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Old 29-08-2011, 10:07   #31
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Re: The Best Marine Toilet

The Raritan PH II is an outstanding MANUAL toilet, but adding a motor to it--or any other manual toilet--turns it into a horrible excuse for an electric toilet.

The motor only replaces the pump handle..the pump is still a manual pump that--unlike macerating electric toilets--still requires all the maintenance needed by a manual toilet, in fact even more...because the motor pumps the toilet much faster, and with a much shorter stroke than pumping manually, which causes it to take longer to prime and therefore wears out the rubber o-rings etc much faster...and also causes the toilet to "choke" on flushes that deliberate pumping manually can push through. It also has a high amperage draw than most electric toilets. I know a lot of people who've added the motor who wish they hadn't...who've opted to disconnect it again permanently and put the pump handle back on. Unfortunately, the PHE II also costs more than basic macerating electric toilets.

But for some reason sailors want to have it both ways--the "push button convenience" of an electric toilet that can be converted to manual in the event of a catastrophic power failure. But there's no REAL advantage to that...'cuz if you don't have enough power to flush an electric toilet, you don't have enough to power nav equipment, lights, communication equipment or anything else either and a LOT more on your mind to worry about than whether you can flush the bloomin' toilet...but you DO still have a bucket! So whether you can flush a toilet or have to resort to using the bucket is the LEAST of your worries!

If you want a manual toilet, the PH II is an excellent choice...but if you want an electric toilet, go with one that's designed to BE an electric toilet from the ground up, not a "hybrid."
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Old 29-08-2011, 10:23   #32
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Re: The Best Marine Toilet

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Originally Posted by peghall View Post
The Raritan PH II is an outstanding MANUAL toilet, but adding a motor to it--or any other manual toilet--turns it into a horrible excuse for an electric toilet.

The motor only replaces the pump handle..the pump is still a manual pump that--unlike macerating electric toilets--still requires all the maintenance needed by a manual toilet, in fact even more...because the motor pumps the toilet much faster, and with a much shorter stroke than pumping manually, which causes it to take longer to prime and therefore wears out the rubber o-rings etc much faster...and also causes the toilet to "choke" on flushes that deliberate pumping manually can push through. It also has a high amperage draw than most electric toilets. I know a lot of people who've added the motor who wish they hadn't...who've opted to disconnect it again permanently and put the pump handle back on. Unfortunately, the PHE II also costs more than basic macerating electric toilets.

But for some reason sailors want to have it both ways--the "push button convenience" of an electric toilet that can be converted to manual in the event of a catastrophic power failure. But there's no REAL advantage to that...'cuz if you don't have enough power to flush an electric toilet, you don't have enough to power nav equipment, lights, communication equipment or anything else either and a LOT more on your mind to worry about than whether you can flush the bloomin' toilet...but you DO still have a bucket! So whether you can flush a toilet or have to resort to using the bucket is the LEAST of your worries!

If you want a manual toilet, the PH II is an excellent choice...but if you want an electric toilet, go with one that's designed to BE an electric toilet from the ground up, not a "hybrid."
Or design the best for your particular situation/vessel rather than use a universal, off the shelf setup. Not saying don't start with parts that come off the shelf...just design/install it to fit your boat...rather than use the same old mentality/engineering for the last 100 years.
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Old 29-08-2011, 10:55   #33
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Re: The Best Marine Toilet

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Or design the best for your particular situation/vessel rather than use a universal, off the shelf setup. Not saying don't start with parts that come off the shelf...just design/install it to fit your boat...rather than use the same old mentality/engineering for the last 100 years.
"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius, and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." --Albert Einstein

Unfortunately there are far more intelligent fools than geniuses among those who attempt to design their own!
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Old 29-08-2011, 10:56   #34
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Re: The Best Marine Toilet

I'm 2 for 2 on Jabsco manuals. Experience with two toilets and both were pieces of crap, pardon the pun. Life is too short -- I went with a Raritan PHII a few years ago and have experienced problem-free marine sanitation ever since!
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Old 29-08-2011, 11:14   #35
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Re: The Best Marine Toilet

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Originally Posted by peghall View Post
"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius, and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." --Albert Einstein

Unfortunately there are far more intelligent fools than geniuses among those who attempt to design their own!
There's a lot of scientists out there starting to think Einstein was wrong!!!

