Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 22-05-2020, 05:16   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Portsmouth, VA
Boat: S2 9.2C
Posts: 67
Manual vs electric head?

Our boat came with a brand new, uninstalled electric head. I've never used one before. I'm trying to decide if I should sell it and buy a manual, or take the plunge into the unknown with the electric one. Thoughts?
__________________

CamWrenRoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-05-2020, 05:20   #2
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Denmark (Winter), Helsinki (Summer); Cruising the Baltic Sea this year!
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 27,601
Re: Manual vs electric head?

I would never go back to manual toilets myself.


Electric toilets have all these advantages:


1. Macerating waste dramatically reduces the risk of clogging. Electric toilets are worth it just for this alone.


2. Macerated waste is better for the sea environment.


3. It is much easier to get people to flush enough through with an electric toilet. If not enough water is flushed through and urine stands in the pipes, the pipes will calcify.


There are others. The only downside is they don't work without electricity, but if you lose all electrical power you've got much bigger problems than how to flush your toilet.


I think they are the bee's knees. Just choose carefully; they are not all created equal.
__________________

__________________
"Parce que je suis heureux en mer, et peut-Ítre pour sauver mon ame. . . "
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 22-05-2020, 05:58   #3
Marine Service Provider
 
peghall's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,209
Re: Manual vs electric head?

Electric toilets aren't complicated, power consumption is minimal and they require a lot LESS maintenance than manual toilets..plus they're are a no-brainer for landlubber guests to flush.

When it comes to installation, plumbing isn't much different from a manual...wiring it correctly (needs to be on a separate dedicated circuit with its own breaker, wire size) is very important. I recommend having that much done by a certified marine electrician...the rest you can easily do yourself.

If you can provide the make/model of the toilet I can give you a link to the owners manual. And I'm always glad to help you learn how to use and maintain it to prevent problems instead of having to cure 'em.

--Peggie
__________________
© 2020 Peggie Hall
Specializing in marine sanitation since '87.
Author "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors"
peghall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-05-2020, 06:41   #4
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 8,983
Re: Manual vs electric head?

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
Electric toilets aren't complicated, power consumption is minimal and they require a lot LESS maintenance than manual toilets..plus they're are a no-brainer for landlubber guests to flush.

When it comes to installation, plumbing isn't much different from a manual...wiring it correctly (needs to be on a separate dedicated circuit with its own breaker, wire size) is very important. I recommend having that much done by a certified marine electrician...the rest you can easily do yourself.

If you can provide the make/model of the toilet I can give you a link to the owners manual. And I'm always glad to help you learn how to use and maintain it to prevent problems instead of having to cure 'em.

--Peggie
One of my post lockdown projects is to replace the Fwd guest manual toilet

I had thought, one electric/one manual would be the most Murphy proof solution,

But DH and Peggie's rationale for electric makes sense if MTBF is better with electric.

Our head aft is TECMA and it has operated trouble free for 12 years, but is too big for the fwd location.

So which small electric toilet (24v) is recommended that would use salt water if necessary, but with the default to Fresh if we are making enough water.....?
Priority is reliability
Pelagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-05-2020, 06:45   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Rochester, NY
Boat: Chris Craft Catalina 381
Posts: 586
Re: Manual vs electric head?

I put in a Raritan Sea Era in one of my heads last year. The integrated pump version I used is very loud (will wake sleeping people and you can hear it from outside the boat), so I'll likely use the remote seawater pump version when I replace the other head. But it works great.

Mechanically, it's extremely simple and it seems like it'll happily consume anything a human can put out plus the necessary amount of toilet paper with no complaints. And the base unit is pretty small, even more so with the remote pump.
rslifkin is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 22-05-2020, 06:57   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Colorado, Annapolis, Florida, Bahamas, Maine, etc.
Boat: Antares 44i
Posts: 272
Re: Manual vs electric head?

I've heard purists rant against electric heads but after having them on two boats I can't figure out why. They are really simple mechanically. Sure there is an electric motor involved but there are minimal moving parts. I really liked the Raritan model we had on our previous boat as you could select either fresh or sea water to flush. Yes, that added some complexity but also redundancy.
dougweibel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-05-2020, 07:01   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: Boatless Again
Posts: 4,856
Re: Manual vs electric head?

I find the holding tanks fill up faster with electric. I have also spent many unhappy hours unclogging electric heads--they are more susceptible to the dreaded long hair problem. Not too mention they cost a lot more.
donradcliffe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-05-2020, 08:09   #8
Registered User
 
ranger42c's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Maryland, USA
Boat: 42' Sportfish
Posts: 4,308
Re: Manual vs electric head?

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
I find the holding tanks fill up faster with electric. I have also spent many unhappy hours unclogging electric heads--they are more susceptible to the dreaded long hair problem.

Haven't found any of that to be the case with ours. I've never had to unclog ours, either. I think the macerator will chew pencils, too (if that's what somebody happens to deposit).

I DID once have to unclog the discharge line from toilet to tank, but that was all about uric acid build-up, nothing to do with the toilet itself.

-Chris
__________________
Selby Bay, South River, Chesapeake Bay, USA.
ranger42c is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-05-2020, 08:30   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 265
Re: Manual vs electric head?

