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Old 08-12-2018, 09:30   #1
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Slow valve leak on new electric head

I installed two new Johnson Pump/SPXFLOW AquaT standard electric heads. One of them has had a small backflow issue since installation. Depending on ambient atmospheric pressure, the bowl will fill to varying heights (never more than about 1/4) with holding tank water. This occurs even after emptying the tank for some reason.

I have contacted the manufacturer regarding warranty service (2 years), but until I can work the warranty issue, I was wondering if anyone may know some trick to get the valve working better without taking apart the unit (which would void the warranty). I have heard about vegetable oil, etc being flushed past the valve....does something like that actually help or hurt?

Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:58   #2
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Re: Slow valve leak on new electric head

The water in the bowl cannot be from the holding tank unless the tank is full to overflowing because the inlet fitting on the tank is at the TOP of the tank. Nor will vegetable oil or any other lubricant solve your problem.

So I'm guessing that it's an uphill run from your toilet to the tank, and that what's rising in the bowl is flush water left in the toilet discharge line that doesn't make it all the way into the tank. If the water is dirty, flush longer to leave only clean flush water to run back.

If your toilets are new, you should still have the owners manual that came with them. If you didn't keep it, you can download it from here:

https://www.spxflow.com/en/assets/pd...017-06_web.pdf

Looking at the exploded drawing on page 10 (the version in English), it's the first toilet I've seen in years that has a flapper valve (gasket with a weighted "tongue" ) instead of a "joker" valve (rubber one way valve) in the discharge fitting...part #10 seems to be the entire "discharge assembly." It's not capable of preventing slow seepage running downhill to the bowl. So as long as the water is only rising an inch or two in the bowl, I'd start flushing long enough to make sure the water is clean and be patient until you can talk with Johnson Pump.

I also think you'll find my book (see link in my signature below..just click on the title) very useful. The title is a bit misleading...although it does deal with every source of odor on a boat and how to cure, or better yet, PREVENT 'em, it's actually a comprehensive "marine toilets and sanitation systems 101" manual that explains the laws, describes all the types of systems and will help you learn how to operate and maintain your system to prevent 99% of problems instead of having to cure 'em. 'Cuz you get to do any preventive maintenance on your terms when it's convenient...the need to cure a problem never happens when it is! And I'm always glad to answer any questions it doesn't.

--Peggie
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Old 08-12-2018, 11:06   #3
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Re: Slow valve leak on new electric head

Thanks Peggie. Great info! It is, in fact, an uphill run to the holding tank. I usually flush until the pump makes the sound as if it has "pushed" everything uphill (and the bowl water actually goes from swirling around the bowl to being empty). Regardless, I continue to get a small amount of dirty water back in. I have plumbed the tanks to fresh water flush, so I know the discolored water isn't flush water. Will flush a bit longer and see if that helps.
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Old 08-12-2018, 11:23   #4
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Re: Slow valve leak on new electric head

I have plumbed the tanks to fresh water flush, so I know the discolored water isn't flush water.

I do hope you don't mean that you've connected toilets designed to use sea water to your fresh water plumbing....'cuz that's a BIG no-no and every toilet mfr specifically warns against in their installation instructions. Not does that create a risk of e-coli from the bowl contaminating your fresh water, it creates an even bigger risk of contaminating it with sea water. Only toilets that are specifically designed to use pressurized fresh water should ever be connected to the fresh water plumbing.


By "flush water" I meant the waste and water in the bowl, not just the water added to it. If it's dirty, it can be from that specific flush, but unless you're flushing long enough to rinse behind the bowl contents each time, waste can build up in the toilet discharge line, creating dirty water.

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Old 08-12-2018, 12:17   #5
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Re: Slow valve leak on new electric head

I plumbed a dedicated fresh water tank (non-pressurized) to the toilets for flushing...that is sole source for flush water (not even connected to sea water thru hulls). It has really cut down on smells. I have re-purposed the 2 sea water thru hulls for an anchor/deck washdown and inlet water for the generator.
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Old 08-12-2018, 13:51   #6
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Re: Slow valve leak on new electric head

I plumbed a dedicated fresh water tank (non-pressurized) to the toilets for flushing.

Ohhh good!
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Old 10-12-2018, 08:05   #7
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Re: Slow valve leak on new electric head

Peggie spent 3 days slapping my forehead with a sock full of wet sand to finally get her point to penetrate my thick skull that jury rigging a freshwater flush system is a dumb idea and can have a bad outcome. Background: The dealer, at the request of the original owner, had plumbed an electric Jabsco Quiet Flush to work with both fresh water and sea water using a Y valve to select the option and a one way check valve to prevent back flow to the freshwater system. The objective: to cut down on head odor from decaying sea water induced marine matter in the hoses.

My thinking: if the dealer did it as a matter of routine it must be right. Right?

Because Peggie was so insistent this was a bad idea, I called my broker and the dealership VP of Ops and Maintenance about the potential for a health/safety hazard. They both called back almost immediately following my call. (That of itself should be a clue.)They strongly defended this setup, saying it was fine and that nothing could go wrong -- perfectly safe. Nothing to see here.

Now suspicious, I talked to the mechanic who actually did the install. He said they had done several of these with no issues that he knew of. (Pause) But they don't do it that way anymore. Now they use a vented loop and an electric solenoid. Hmmmm, why would that be I wonder? Because, lo and behold, this essentially was what Peggie told me was minimally acceptable, short of (best option) installing a purpose built dual flush-source system like Raritan sells. (Peggie: please correct me if I have misstated your minimum requirements. I am paraphrasing - and really only want to reinforce your admonition. In short, when the potential exists of putting a deadly, undetectable substance in your fresh water tanks, don't.
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:46   #8
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Re: Slow valve leak on new electric head

Your dealer, broker and the mechanic have only proven that there are three ways to do anything: the right way, the wrong way, and what some people get away with for years.



There's good reason why every toilet mfr specifically warns against connecting any sea water toilet to the fresh water plumbing.


--Peggie
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