Problem with pump for manual head - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 07-05-2006
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Problem with pump for manual head

Greetings,

My 1970 Westerly Cirrus has a manual marine head w/holding tank. It has an older plunger-type pump assembly and will not draw water. If I put water in the bowl the pump will move it to the holding tank. As it is so old, I was thinking of replacing the pump instead of just buying a repair kit. My question is, are pumps interchangeable? There are no manufacturer labels on the pump and the only way I can think of getting even a rebuild kit would be to remove it and drop it on the sales desk at West Marine. The boat was built in the UK, which may make parts even more difficult to find. I've received no reply from the Westerly User Forum.

All of the photos online that I've seen of pumps show the same rectangular base with four screws. Are they standardized? It would be great to be able to just swap it out.

Any input or suggestions would be appreciated.

Fair winds,

Mark
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Old 07-06-2006
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I doubt that they're standardized. However, if you can figure out who made the head unit, then the manufacturer probably still makes a pump that will fit. It may be worthwhile to try and find out what the stock head unit on the boat was...many times the head will still be the same as the one orignally outfitted, and then you will have at least a good guess on who made it and what model it is.
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Old 07-06-2006
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Why don't you take a picture of it and post it? Maybe one of us will recognize it. Or take a look at the heads on line here and on other sites and see if it looks like one. Most designes haven't changed much over the years. "plunger type" sounds like a Jabsco...check those out first!
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Wilcox Crittenden also makes a few heads with a "plunger" or piston-type pump on them.
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Old 07-06-2006
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We recently replaced our head; Jabsco. The repair/rebuild kit was $65.00 at Westmarine. The entire head fixture was $130.00. After thinking about it for 2 minutes, we decided to replace the entire fixture.
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Old 07-06-2006
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Have you taken it apart yet? Sounds like the check valve (I think it's called a choker?) is stuck open. Easy replacement or cleaning.
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If you do decide to replace the head... a Lavac head might be a good option, especially if no one on your boat is susceptible to mal-de-mer...

BTW, the check valve is generally called a joker valve... I always wondered about the name and why it was called that.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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