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Old 01-04-2019, 08:37   #1
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Toilet issues

Hi, my wife and her crew are currently halfway across the Pacific enroute to Nuku Hiva, and I'm trying to do some research on various problems they're having. One of the most pressing is a problem with the Jabasco toilets. The symptom is that water/waste is not being sucked down into the tank, the motor operates, but the water just swirls around and shoots material out of the toilet. (Actually only one of them is completely inoperable, the other does slowly get it down). How would you diagnose this problem? I assume a clogged pipe somewhere in the system? Or the "joker" valve? Could it possibly be fixed without taking the boat out of the water? Any advice you can provide will be welcome!
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Old 01-04-2019, 08:57   #2
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Re: Toilet issues

Ok, are they pumping overboard or into a holding tank...or into a holding tank first and then overboard?
Almost all head (toilet) repairs can be done with the boat in the water. The one exception, if there is a problem with the discharge seacock, chances are good that will have to be fixed with the boat out of the water.
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:13   #3
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Re: Toilet issues

The "switch" from dry to wet bowl has repeatedly been reported to "stick." Have them look at that. Do they have the manual for the toilets with them?
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:24   #4
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Re: Toilet issues

Are they pumping into a tank? If so it sounds like the tank is full or the tank vent is blocked. Not knowing the system details all I can suggest is they try to figure out where one blockage could affect both toilets and start there.

This one’s going to be messy!
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:36   #5
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Re: Toilet issues

What brand and model boat is it?
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:36   #6
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Re: Toilet issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmckay123 View Post
The symptom is that water/waste is not being sucked down into the tank, the motor operates, but the water just swirls around and shoots material out of the toilet.
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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
The "switch" from dry to wet bowl has repeatedly been reported to "stick."
There is a Dry Flush option on a JAbsco Electric flush marine toilet? I've only ever seen these on manual flush marine toilets.

It sounds like the impeller is shot.
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Old 01-04-2019, 10:41   #7
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Re: Toilet issues

The symptom is that water/waste is not being sucked down into the tank, the motor operates, but the water just swirls around and shoots material out of the toilet.

That's a clear indication that something is creating back pressure that's pushing back against the bowl contents. If they're flushing into a tank, a blocked tank vent that's pressurized the system creating back pressure that won't let bowl contents go through is the most likely culprit.

If they're flushing directly overboard, it's a blockage in the plumbing. It could be sea water mineral buildup in discharge line that's reduced the diameter enough to create back pressure. In that case the joker valve in the toilet discharge fitting is likely to be so encrusted that it's become a blockage. (This could also be the case if they're flushing into a tank.)

The toilets are Jabsco...Which model(s)?

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Old 01-04-2019, 11:20   #8
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Re: Toilet issues

Thanks for all your comments. I will find out the specific model of Jabasco. The boat is a Jeanneau 45 ft DS. They do have some kind of installation/manual on board, not sure how much info they contain. And I am not sure of the overboard/tank question. Each toilet does have a holding tank. Normally we keep the dump valve closed, then we open it when we are at sea to empty it, then close it again. If they kept it open all the time, I would think that might lead to crud getting in there? Also, I believe they are using marine toilet paper and allowing it to flush, which probably contributes to the problem.
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Old 01-04-2019, 11:54   #9
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Re: Toilet issues

Marine TP--nor any "quick dissolve" TP-- shouldn't cause any problems...it almost dissolves in your hand if it even gets damp. Even if an "overload" clogs the discharge line, it'll dissolve on its own within an hour or less. BUT--wet wipes are another matter. They can clog up the macerator blade and impeller in the toilet...they should never be flushed! However, the symptoms don't indicate that's the problem, at least not with the toilet that still runs and tries to flush. If they've failed to properly instruct any inexperienced crew or have had landlubber guests aboard, a wet wipe could account for why the other one has quit working altogether. A blocked vent on BOTH tanks is very unlikely. That toilet will most likely require work that has to wait till they've landed...but I think we can get the other one to work again while at sea. That may require a bit more detailed conversation than is practical in a forum, so you're welcome to contact me directly to brainstorm it after you get a bit more info about the toilet(s).



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