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Old 29-11-2017, 03:23   #1
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Successfully clearing blocked head-to-holding tank hose

This is a post specifically for 3-cabin Lagoon 400 owner with a Jabsco Quiet Flush head, but it may work for other situations…

After reading about blockages in the hose between the owner’s head and the holding tank, you may be living in fear of a blockage by a something flushed down the head. My symptom was a macerator that spun--and rotated the water in the bowl--but the water wouldn’t pump out. This means the discharge was blocked somewhere. I have read that there are two joker valves in the hose from the head to the holding tank, and I figured a regular metal “snake” might damage the rubber valves, so I created a tool to “hydro-tunnel” out the blockage using water pressure. The steps below are how I fixed it without too much drama, but first, a word of caution: You will be dealing with some nasty stuff. Wear eye protection and durable rubber gloves, preferably the kind that reach up your forearm--don’t go all HAZMAT, just use be best dishwashing gloves you can find. In the end you will need to disinfect yourself, the entire head, and all your tools when you are done—no picking your nose or rubbing your eyes until you are finished! I used soap and water and a chlorine-based multi-surface cleaning spray on everything, followed by drying and oiling my tools.

  1. First, check the toilet. Jabsco has posted several videos on YouTube that describe how to repair various parts of the Quiet Flush toilet. The one about replacing the joker valve is a good start, and you should watch it anyway (sorry, if you have another model of head you’ll have to figure out how check your head’s joker valve). I followed the video instructions and quickly determined my head’s joker valve was ok and the hose to the holding tank must be blocked.
  2. I went to the local garden store and purchased 25’ of 3/8” ID drip irrigation tubing (you want to get enough irrigation tube to make it all the way from the head to the holding tank, plus a couple more feet), 4’ of 1” ID hose, and a 1” OD connector.
  3. There is only about a foot of 6” ID hose sticking out of the bulkhead behind the head—not enough to work with without removing the toilet itself—so I connected the new 4’ section of hose to the head discharge hose with the 1” OD connector and a couple of hose clamps—now I am able to work in the middle of the head.
  4. I wrapped one end of the drip irrigation tube with many, many tight turns of plain blue masking tape, building up the OD until it just fit inside a garden hose, then secured it with two hose clamps (yes, two hose clamps simply because one turned out not to be enough). There is probably a better way to do this….
  5. I took a large square plastic bin I had laying around and used a hole saw to drill 2” holes near the top on both ends.
  6. I pushed the open end of the drip irrigation tube in one hole, and I pushed the open end of the lengthened 1” hose in the other. When they met in the middle of the bin I kept pushing the drip irrigation tube up inside the 1” hose. There was a little resistance where the irrigation tube passed the connector, but it went through with a little fiddling. If you are with me so far you have the irrigation tube going into the 1” tube, with the plastic bin ready to catch what comes next…
  7. I kept pushing the irrigation tube in until I met resistance—but I didn’t jam it into the blockage. I slowly turned on the water in the garden hose and it eventually came out the open end of the irrigation tube at the blockage site. I turned up as much pressure as I could without blowing the irrigation tube off of the garden hose (hence two hose clamps…), and moved the tube in and out of the 1” discharge hose. Meanwhile the drainage was (mostly) contained in the plastic bin. I’m not sure what blocked the discharge hose or where (I suspect toilet paper at a joint, bend, or joker valve), but eventually the blockage was cleared.
  8. Clean and disinfect the head, your tools, and yourself!
Obviously this won’t work for mineral buildup, and to minimize that we always flush at least an extra full bowl of water every time we use the head--probably not enough...
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Old 29-11-2017, 13:37   #2
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Re: Successfully clearing blocked head-to-holding tank hose

lovely. will bookmark for when I need to do this.
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