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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-26-2007
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Head replacement...recommendations?

The 15 year old el cheapo has flushed it's last flush (crapped out?). Time for a replacement, don't want to spend a fortune and want to stay with a manual. Practical Sailor (Sep. 2000) recommends the Raritan PH - II, does anyone have any recommendations or cautions? Thanks, John
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Old 04-26-2007
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I"d say go for a Lavac, if you can afford the cost. The Lavacs are simpler and more foolproof than most other marine heads and generally have fewer maintenance issues.

Might also want to measure the space the head fits in to make sure that whatever alternative you choose is going to fit properly.
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Old 04-26-2007
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Lavac or PH II are both good choices.
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Old 04-26-2007
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PHII's are reliable, cheap and easy to fix.
Lavacs are expensive and the best.
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Old 04-26-2007
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Correct on the cost of Lavac heads and their parts - but essentially, they're maintenance free. We have two Lavacs onboard and have had to replace the seat lid on one due to pump-out pressure cracking it.

After shelling out 150.00 for just the round plastic lid - we've learned to keep the lid up during a tank pump-out.
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Old 04-26-2007
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TB - I am looking at replacing an older Raritan, with a Lavac Popular ($350) or Zenith ($300 discontinued / clearance). Any input on the different models?

Also, Are you set up to use the lavac toilet pump to pump out your holding tank at sea? If so, can you explain / draw you system, as I see on the Lavac site, that you can do it a couple of different ways, only 1 1/1/2 connction to the tank for in / out, or using a separate in / out, that would result in dockside pumpouts sucking everything through the manual pump. Looking for best / simplist way to connect everything. Will be using pumpout most times, but would like the option to manually dump tank at sea as well!
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Old 04-26-2007
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The Zenith is fine. Buy some spares if you're worried.

You can do FOUR things with the Henderson/Lavac, actually: 1) pump to holding tank, 2) pump overboard via a diverter valve, 3) pump the holding tank to the sea, and 4) with a second valve, you can use the Henderson as a manual bilge or sump pump.

My wife *likes* the new-to-us boat, but it was the sight of the Lavac that made her say: "we're buying it!".

I consider it the crapper of the gods, personally, and I wouldn't go back to that Jabsco/Groco/Par junk again.
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Old 04-26-2007
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Northeaster,
Both our Lavacs are Zenith models, which as you noted, have been replaced by the 3rd generation Popular model. The Zenith is more robust with a heavier porcelain bowl - making it more expensive. The Popular was designed to lower costs, though it seems to have a better designed seat lid, the weak point of the Zenith models.

Our forward head has a dedicated Henderson pump for bowl flushing and is plumbed with a Y-valve allowing for either tank discharge or directly overboard. There is also a divertor valve allowing for tank pump-out via a deck fitting, or use of a separate Henderson manual pump for emptying the 25 gal holding tank at sea - while offshore from the NDZ of course.

Our aft cabin head has a third Henderson pump, but only disharges directly overboard - something I've considered changing, if I can decide where to put another tank.
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TB- I started a separate post, so I wouldn't steal this one. Sorry!
Where you have a separate pump, for the manual tank pumpout at sea, the Lavac site shows a couple of ways of achieving this with the sole toilet pump. I wonder if this may be a case where it is better to keep it separate? I realize that some people put a manual pump in line with an electric, as a backup, and it is OK to draw the contents through the manual pump. However, I assume a dockside pump would produce a lot more force than an electric toilet pump, and wonder if this would hurt in the long run. Just looking for the best / mosy foolproof way of doing it, without wasting $$.
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I can't comment on the use of one Henderson pump for both thru-hull tank discharge and bowl flushing, since I've not had direct experience with this setup. My arrangement though, has been foolproof. I was truely amazed over how efficiently the tank can be emptied at sea.

It is important however, to adjust the divertor valve between the tank discharge pump and deck pump-out. I had forgotten once, leading to some frustrations with our Marina's pump-out attendant - until finally realizing what was wrong.
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