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Old 17-10-2011, 18:07   #1
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The Ultimate Head ?

Yes, I ran a search.

Choice: Lavac, Raritan, or Wilcox Skipper (rebuilt). All are within $150 in price. I want the very best foolproof manual head that uses the least amount of water.

The current Jabsco only lasts about two years before needing replacement.

Experienced comments please!

Thanks.
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Old 17-10-2011, 18:37   #2
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Re: The Ultimate Head?

I read everything I could find from owners a couple of years ago and decided the Lavac would be the next one but.........

Since then I think the company has been sold??

There have been some complaints about the lid sealing lately.

Don't know about the amount of water used by them.
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Old 17-10-2011, 18:41   #3
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Re: The Ultimate Head?

Natures head. Doesn't use water, foolproof, never needs a rebuild.
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Old 17-10-2011, 18:50   #4
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Re: The Ultimate Head?

Foolproof??? Ha ha ha ha ha...
Tried a sticker like this on the commode:
http://n5fdl.com/davids-blog/2008/9/...ire-bozos.html
Didn't work, but I have a Groco Series K. Not super thrifty on water, but it is harder to break than other heads...

Michael
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Old 17-10-2011, 19:12   #5
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Re: The Ultimate Head?

Never under estimate a determined fool.
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Old 17-10-2011, 19:15   #6
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The hose runs from head to tank or overboard is what dictates how much water is used You do not want poo hanging out in the hoses
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Old 17-10-2011, 19:16   #7
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Re: The Ultimate Head?

Put a Lavac in several years ago. Have not had to do anything to it since the install. It replaced a Wilcox Critterdon.
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Old 17-10-2011, 19:26   #8
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Re: The Ultimate Head?

Weeellll... Thetford-Norcold bought Wilcox a few years ago and promptly discontinued the Skipper and Imperial...then discontinued the whole W-C product line at the end of '08. Which means that the only repair parts you can still get for the Skipper are rebuild kits, and those won't be available by the time you're likely to need one.

That leaves a toss-up between the Lavac and the Raritan PH II...pick the one you like best.

OR...there's the Groco "Model K"...very pricy, but the only remaining bronze "throne" still made in the U.S. and worth every penny.

So go with the one that your budget likes best.
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Old 17-10-2011, 19:27   #9
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Re: The Ultimate Head?

Did you mean to post that to another thread?
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Old 17-10-2011, 20:08   #10
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Re: The Ultimate Head?

I have a Mansfield vacuflush( now Dometic or Sealand) installed in 1984 and still working great. I call that a reliable head.
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Old 17-10-2011, 20:23   #11
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Re: The Ultimate Head?

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 folks!
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Old 17-10-2011, 20:55   #12
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Re: The Ultimate Head?

Peggy/CarinaPDX

I see the Lavac is available as manual or electric - any suggestion as to which way to go? (pun accidental)

by the way, I bought your book Peggy. I bought it to ensure I had a good understanding of the system on my boat and then the surveyor used the head and the macerator didnt work (after originally working).

Looks like a second hand unit until we get boat back home and then its new head and going through all the other systems as per you book.

Thanks

Scott
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Old 17-10-2011, 21:22   #13
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Re: The Ultimate Head?

I hope Peggy takes this one - my only experience is with the manual pump, which as I noted is very reliable. It is really no big thing to pump a manual head. I suppose it is a small convenience to push a button and be able to walk away (and a small amount of electricity is used); for me, I always wait for the vacuum to subside and then lift the cover to determine if a brush is needed in the bowl, so I don't see an electric pump as a time advantage. (This bowl is particularly good at self-cleaning as it is circular - it is just a good habit.)

Thinking of it, the one minor niggle is that the round seat/bowl is a little tight compared to those that have a forward extension, if you get my drift. But they don't flush as clean.

Peggy?
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Old 17-10-2011, 22:36   #14
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Re: The Ultimate Head?

Another option is to just replace the pump on your Jabsco toilet every couple of years. You can buy a complete pump assembly for about sixty bucks: Jabsco Toilet Pump - 29040-3000
I really love the Skipper toilets but Peggy is right about parts availability. If you go for the Skipper, buy a couple of repair kits while you still can and it will outlast the boat. I once saw one that had been chrome plated. It was magnificent!
Of the current production toilets, The Groco K is my favorite with the Raritan PHII a close second. If you decide on a new Raritan or Groco, I would love the chance to quote you.
If you go with the Raritan PHII, you can save a few bucks by re-using your Jabsco bowl. It will fit the Raritan base.
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Old 18-10-2011, 07:38   #15
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Re: The Ultimate Head?

I'm not a fan of adding a motor to any manual toilet....it only turns a good manual toilet into a poor excuse for an electric toilet. If you want an electric toilet, go with one that's designed to BE an electric toilet.
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