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Old 26-11-2005, 07:49   #1
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Electric/Automatic Heads?

Does anyone know the brand names of devices used to turn a standard manual head into an electric device? The ones I've seen in pictures show a small button mounted somewhere and some kind of unit installed along side the bowl.

I have looked at Vaccu-Flush models, but the installation seems quite complex for my boat. There isn't a lot of extra room for the vac tank.

We are installing this in our "guest" stateroom head, which is actually the master.

Any help or experiences with these heads would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

PS: Regarding 2 other threads.. I'll have the Little Cod and Hirsch info up shortly.

Sean
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Old 26-11-2005, 09:54   #2
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Jabsco makes a kit that is very simple to install. It simple replaces the pump assy on the manual head.
I have not tried the electric heads, but I have had so many problems with guests plugging the head, I am inclined to keep it as different from a regular toilet as possible. This helps drive home the point that the head requires different procedures. Hopefully it makes people think before jamming half a roll of TP down the thing.
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Old 26-11-2005, 10:25   #3
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Good Point...

Hi Kai Nui.

Good point regarding guest heads. I have been trying to come up with a balance to the problem. On the one hand, I have guests who are not familiar with boats at all. They will be turned off by having to pump. On the other hand, I have guests who used to boats and wouldn't mind a manual head.

Either way, it would be best not to be up to my elbows in $#(*$ when someone clogs the unit.

Our plan was to have an easy rule we learned while working aboard a large motor yacht: If it doesn't come out of your body, it doesn't go in the toilet.

We plan to have a receptacle for toilet paper, feminine products, etc... etc... adjacent to the bowl.

Any thoughts on that? I do want to make things as simple as possible for our guests. Any feed back is welcome.

Thanks!
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Old 26-11-2005, 10:42   #4
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That is the rule on our boat. I tend to present it as part of the adventure to use a marine head properly. Part of the initiation so to speak. I prefer the long pump handle style heads over the plunger type, for ease of use. Electric heads are probably more of a standard on the type of operation you have, but if presented properly, a manual head could add to the experience.
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Old 26-11-2005, 17:55   #5
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We flush the loo paper and have only ever had one situation. It was the only time I didn't explain how to use the head. So now I explain to all guests not to use great wads of paper.
We have two heads, one electric and the other hand. The only negative about the electric is the noise of the macerator pump when you flush.
Sean, you can modify most hand toilets to electric. The base unit including hand pump comes off the bottom of the bowl and the new unit with electric pump bolts back on. However, here in NZ, it is actually cheaper to buy the entire elect.pump/bowl assembley, than it is to buy the elect.pump on it's own.
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Old 27-11-2005, 00:49   #6
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I have just replaced the noisey electric head with a jabsco manual pump. The manual pump loos are now dearer than the electric. The manual are quieter, dont drain the battery and you tend to pump a bit more water through them.
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Old 27-11-2005, 06:40   #7
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We have a single manual head aboard. We make flushing the head a BIG part of the new crew briefing right after safety. Everyone learns the rule that you can put anything you want in the head as long as you eat it first. The sole exception being toilet paper. That is used in a stingy fashion. Everyone sees the plumbing and how it works. Everyone practices flushing a piece or two of TP. We also stress leaving her in the dry position.

We have been boating for a long time and so far, after many guests, no problem.

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Old 27-11-2005, 12:24   #8
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We have a electric head forward and a manual aft. We use the manual 20 to 1.
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Old 27-11-2005, 15:53   #9
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Ok, I definitely understand the advantages with a manual head. I prefer them as well. My concern is that some of the people who will enjoy our floating 5 star service might not be to pleased with pumping.

Not all guests will be adventurous and willing to accept everything that a boat entails.

I suppose nobody on here runs a charter boat? If anyone does, could you let me know how your more fussy guests handle the pumping problem? I mean we have to turn down beds, do flower arrangements, etc.. etc... Pumping your own piss (ha ha ha - as my wife likes to call it) just doesn't "go" with that level of service.

Any suggestions with this in light?

Thanks!
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Old 27-11-2005, 16:40   #10
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just don't feed or water them and they won't need to go!
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Old 27-11-2005, 20:29   #11
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Might work for a while Seafox, but then you will either have a mutiny to deal with, or eventually, a smell and something bigger to clean in the guest cabin, that could arguably be worse than that of cleaning a blocked head.
Hey Sean, you give the guest a choice. Guest's like choices, it empowers them.
Choice one: manually pump the head
Choice two: Doggy bag it and take it home. Me thinks the majority will go for choice one.
Seriuosely though, well kinda, a guest has to realise there is a limit to a service at some point. I mean, you aren't exactly going to wipe thier butts for them,(NO.. PLEASE NO!!!) so they have to realise it ain't all total pampering. So you bring them down to the reality of life on a boat by making it kinda fun in it's introduction. Some sort of introduction to the head with some humour etc. I don't think a guest would mind.
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Old 28-11-2005, 03:44   #12
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As Wheels sais, “...there is a limit to a service at some point...” - but in a 5-star environment, that point may not be short of a head attendant.
I agree with all the technical reasoning presented in favour of manual flush heads, but you know your clientele (and their expectations) best. A “servant” commands his master’s will, right or wrong, and so must you.
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Old 28-11-2005, 13:14   #13
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Electric Head

Sean, I have had both types. The argument for fewer clogs with a manual head is nonsense. The only time I had to disassemble a sewage system aboard a boat was when the overboard discharge pump was clogged by a sanitary napkin. At that time, we had a manual head. Sometime later, we installed an electric head and never had any incidents for the following eight years.
As for not putting anything through the head that has not gone throught the human body is silly. Used toilet paper should go through the head. Any other solution is unsanitary. Coliform bacteria must be disposed of in a sanitary manner. Collecting it in a plastic bag attached to the sink does not qualify.
Jim
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Old 28-11-2005, 20:29   #14
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I also agree with Jim. Don't collect Loo paper. It will go through non problem, providing a heap isn't stuffed in the loo. Paper I mean
You don't want used paper being put somewhere else. One issue aside from bacteria is the possible smell and the other issue, Where the heck do you store it and then how do you dispose of it without it jamming up a loo somewhere.
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Old 28-11-2005, 20:45   #15
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Speaking of fires, there was an incedent out off one of our remote coastlines here, a few years back. It was on an FC hull sailboat. They crew abandoned her to their liferaft and let the fire burn out. They then reboarded the vessel and to everones surprise, the engine started and they managed to drive it home.
Just incase you missed what it was made from, that was FC or Ferrocement everyone.
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