I agree with all the advantages of electric toilets listed in the previous posting.
Personally, though, I would not spend the money and time to change the manual one that I have on my boat with an electric one. With some discipline, manual toilets work well too. The problems come when you have temporary crew, since they may not adhere to whatever "protocol" you may have for using the toilet. Electric toilets require no (or minimal) explanation or "protocol".
In your case, however, since you have a brand new one already, I would certainly go ahead and install it.
FabioC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-05-2020, 08:31   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Uppsala
Boat: Oyster Hp 49 Pilot House
Posts: 58
Re: Manual vs electric head?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
Haven't found any of that to be the case with ours. I've never had to unclog ours, either. I think the macerator will chew pencils, too (if that's what somebody happens to deposit).

I DID once have to unclog the discharge line from toilet to tank, but that was all about uric acid build-up, nothing to do with the toilet itself.

-Chris
Chris, which brand do you have?
Teunis
Huskybeer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-05-2020, 08:43   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Point Richmond, CA
Boat: Hunter 46
Posts: 141
Re: Manual vs electric head?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CamWrenRoo View Post
...............should sell it and buy a manual, or take the plunge into the unknown with the electric one. Thoughts?
Ditto the forum's vote for an electric head!!..........Take the plunge and install it........I had a Jabsco electric head on my 2004 Hunter 386 and now two Jabsco electric toilets on my 2005 Hunter 46. But they are not completely trouble free. I replaced the water supply solenoid valve and pump/motor on my 386 after 8 years and pump/motor assembly on my Hunter 46 after 15 years. By the way, the parts are not expensive.
sail sfbay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-05-2020, 08:48   #12
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Denmark (Winter), Helsinki (Summer); Cruising the Baltic Sea this year!
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 27,601
Re: Manual vs electric head?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rslifkin View Post
I put in a Raritan Sea Era in one of my heads last year. The integrated pump version I used is very loud (will wake sleeping people and you can hear it from outside the boat), so I'll likely use the remote seawater pump version when I replace the other head. But it works great.

Mechanically, it's extremely simple and it seems like it'll happily consume anything a human can put out plus the necessary amount of toilet paper with no complaints. And the base unit is pretty small, even more so with the remote pump.

I have one Sea Era and one Jabsco Conversion.


The Sea Era is very lightly built and has self-destructed once through flexing of the impeller housing -- a known issue with them.



The Sea Era is the budget model from Raritan, the more expensive one is probably much better.



There is a new model of Sea Era: https://www.raritaneng.com/en/shop/products/seaera-qc


Which has a REALLY attractive feature -- you can switch between fresh and sea water. If you use a holding tank much you REALLY don't want to be flushing with sea water because you won't be flushing enough to prevent waste from standing in the lines. Unless you have a bypass for your anti-syphon loop, which I do not. Using fresh water may mitigate the calcification of the lines. Plus smells better and is generally nicer at times when you have plenty of water. I covet this feature.


The Jabsco is a beefy, agricultural device which makes enough noise to wake the dead. I had trouble with the first one in my boat, but the second one has been bulletproof. It has an additional advantage that it is a drop-in fit for the Jabsco manual toilet, so you can keep a complete spare manual pump in case the electric goes down for any reason.



I'm sure there are electric toilet which are better than either of these, but these are the ones I have experience with.
__________________
"Parce que je suis heureux en mer, et peut-Ítre pour sauver mon ame. . . "
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 22-05-2020, 08:58   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Ranieri/Bari, S. Italy
Boat: Jeanneau 43ds
Posts: 400
Send a message via Skype™ to SaltyMetals
Re: Manual vs electric head?

Camrenroo, i suggest you take Peg hall's advice. Her nickname the "Head Mistress". I still have two Jabsco manuals and the maintenance is easy but i find they need some TLC once every 3 yrs or so, change valves, grease etc. Yes, i will convert both of mine eventually to electric once i have finished various other upgrades and hopefully by then Jabsco will be offering a quiet motor. The old motor makes a terrible racket. Not to be used at night when others are trying to sleep.
Andrew
__________________
SaltyMetals is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-05-2020, 09:05   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2017
Boat: Island Packet, Packet Cat 35
Posts: 410
Re: Manual vs electric head?

ages ago I put on a Jabsco electric conversion unit which I hated. Times have changed and the technology with it. I now have a Raritan electric head and would never go back to manual head although I do have a 2nd head (manual) in the guest head. I will likely replace that one some day as well. Anybody can understand push a button, teaching them how to use a manual head... sometimes not so easy. I've never had an issue with my electric head.
Cpt Mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-05-2020, 09:12   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Somewhere warm
Boat: Morgan 462
Posts: 1,076
Re: Manual vs electric head?

We installed a Raritan Sea Era about 5 years ago. The big advantage is a better flush. Some people simply do not take the care and effort to pump a manual flush toilet enough to clear the waste. They complain, compare it to a land toilet.
The Sea Era worked fine until one month after warranty expired. Motor corroded with sea water. Took it apart and found the seal ring had been incorrectly installed at the factory. Obvious pinched mark on the rubber seal.
Bought new motor and seal, installed it correctly, and its been working fine last 4 years.
The wiring is a simple DIY. Connect to a dedicated breaker and use the breaker and wire size specified or 1 step larger.
__________________

waterman46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
electric, head

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
C-Head, Natures Head or Air Head- which is best overall Ram Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 49 26-11-2018 15:01
Jabsco Manual-->Electric Head amiller Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 10 11-02-2017 19:25
Electric flush head with manual option? ErBrown Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 15 26-06-2016 06:46
Electric Flush Mod to Manual Head zstine Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 12 19-12-2015 11:55
Electric or Manual Head? ssullivan Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 17 20-04-2008 19:22

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:25.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.