussion on CF on this subject in the past. Start here:

Lubricating the Head Pump

Before she sadly retired the "Head Mistress" - Peggy Hall - was the guru for all boat owners about heads. She recommends using SuperLube as the only right choice to keep a modern marine toilet pumping smoothly. She also has advice on smells, hoses, tanks, etc. She literally wrote the book on it. Look for that on Amazon.

Search for PegHall on CF and you'll find every answer you'll ever needs about heads.

I've followed all her advice when I rebuilt my sanitation system and have been completely satisfied.

JR
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Old 21-01-2013, 04:42   #7
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Re: Silicon for heads. has anyone heard of this?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Carole.
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Old 21-01-2013, 06:07   #8
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Re: Silicon for heads. has anyone heard of this?

I use silicone grease regularly. My Jabasco manual head's piston gland unscrews in 10 seconds; I lube the seal with grease on my (gloved) finger. Works like a charm keeping pumping effort to a minimum.
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