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Old 21-07-2020, 13:49   #1
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Lavac pump outlet joker valve

I need to replace the outlet joker valve on a Lavac pump, I believe it is a Whale pump. Have found rebuild kits but the diaphragm is fine, all I need is the joker valve. It has a square base and is held in place by four screws.


Any sources will be greatly appreciated.


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Old 21-07-2020, 14:24   #2
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Re: Lavac pump outlet joker valve

If you have to take it apart and deal with the mess, you might as well replace the diaphragm and the flapper valve at the same time. I rebuild ours once a year. Id rather do it on my schedule and not the pumps!
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Old 21-07-2020, 15:44   #3
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Re: Lavac pump outlet joker valve

It is a Johnson pump. Very eazy service, just replace all soft parts. Always have a spare rebuild kit at hand.
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Old 22-07-2020, 07:42   #4
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Re: Lavac pump outlet joker valve

The pump was replaced by the PO just before we bought the boat. Seems to pump OK but when you lift the lid there is always nasty brown water in the bowl, even when pumping overboard. Tried leaving the lid up and using fresh water to flush with, same result. Thinking the vented loop vent is plugged and water siphoning back into the bowl. Should not be possible with the two check valves in the pump. I can get the joker valve out by unscrewing the cover, thought that would be easier than disassembling the whole pump. Diaphragm must be OK since the pump pumps and there is no leak. Hate to spend $50 for a whole kit if I only want to replace the joker valve.

Had two Lavac heads on the boat, neither one worked worth a damn. Replaced the aft one with a Raritan Elegance. Pumping potties seem kind of crude, rude and socially unacceptable. Just my opinion.
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Old 22-07-2020, 07:53   #5
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Re: Lavac pump outlet joker valve

I too have been looking for the joker valve, but so far no luck. I rebuild every 2 years and find it frustrating to pay $70 for a full kit when all I need is the joker valve. I have been thinking of converting to an electric pump as, in the long run, it would be cheaper.
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Old 22-07-2020, 10:29   #6
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Re: Lavac pump outlet joker valve

I just rebuilt my Lavac pump. I have the same issue with a bit "back flow," of dark water, and think neither the joker valve nor flapper is designed to be 100 percent water tight. Still, I think it better than the previous "standard" plunger pump that was installed — no leakage around shaft, simple, etc.

But when I tore the Lavac pump apart I was surprised how degraded the joker valve had become in two years. Experts advised that the material is very senstive to cleaning agents. I'm more cautious, now.
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Old 22-07-2020, 17:34   #7
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Re: Lavac pump outlet joker valve

I had a Lavac toilet on my boat for 27 years. Worked extremely well, but needed servicing every one or two years depending on use. As mentioned earlier the Joker valves are soft and rather sensitive to strong chemicals. Whale pumps are, or were located in Ireland and their pumps are very popular in UK. Time to time I remember ordering direct from them,but not sure if that is possible now. Maybe you can only buy their stuff via a retailer, who perhaps on sell full kits. Try looking at a Whale website and see if a Joker valve is listed separately.
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Old 22-07-2020, 17:45   #8
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Re: Lavac pump outlet joker valve

Further to what I suggested earlier, if brown water is seeping back into the toilet bowl, you are not pumping enough! I found 20 pumps of the handle was about right. I know it sounds a lot but unless the pump is totally clear and "clean" any waste left in the pump, especially urine will definitely speed up the limescale building up in the pump and pipework. Installing an electric pump won't necessarily reduce you service intervals if you are using saltwater to flush the system if it is used frequently. Depending on usage an electric toilet may need service every year.
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Old 23-07-2020, 07:26   #9
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Re: Lavac pump outlet joker valve

When leaving the boat I use fresh water to flush and pump a whole lot through with the Y-valve set to overboard and leave the bowl filled with fresh water. When I come back to the boat a week later there is brown water in the bowl. Next weekend I am planning to take a closer look and thought I would remove the joker valve to take a look at it and while I had it out I thought I might as well replace it. The pump was new when we bought the boat a year ago and we have not used it all that much.


The plumbing is somewhat complex, there are some additional valves which allow the pump to be also used to pump out the holding tank. The holding tank is below the bowl so I don't see where there could be back flow form the holding tank if one of the valves was leaking. Holding tank was just pumped out so next time down on the boat I will start with a clean system and see what develops.


Would just as soon replace the whole thing with an electric head but then I would lose the pump out capability. We had electric heads on our other boats, lived aboard one for six years and never had any issues with the heads.
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Old 27-07-2020, 08:35   #10
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Re: Lavac pump outlet joker valve

Problem solved. Since the little duck bill valve in the aft head vented loop was history, I decided to look at the one in the forward head. As I pulled the vent hose off the vented loop fitting there was a hissing noise, like vacuum being released. Turns out that duck bill was also about destroyed but the vent line to the outside was totally plugged. After replacing the duck bill valve, and leaving off the vent hose, the Lavac now works as advertised. I guess I will have to retract the many ugly thoughts I had about Lavac heads.
New through hull vents are coming, thank you Amazon, and will be installed for both heads next weekend.
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