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Old 22-03-2020, 09:43   #1
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TOILETS!

Hey all, here's a fun subject to chat about instead of the Corona Virus - TOILETS!



I'm looking to replace an old Groco HF manual head with an electric 12v salt water head on our Pearson 424. We have two heads on the boat, I plan to leave our forward head as a manual, but my wife would like the aft head to be electric because despite my rebuilds our old Grocos are tough to pump.



Below are some photos of the toilet I'd like to replace. I'd love to hear thoughts on which model would work best in this installation.


I wish I could find a Groco electric head to keep the plumbing in the same place, but the only Groco electric head I see is $1700 USD+.
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Old 22-03-2020, 12:36   #2
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Re: TOILETS!

Welll...first of all, that $1700 electric Groco is their Model K bronze manual "throne" with an electric motor added that does nothing more than replace the pump HANDLE with the motor.

Your best choice in an electric toilet is the Raritan SeaEra. Raritan SeaEra Promo Sheet It's an electric macerating toilet, available in both sea water and pressurized fresh water versions. Practical Sailor rated it "best budget" macerating electric toilet...second only to the all china Raritan Marine Elegance Raritan Marine_Elegance Promo.pdf that they rated "best in show" when they did a comparison all electric toilets a few years ago. It's the closest thing to a household toilet on the water and VERY quiet.

The list prices for both toilets can be a bit scary, but Defender has the SeaEra "conversion" that replaces everything BUT the bowl,seat and lid on sale right now for $360 Raritan SeaEra "conversion" at Defender You can buy the Marine Elegance from this retailer for $750 INCLUDING the optional $150 "smart flush" panel that offers 4 flush choices. Boatersland Marine Elegance (note that all the boxes on that page are menu choices).

--Peggie
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Old 22-03-2020, 12:40   #3
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Re: TOILETS!

How much water do the electric heads use? I tested my aft head and found it takes 20 pumps to flush all the way to the thru hull. Raritan guessed about the same for the ten feet of hose when I asked them. Does an electric do the same volume or does it leave stuff in the hose, of course depending on length.?
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Old 22-03-2020, 14:32   #4
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Re: TOILETS!

Users can control the amount of flush water an manual toilet uses by using the dry mode to do more than just remove the last of the water from the bowl.

Most people don't know (because they've never bothered to read the specs in the owners manual) that any manual toilet that working anywhere close to factory spec can move bowl contents up to 6 linear feet or 4 vertical feet in the dry mode. So as long as the tank or thru-hull is within 6' of the toilet and/or it's a downhill run, the dry mode will get it there. A couple of pumps in the wet mode to rinse the hose behind it are all that's needed.

"But what if my tank and/or thru-hull is more than 6' from the toilet or it's an UPhill run...or both???"

A fairly easy plumbing modification solves that problem: reroute the toilet discharge line to go UP and over a loop immediately from the toilet (aim the discharge fitting straight up)...the loop only has be an inch or two higher than the inlet fitting on the tank. This will allow you to pump in either mode only long enough to push the bowl contents over the top of it...gravity will get it the rest of the way.

You'll also use less water--and have a much cleaner bowl--after solids if you add water to the bowl ahead of use...a couple of beer cupfuls from the sink is enough.

If you ask most people what the joker valve's function is, they'll say "prevent backflow"...but that's not a joker valve's most important function...in fact, the joker valve is THE single most important replaceable part in a manual toilet. Here's why it should be replaced at least annually:

On the upstroke of the piston, a vacuum is created in the area beneath the piston. This causes the joker valve to close tightly, and the flapper valve beneath the pump to open, allowing some of the contents of the toilet bowl to be drawn into the bottom half of the pump. Then, on the down stroke of the piston, the flapper valve is slammed shut, and the effluent is forced out of the bottom of the pump, through the joker valve, and off down the line. But when the joker valve becomes worn and/or there's a buildup of sea water minerals on it, it can no longer seal tightly on the upstroke of the piston...less vacuum is generated when you pump it. And as it becomes more worn less and less vacuum, till finally the bowl contents simply move up and down a bit, but don't go anywhere. So if it's been more than year since you replaced your joker valve, you'll find that replacing it will cut the number of times you have to pump in either mode quite a bit.

