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Old 14-11-2010, 15:26   #1
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Toilet Backwash - WHY ?

We have a Wilcox Crittenden manual toilet. After pumping the bowl clear (with many, many pumps and lots of water), I will return later to find urine backwashed into the bowl. Is this a symptom that it's time to rebuild the unit? (just did that last year).
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Old 14-11-2010, 15:30   #2
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You need a vented loop! See link........ Installing a Head by Don Casey
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Old 14-11-2010, 15:32   #3
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It could be that the joker valve is no longer sealing allowing the effluent to backflow into the bowl. The rebuild kits contain a joker valve AFAIK.
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Old 14-11-2010, 17:49   #4
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Thanks for the suggestion ... but we do have a vented loop.
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Old 14-11-2010, 17:56   #5
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Is this going into a tank or overboard?
If a tank then maybe the tank vent is plugged causing the expanded liquid to back up (If the tank is full).

Or the choker valve, mentioned above, is not closing.
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Old 14-11-2010, 18:10   #6
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There could be a partial blockage in the outlet line. Does it happen when going to the holding tank and overboard?

If you have a holding tank, is it empty?
Is the Y valve in the proper position?
When was the head serviced? A defective joker valve may not close all the way and the waste can return to the source.
When were the outlet hoses checked for unrestricted movement?
Is there some sort of blockage no one's told you about or did someone flush/drop something down the head they shouldn't have?? <<#1 reason for head problems for me
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Old 14-11-2010, 18:17   #7
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it's possible that removing your joker valve (yecch==) and cleaning it by soaking it in a vinegar solution to dissolve any salts will cure the backwash problem. if your head flush water is salty, the combination of salty water and uric acid can create buildups within the joker.
this cheap fix fixed my jabsco joker.
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Old 14-11-2010, 18:31   #8
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It is possible that something solid ie. paper or small object or urine crystals has lodged in the joker valve allowing the liquid in the two inch hose before the vent to flow backward into the bowl. If the vent were clogged the backflow could /would cause a syphon of sea water to occur.
If you have not been flushing a cup of distilled white viniger through the system on a regular basis. I'd bet on the cystals as these are formed when urine mixes with saltwater in a constrated amount..
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Old 14-11-2010, 18:33   #9
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my discovery was the vent line had to be absoulutley straight ,no drooping allowed, would relieve the pressure adequately. well it worked on mine once I figured it out,,,after the mt vesuvias of all time eruption,,,,,bad day..hope it helps...I eventually had enough of the games,and pulled the whole mess out, and replace the porta potty every year easier, but its on a 28 footer,,,for more permanent boats..mmmmmm
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Old 14-11-2010, 18:54   #10
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if you are a liveaboard/active cruiser, you should not expect your joker valve to last more than a year. It's an easy fix, even for someone such as myself with an active gag reflex.

There are two small, inexpensive, replaceable pieces of rubber that will keep you healthy and happy. A joker valve is one of them.
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Old 15-11-2010, 08:55   #11
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Question: are joker valves universal? or do I need to purchase one unique for my head?

THANKS FOR ALL THE QUICK REPLIES!!!!!!
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Old 15-11-2010, 09:10   #12
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I always purchase mine from the manufacturer of my heads.

One thing to realize is that the problem probably isn't with your head, it's with the design of your sanitation system. I have a friend whose holding tank is slightly higher than the head, which means he's constantly having to change joker vales to keep ahead of the same "backwash" problem you describe.

In other words, you'll probably want to order a bunch of joker valves if re-designing the sanitation system is not in the cards.
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