One big thumbs up for the Lavac. Past equipment
surveys by the SSCA put the Lavac in a category of its own as a result of the positive responses. I had an awful Simpson-Lawrence head before I switched to a Lavac, which was a huge relief (pun intended).
The Lavac is so simple there is little to break. In fact, other than the normal wear and tear on the pump, the only thing known to break is the seat cover; it is not made to sit upon, so don't sit upon it! Also, don't try to force it open after flushing
; wait until the vacuum subsides. The pump is a standard 1 1/2" bilge pump
(and in a pinch could be replaced with any generic 1 1/2" bilge
pump). One of the great things about this design is that the pump is separate from the bowl and mounted above it (or at least should be mounted above it). So if the pump fails to work (never happened to me in a dozen years of use) then the sewage remains in the bowl while the pump is repaired or replaced. There is no need to touch the bowl to work on the pump. Every other head that I can think of has the pump below or beside the bowl, so working on the pump will drain the bowl. Yes, it is just as disgusting as it sounds. (Please don't ask how I know - I have almost forgotten about those days.) In any event, I have rebuilt the pump twice in a dozen years of (mostly single) use; nothing else has needed repair/replacement. That is hard to beat.
My only gripe is the price
. The Lavac used to be cheap
. After all, there isn't much to it: a bowl with seat and cover, and a stock bilge pump
. That was when the price had some relationship to the cost. These days it is expensive as it is priced to its "value". Thanks marketing