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Old 10-04-2012, 12:50   #1
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Jabsco Marine Toilet Repair

When I bought my float home I was told the head didn't work but I ran fresh water through and it worked fine. Some vinegar and using only fresh water and it doesn't smell any more so every thing has been rosy up until this morning but it seems the joker flap is misbehaving. This morning there is back pressure some times, some times the pump actually works in reverse, which is to say it pumps out on the up stroke and is hard to push down, and there's a small amount flowing back into the bowl but the flow control valve was not all the way over and after making sure it was all the way to empty it seems to be pumping better. The small amount of water is flowing back in though.

The tank is outside of the float home at a lower level then the head and I keep the head on empty and simply pour fresh water into the bowl. I have pressurized water and am at a dock where I have a pump out right at the float home so it's easy to manage. I've pushed enough fresh water through so that what is flowing into the bowl is "clean". There is no loop since it's not required so there really is only a small amount that can flow back in.

So, it's my guess I need to dismantle the pump since the flap may be deformed? The head appears to be a Jabsco 29120-2000, and I'm uncertain whether I need to get a new valve and, if so, they seem to offer a different kit for pre-1998 and I don't know how you tell the difference.

Before I get into the dirty details of the pump I'd appreciate any thoughts and advice. Is it clear that I need to deal with it before it becomes a problem or is the small amount of back flow OK? Is there something I can do without buying a rebuild kit?
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Old 10-04-2012, 14:29   #2
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Re: Jabsco Marine Toilet Repair

If you take it all apart and clean all the joker valves with CLR to remove the calcium build up and grease everything with silicon grease such as Silglyde (including the piston ring) it will work again for awhile. This is what I used to do on the pumps I used in previous boats. Now I have a vacuflush and don't have these problems anymore.
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Old 10-04-2012, 14:44   #3
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Re: Jabsco Marine Toilet Repair

For what they are the vacuflush price isn't bad and I sure like the idea. I thought about doing something like that but decided that as long the head is functioning I'd put it off. Was it a lot of effort to install it?
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Old 10-04-2012, 15:03   #4
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Re: Jabsco Marine Toilet Repair

hummingway, if you are going to do shitty job, do you want to do it twice?

If I'm overhauling a head I tend to "gown up" covering myself and the area with plastic and having a "clean hands" helper to pass paper towels or whatever. As I get done I just assume I'm working with biohazards, peel, bag, bleach, contain it all and toss it and everything is, in theory, nice and clean and uncontaminated when done.

But as long as you're going to take the trouble of taking it apart...shop around, get a good price, just replace all the replaceable parts while you are in there, and save yourself from redoing all that delightful labor and cleaning "again" if you try to skip out on a few parts.

If the rebuild has to be done too often for your liking, then it is time to shop around. If you've got enough space maybe one of those "airheads" is worth looking at, for a floating home.
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Old 10-04-2012, 16:26   #5
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Re: Jabsco Marine Toilet Repair

Forget rebuilding it and just buy an entire new pump assembly. They cost the same as (sometimes less than) a rebuild kit, only you get to simply unscrew 4 screws, remove the whole old pump and screw the new pump back on - instead of mucking around inside the thing removing all the individual components and replacing them.

Plus you will be upgrading it to the newest model with the twist lock handle.

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Old 10-04-2012, 18:08   #6
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Re: Jabsco Marine Toilet Repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by hummingway View Post
When I bought my float home I was told the head didn't work but I ran fresh water through and it worked fine. Some vinegar and using only fresh water and it doesn't smell any more so every thing has been rosy up until this morning but it seems the joker flap is misbehaving. This morning there is back pressure some times, some times the pump actually works in reverse, which is to say it pumps out on the up stroke and is hard to push down, and there's a small amount flowing back into the bowl but the flow control valve was not all the way over and after making sure it was all the way to empty it seems to be pumping better. The small amount of water is flowing back in though.

The tank is outside of the float home at a lower level then the head and I keep the head on empty and simply pour fresh water into the bowl. I have pressurized water and am at a dock where I have a pump out right at the float home so it's easy to manage. I've pushed enough fresh water through so that what is flowing into the bowl is "clean". There is no loop since it's not required so there really is only a small amount that can flow back in.

So, it's my guess I need to dismantle the pump since the flap may be deformed? The head appears to be a Jabsco 29120-2000, and I'm uncertain whether I need to get a new valve and, if so, they seem to offer a different kit for pre-1998 and I don't know how you tell the difference.

Before I get into the dirty details of the pump I'd appreciate any thoughts and advice. Is it clear that I need to deal with it before it becomes a problem or is the small amount of back flow OK? Is there something I can do without buying a rebuild kit?
There should be no backflow in the system. If there is, the joker valve is either malfunctioning or there is a breach in one of the seals or both. The pumps are easy to replace and relatively inexpensive. I'd replace the pump.

True, rebuild kits are available. They take a lot of time and (like others here have said), it is not a pleasant job. You might want to rebuild your pump later on and save it as a spare.
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Old 10-04-2012, 18:56   #7
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Re: Jabsco Marine Toilet Repair

Replacing the pump sounds a lot more pleasant to me then a rebuilt and less possibility of parts that don't quite match.

I thought about a composter but since I have a pumpout right at the boat I figured it didn't make sense.

Thanks everyone. Time to find a source for a pump.
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Old 11-04-2012, 14:39   #8
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Re: Jabsco Marine Toilet Repair

Well, $80 and 10 minutes is all it took and the pump is replaced. Thanks for the advice guys.
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Old 11-04-2012, 14:43   #9
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Re: Jabsco Marine Toilet Repair

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Well, $80 and 10 minutes is all it took and the pump is replaced. Thanks for the advice guys.
Glad it worked out! Now that its out of the way, take your time and see if the old one is worth rebuilding. If you decide to rebuild it, it can be used as a spare. While these pumps are generally reliable and I have had very few problems with them, I still carry a spare one on board. There is nothing worse than having a non-functional toilet on an otherwise wonderful cruise.
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Old 11-04-2012, 15:00   #10
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Re: Jabsco Marine Toilet Repair

Good advice, though this is for my float home not my sailboat, having a broken toilet is never a good thing!
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