Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 10-08-2007, 09:11   #1
Sponsoring Vendor

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Port Alberni, BC Canada
Boat: Uniflite 31, 1973
Posts: 128
Images: 1
Tip for Vacu-Flush Air Leaks

A tip for locating vacuum leaks in Vacu-Flush head installations:

Check the obvious, of course - hose clamps, bottom bowl seal, duckbill valves. If it loses water from the bowl, the bowl seal needs cleaning or a service kit.

Turn the vacuum pump off; Hold the pedal down until the water fills into the bowl and release it. Turn the pump on for 30 seconds, then switch it off; Go all along the plumbing and listen - air leakage will make a bubbling noise inside the hose. A mechanic's stethescope can be very useful for this.

At this point, if you haven't found the leak(s), it's either the o-ring on the pedal shaft, or the one on the vacuum tank switch ass'y, or the vacuum switch diaphragm.
__________________
Experience develops good judgment; bad judgement develops experience.
EngNate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2013, 13:17   #2
Registered User
 
Dreaming Yachtsman's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Kennewick, WA
Posts: 490
Images: 5
Send a message via Skype™ to Dreaming Yachtsman
Re: Tip for Vacu-Flush air leaks

Quote:
Originally Posted by EngNate View Post
At this point, if you haven't found the leak(s), it's either the o-ring on the pedal shaft, or the one on the vacuum tank switch ass'y, or the vacuum switch diaphragm.
By "o-ring on the pedal shaft", do you mean the "SPRING CARTRIDGE", item12 in the parts list on p. 15 of the manual? Is there an O-ring in that cartridge that can be replaced?

Redid all the hose connections between the pump and vacuum tank then used a stethoscope as suggested but could hear no bubbling. Toilet still loses enough vacuum to cycle the pump every few hours. This symptom started about 1 month ago. Previously the system had been tight (no pump cycling between flushes) for 9 years.
__________________

__________________
John
Formerly S/V Yachtsman's Dream
Go sailing now. Life is too short not to enjoy it.
Dreaming Yachtsman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2013, 13:51   #3
Registered User
 
wingless's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Boat: 2000 Searay 380 Sundancer
Posts: 487
Re: Tip for Vacu-Flush air leaks

How do the duckbill valves look?

When they are installed are the fittings snug or tight?


Does the bowl lose water over time?


On mine, the waste line has a PVC pipe that is a slip fit into a grommet on the vacuum generator. If that leaks, then the pump will cycle.
__________________
2000 SeaRay 380 Sundancer Mercruiser
454 MAG MPI Horizon 380hp / Westerbeke 7.0KW BCGB
many cool mods
wingless is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2013, 14:01   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Vancouver, BC
Boat: Alberg 30
Posts: 344
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming Yachtsman View Post

By "o-ring on the pedal shaft", do you mean the "SPRING CARTRIDGE", item12 in the parts list on p. 15 of the manual? Is there an O-ring in that cartridge that can be replaced?

Redid all the hose connections between the pump and vacuum tank then used a stethoscope as suggested but could hear no bubbling. Toilet still loses enough vacuum to cycle the pump every few hours. This symptom started about 1 month ago. Previously the system had been tight (no pump cycling between flushes) for 9 years.
The cartridge connects to a shaft that connects to the ball under the toilet bowl brass or plastic. Did you replace the ball, spring cartridge etc? They usually come together as a kit. Lubricate o-ring on shaft before assembly. I use a thick silicone grease, just a smear.
Is the vacuum tank an all in one with the pump and rectangular, or the style with a separate cylindrical tank? We see more failures and leaks around the vacuum switch on those.
One easy way to isolate, pull hose off toilet, use a sea land fitting glued in a pvc ball valve.
Let the system build vacuum. No cycling? It's the toilet. Still cycling? It's the pump/tank/hoses.
Easier and faster to hire someone with the correct vacuum gauge for testing, but it's kinda expensive if you're only repairing a single toilet system where many of the parts you might throw at the problem should likely be replaced anyways. E.x the shaft which can corrode badly and fill the system with corroded brass
__________________
jgbrown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2013, 14:02   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Vancouver, BC
Boat: Alberg 30
Posts: 344
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming Yachtsman View Post

By "o-ring on the pedal shaft", do you mean the "SPRING CARTRIDGE", item12 in the parts list on p. 15 of the manual? Is there an O-ring in that cartridge that can be replaced?

