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Old 08-09-2005, 14:15   #1
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Sticking Manual Head Pump?

Here's a great little trick I have been using, but never really mentioned on here.

You know how sometimes your manual head pump gets hard to pump? It will do so every so slowly over time, maybe without you even knowing it. To keep mine sliding well, and easy for the wife to use, I dump some canola (or olive, or corn) oil down the head and pull it through the pump on the "dry flush" setting. This lubricates the mechanisms inside and seems to keep my head from breaking at a premature age.

Of course, this doesn't help with any clogging issues (other than keeping stuff moving through the pump and pipe), but it makes the head much easier to pump.

Cheers.
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Old 08-09-2005, 14:58   #2
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Sean,

Pouring vegetable oil in the head is often done but is a real no no. It puts a layer of oil in the holding tank keeping air out . Without air it'll really stink. Also it combines with animal fats in the sewage and gums up the head. This is all from Peggy Hall ( The Headmistress) and she knows her stuff. I just unscrew the top of the pump and lubricate the shaft and o ring with some grease. Works really well and lasts longer than pumping oil through. I do it about once a week. I have had Jabscos for quite a few years and although everyone says they're cheap (which they are) mine have lasted me years with very few problems.
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Old 09-09-2005, 00:26   #3
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You can do the "vegy oil" thing anotherway. Just a little on your fingers and wipe them on the shaft of the pump. Does the same thing as the oil down the hole, but less of a waste of oil and you don't have the issues of the holding tank not breathing.
As for the Grease Vasco, yes it is the best way, BUT DON'T use ordinary grease. It will attack the plastic. Eventually the plastic breaks down. Use grease that you use in fishing reels and such(tends to be more water resistant), or Vasaline.
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Old 09-09-2005, 06:03   #4
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Alan ,

I use vaseline or that clear silicone grease thats good for electrical use (forget the name right now). I have a big tub of vaseline and another tub of lanolin which I find very handy for sailboats. Use the lanolin on all the swages.
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Old 09-09-2005, 06:17   #5
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One other thing on lubricating head pumps. I've found that oiling or greasing the shaft only is not good enough. You have to grease the O ring at the plunger end of the shaft. This is where the most friction is as it goes up and down the pump walls. On the Jabsco there's a great big plastic nut at the top of the pump that comes off very easily and with it comes the handle and plunger assembly. Clean, lube and replace. I do it every week , actually I do it every time my spouse reminds me to!
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Old 09-09-2005, 06:32   #6
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vasco - that "clear silicone grease thats good for electrical use (forget the name right now)" is called silicon (99% pure). lots of makers. actually in plumbing section of hardware - used on o-rings and the like - you may be using on electrical to resist corrosion - same is used on flyreels and other fishing gear - higher quality than gear grease. will last much longer than vasoline.
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Old 09-09-2005, 06:43   #7
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Thanks Capt. Lar,

The word I was looking for was "dielectric", fancy word for not conducting electricity.
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Old 09-09-2005, 06:56   #8
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wow - 4 syllables - 3 is my max - on a good day.
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Old 09-09-2005, 11:42   #9
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Cooking oil

I have been flushing 1/2 cup of cooking oil in the toilet for the past 20 years with no ill effects. I don't see much difference between lubricating with cooking oil or vaseline. In either case it washes off the seal eventually.
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Old 09-09-2005, 12:10   #10
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Why?

Vasco,

Why would it be essential to have air get in through your plastic holding tank? Can't anerobic bacteria play in there as well as the aerobics?

Also, if air is getting in, air is getting out, as the holding tank builds some pressure. If your tank allows air to pass in/out this would make for a much greater stink than a sealed container.

Personally I don't care what the inside of my holding tank smells like, so long as that smell doesn't make it outside.

Just trying to understand the logic of your post.... thanks.




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Vasco once whispered in the wind:
Sean,

Pouring vegetable oil in the head is often done but is a real no no. It puts a layer of oil in the holding tank keeping air out . Without air it'll really stink. Also it combines with animal fats in the sewage and gums up the head. This is all from Peggy Hall ( The Headmistress) and she knows her stuff. I just unscrew the top of the pump and lubricate the shaft and o ring with some grease. Works really well and lasts longer than pumping oil through. I do it about once a week. I have had Jabscos for quite a few years and although everyone says they're cheap (which they are) mine have lasted me years with very few problems.
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Old 10-09-2005, 00:28   #11
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Hi Sean, I think the idea is that there are "good" bacteria that feed on the waste and produce a more err umm, pleasant smell. But they need oxygen and lots of it. So good amounts of air getting into your tank via the breather means you get a good workout going on in the tank an thus the bad smells are not as bad. Methane is one of the harmful gases that can build up down there. Not because of it's explosive ability, but because it starves the little critters of the oxygen, so they get puffed more easily during that aerobics excersise they are doing.
By the way, you can buy holding tank additives that are simply a good form of bacteria that happily digest away the crap and make a nice smell.
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Old 10-09-2005, 03:00   #12
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The thought of a holding tank splitting due to pressure if there is no air vent doesnt bear thinking about!

I used silicone grease on my O ring this year as it was handy, but I understand that the recommended gunk is one that contains teflon.
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