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Old 21-07-2019, 16:30   #1
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Sticky manual head pump

Recently my head pumping handle became very hard to pump.
Any thoughts? Thank you.
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Old 21-07-2019, 17:14   #2
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Re: Sticky manual head pump

Two most likely reasons:



1. It needs lubrication. A manual toilet is working machinery with parts that rub against each other. When they leave the factory the pump is slathered with a thick teflon or silicon grease, but it doesn't last forever...typical just a season before the toilet starts to become increasingly stiff as seals, o-rings etc start to rub against the inside of the pump cylinder without anything to "cushion" em. You can join those who opt for the never ending job of flushing vegetable oil down the toilet every couple of weeks (a tablespoon will last just as long as whole bottle 'cuz it all gets washed out in few flushes)...or you you can buy a tube of thick teflon grease (SupeLube has the best one, Ace Hardware and Home Depot carry it)...open up the top of the pump, or lift it off the base to stick the nozzle on the tube into it and give it healthy squirt. Put the pump back together, pump a few times to spread the grease all over the inside of the pump and you're done till next spring.


2. If you're also experiencing any burping, bubbling or back flow and flushes that don't want to go down, that's a strong indication that you're pumping against a blocked holding tank vent. The two most common locations for a vent blockage are the vent thru-hull and the other end of the vent line--that end of the hose and the vent fitting on the tank. Start by cleaning out the thru-hull...use a screwdriver blade, ice pick--whatever works. If that doesn't result in a spew out the vent, you'll need to relieve the pressure before removing the vent line from the tank to clean them out...so open the deck pumpout fitting VERY CAREFULLY with a hose at the ready. Be sure you're UPwind of it! Scrape out that end of the vent line and the vent fitting on the tank...replace the vent line.



--Peggie
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Old 21-07-2019, 19:24   #3
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Re: Sticky manual head pump

Assuming that the OP might be cruising offshore and pumping directly overboard, then there is a 3rd possible option, that the thru hull is constricted by marine growth and further blocked by waste. The symptom in that case is a 'springy' feel when attempting to pump. This would qualify as "hard to pump", rather than stiff.

Since this sounds a lot a lot like personal experience, I should add that we have not been in a marina for over a year..
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Old 22-07-2019, 00:12   #4
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Re: Sticky manual head pump

Knowing what make of toilet/pump you have would make sensible responses possible.

If itís the ubiquitous Jabsco like the image attached, the solution is simple.

Under the T-handle on the top of the pump body is a large plastic nut. So pull the handle all the way up, loosen the nut and remove the handle by tipping it sideways (less spill). Take a light smear of waterproof grease, smear it onto the cylinder walls and reassemble.

This will take five minutes and keep the pump smooth for several months.
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Old 22-07-2019, 01:46   #5
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Re: Sticky manual head pump

It could also be the wet/dry leaver not going all the way over to the dry side. I keep a spare pump assembly on board and replace the whole thing when needed. not much more expensive than a rebuild kit.
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Old 22-07-2019, 02:07   #6
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Re: Sticky manual head pump

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF ,Wayneo.
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Old 22-07-2019, 07:50   #7
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Re: Sticky manual head pump

Under the T-handle on the top of the pump body is a large plastic nut. So pull the handle all the way up, loosen the nut and remove the handle by tipping it sideways (less spill). Take a light smear of waterproof grease, smear it onto the cylinder walls and reassemble. This will take five minutes and keep the pump smooth for several months.

Removing the top of the pump and sticking the nozzle of the grease tube into the pump to give it a good squirt takes even less time and puts enough grease into the pump to last a lot longer. Pumping the toilet after you put the top back on spreads it all over the inside of the pump cylinder.

If the toilet is a Raritan PHII, the top isn't removable, so it's necessary to lift the pump off the base (which only requires removing 2 screws) far enough to stick the tube nozzle into it.

No disassembly required in either case.

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Old 23-07-2019, 20:23   #8
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Re: Sticky manual head pump

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
Removing the top of the pump and sticking the nozzle of the grease tube into the pump to give it a good squirt takes even less time and puts enough grease into the pump to last a lot longer. Pumping the toilet after you put the top back on spreads it all over the inside of the pump cylinder.
Starting into a debate into toilet maintenance with the “guru” of toilet maintenance is daunting but “removing the top of the pump” implies taking out four screws, exposing the rubber gasket/valve plate to get to the top of the pump tube. How can that take less time than removing one plastic nut to get to the exact same objective?

The only confusion I have is . . . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
No disassembly required in either case.

--Peggie
. . . . . which implies that you don’t remove the four screws?
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Old 24-07-2019, 07:14   #9
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Re: Sticky manual head pump

If--as you didn't "imply" but actually said--loosening the nut creates all the access to the inside of the pump needed to grease it, then no...it's not necessary to remove the 4 screws. My only disagreement with your advice was the small amount grease you recommend and the need to smear it onto the cylinder walls (not sure how that can be done through the small opening created by loosening the nut) when one good squirt of about a tablespoon, spread all over the cylinder wall by just pumping the toilet a few times, puts enough grease into the pump to do it right.

However, if the toilet is NOT a Jabsco, it may be necessary to remove the top of the pump or lift it off the base high enough to stick the tube nozzle into it, either of which may require removing some screws.

--Peggie
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Old 24-07-2019, 07:51   #10
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Re: Sticky manual head pump

I don't know whether it adds anything to the discussion but we've found that running a cup of head lube through the pump once a week, wiping down the piston rod with a little silicon diaelectric grease from time to time and running a gallon of water mixed with 8 oz of Muriatic acid through the system once a month seems to keep things working smoothly and easily.

FWIW...
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Old 24-07-2019, 08:52   #11
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Re: Sticky manual head pump

If that keeps your toilet pumping smoothly, great. But I'm lazy, and just putting a good squirt of teflon or silicone grease--which is what's in all new toilet pumps when they leave the factory--into the pump once or twice a year is a lot less labor intensive...and a lot less expensive than bottles of "head lube." A tube of SuperLube grease is about $6.95, last for years and also does a great job of lubing winches, seacocks, y-valves etc.



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