Redid all the hose connections between the pump and vacuum tank then used a stethoscope as suggested but could hear no bubbling. Toilet still loses enough vacuum to cycle the pump every few hours. This symptom started about 1 month ago. Previously the system had been tight (no pump cycling between flushes) for 9 years.
The cartridge connects to a shaft that connects to the ball under the toilet bowl brass or plastic. Did you replace the ball, spring cartridge etc? They usually come together as a kit. Lubricate o-ring on shaft before assembly. I use a thick silicone grease, just a smear.
Is the vacuum tank an all in one with the pump and rectangular, or the style with a separate cylindrical tank? We see more failures and leaks around the vacuum switch on those.
One easy way to isolate, pull hose off toilet, use a sea land fitting glued in a pvc ball valve.
Let the system build vacuum. No cycling? It's the toilet. Still cycling? It's the pump/tank/hoses. Move to the tank, repeat. Don't try this past the tank, as the switch is then disabled.

Easier and faster to hire someone with the correct vacuum gauge for testing, but it's kinda expensive if you're only repairing a single toilet system where many of the parts you might throw at the problem should likely be replaced anyways. E.x the shaft which can corrode badly and fill the system with corroded brass chunks and grit.
__________________
jgbrown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2013, 14:31   #6
Registered User
 
Dreaming Yachtsman's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Kennewick, WA
Posts: 490
Images: 5
Send a message via Skype™ to Dreaming Yachtsman
Re: Tip for Vacu-Flush air leaks

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingless View Post
How do the duckbill valves look?

When they are installed are the fittings snug or tight?


Does the bowl lose water over time?


On mine, the waste line has a PVC pipe that is a slip fit into a grommet on the vacuum generator. If that leaks, then the pump will cycle.
Replaced all 4 duckbill valves.

All fittings are tight.

Bowl does not lose water.

All fittings here are hose clamp or threaded.
__________________
John
Formerly S/V Yachtsman's Dream
Go sailing now. Life is too short not to enjoy it.
Dreaming Yachtsman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2013, 15:00   #7
Registered User
 
wingless's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Boat: 2000 Searay 380 Sundancer
Posts: 487
Re: Tip for Vacu-Flush air leaks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming Yachtsman View Post
Replaced all 4 duckbill valves.

All fittings are tight.
The duckbill fittings should be snug-only. If they are tight, then they could deform.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming Yachtsman View Post
All fittings here are hose clamp or threaded.
Do you have an image of the fitting from the head to the vacuum generator?

All the ones I've seen look like below, w/ a slip fit on a 1" PVC pipe.

__________________
2000 SeaRay 380 Sundancer Mercruiser
454 MAG MPI Horizon 380hp / Westerbeke 7.0KW BCGB
many cool mods
wingless is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2013, 18:46   #8
Registered User
 
Dreaming Yachtsman's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Kennewick, WA
Posts: 490
Images: 5
Send a message via Skype™ to Dreaming Yachtsman
Re: Tip for Vacu-Flush Air Leaks

Wingless,
Your image shows exactly how our starboard Vacu-Flush is plumbed. The port one, however, is a bit different in that the pump sits beside the tank in a "low-profile" configuration. The input and output fittings are the same, though, hose over the PVC pipe. I cannot get to the fitting on the bottom of the toilet without destroying the base the toilet is mounted on.

