Wilcox Crittenden "Head Mate" - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 20 Old 07-22-2008 Thread Starter
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Wilcox Crittenden "Head Mate"

I'm looking for input on this head. Ideally I would like to hear from anyone who has one on longevity, how it deals with solids, ease of service etc etc.
I got one with my boat and don't want to install it if it does not work well.
Thanks for any input
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post #2 of 20 Old 07-22-2008
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IMHO - It's at the bottom end of the spectrum. My boat came with one. It only lasted 28 years, so obviously a POS. When it came time to rebuild the pump, which was every couple of years, we decided to upgrade.
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post #3 of 20 Old 07-22-2008
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If it is brand new... sell it on eBay and buy a Lavac. The Lavacs are about the most problem free of the marine heads.

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post #4 of 20 Old 07-22-2008
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Originally Posted by jbondy View Post
IMHO - It's at the bottom end of the spectrum. My boat came with one. It only lasted 28 years, ...
I dunno, a head that worked for 28 years can hardly be said to be "bottom end of the spectrum," seems to me.

We've got one of these on our 32-year-old Pearson 30. About the time we bought the boat (last year about this time), it quit pumping water in. Thankfully, it still pumps waste out. I researched our options. Within a reasonable budget ("reasonable," for us, does not mean $1000 for a new toilet), I came up with: 1. Replace WC Head Mate with Raritan PHII (manual). 2. Re-build the Head Mate.

From what I've read: The Wilcox Crittenden Head-Mate is a fairly highly-regarded product. I've choose to rebuild. Just haven't gotten around to it, what with everything else going on.

Jim
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post #5 of 20 Old 07-22-2008 Thread Starter
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28 years of service does seem pretty good.

How does it deal with um "large deposits"? Does it block easily?

Thanks for the input
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I have two of these heads.

The PHII is a better head, in my opinion. That is what Dad has on his boat. However, for the cost and ease of operation, the WC is not bad. It would not be a bad choice.

The build is very straight forward. As a matter of fact, I will be rebuilding it this week. I just ordered the new kit ($75ish dollars/piece). The head lasted about 2.5 years I guess. The gaskets finally appear to have worn out. However, ours likely went out because I use a CL/Teflon In-line head treatment. This is very hard on gaskets. I have no doubt it caused a premature death... but worth it.

Bottom line, it is as fine as any cheap head. There are better. You get what you pay for.

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Originally Posted by GBurton View Post
28 years of service does seem pretty good.

How does it deal with um "large deposits"? Does it block easily?

Thanks for the input
No blockages for us, even with 2 kids that do not always follow the 4 square rule.

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Thank you.
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post #9 of 20 Old 07-22-2008
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I was being tongue in cheek. Maybe it says something about the state of the equipment, but the Head-Mate is, I think, the cheapest MSD on the market. I think that is probably the main reason so many manufacturers install it as original equipment. Meanwhile, they CAN last a very long time. Does that make it good? A PS review recommended the Raritan PHII over the Head-Mate, as does Peggy Hall, the self-proclaimed "Head Mistress". Given the functional equivalence of the HM and the PHII, I'm not really sure what recommends one over the other. They are equivalent technologies. I can't fault a decision to stay with the HM. There are all sorts of reasons to pick one head over another, though, from something as simple as seat size/shape to the process of flushing. My crew hates the idea of pumping a head, so electric was the way to go. Different strokes ...

Last edited by jbondy; 07-22-2008 at 01:03 PM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbondy View Post
I was being tongue in cheek.
Sorry, that flew right by me

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Originally Posted by jbondy View Post
... the Head-Mate is, I think, the cheapest MSD on the market.
I think not. I'm pretty sure Jabsco, and perhaps others, make cheaper units.

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I think that is probably the main reason so many manufacturers install it as original equipment.
Or maybe because it's "just good enough?"

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A PS review recommended the Raritan PHII over the Head-Mate, as does Peggy Hall, the self-proclaimed "Head Mistress".
Yup. But is the PHII enough better than the Head-Mate to justify tossing a perfectly good (other than the pump, in our case) Head-Mate to buy a PHII? When I asked that question here, months ago, the opinion was "No."

Truth be told: From what I've read, pretty much all marine toilets are nasty, undependable things whose only redeeming feature is that sometimes they more-or-less work for a while, if you're lucky.

Jim
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