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post #1 of 9 Old 04-26-2009 Thread Starter
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Replacing Head

I am thinking about replacing the old hand pump toilet on my sail boat(cause I'm sick of the kids not being able to do it). However my experience with electric units is limited to pushing the button in wonder on friends power boats. Can any one give me any info on makes/models to look for or avoid? Obvious issues are reliabilty and current draw. Boat is a 33' 1989 GRP cruiser/racer and batteries are 2x 720cca 12v on seperate banks(can 1 battery be a bank?). Any advice would be welcome.
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-26-2009
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Have you tried the Raritan PHII? It has a long handle that makes it easier to flush. We have two boys, and they can flush the PHII.

If you have a head that seems unusually hard to flush (even for adults), it probably needs to be rebuilt. The plunger assembly uses a rubber washer/ring of sorts that get worn, old, or dry. That makes them very hard to work.

If you do wish to go with the electric version, and you have only one head, I have also used a Jabsco compact with the add-on electric flush unit. THe nice thing about this unit is that if the electric unit fails, you can pull off the electric unit and put on the manual as everything is a perfect match. That would be my only choice if I had only one head as they WILL fail, eventually (and always at the most inopportune time).

Raritan also has a electric add-on for the PHII (though it does not macerate like the jabsco unit). I have no experience with that unit, but know it is available.

- CD

PS THe Jabsco unit with add-on screams like a banchee when run. Just FYI.

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post #3 of 9 Old 04-26-2009
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I would point out that you can also buy the Raritan PHII or PHC (same unit with a compact handle and footprint) without the bowl as a unit and save about $100 on the unit.... it will work with a lot of the four-bolt bowls, and you can save the money on shipping and the unit.

I would highly recommend avoiding the Jabsco models—all of them, electric or manual, and the Raritan PHE isn't a great model either. This is based on both personal experience and on the advice of the diva of marine plumbing, Peggie Hall.

The Lavac heads are also good manual heads and fairly simple to operate. They do have two drawbacks. The price is the first. The second is the fact that you can't open them in the middle of the flushing process, since the vacuum will keep the bowl lid sealed... and that can be bad if you have seriously seasick crew on-hand.

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post #4 of 9 Old 04-26-2009
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Just installed a Raritan Elegance electric marine toilet. It was fairly easy to install, despite the extra wiring for the push button and relay.
It has an automatic three-flush cycle that works great (I did have to try it out first!). Not noisy either, as the water pump is remote; you can route it away from the head for maximum quiet.
I don't do any off shore cruising, so I'm not concerned about it breaking down.
If it does need repair, I'll fix it. The quality impressed me, especially after seeing all the cheap plastic choices for nearly the same money. It is also nicely styled, for a toilet.
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-26-2009
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BTW, it would help if you said how many AMP-HOURS the battery bank was, CCA stands for Cold-Cranking-Amps...and is a rating of how much power it can output for a very short period of time...and if your batteries are rated in CCA, they are likely starting batteries, not the deep-cycle batteries you really should have.

I'd also point out that the term battery can refer to a bank of batteries that are connected together to create one large logical battery, and that most batteries are actually six, smaller TWO volt batteries, connected in series.

One other problem with upgrading to an electric head, is wiring. You would need to run fairly heavy wire up to the head... since the macerator pump takes a bit of amperage.... and the run may be fairly long, since the heads on most boats are forward, and the battery banks are usually aft.
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Originally Posted by davewild View Post
I am thinking about replacing the old hand pump toilet on my sail boat(cause I'm sick of the kids not being able to do it). However my experience with electric units is limited to pushing the button in wonder on friends power boats. Can any one give me any info on makes/models to look for or avoid? Obvious issues are reliabilty and current draw. Boat is a 33' 1989 GRP cruiser/racer and batteries are 2x 720cca 12v on seperate banks(can 1 battery be a bank?). Any advice would be welcome.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #6 of 9 Old 04-26-2009 Thread Starter
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Thanks for allthe suggestions. This gives me a direction to start some research in. Thanks to sailingdog for the battery advice as well. At some stage in the near future I intend upgrading 1 battery that I am getting worried about. This will be a deep cycle type and then the other in time. Cabling will not be an issue batteries are on one side of a bulkhead and head on the other. I will at the same time run but not connect heavy cabling for an anchor capstan along the same path. I don't do alot of anchoring but have to lower mast to get from river to ocean under 3 bridges(in Fremantle West Australia) and my wife gets tired winchng it back up manually!
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-26-2009
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Dave, you may find this thread helpful:

Anyone have a toilet recomendation?

I had the same question a few weeks ago and got great feedback!

Good luck!
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-27-2009
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Get the larger house hold bowl. Makes life nicer.

That derelict boat was another dream for somebody else, don't let it be your nightmare and a waste of your life.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-28-2009
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Only if your head has room to fit it...otherwise, it can make life miserable.
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Get the larger house hold bowl. Makes life nicer.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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