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  #1  
Old 02-04-2008
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Toilet problems..........

The toilet on my boat seems to have a problem. When I use it, I can flush the waste contents out but fresh water doesnt run back into the bowl like I believe it should. I think this because the instructions state to keep pumping(manually) to clean the bowl.

Well, I keep pumping and it looks like the same waste water comes back out from the rim of the bowl. Maybe not the exact same but tis not fresh water for sure.

So this past weekend I just pumped whatever was in the bowl out and then stopped from there. When I would come back to use the toilet again, there would be water in there that wasnt pumped into it manually, dirty waste water at that!

The hand pump on the toilet has a bungee cord on it to hold in the compressed position because it has a tendency to come up itself. I think that the previous owners of the boat had problems with it because there was an old "pump unit"? that they had taken off and replaced with the one that is in now, but it doesnt seem to be doing it's job.

Do these symptoms bring any apparent problems to mind?
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Old 02-04-2008
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How full is your holding tank ?
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Old 02-04-2008
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Seacock for the fresh water inlet closed?
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Old 02-04-2008
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Little switch lever not set to the flush setting? (RM69)
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Old 02-04-2008
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You need a new joker valve is my guess.
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Old 02-04-2008
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Fresh water holding tank is full, but wasnt the first time I used the restroom. It was empty.

I looked for a seacock but they were not coming from the fresh water tank. Could it be that the toilet is meant to be flushed with salt water?

There was a small L shaped bar coming out the side of the pumping valve or whatever and I tried it in both positions.

What is a joker vavle and how hard it is to replace.


This doesnt pertain to the question at hand but I have seen toilet paper for use in marine heads, is this safe? Will it clog the toilet?
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Old 02-04-2008
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its under the port v-berth

I have a Watkins 27. The seacock for the head is under the port V-berth on my boat. You may want to try and take a look there. I have had the same experience, you will feel the difference in the pump once you open the seacock.
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Old 02-04-2008
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Perithead wrote:
I looked for a seacock but they were not coming from the fresh water tank. Could it be that the toilet is meant to be flushed with salt water?

What is a joker vavle and how hard it is to replace.

This doesnt pertain to the question at hand but I have seen toilet paper for use in marine heads, is this safe? Will it clog the toilet?
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Most marine heads do flush with sea water.

A joker valve is a one way value usually of rubber that fits in the pipe near the exhaust of the head. It susposed to prevent back flow. If it gets clogged with something and remains partially open sewage can flow back into the bowl from the exhaust hose. It's not hard to replace, but it can be a messy job.

Marine head toilet paper is designed to dissolve more quickly than the household variety and helps keep things like the joker valve from getting clogged. It tends to be more expensive because it has "marine" in the name and is sold in boat stores.

Last edited by billyruffn; 02-04-2008 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 02-04-2008
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Don't use anything else but Marine Toilet Paper.
You are asking for trouble if you try to cut corners here.

We have on board our boat the cheap Jabsco head.
If we have problems, I have always replaced the entire head. (Replaced it twice now in five years)
You can get a new head for about what it cost for a rebuild kit/pump assembly/etc... I find it easier to replace the whole thing than to try and trouble shoot it. Just me, and yes, one of these years we WILL upgrade.

Your water used to flush should be coming from a thruhull and sea water, not from your fresh water tank as the previous posters have already stated.
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Last edited by sailortjk1; 02-04-2008 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 02-04-2008
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SailorTJK-

All marine grade Toilet paper is is a cheap single ply toilet paper. Any toilet paper that starts to disintegrate on contact with water should do nicely. Scott Tissues makes a good toilet paper that works well in most marine heads, and it's a far cheaper alternative than the "marine" brand stuff.


Perithead-

The Joker Valve is usually a large flapper type valve that is supposed to prevent the waste from backflushing into the head, back through the pump. It is usually pretty simple to replace and is available as part of a re-build kit for most heads. I'd also replace the pump seals, since you'll be tearing the pump apart, and the seals you need will also be in the re-build kit.

However, depending on what head you have, it may be only a small price difference between re-building it and replacing it... so you may want to check that out. This is what SailorTJK has done.

Most marine heads are rigged to take water from a through hulll and use the salt water to "flush" the toilet. This then gets pumped into the holding tank or out to sea (if out past the three-mile limit).

A holding tank is never called a freshwater holding tank. If it is a holding tank, it is a black water holding tank--if it is freshwater, as opposed to sewage, then it is just a water tank.

Some heads are plumbed to allow you to flush them using fresh water. That is an option with the head on my boat. The intake line to the head can be fed from either a through hull with sea water or from the drain of the head sink, with fresh water. Dead sea water organisms are often a big cause of head odors...so flushing with fresh water might be a good idea to cut down on the smell.
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