the head pump is harder to pump - SailNet Community

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Old 06-02-2010
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the head pump is harder to pump

My wife is complaining the head is harder to pump this year. She said last year the metal piece under the handle had grease on it but this year it does not. Is there some kind of lubricate to use? I did not want to useany old grease because I an heard it can be harmful to plastic/seals. What do you put on the metal rod that slides in and out as you pull the handle up and down.
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Old 06-02-2010
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Don't know which toilet you have, but a bit of Vaseline periodically on my PH-2 has worked well for over 20 years. Apply directly to the metal rod. :-)

Bill
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Old 06-02-2010
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I rebuilt our Groco pump once. An O-ring goes around the piston of the pump in the chamber, and if it's hard to pump then I would lube up the chamber the piston is in. This will allow the O-ring to slide much easier. Lube with anything that will not affect the rubber of the O-ring.
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I put a little olive oil through the head occasionally.
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Old 06-03-2010
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Scale will build up when used in salt water. Try pumping some vinegar into the pump and let it sit overnight. Could also be time for a rebuild.
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Old 06-03-2010
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I have found teh best thing for the rod is Pool grease. It works well and lasts quite a while. If you have a Wilcox, you can try to loosen the black plastic nut on top, but will probably cause it to leak a little. It is also very likely that the rubber ring on the piston is getting hard/swollen. This is very common as they age - especially on the cheaper toilets. You can prolong its life by adding oil... we use mineral oil. I guess we use about an 1/8 cup initial, then a light coating every week or so and certainly with every pumpout.

If that does not work, you may be due a replace or rebuild. Be aware that on the cheaper toilets the costs to replace the whole assembly usually runs only a few dollars more (relatively) than the rebuild kit and is a WHOLE LOT EASIER and with less mess.

Just some thoughts. Good luck with it.

Brian
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Old 06-03-2010
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With all due respect for Vasiline advocates, the stuff will eventually damage the lips in the lip seal at the top of the pump. If the pump is becoming difficut the rod can be lubed with a non-petrolieum based lubricant, e.g. a silicon grease lube.

Frequently, stiffness in the pump is a combination of the stiffening of the O-ring around the edge of the piston coupled with build-up of scale in the discharge hose directly aft of the Joker-valve. Adding a lubricant to the bowel, pulling it into the cyclinder with one or two strokes and then leaving the piston in the up position over night will lube the cyclinder and allow the piston O-ring to recover somewhat. Peggy Hall, the gruru of Head Maintenance also suggests pumping a bowel of water thoroughly mixed with a product known as "Salt Away" through the lines and allowed to sit over night. One can also use a product known as "Ryd Lime" (biodegradable) in the same manner or, in extremis, a couple of bowels with a 5% mix of Muriatic Acid although that should only be allowed to sit for 20-30 minutes before being flush out with fresh water (Raritan suggests at least 10 gallons of fresh water).

We keep a squeeze bottle with a solution of water abd Salt Away in both heads and always add a few quirts to the last bit of water in the bowel once the heads have been pumped clear after use and both heads have remained free for several years at a time.

FWIW...
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