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  #1  
Old 09-16-2007
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Question Lavac toilet questions

HI.

I am in the process of replacing my old head. Based on some research, Lavac Popular (24V) seems to be the best bet, however I do have some questions about it. Any help is appreciated.

--------------------

1. Some say that it is not guest friendly. Why?

2. My old head did have a macerator, this way If I was pumping into the sea, the "hard stuff" came out in "small pieces". How is it with the Lavac? Is there some mechanism built in to break it up? Or else, is it feasible to build a macerator into the system?

3. Also worried about having to use the toilet brush to clean up after harder jobs. Do you ever have to do this? Asking because this would require two flushes and a waiting time of 2 minutes (at worst) between them which is not really user-friendly. (What I can think of is that the strength of the vacuum pull causes the flushing water to entirely clean of any mess)

4. Is there a way to add water to the toilet before the next job, if leaving it dry.

5. What is the power consumption of the 24V (or 12V) electric pump? How is it compared to other toilets?

--------------------

Thanks ,
tg

Last edited by tgeewe; 09-16-2007 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 09-16-2007
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I'm not a big fan of electric heads on boats. They tend to have more problems that you can avoid with the manual units.

The biggest complaint I've seen with Lavacs, is that when you're seasick, you can't open the unit immediately after flushing it... making it tough on the person who is seasick, and on the person who has to clean up after them.

From what I've seen the Lavac tends to break the "hard stuff" up in to smaller pieces due to the vacuum used to empty the bowl.

Why would you want to add water to the toilet before the next job?? If that is the case, then you can always add it manually, using a cup from the head sink.

My guess is that the power consumption is probably lower than that of other electric heads, having no macerator in the system. You can read the specs and that should say what the draw of the unit is.
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Old 09-16-2007
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I recently installed a lavac in my boat, with a gravity drain holding tank. When more than 3 miles out, all i have to do is turn a valve and the tank drains itself! They seem guest freindly to me, just different than some might be used to. The pump itself macerates the waste as it goes through it. Getting the water level in the bowl right tales some time, but it isn't any different than another toilet, although a tb would be nice, i don't have one yet. If for some reason the bowl doesn't fill right, I have found that just flushing it again works. The vacuum is very strong, the seat lid bends down quite a bit when you pump it (from all the suction). I will say this, I installed a Groco ball valve just before the water enters the toilet, after the vented loop, just incase. The water intake is looped above the waterline, with a siphon break. With these 2 safety features, my boat is much less likely to sink because of a toilet leak!
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Last edited by southerncross31; 09-16-2007 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 09-16-2007
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SEMIJim will become famous soon enough SEMIJim will become famous soon enough
I had intended to replace our head (pumps out, doesn't pump in) with a Lavac, until I read Jeff's comments, here.

As to maceration: I would imagine all pumps "macerate" to a degree. ISTM unlikely any of them chop things up as finely as a macerator.

Jim
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Old 09-16-2007
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Lavac

The lavac never failed us - it was a big improvement over the others we've had, and we have never had any problems with the two gaskets.
We use a manual Henderson pump not an electric, but a buddy of mine installed a Lavac with an electric and manual pump in series, which seems to work fine.
He actually installed the Lavac after trying ours - He's very thorough, so I'll spare you all the details
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sailingdog:
-the electric option is a must, as this is a charter boat with guests already used to the electric pump in the old head ... i plan to install a manual backup though.
-as I read in forums, having water in the bin before the job makes it easier for the pump (and I suppose it makes the toilet cleaner)

southerncross:
-"getting the water level right takes some time" --- you mean I will have to experiment with the timer (electric) or the pump cycles (manual)? or with the size of the air-hole?
-the groco ball seems to be a good idea

How about the cleanliness issue? Does the vacuum itself make the toilet spotless or do you need some brushing between two flushes?


SEMIJim:
-Jeff complains about the seals -> many others have used this toilet for long times without problems
-He also says something about the poor "wash down" which is almost an answer to my cleanliness issue
ANYONE ELSE HAVE EXPERIENCE ON THESE PROBLEMS?
(Thx, JomsViking ... replies are coming up so fast, I just cannot finish mine )

One more thing: There are times when you have to use "extreme amounts" of toilet paper ... Will it clog the system?

Thanks for the replies,
tg
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I have yet to experience any of the problems noted by Jeff H. Infact, i installed a new Raratin last summer in another boat. I have found the Lavac is much easier to use and hook up. They just redesigned the toilet, apparently to fix some of those trouble spots Jeff mentioned. The giant pump is what macerates the waste. The pumps are MUCH larger than those on other boats, and don't have any valves, so they won't clog. For me it comes down to safety, the lavac is the only toilet i know of that has the water intake vented above the water line. I'm sure youv'e had the experience of having your bowl get full while sailing, or the fear that someone didn't shut off the seacock when you leave the boat. With the Lavac there is much less to worry about. If you hook it up to a grvity drain system, life doesn't get any easier!!!
T, I meant the size of the air-hole, the kit comes with 2, deciding which one to use was all i meant. For me it took time to hook everything up and test. Mine is a manual system, i have never tried the electric one.

Last edited by southerncross31; 09-16-2007 at 09:28 AM.
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We'll keep 'em coming!
It has been my experience that the Lavac clogs less than others, it is really hard to clog a diapraghm pump as the Henderson. However the teenager managed to clog it recently with some cotton thingies for removing makeup - It took me 20 seconds to open the pump and remove the offending parts, although I did not enjoy, because there were also other things in there
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Am new to the "Head" thing as all of our other boats used porta-potties, none of which were ever used. Anyway, not to hi-jack this thread and now that we are on the subject, can one use "regular" toilet paper or do you need to purchase the marine paper?
Thanks.........Dale
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7Psych,

Just find a brand that dissolves relatively quickly when you put it in some water - you don't have to use it first
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