Plus the RV industry has been doing just fine for as long as the Marine industry...maybe longer...maybe it's time for the Marine industry to catch up...
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Old 29-08-2011, 16:03   #36
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Re: The Best Marine Toilet

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Originally Posted by peghall View Post
The Raritan PH II is an outstanding MANUAL toilet, but adding a motor to it--or any other manual toilet--turns it into a horrible excuse for an electric toilet. . . .
Which is quite the opposite from my experience with the PHE II. I have one in my forward head used several times a day for the last 10+ years in the Bahamas and Caribbean with no failures or problems except for having to replace the joker valve once. On the other hand, I use a fresh water flush system in my boat so the heads never sees salt water.
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Old 29-08-2011, 18:11   #37
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Re: The Best Marine Toilet

Interesting discussion. I think we all have an interest in this matter, because if the toilet goes wrong it is not going to help your day.So far our newish electric Jabsco is going well. I treat her well, because I don't want her to become difficult. If I had to replace her, I think I would go for a Lavac (one of Peg's choices) which is manual, but prior experience leads me in that direction. I like the idea of the great big bilge pump which drives them. Plenty of slurp and no fiddly pieces. From experience, the only warning I would issue to people is to avoid a cheap toilet called a TMC, in the manual version. These are built to fail. I pulled the pump assembly apart once, to see why it performed so poorly. The whole thing hinges on a tiny "O" ring running in the pump housing. With the friction applied by salt water, it immediately (within hours) jumps out of its guides. It needs the addition of oil to the toilet to work at all. I don't know why these are sold. However, the TMC electric toilet, which is also cheapish, seems to work well. I have a friend who has had one in his boat for years without trouble. Why do I call the head a "her". Don't know, it was unconscious. I think maybe it's because to perform as required, she needs pampering, attention and TLC.
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Old 01-06-2012, 17:45   #38
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Re: The Best Marine Toilet

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I know Peggy really hates the Jabsco electric toilets but for the money, they aren't bad. You should get several years service out of it if you follow the rule about eating anything you put in it first. You can even use toilet paper that you haven't eaten first! When it does fail you can replace the whole motor pump assembly for about $160.00 ( Jabsco 37041-0010 Toilet Motor / Pump Assembly 12 v. ) or you can rebuild it even cheaper. Raritan makes fine toilets and you can't go wrong with any of their products. Eric, I've never heard anyone call a Raritan PHII a "Cheapo" toilet! Throwing one away every year is just silly. Have them throw them my way! If hoses are clogging, it's because people don't flush enough water through the toilet to get the poop all the way through the hose. This applies to the Levac as well. The old Wilcox Skipper was the toilet all marine toilets should be compared to. It had a piston at least 3 inches in diameter and a shaft about an inch in diameter. It was way overbuilt. The only manual toilet in production today that comes close is the Groco model K. This toilet has been in production for over thirty years. The price has gone up but the quality hasn't gone down. I've had my Groco K for over twenty years. I suppose I'll have to put a second repair kit into it pretty soon. A rebuild every ten years or so isn't bad. If I were shopping for a toilet today, I'd probably buy a Raritan PHII Manual or a SeaEra Electric, best bang for the buck. What ever toilet you have, don't go putting any type of oil in it. The toilets are designed to not need lubrication and oil just causes trouble in the long run. Acid including vinegar won't help either, dilute vinegar probably won't hurt if you feel you must put something in there. The best thing you can do for your sanitation system is to flush long enough to get clean water through the whole system after every use. An occasional fresh water flush is a very good thing as well. If you look for toilet threads on this forum you will find a description of a very easy way to flush with fresh water by using the sink drain as a source of fresh water. I think Peggy invented the method and I'm sure she would be glad to answer any questions.
If anyone is in the market for a new Jabsco, Raritan, or Groco toilet, I'd love the chance to quote you on it.
I totally agree. I find Jabsco to be excellent for the money you pay.
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Old 01-06-2012, 20:19   #39
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Up front cost of a sealand vacu flush may seem high. In my opinion it is a luxury that pays off in spades. I have never sailed so many miles with various crew and had no issue. Year after year it goes on working not a single yuck moment. It's better then my home toilet .
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Old 21-06-2012, 19:01   #40
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Re: The Best Marine Toilet

Look at the spareparts kit of ANY of these suggestions. Count the parts: the gaskets, o-rings, leather seals, springs, screws, etc. Then look at the spares kit for the Lavac (AKA Baby Blake): silicone seal under the toilet seat and one for the toilet cap, oh yeah, and a diaphragm for the bilge pump and two simple rubber flapper valves. No contest.
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Old 21-06-2012, 19:35   #41
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Re: The Best Marine Toilet

One word. Lavac. Enough said. No contest.
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Old 21-06-2012, 20:51   #42
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Re: The Best Marine Toilet

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The old designs are sometimes the best. This is the "seat of ease" at the bow of the Endeavour replica. It has never clogged and best used when running downwind.

TRUE!!!!!! And the BEST PART is one never has to listen to his wife scream "YOU FORGOT TO PUT THE SEAT DOWN!!"
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Old 21-06-2012, 23:00   #43
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Re: The Best Marine Toilet

I saw one built into the windvane self steering the other day, just a circle of stainless out to the side. I guess that and the bucket seem to be the most foolproof, but my shyness makes me use a Lavac when there are other people around...
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Old 22-06-2012, 09:48   #44
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Re: The Best Marine Toilet

Peggie Hall (bless her) sent me a private message to assist me in avoiding embarrassment. The Baby Blake is not a LAVAC. Mea maxima culpa. How could I do this?
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Old 22-06-2012, 13:38   #45
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Re: The Best Marine Toilet

I wonder if an adaptation of this concept would be acceptable in areas outside of Florida?

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