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Old 10-04-2017, 11:46   #1
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Raritan Sea Era Toilet

I'm still struggling with this toilet, which replaced one of the old Jabsco electric conversion toilets (the incredibly noisy ones), which migrated to my forwards heads.

It is extremely sensitive to clogging due to fibrous matter in the impeller. Even a tiny bit of hair, or even imperfectly digested celery (!), will stop it from pumping out. I believe that the reason for this is very poor hydrodynamics of the impeller, which will not create enough flow or pressure to pump out if there is the slightest disturbance. I just spent an unpleasant half hour cleaning celery fibers out of the impeller -- this is ridiculous!

The other problem I had with this toilet, which others have reported as well, is that the impeller flexes and meets the motor end plate, which causes both flimsy plastic parts to disintegrate.

But that's not the issue.

The biggest problem of all with this toilet is that impeller and supply pump cannot be operated independently. So there is no way to pump out the toilet without supplying new sea water, short of closing the sea cock. Since anyway the impeller is weak, it means that you can't leave the toilet with a dry bowl, which can have bad consequences on a heel in rough seas.

Does anyone know whether I can damage it by closing the intake sea cock? This is what I've been doing to get a dry bowl before going out in rough weather. Fortunately for me, the sea cock is easily accessible.

And I wonder whether I can improve the balance between intake and pump out, by PARTIALLY closing the sea cock? Or will this wreck the diaphragm pump?

Raritan made this toilet with a separate -- remote -- intake pump. I might convert it to this -- the I can have separate controls which would solve that problem.

But it would leave the other problems. Maybe I need to shop around again for something better.

The ancient Jabsco which this toilet replaced is still shrieking away merrily, without any of these problems. It has a much more powerful motor and impeller and will chew up and pump out anything you might throw at it. The pump out can be operated separately by turning the dial counterclockwise. I had problems some years ago with this toilet priming, but that problem disappeared.

So I guess a second question -- what is a really good electric toilet, finally? One which has separate intake and pump out pumps, separately controllable, and better hydrodynamics, more robust?
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Old 10-04-2017, 12:11   #2
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Re: Raritan Sea Era Toilet

Hey , Dockhead.

When I was looking for new heads for my boat I was in the same state of mind. The one toilet that I liked was built by Headhunter , but there design prohibits the flow upstream , or you have to locate the holding take below the the level of the head , thats hard on small boats. But I really liked there flushing idea with a jet of water over a water lock .
Well as it turned out I just designed and built my own . It wasn't hard , start with a full size jabsco bowl build a base that will except 1 1/2 black pipe, a couple of buttons a bunch of relays a full sized macerator pump , if you are not using fresh water for the flush you will need a feed pump . Surprising how much quieter it is when you mount the macerator away from the bowl . It it uses very little water. Good part is you can fill the bowl if you want or pump it dry . Almost three years full time use and no trouble at all .

Made this little video .

ttps://
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Old 10-04-2017, 13:37   #3
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Re: Raritan Sea Era Toilet

I have a Sea Era toilet on my Liberty and so far, touch wood, have had no problems with it over 5 years of use 6 months of each year. I just clean it with vinegar at the end of each season. Mine has the separate pump, a Jabsco ParMax 4 with a double two way and off rocker switch which enables flush, fill and dry bowl. As to your pumping problem maybe some part has not been replaced quite right. Have you consulted Leesan who are the UK dealers for Raritan, or even Raritan themselves? These guys must have come across a similar problem.

My previous boat had a Vacuflush system with two loos and in 18 years of ownership I only had one blockage when a lady visitor flushed a sanitary towel. If I could afford one now and had the space for the vacuum tank I'd fit another like a shot.

Cheers,

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Old 10-04-2017, 13:53   #4
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Re: Raritan Sea Era Toilet

Low voltage to the toilet is the most common cause of sluggish discharge...which seems to describe your situation exactly, 'cuz the impeller can't function fully if it's not getting enough power.

So I'd make sure your SeaEra is a getting a full 12v. Put an amp meter on it WHILE FLUSHING. If it's low, it may be due to a failing battery...or it may be because the toilet is on a circuit shared by other equipment that isn't letting it get full voltage (which is why all electric toilets should be on their own dedicated circuit with separate breaker)...or inadequate wire size for distance--which must always be the round trip distance, not just one way) from the power source. If you didn't rewire, check the wire size needed for your previous Jabsco against the wire size needed by the SeaEra.

