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Old 09-03-2008, 16:06   #1
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TP or No TP

Getting my boat ready to begin off shore cruising for the first time and would like to know if I should put TP down my toilets? Previous owner had signs made for each head saying NO tp in the toilets. Had small plastic bags in each head and a can to put them in. I've heard yes and no on the subject. Some folks i know say it will clog up the plumbing and some say they have never had a problem.
If yes--any particular brand?
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Old 09-03-2008, 16:27   #2
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The thought is pretty disgusting to me - that you can't put tp in a toilet!
If whatever head you have has such a problem. you might consider getting a better one. A Raritan SeaEra electric as one example has no problem with anything normally disposed of in the toilet because it macerates the content before discharge to the tank. The builder's favorite Jabsco manuals are always problematic and if that's what you have, do yourself a favor and replace it asap.
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Old 09-03-2008, 16:33   #3
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Came with Jabsco

Owner replace both heads with Jabsco over the past few years. One just last Spring. Hate to get rid of a "new" head. What do you do if the battery systems go out on your boat? Isn't manual better than electric?
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Old 09-03-2008, 16:43   #4
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In that case, use single ply tp only and as little as possible and you should be fine. The Jabsco is one of, if not the cheapest and lowest quality marine heads ever made - some of their older ones were decent but not anymore. One of the first things we did was replace them on our boat with Raritans - one elec and one manual; the electric can also be operated manually as well to answer your question about what happens when no power - no power would present more sig problems I would imagine.

The advantage(s) of electric are it's macerating, much easier to operate, more user-friendly, particularly to guests and quiet compared with the manual pumping noise.

If/when you do replace the head, also consider using fresh water flush as that is typically the easiest cure for smelly head syndrome.
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Old 09-03-2008, 18:24   #5
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I find the thought and practice of doggy bagging used toilet paper pretty unhygenic too.

We have a manual Jabsco and just buy the normal cheap type multi ply toilet paper from the supermarket and have never had a problem. And unlike some boat owners who demand only one or two sheets per go and then you are out of luck we don't economise, we use what we need and flush it .

It may be that the paper here in NZ is all short fibre, I don't know, but you don't want it so short and soft that it falls apart during use .

So far we and others I know seem to have been immune to any of the problems some seem to have with these toilets and would suggest not be in any hurry to replace them. From what I have seen many problems can be put down to incorrect installation, using the incorrect repair kits (there are different kits for pre around late 1990's and subsequent production - although clearly marked on the packets, some seem to mix them up), and incorrect reassembly when refitting the top of the valve chamber which has to be done with the valve actuator in the corrrect position (results in stripped threads in the body, cracked valve chamber and leaks otherwise).

Lubricating the piston rubber seal ring is a good idea and we use the lubricant that plumbers use when fitting "O" rings and other rubber joints on large drain pipes. It comes in a squeeze tube from plumbers' supply depots and a squirt of that onto the top of the piston seems to last a long time even though it is not a grease but a creamy liquid (to get to the piston top, remove screws and lift the valve chamber top off, and when replacing replace it correctly as per the instructions in the manual - if it does not screw down and seal very easily you have the valve actuator in the wrong position and will damage the chamber or strip the holes the screws go into).
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Old 09-03-2008, 19:22   #6
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Almost only in the US

Most other cultures don't have such an aversion to dealing with normal human waste as do we from the US. In Mexico and other countries where plumbing is easy to clog they are used to having containers for used TP to be disposed of.

We learned from the cruising community 30 years ago that it is prudent to avoid putting anything inorganic down the toilet. With a disposal unit handy you can use any amount of TP that one desires without concern about plugging up the head.

Disposal in romote anchorages is easy: One makes a fire and burns all burnables such as used TP and when the fire burns down removes any plastic melt residue to place in the "running" trash that must be saved for disposal where facilities exist to handle it. One can go for months before generating much of a trash bag this way.