This picture shows the mess of hoses and pipes:

The question still remains, is there an O-ring in the shaft cartridge that can be replaced? We are 400 miles from a Vacu-Flush dealer.
__________________
John
Formerly S/V Yachtsman's Dream
Go sailing now. Life is too short not to enjoy it.
Dreaming Yachtsman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2013, 20:01   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Vancouver, BC
Boat: Alberg 30
Posts: 344
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming Yachtsman View Post
Wingless,
Your image shows exactly how our starboard Vacu-Flush is plumbed. The port one, however, is a bit different in that the pump sits beside the tank in a "low-profile" configuration. The input and output fittings are the same, though, hose over the PVC pipe. I cannot get to the fitting on the bottom of the toilet without destroying the base the toilet is mounted on.

This picture shows the mess of hoses and pipes:

The question still remains, is there an O-ring in the shaft cartridge that can be replaced? We are 400 miles from a Vacu-Flush dealer.
Yes there is. Remove toilet bowl, remove spring cartridge, rotate ball open, plug output hole inside toilet with paper towel. Rotate ball totally upside down(I use an adjustable wrench on the square part of the shaft). Remove Philips screw, push shaft into upside down ball valve(may shed lots of corroded metal, the reason for paper towel in hole below).

Edit: look for 'rotor shaft' included in sealand kit 385318162

Just rolled out an o ring on a spare shaft, diameter of shaft in groove under o ring is 0.375"
Outside diameter of o ring off the shaft is about 0.513"
Thickness 0.067". Measurements are as close as I can get with a squishy o ring. Should get you close enough to buy some to try.
Shaft uses 2. Silicone grease on both.
__________________
jgbrown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2013, 13:35   #10
Registered User
 
Dreaming Yachtsman's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Kennewick, WA
Posts: 490
Images: 5
Send a message via Skype™ to Dreaming Yachtsman
Re: Tip for Vacu-Flush Air Leaks

Because both Vacu-Flush units on board are leaking, I decided to spring for a vacuum test guage which comes with a detailed flow chart for isolating a leak. Inserting the plug into various openings determines whether the leak is upstream or downstream of the plug. Start by placing the plug in the 1" orifice in the bottom of the toilet bowl to rule out the flush ball. Then work your way towards the vacuum tank.

Of course I neglected to read the instructions before pulling the hose off the inlet to the vacuum tank, thereby "splitting the system" as recommended by jgbrown a couple of posts ago. At this point, my new vacuum guage has not dropped a needle width in 1.5 hours so the leak is obviously on the toilet side, probably an O-ring on the ball shaft. I'll check that location tomorrow.
__________________
John
Formerly S/V Yachtsman's Dream
Go sailing now. Life is too short not to enjoy it.
Dreaming Yachtsman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2013, 14:44   #11
Registered User
 
Dreaming Yachtsman's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Kennewick, WA
Posts: 490
Images: 5
Send a message via Skype™ to Dreaming Yachtsman
Re: Tip for Vacu-Flush Air Leaks

The leak was through the flush shaft O-rings. Installed a new flush ball and shaft kit (Dometic P/N 385318162) and the pump hasn't cycled for over 8 hours.

Also replaced all four duckbill valves in the other unit and its pump has stopped cycling as well.
__________________

__________________
John
Formerly S/V Yachtsman's Dream
Go sailing now. Life is too short not to enjoy it.
Dreaming Yachtsman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
flushing, leaks, paracelle

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Troubleshooting Vacuflush SV Demeter Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 53 27-11-2017 09:12
Portable Generator Air Conditioner Setup. Mike w Multihull Sailboats 32 11-07-2015 08:09
Adding water cooling to Adler Barbour Supercold Machine Gary H Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 17 13-12-2012 13:13
The Right Way to Run a Diesel off-the-grid Engines and Propulsion Systems 80 09-12-2012 19:06
Using a Plunger on Vacuflush Bob51 Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 18 20-01-2012 21:20



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:43.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.