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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 06-24-2008
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head problem...

I've got a little leak down by the joker valve on my Wilcox Head Mate. When I pump, a little jet of "juice" squirts out. Since it's in the vicinity of the joker valve, I'm assuming "something" is stuck in there and not allowing for the normal conveyance of you-know-what. I'm thinking of taking a penicillin shot, and then disassembling the plumbing. Any recommendations from the learned panel would be greatly appreciated, as I only want to do this once.
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Old 06-24-2008
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Can't help with disassembly, but.......

I have a rule with my head, IF YOU DIDN"T FIRST EAT OR DRINK IT, IT DOESN 'T GO IN THE HEAD. For those that use toilet paper to clean-up, we have a zip lock bag when the used toilet paper goes.

The RULE so far has worked. We haven't had a problem ever with clogging.

DrB
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Old 06-24-2008
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Sailhog-

If this is the head on your boat, you'll need more than a penicillin shot... more like a full NBC suit.

BTW, Peggie Hall's take on Headmate heads is as follows:

Quote:
In a perfect world, the head should be rebuilt every spring as a part of the entire boat's recommissioning. But nobody seems willing to do ANYthing to a toilet till it breaks (I can't help wondering if they apply the same reasoning to preventive maintenance on their cars). So in the REAL world, toilets should be rebuilt at least every 3 years ... every other year is better. However --

If you have what I call a "disposable" toilet (the 2 or 3 low-end models -- Par/Jabsco, W-C "Headmate" or the Groco HF), two rebuild kits can cost just about as much as a new toilet. In which case, the hell with rebuilding ... use it till it spits in your eye and replace it. But if you have any toilet that'll cost you $200 or more to replace, it's definitely worth rebuilding.

Don't ever just replace a single failed part. If one has failed, all the others are badly worn. Bite the bullet and rebuild the head while you can do it ALL on your terms -- when the bowl is empty and the system is clean.
IMHO, if you can get at the bolts holding the unit in place, just scrap it and replace it with a new one. The cost of a new one is about $150, and the rebuild kit is probably about half that.
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Old 06-24-2008
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I love your sense of humor! Once! If you only have to clear a joker valve or some other head issue once you will be the luckiest sailor alive. Marine plumbing - over my head and beneath my dignity is what I always say. Fear not - it is only pooh - get the repair kit and tear the whole thing apart replace all that needs replacing then put it all back then you will know how it works and you fear of the unknown will be eased. I usually put a cap full of bleach in the bowl and slowly flush it through before I start just to make myself feel less sh--y about the whole experience! Good Luck
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Old 06-24-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Sailhog-

If this is the head on your boat, you'll need more than a penicillin shot... more like a full NBC suit.

BTW, Peggie Hall's take on Headmate heads is as follows:



IMHO, if you can get at the bolts holding the unit in place, just scrap it and replace it with a new one. The cost of a new one is about $150, and the rebuild kit is probably about half that.

This is precisely what I did - 1 year ago. Now, the handle is broken and the intake leaks at the pump. The WC headmate is a joke.
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Old 06-24-2008
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Hog, just rip er out and replace the whole thing.
Our Jabsco is a throw away. Done it twice now.
Four bolts and a couple of hoses and yur done.
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Old 06-24-2008
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I've rebuilt heads. Usually the rebuld kits are available at a good discount, well less than half the price of a new head and of course much cheaper to have shipped.

I treated it like a hazmat operation: Dose the bowl with bleach, flush, let sit. Make sure everything needed will be at hand, and have a "clean hands" helper available who only passes things--doesn't touch anything from the toilet.

Rubber gloves, paper towels, a generous garbage bag for the used paper towels, a bucke tof bleach water to soak/clean things in.

Really no big deal. Throw your work clothes in the laundry afterwards. Every mother who has to clean up after a child that hasn't been potty trained is going to be doing the same thing--minus the gloves and bleach.

And if you've ever replaced a thermostat in a car or boat, you've already done a fairly similar job, you're just placing parts in a pipe.

Then again, if you want to use this as an excuse to upgrade to a bigger better more robust head, that's something esle again.
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Old 06-24-2008
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Thanks, gentlemen...

I was pretty proud of that head. It gobbled down some mighty big dumplings from a couple of little girls who love their mama's enchiladas. Did I ever hear it whimper? Not once -- until now. Kinda sad to see it go...
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Old 06-24-2008
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Lavac. Head of the class.

We're done here.
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Old 06-24-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrB View Post
I have a rule with my head, IF YOU DIDN"T FIRST EAT OR DRINK IT, IT DOESN 'T GO IN THE HEAD. For those that use toilet paper to clean-up, we have a zip lock bag when the used toilet paper goes.

The RULE so far has worked. We haven't had a problem ever with clogging.

DrB
Please tell me you're kidding! Off to lunch.
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