Sanitation is merely the method and discipline of handling such items safely. Learn how.
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Old 09-03-2008, 20:17   #7
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Two parts to this. One is personal toiletry habits. Some people just use too much. As a basic rule of thumb on our boat, no TP down the head. This also applies to anything else that does not first pass through the human body. Now, as a matter of practice, since if it breaks, I am the one who has to fix it, I put anything down there I want. In ten years, I have never clogged the head on my boat. It has been clogged before, but never through my use, so how well the rest of my crew follows that rule I am not really sure.
I will say single ply TP is a must, and Conservative use as well. Doesn't have to be what we used to call Biker Paper (Rough tough and don't take crap off of anyone), but it should be decent quality single ply.
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Old 09-03-2008, 21:25   #8
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I have never understood the reason why TP shouldn't go down the head. In 10 years of living on board a boat, we have NEVER, NOT ONCE had a problem with the head caused by TP.

A modest amount of single ply TP ( Scott's anybody?) will, it seems to me, flush a lot easier than some of the normal human waste products.

If your marine toliet cloggs on TP, you should get a better head.
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Old 09-03-2008, 21:51   #9
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A daily morning dose of psyillium husk powder mixed with you OJ will help to keep all your pipes clean
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Old 09-03-2008, 22:47   #10
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It's All in the Fiber

What could be more organic than wood pulp?

Before I use a new brand of tissue in my head, I test it by tossing a square in a glass of water. If it falls apart when I stir it in ten minutes, it'll pose no problem for my pipes. If it holds together, I take it home to use.

Generally, cheap, single-ply, used sparingly, causes no problems, in my experience. Scott is what is on the boat now. I have electric flush, so everything is macerated to an ungodly slurry by the time it hits the tank, but even with a manual, the right paper will fall apart in the tank: just don't try to push too much through at once. Three flushes? If that's what it takes to keep from loading the bowl up with paper.

There is, of course, marine/RV TP, which is the same short-fiber, single-ply, fall-apart stuff, but at that price it'd almost be cheaper to skip the TP altogether and just use dollar bills in the first place…
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Old 09-03-2008, 23:25   #11
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Mrs Seafox buys the cheapest s paper from the warehouse and I don't economize when I wipe and flush
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Old 09-03-2008, 23:40   #12
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We always flush the chunky stuff first, then, when it's all gone, flush the paper. Dont have the paper in a tightly packed wad either. Never had any blockages. We use 2 ply paper - I found that with single ply you just folded it over more, and ended up with the same result.
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Old 10-03-2008, 01:03   #13
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We use two ply soft stuff. Single ply is often stronger and harder to macerate. Soft two ply disintergrates quickly. Never had an issue and we have cheapy toilets.
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Old 10-03-2008, 01:21   #14
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I have come across a couple of girlfriends over the years who must think toilet paper grows on trees... (hahah funny)
They practically let the roll run empty in their hand, then tear and use a giant ball of TP for their "precious" behinds. A lot of women have not been trained on not using half the roll believe it or not.
We only have toilet trouble when these women are around and no matter how much of a talking to I give them, you put a couple of cocktails in em and all hell breaks loose for the toilet paper.
We have said no TP down the toilet to avoid backups, but if you can get this visual LOL what is even worse is what they do to cover up their tawdry toilet fiasco once it has clogged due to gynormy TP balls.
HOwever.... all of this does not even come close to matching the great poop-in-bag disaster of JobbieNooner 2007, when we didn't have a head.
Definitely get a good head. Poop in bag is a killer.
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Old 10-03-2008, 03:54   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
We always flush the chunky stuff first, then, when it's all gone, flush the paper. Dont have the paper in a tightly packed wad either. Never had any blockages. We use 2 ply paper - I found that with single ply you just folded it over more, and ended up with the same result.
I'd give anything to have"chunky stuff",sounds like a dunny dance to me.Mudnut.
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