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Old 15-08-2013, 06:21   #1
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Question Need Advice on Marine Toilet.

Hi all.

Need advice on marine toilet.

What is the differences between 1) hand pump out and 2) electric pump out concerning ease to use , use of water? Will the hand pump out use less water or not?
The electric pump out is more expensive but is it the moneys worth to have the luxury of it?
Seems to me the way the electric one works will be cleaner and more hygienic.
The electric pump out Looks much better with the pipes all in the toilet, no hand pump just a switch to pres.
How reliable will they be?

Would love to hear from sailors that have experience on both.

Renier
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Old 15-08-2013, 06:45   #2
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Re: Need advice on marine toilet.

Our electric head is now 11 years old, and has so far required one routine pump/motor assembly replacement (last year) which was mostly due to shaft seal leakage. It was too far gone for the shaft seal repair kit... and the pump/motor assembly wasn't particularly expensive. In fact, replacing the pump/motor was a much more pleasant (?) fix than messing around with disassembly. Replacement took about 30 minutes.

Other routine maintenance has only been periodic replacement of the joker (duckbill) valve, a 5-minute job.

Can't speak to manual heads.

Another part of your question should probably be about freshwater versus raw water supply. Fresh is good, but requires tankage and appropriate plumbing. Can't speak to raw.

-Chris
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Old 15-08-2013, 07:08   #3
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Re: Need advice on marine toilet.

We use a raw water manual. Works as advertised, easy to fix and no odour. Recommended.

In port we use shore facilities.

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Old 15-08-2013, 07:45   #4
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Re: Need advice on marine toilet.

I used to think a manual raw water toilet was fine but our current boat came with an electric fresh water model. We are never going back to manual. I have also found our electric model to be extremely reliable and low maintenance.

BTW, our second head has a Lavac which is super low maintenance manual toilet. Good for off-shore work and as a backup to the electric. I can also use raw water to flush the electric if needed.
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Old 15-08-2013, 07:52   #5
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Re: Need advice on marine toilet.

With either type you need to flush long enough to move the stuff all the way to the holding tank or overboard. If "The Stuff" gets left in the hose between flushes you can develop blockages. Properly used water use should be about the same.
If you go electric, take a look at the Raritan Marine Elegance Toilet. I'm hearing a lot of good feed back on them. The Raritan PHII is probably the best of the affordable hand toilets.
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Old 15-08-2013, 08:02   #6
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Re: Need advice on marine toilet.

I've had a Lavac, PHII, and Nature's Head. Now I've got a Raritan SeaEra electric and it's been great.

I think a decent problem is with holding tanks because they represent the opposite of what a happy head would want. With a ~20 gallon holding tank, if you're flushing two gallons per, that's ten uses before you're maxed out.

But if you don't have a holding tank, or it's usually direct discharging gravity style you can push a lot of water through the head with no issues.

I've still yet to personally see a pumpout anywhere in Mexico. I think the next ones we'll see are New Zealand.
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Old 15-08-2013, 08:26   #7
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Re: Need advice on marine toilet.

Thanx to all the response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
Another part of your question should probably be about freshwater versus raw water supply.
-Chris
That would be my next question thanx.
Is it true that raw water supply gives a bad odor.

Renier
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Old 15-08-2013, 08:39   #8
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Re: Need advice on marine toilet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SKIPPER2C View Post
Thanx to all the response.



That would be my next question thanx.
Is it true that raw water supply gives a bad odor.

Renier
Best method to avoid power consumption and many potential problems associated with MSD devices is to use a bucket. Cheap or even cheaper - free. Easily replaced, and frees up storage area if the installed MSD is removed.

Of course, if you have a female on board this is not going to seem an attractive option.

Also depends greatly upon type of sailing you are doing. Short trips where pump out facilities are available - installed MSDs are more practical. Port hopping where MSD inspections may be encountered - installed MSDs are probably necessary. Offshore cruising between destinations where type of MSD is not an issue - a bucket makes infinitely more sense.

The only question I have encountered is whether or not I have a holding tank. The answer has always been yes because while my installed head was removed, the holding tank was not. My answer is honest. Yes, I have a holding tank. Also, one can assert the waste is held in the bucket until a pump out station is available. And, yes - I pump the waste from the bucket at pump out stations when available.

However, whether or not a bucket with lid meets MSD standards has not been clearly defined. At least I have never encountered definitive judgements about this.
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Old 15-08-2013, 08:40   #9
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Re: Need advice on marine toilet.

If in daily use raw water is okay. If boat sits and use is occasional fresh is best. The raw water will stink if it sits in the line. Electric is great but if only one head, your backup is bucket and chuck it.
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Old 15-08-2013, 09:02   #10
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Re: Need advice on marine toilet.

The boat came with manual raw water and one of the first things was to convert to electric and fresh water. That was 17 years ago. Had to replace the main bathroom motor once.
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Old 15-08-2013, 09:48   #11
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Re: Need advice on marine toilet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IdoraKeeper View Post
If in daily use raw water is okay. If boat sits and use is occasional fresh is best. The raw water will stink if it sits in the line. Electric is great but if only one head, your backup is bucket and chuck it.
One of the reasons I went with an electric head is someone on here basically convinced me about the reliance on plenty of motors and gearing. Fuel pumps, water pump, starter motors, alternators, transmissions, windlasses, outboards, etc.

A good electric head is just as reliable as any other electric motor provided it's not abused and was installed well (sufficient voltage and sealed connectors, primarily). And with the rebuild kits available and length of service measured in decades it seems a little weird to point to an electric head, with all the other electric motors on the boat, as the one that can fail.

A spare motor for my SeaEra set me back ~$150 or so and is the size of a beer can. No big deal.
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Old 15-08-2013, 09:56   #12
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Re: Need advice on marine toilet.

Salt water is fine even for occasional use as long as you flush the lines with fresh water before leaving the boat. An appropriate tank treatment is also a good idea. I use Odorlos religiously and have no tank smells.
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Old 15-08-2013, 10:12   #13
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Re: Need advice on marine toilet.

The electric are convenient. However, I have seen more non functional electrics than functional.. and they are expensive to replace the motors/pumps on. Powerboaters love them for some reason. I havde an electric on my current boat. I dont live aboard and it sees only intermittant use. Right now it works about 75% of the time.... with enough on/off coaxing with the switch it will usually start working.
I think the issue is use; If you use it all the time they stay "loose and good". If the motor/pump sits alot, they freeze up. This may be why I've seen so many ones that dont turn... I look at a lot of boats, and many boats for sale havent been getting much use.... Also, motor/pumps that size takes some amps. If you want to conserve electricity that's a consideration. Most powerboaters dont need to conserve that much.
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