I have had one 4 seasons with no problems at all. A sistership to my boat is on her 5th season with the same head and no problems. It will fail eventually of course. Buy the replacement parts kit and have it standing by for the inevitable nasty job. The spare parts kit is not much more expensive than a manual head parts kit. That does not of course include a spare electric motor, but that is a pretty infrequent failure. No, there is no "back up" in the event of failure. Mine is a Jabsco head. I have had more problem with manual heads in other boats!