Apparently you weren't aware when you bought the toilet that the SeaEra is available with two flush options: the "Standard" single button you have, and the "Momentary Wall Control" upgrade that can bring in water ahead of use, bring in water and flush simultaneously, and dry flush. You can still retrofit it, but retrofitting it now is a bit pricy (Defender's price is $150)...it would have been a lot less bundled with the toilet.
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Old 10-04-2017, 13:55   #5
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Re: Raritan Sea Era Toilet

Just another thought to answer your question about damage to the macerator pump, on ours there is always a little water left in the bottom of the pump housing when finishing a "dry bowl" cycle so the pump should be OK. We always "dry bowl" the loo after every use but in any case the macerator pump has greater pumping capacity than the ParMax intake pump so the bowl empties quite quickly even when flushing. I suspect your macerator pump is not working at full capacity but as to why I can't help except to say check the assembly.

Hope you find the problem. Cheers,

Mike
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Old 10-04-2017, 15:25   #6
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Re: Raritan Sea Era Toilet

As usual, Peggie beat me to it. My first thought was low voltage. Sea Era toilets generally have a good reputation. Peggie also addressed your dry flush issue.
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Old 10-04-2017, 16:06   #7
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Raritan Sea Era Toilet

I originally had PHII's that were ancient, I'm sure original to the 1987 boat.
So I converted them to fresh heads, which worked fine, but the wife would clog or almost clog the things, I believe too much paper. I could over time force it to pump, but broke the arms the pump handle was mounted to I was using so much force.
Rather than to try to teach her better, I decided to give an electric a try, got in touch with Hopcar and he sent me a sea era conversion. The instructions for my wire run length were insane, wanted 8 Ga, so I ran 8 Ga. seemed stupid crimping 8 Ga wire to the I think 14 Ga of the motor, but oh well.
Also went with the smart flush control that allows a tank full indicator and separate fill and flush, along with being able to program it, but I stuck with factory programming. Really, programming a toilet?
Anyway the thing will empty a fully filled full bowl in about three seconds. I fully fill the bowl before we leave to flush out the lines, replacing them was both more expensive and more work than I wanted, so I flush them out, but it is a very powerful pump, so something is indeed wrong with yours.
I am still using the 1.5" hose as it was new, next time I will run 1" hose.
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Old 10-04-2017, 18:55   #8
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Re: Raritan Sea Era Toilet

I quite like my Jabsco Quiet Flush. Now there's a misnomer if ever there was one. They usually work very well. I'm sure it would be totally reliable if I converted it to fresh water feed, but I'm too lazy, so haven't done that, so put up with a regular Jabsco swap out routine.

I believe the dog's cahunas are Tecma if you want to invest a little. Standard fit to upper end yachts.

My choice would be a fresh water Jabsco or a Tecma
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Old 10-04-2017, 19:48   #9
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Raritan Sea Era Toilet

I've had the Sea Era since 2004 and about 950 days on board. A couple of times we have been stopped up and I just close the thru hull, stopping additional water ingress, and grind away until it is unstopped. Reopen the thru hull and good to go.

Never have had anything it wouldn't grind up go through ours. Suspect low voltage is your problem.
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Old 11-04-2017, 03:05   #10
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Re: Raritan Sea Era Toilet

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
Low voltage to the toilet is the most common cause of sluggish discharge...which seems to describe your situation exactly, 'cuz the impeller can't function fully if it's not getting enough power.

So I'd make sure your SeaEra is a getting a full 12v. Put an amp meter on it WHILE FLUSHING. If it's low, it may be due to a failing battery...or it may be because the toilet is on a circuit shared by other equipment that isn't letting it get full voltage (which is why all electric toilets should be on their own dedicated circuit with separate breaker)...or inadequate wire size for distance--which must always be the round trip distance, not just one way) from the power source. If you didn't rewire, check the wire size needed for your previous Jabsco against the wire size needed by the SeaEra.

Apparently you weren't aware when you bought the toilet that the SeaEra is available with two flush options: the "Standard" single button you have, and the "Momentary Wall Control" upgrade that can bring in water ahead of use, bring in water and flush simultaneously, and dry flush. You can still retrofit it, but retrofitting it now is a bit pricy (Defender's price is $150)...it would have been a lot less bundled with the toilet.
Thanks -- and I actually think I may do this. I think this is the separate pump version, right? $150 is not all that bad for a whole pump and associated bits.


