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Old 12-03-2014, 09:21   #1
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Raritan PH II

Buying a new to me boat, both heads are Raritan PH II, one at least is in immediate need of rebuilding as it sprays water from the pump seal when the handle is pumped, but I bet both need overhaul. Boat and I assume heads are circa 1987.
Question is re-build, or replace? If replace I think unless crazy expensive I'd like to go to fresh water, electric head with large bowl. I believe the Admiral would like that.
If I replace which model fresh water, electric head is best in terms of reliability / serviceability?
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:35   #2
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Re: Raritan PH II

We have the same head. Its a breeze to work on... but we replaced the whole thing with a brand new exact model when we bought the boat. In the world of boat bucks its not that expensive. We bought a couple of rebuild kits also.

If you go with an electric head like the vacuflush you will need to switch out your hoses to the vacuflush type. Run wire to operate the head and the vacuum pump/macerator, etc... So, you need to add that into your cost considerations.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:36   #3
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Re: Raritan PH II

More boats probably have the Raritan PH II head than any other. It is rock solid reliable. You can completely rebuild it or just replace the pump seal. Easy to do. Just unhook the pump handle, unscrew the retaining ring and pry out the old seal and pop in a new one. But first try tightening the retaining ring. That might just be all that you need to do.

But if the Admiral wants an electric fresh water head, then the Raritan Elegance is a great one.

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Old 12-03-2014, 09:59   #4
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Re: Raritan PH II

Head history:

- 10 years ago on our Pearson it was a WC Skipper - awful device. Not reliable.
- 5 years ago on our Ericson it was a PHII with household sized bowl - Best value toilet. Very reliable if treated well.
- Now we have a Jabsco deluxe electric flush head with household size bowl. Great toilet. Very reliable. Have only replaced the Joker valve once in 4 years.

We also have a very reliable and low maintenance Lavac head. Uses a very simple and robust pump. Simple to use. No internal valve assemblies. Just a big manual pump for sucking water and waste through the bowl.

I believe this is the best of both worlds(manual and electric)

If you decide to keep the PHII, buy a new pump assembly. That way you are starting with a known good pump and keep a rebuild kit on hand. The leaking water could be from a crack that is unseen from improper winterization or other issues.

Also, Raritan makes a household size bowl for that unit. Definitely worth the upgrade if you have the space for it.
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:31   #5
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Re: Raritan PH II

Raritan stocks all the parts to replace every piece of the PHII but they aren't cheap, btdt. If you have to replace a major part, like the pump assembly, it's probably cost effective to buy a new head. Check the pricing on parts before you order them.

Have been using PHII's for going on forty years. Other than gross physical abuse, they are very reliable and easy to use. Every other marine head I've had the displeasure to come in close personal contact with has left me disappointed.
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Old 12-03-2014, 14:55   #6
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Re: Raritan PH II

To quote Paul Harvey, here is the rest of the story. Boat has an aluminum holding tank, I'm theorizing that if I convert to fresh water flush my aluminum holding tank will last much longer and the best, easiest way to convert to fresh water flush is to buy a fresh water electric head?
Is this theory sound, or is it the waste that eats aluminum tanks and the salt water is irrelevant.
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Old 13-03-2014, 10:42   #7
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Re: Raritan PH II

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. View Post
Head history:

- 10 years ago on our Pearson it was a WC Skipper - awful device. Not reliable.
- 5 years ago on our Ericson it was a PHII with household sized bowl - Best value toilet. Very reliable if treated well.
- Now we have a Jabsco deluxe electric flush head with household size bowl. Great toilet. Very reliable. Have only replaced the Joker valve once in 4 years.

We also have a very reliable and low maintenance Lavac head. Uses a very simple and robust pump. Simple to use. No internal valve assemblies. Just a big manual pump for sucking water and waste through the bowl.

I believe this is the best of both worlds(manual and electric)

If you decide to keep the PHII, buy a new pump assembly. That way you are starting with a known good pump and keep a rebuild kit on hand. The leaking water could be from a crack that is unseen from improper winterization or other issues.

Also, Raritan makes a household size bowl for that unit. Definitely worth the upgrade if you have the space for it.
We have a Lavac and are very happy with it. The PHII would be the only other contender from what I've heard.

Electricity and toilets, I feel, should not be in the same vicinity as my backside. Just a little quirk I have, I guess.
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Old 13-03-2014, 10:48   #8
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Re: Raritan PH II

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
To quote Paul Harvey, here is the rest of the story. Boat has an aluminum holding tank, I'm theorizing that if I convert to fresh water flush my aluminum holding tank will last much longer and the best, easiest way to convert to fresh water flush is to buy a fresh water electric head?
Is this theory sound, or is it the waste that eats aluminum tanks and the salt water is irrelevant.
I think that is very dependent on the level of dilution and the type of chemicals you throw down the head for reasons of "treatment". Some would actively damage aluminum, I think.

You may wish to rethink that holding tank in favour of HDPE plastic; a better choice, I feel, when the stakes are high.

Fresh water flushing is a good idea if you have that much fresh water; personally, I think salt water with a fresh water option (which demands a way, obviously, to isolate any potential contamination between the head and the FW tank) is that way to use the sea usefully, while a switch to fresh water kills the critters and flushes out the inevitable salts and minerals in your lines.
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Old 13-03-2014, 11:18   #9
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Re: Raritan PH II

The combination of salt water and urine will corrode the tank faster than fresh water. To allow fresh water flush you could T the input line with a valve to the sink drain, allowing you to fill the sink and pump from that. This would be a safer way then plumbing to the fresh water system.
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Old 13-03-2014, 11:47   #10
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Re: Raritan PH II

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The combination of salt water and urine will corrode the tank faster than fresh water. To allow fresh water flush you could T the input line with a valve to the sink drain, allowing you to fill the sink and pump from that. This would be a safer way then plumbing to the fresh water system.
I had thought of that, but to use the toilet you would first have to get on your knees to shut off the valve that is downstream of the "T", fill the sink, then use the toilet, and after get back on your knees and open the sink drain back up. I think just buying a fresh water head may be easier.
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Old 13-03-2014, 12:00   #11
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Re: Raritan PH II

As for the toilet: I would say get a new one if you can. I had to rebuild ours the first time, and dealing with previous owner's stuff is just nasty.

As for us, we hated the Raritan. We rebuilt a couple of times and then got a new one. Hated it just as much. The top seal around the pump wouldn't last at all and always leaked. Replaced it with an electric head and have been quite happy with it for about 3 years now. Did have to replace the motor once though. I like the push button of the electric plus it macerates.
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Old 13-03-2014, 12:34   #12
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Re: Raritan PH II

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As for the toilet: I would say get a new one if you can. I had to rebuild ours the first time, and dealing with previous owner's stuff is just nasty.

As for us, we hated the Raritan. We rebuilt a couple of times and then got a new one. Hated it just as much. The top seal around the pump wouldn't last at all and always leaked. Replaced it with an electric head and have been quite happy with it for about 3 years now. Did have to replace the motor once though. I like the push button of the electric plus it macerates.
Which electric did you get?
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Old 13-03-2014, 12:54   #13
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Re: Raritan PH II

Well it hasn't received a lot of praise on this site, but we have the Jabsco electric. With the macerator that it uses, we were also able to replace our 1.5" hose with 1" hose.
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Old 13-03-2014, 13:28   #14
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Re: Raritan PH II

I hadn't thought about it until you brought it up, but replacing a 1.5" hose with a 1" hose sounds like it would be a lot easier than going back with 1.5" hose
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