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Old 03-01-2011, 12:44   #1
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Very Basic Marine Toilet Questions

I'm the new owner of a 30 year old 28 foot sailboat, with what is, I'm sure, the original Jabsco toilet.

This toilet has a simple vented loop to a seacock.

Given modern regulations, I'll be replumbing things to include a holding tank.

While I'm at it, I'm giving serious thought to a new toilet as well.

I've studied the forum archives and have purchased several books on marine plumbing but still find myself ignorant of the most basic operation of marine toilets, making the formulation of a plan difficult.

So forgive me the simplicity of these questions but ..

1. How far does the pump push the waste?

Does it just leave the bowl or just get past the pump or get part ways down the hoses or will it get all the way to the holding tank (assuming enough pump strokes)?

2. Are some manual toilets better than others at pushing it all the way to the tank?

I'm trying to be mindful of not leaving waste in the hoses.

3a. Can manual toilets really deal with quantities of toilet paper?
3b. Are some toilets/pumps better than others at quantities of toilet paper?

I'm quite sure I can keep all but human waste and TP out of the toilet but I'm equally sure I can't limit the amount of TP to a square or three.

I'd rather not go with an electric macerating toilet if I don't have to (I'm assuming here that they would handle this without difficulty). But an electric toilet is perferable to repeated unclogs at sea .. or even a single unclog.

Cost is not the primary issue here; low hassle is the issue.

Thanks for any information.


Alan
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:59   #2
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The pump pushes the waste to the top of the vented loop.

Among manual heads - the Lavac is legendary for not clogging. Could probably flush a t-shirt. I had one for years and it never clogged. But it is "quirky" and baffling to those not used to it's ways.

An electric head is the single best thing you can do to increase the number of women on your boat. I currently use the Raritan Elegance. "Home" like seat, fits in small places, quiet, and not too expensive if you skip the fancy electronic control option (which are nice).

Short runs of hose with no sags will avoid many problems. Strongly recommend Trident 101 hose.

Us a large (3/4" +) holding tank vent with the shortest and straightest vent hose possible. Holding tank stink comes from no fresh air in the tank.

Carl
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Old 03-01-2011, 13:12   #3
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The pump will push everything to the holding tank, each stroke pushes more water thru the system. I've had a Raritan PHII on a couple of different boats and never had a serious clog and we are not fanatic about limiting the TP. I keep a replacement pump body on board which makes a quick and relatively easy replacement if necessary but after three years on the current one it still works like new. Inexpensive too. Practical Sailor rated them quite high, that is why we went with it originally.
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:50   #4
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We replaced the jabsco that came on wildheart... With the newer (but not newest) model that we'd been using on the previous boat. Parts seem to be plentiful, and like most parts on a boat, just need a little bit of attention regularly to keep it going. My father has had a jabsco on his 42 since the 80s; no leaks or clogs, though he did replace it with the new twist and Lock recently. We'll likely stick with it when we leave.

We also have a whale guzzler as our manual (and only) macerator pump. Works just fine, and has been in service for at least 10 years. Simple!
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:03   #5
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, alanrothenbush.

Enough pump strokes will pump the hose clean.
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:35   #6
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You can limit the amount of toilet paper used if you ask your guests to please use both sides.
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:16   #7
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My Christmas present from Santa (OK, I paid for it) was 2 new Jabsco toilet pumps and 2 new toilet seats! The Reindeer laughed till I shot them.

The Jabsco manual says its 7 pumps per meter of outlet hose.

The new pumps are worth every, expensive, scent <---- Opps, I mean, theres no scent now! The cents sent the scents packing. Thats sense



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Old 04-01-2011, 07:32   #8
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Cost is not the primary issue here; low hassle is the issue.
Alan,
If low hassle is really what you want, I'd advise you to research composting heads a bit before you make your final decision. If you do decide to go with the conventional marine head, do be sure to never leave waste in the hoses. One or more of the previous owners of our 28 footer did (presumably because the hose run was long and the holding tank tiny) and we ultimately had to reupholster all the cushions, etc. to get rid of the stench that had built up. This in addition to changing holding tanks, hoses, and toilet. We now have, and are happy with, an AirHead.
Best of luck to you,
-Steve
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:50   #9
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I'd rather not go with an electric macerating toilet if I don't have to (I'm assuming here that they would handle this without difficulty). But an electric toilet is perferable to repeated unclogs at sea .. or even a single unclog.
macerating toilets are the cat's whiskers. In my experience, 99% of clogged toilets come from guests using a marine toilet without the necessary training/experience/temperment. When I had manual toilets I'd have to unclog a guest's mistake at least once a year. Since switching to macerating toilets, I've never had a problem.

The good news is, anybody can push a button.
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:47   #10
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At home, i have this little $40 home depot lever-arm-articulated bidet attachment which plumbs to the pressurized water fitting. It fits nicely on the rim of the toilet bowl and does a good job of getting things clean. The only TP i use is to dry the water that hasnt dripped off already.

That said, if TP is a problem on a marine toilet, why not repurpose some of the flushing water into a similar arrangement so that it is performing 2 functions (cleaning your nethers and flushing the bowl)*? Then you could get away with 2-3 squares and be confident in your cleanliness.

Is there a product out there that already does this?

*Thus affirming the practice that all items on a cruiser MUST serve 2 functions to be allowed to be brought on board.
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:56   #11
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Over 35 years with marine heads and the best I've seen is LeVac.

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Old 22-01-2011, 10:18   #12
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At home, i have this little $40 home depot lever-arm-articulated bidet attachment

is there a way to hook those bidet kits to a marine head???? I love my 'bidet'

ok,.. tmi, but I didnt start this discussion... just trying to get info...
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Old 22-01-2011, 11:59   #13
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You can limit the amount of toilet paper used if you ask your guests to please use both sides.
that would also limit the amount of women on the boat too.
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Old 22-01-2011, 12:29   #14
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Spent a week on a friend's charter boat in the BVI. The captain announced a limit of 7 squares of toilet paper per use. Yeah, right!

Still, I broadcast this ludicrous command to my daughters and their guests when they come aboard. Of course, the wife is a different story. I didn't dare say a thing.

So of course, her second or third weekend on board, we had a problem. After I had spent several hours up to my elbows in, well... I had a failure of manhood and actually wept for a few moments.

She felt so bad we've never had another problem.

You'd think with all those decades of experience in outer space, some new technology would have trickled down to the marine industry.
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Old 22-01-2011, 12:49   #15
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Has anyone installed VacuFlush MSD (or similar products) which claim (at a cost I expect) to reduce waste water volume by 3 litres per flush (from 3.781 to .76) (Holding Tank Efficiency Data).

Also what comments are there in regard to composting toilets. My main concern is capacity, because once they are full, there isn't anything one can do.

Andrew
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