I have checked voltage and current draw at the toilet a few times and there is no problem. I am 24 volts and with a very robust electrical system with robust cabling and there is no measurable voltage drop. System voltage at the dock is 26.5 volts, and that's what the toilet is getting.

The problem I think is that the impeller is small and mounted in a way that it is very sensitive to any disturbance of the flow. That, and there is not enough difference between capacity of the impeller and capacity of the intake pump. The remote pump should solve this as it will be easy then to modulate the amount of new water intake.
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Old 11-04-2017, 03:08   #11
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Re: Raritan Sea Era Toilet

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I originally had PHII's that were ancient, I'm sure original to the 1987 boat.
So I converted them to fresh heads, which worked fine, but the wife would clog or almost clog the things, I believe too much paper. I could over time force it to pump, but broke the arms the pump handle was mounted to I was using so much force.
Rather than to try to teach her better, I decided to give an electric a try, got in touch with Hopcar and he sent me a sea era conversion. The instructions for my wire run length were insane, wanted 8 Ga, so I ran 8 Ga. seemed stupid crimping 8 Ga wire to the I think 14 Ga of the motor, but oh well.
Also went with the smart flush control that allows a tank full indicator and separate fill and flush, along with being able to program it, but I stuck with factory programming. Really, programming a toilet?
Anyway the thing will empty a fully filled full bowl in about three seconds. I fully fill the bowl before we leave to flush out the lines, replacing them was both more expensive and more work than I wanted, so I flush them out, but it is a very powerful pump, so something is indeed wrong with yours.
I am still using the 1.5" hose as it was new, next time I will run 1" hose.
OK, that's useful practical experience.

So the "smart flush control" means you have a separate intake pump, right? Or how does it separate filling and flushing functions?

I actually bought a "smart flush control" from HopCar and still have it in the box. But it's just a switch, and nothing to connect it to, so I was unable to install it. I think it belongs to a bigger kit including the separate pump.
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Old 11-04-2017, 04:27   #12
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Re: Raritan Sea Era Toilet

We are on year 12 with our seaera and no problems. When I installed it I went with a seperate supply pump and a rocker switch. Push switch one way and bowl fills, push other way and bowl empties. Cost was a bit higher but worth it.
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Old 11-04-2017, 05:16   #13
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Re: Raritan Sea Era Toilet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
OK, that's useful practical experience.

So the "smart flush control" means you have a separate intake pump, right? Or how does it separate filling and flushing functions?

I actually bought a "smart flush control" from HopCar and still have it in the box. But it's just a switch, and nothing to connect it to, so I was unable to install it. I think it belongs to a bigger kit including the separate pump.

Mine is fresh water so instead of a separate pump it connects to a solenoid in the fresh water supply line. I'm sure it can use a separate pump instead.
Its not a switch but a little panel about 2x3" or so with I think four touch pads.
water saver, regular flush, add water, empty bowl. It adds water, then stops and empties the bowl, then adds water after the macerator stops. To completely empty the bowl is just a momentary touch of the pad

As programmed the regular flush is just three water saver flushes, you can change programming to make it one longer flush, I haven't bothered though, too much other stuff to get ready to go.
Our routine is if no solids, water saver, any solid, regular flush.

I also when I changed the waste tank added another bung to the tank and installed a macerator pump also from Hopcar, its a 1.5' hose and discharges through a thru hull about 2' above water line. This thing is a serious pump, it will throw the discharge about 6' or 8 ' and empty the 35 gallon waste tank in less than a minute I think.
I only bring this up to show that macerator pumps are much more serious pumps than I realized,

Link to smart flush control
http://www.raritaneng.com/wp-content...STC-manual.pdf
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Old 11-04-2017, 05:44   #14
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Re: Raritan Sea Era Toilet

Dockhead,

Don't discount the low voltage possibility without checking the motor voltage at the motor when it is pumping. No matter how good the rest of the wiring is it only takes one dodgy crimp to slow the motor.
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Old 11-04-2017, 07:05   #15
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Re: Raritan Sea Era Toilet

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Dockhead,

Don't discount the low voltage possibility without checking the motor voltage at the motor when it is pumping. No matter how good the rest of the wiring is it only takes one dodgy crimp to slow the motor.
I second that. You need to test the voltage with the motor running with a "load" on it.
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