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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 07-03-2008
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Unhappy change o' the head

To my unfortunate surprise, my pos Jabsco head is now leaking due to a crack in the housing. It came with the boat - and most people have advised getting a better quality unit. No problem there.

Boat is in water of course - but are there any sage words of wisdom in preparing to replace the head on a boat? Good news is that the holding tank is relatively new, and the hoses are in very good condition - as are the thru hulls, etc.

Looking forward to this fun job - about as bad as changing the wax seal on my toilet at home(which i have done before...).

Rick
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Old 07-03-2008
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Rick, if you didn't mind the old one, replace it with the same model. I just replaced a Wilcox with the same unit and it took maybe 1/2 hour. All the holes line up and all the hoses are the right length.

My $.02
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Old 07-03-2008
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I went with a raritan PHII personally when I replace my head. All the pertinent parts are replaceable on this model back some 20+ yrs. Ok, so it is a bit more than most, but worth it for me!

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Old 07-03-2008
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There's really nothing to changing a head....a few hoses, clamps and some screws to hold it in place. You'll still have time for a few cold ones when you're done.
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Old 07-04-2008
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I've replaced a Jabsco with the Raritan PHC which is a PHII on a compact base, recommend highly over the Jabsco.
Pump out and flush the tank many times prior to proceeding and consider replacing hoses if they are black rubber with newer less permeable white Trident type hose. Waste systems are a PITA and sometimes better to do EVERYTHING at once rather than piecemeal.
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Old 07-04-2008
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Carry a couple of cans of Clorox or Lysol disinfecting wipes. Very useful, and easy to use.
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Old 07-04-2008
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We changed out the aft head Jabsco for a Raritan. The Raritan was a little more expensive, but after nearly 5 years, I can tell you that when the boat is underway with a crew, the Raritan gets used and everyone ignores the Jabsco.

As for the physical change, I had to drill two new mounting holes because the base pattern is a little different, and I had to buy a straight output fitting to replace the angled one that came with the new head. Took me about two hours, start to finish.

As for the Jabsco, it's on my list of things to replace as soon as the boss cuts the money loose. They squeak, squawk, leak, stink, and backfill with water.

The Raritan has worked flawlessly except for an operator problem once. The boss's cheri' du jour put a 'little bit' of toilet paper in the bowl and managed to jam the joker valve completely. (The little bit was a column of soggy toilet paper 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 9 inches long!)

Anyway, ain't no big deal to change it out. Four base bolts, two hose clamps, and that's it.

Do yourself a favor, though. Before you disconnect the 1 1/2 inch output hose, buy a gallon of white vinegar at the grocery store and pump it into the head, let it sit a couple of hours, then flush it through using fresh water. The vinegar will deal with the 'biological' waste and break any salt in the hoses loose, to boot. For what it's worth, I do that to both heads once a month. The vinegar will also do a job on the barnacles on the through hulls if you're pumping directly overboard--off shore, of course.

Cap'n Gary
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Old 07-04-2008
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all thanks for the input - good idea about the clorox wipes and such..

my preference is going with a Raritan - the boat came with a Raritan PH II and the PO replaced with a Jabsco.

i've heard white vinegar and water as a "pre rinse" before changing too. so i'll do that.

re hoses - i'm tempted to do that too - the current hoses are black - very thick hoses - almost like an exhaust hoses - they are either trident or shield sanitation hoses.

Rick
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Old 07-04-2008
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The black hoses can look perfectly fine but after many years of use can be permeated by odor (if you rub it hard you can smell it on your hands) and you wouldn't believe the kind of waxy, salty build up they get inside, sometimes reduces the size by half.
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