Btw...all of this is explained in a lot more detail in my book (see link in my signature).

--Peggie
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Old 23-03-2020, 05:52   #5
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Re: TOILETS!

This is as I suspected. The head isn't designed to be an air pump.
I try to go to the manufacturer first for advice when possible.

I sent this to Raritan for clarification:
"Users can control the amount of flush water an manual toilet uses by using the dry mode to do more than just remove the last of the water from the bowl.

Most people don't know (because they've never bothered to read the specs in the owners manual) that any manual toilet that working anywhere close to factory spec can move bowl contents up to 6 linear feet or 4 vertical feet in the dry mode. So as long as the tank or thru-hull is within 6' of the toilet and/or it's a downhill run, the dry mode will get it there. A couple of pumps in the wet mode to rinse the hose behind it are all that's needed."

The response from Raritan:
Hello,

Thank you for your email.

Hydraulically speaking, waste will reliably move when it’s displaced by other water/waste.

Dry pumping will move the waste, but only until the bowl is empty.

Please call me and we can discuss this further if you have any additional questions.

Thank you
Mac McCoy
Senior Technical Support Specialist

Raritan Engineering Co, Inc.
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Old 23-03-2020, 06:15   #6
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Re: TOILETS!

Mac is good guy and I respect his advice. However, y'all need to know that I don't make this stuff up. Vic Willman, who was with Raritan for more than 40 years, and my "guru," was Raritan's tech services manager included this in his description of "how manual toilets work" when I asked his help while I was writing my first book:

"While in the ďdryĒ mode, air pressure created by pumping a manual toilet that is in good condition can move waste and water through the system up to about 6 feet without bringing in any flush water."


--Peggie

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Old 23-03-2020, 07:09   #7
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Re: TOILETS!

And that might be true Peggy but the thru hull is 2 feet below the water line. The head is not a strong enough "air pump" to push against 2 feet of water. This is why air locks are such a problem in hydraulic systems and air itself makes things spongy. Air compresses, water does not.
So the last 2 feet of hose is still full of material. My diver only saw the colored water I pumped out after 20 pumps and nothing was moving when dry pumped.
Your theory may be applicable to a holding tank. Not my situation.
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Old 23-03-2020, 09:45   #8
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Re: TOILETS!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happydrv View Post
And that might be true Peggy but the thru hull is 2 feet below the water line. The head is not a strong enough "air pump" to push against 2 feet of water. This is why air locks are such a problem in hydraulic systems and air itself makes things spongy. Air compresses, water does not.
So the last 2 feet of hose is still full of material. My diver only saw the colored water I pumped out after 20 pumps and nothing was moving when dry pumped.
Your theory may be applicable to a holding tank. Not my situation.
Yah , you need to blow the sauce out of the hose and boat

Even with a holding tank its important to get the sauce out of the hose into the tank
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Old 23-03-2020, 09:50   #9
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Re: TOILETS!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happydrv View Post
And that might be true Peggy but the thru hull is 2 feet below the water line. The head is not a strong enough "air pump" to push against 2 feet of water. This is why air locks are such a problem in hydraulic systems and air itself makes things spongy. Air compresses, water does not.
So the last 2 feet of hose is still full of material. My diver only saw the colored water I pumped out after 20 pumps and nothing was moving when dry pumped.
Your theory may be applicable to a holding tank. Not my situation.
Yah , you need to blow the sauce out of the hose and boat

Even with a holding tank its important to get the sauce out of the hose into the tank
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Old 25-03-2020, 10:00   #10
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Re: TOILETS!

Thanks as always Peggie for weighing in with your expertise and your reply to my initial question. We are going to buy one of the SeaEra toilets on Defender today. Now to just figure out what the differences are between the 8 they have listed for sale....
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Old 25-03-2020, 14:54   #11
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Re: TOILETS!

You're welcome to give me a shout if you'd like a little help doing that.


--Peggie
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