sewage backs up into head when boat heeled - SailNet Community

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Old 07-13-2010
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sewage backs up into head when boat heeled

I installed a new holding tank under the V berth in my Catalina 27. The tank inlet is now above the outlet from the toilet. On a recent sail while heeled over the head started to fill from the holding tank.

Is the only solution to install a vented loop between the holding tank and head? Or, is replacing the joker valve enough to prevent backflow?

There is no overboard pumpout in the circuit, so siphoning of seawater is not a concern.

I would rather not have to drill a hole in the topsides for the vented loop to vent overboard. I am also concerned about how difficult it would be to empty the toilet completely with the vented loop in place, since the toilet doesn't seem to pump water through very well as it is.
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Old 07-13-2010
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Ajf10—

It sounds like your head is in need of rebuild, since it should pump water through and the joker valve shouldn't be leaking normally.

Instead of rebuilding it, especially if it is an older Jabsco head, I would recommend buying a Raritan PHC or PHII LBA assembly and swapping it out. The LBA assembly is the entire head basically sans bowl. You would mount your existing bowl on the LBA and it effectively becomes a brand new Raritan PHC or PHII head, which is recommended as the most reliable and cost-effective head under $500 by Peggie Hall.

There should be a vented loop between the head and the holding tank that is higher than the holding tank's top while heeled normally. This will prevent the holding tank from siphoning back into the head. This is a step usually skipped by most boat manufacturers.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 07-13-2010 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 07-13-2010
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Spend the $10 and replace the joker valve.

The reason you don't need a vented loop from the toilet to the holding tank is that the contents of the holding tank won't sink the boat if they syphon back into the toilet.
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Old 07-13-2010
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Agree with the others: new joker valve PLUS an anti-siphon loop, the anti-siphon loop being the MOST import to prevent 'back-fill'
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Don—

While the contents might not sink the boat, if they flood back out of the head, you certainly might wish they had...


Quote:
Originally Posted by donradclife View Post
Spend the $10 and replace the joker valve.

The reason you don't need a vented loop from the toilet to the holding tank is that the contents of the holding tank won't sink the boat if they syphon back into the toilet.
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Old 07-13-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf10 View Post
I would rather not have to drill a hole in the topsides for the vented loop to vent overboard. I am also concerned about how difficult it would be to empty the toilet completely with the vented loop in place, since the toilet doesn't seem to pump water through very well as it is.
Sounds like you are due for a rebuild. The kit will include a new joker valve and part for the pump to make that function like it should. You must have a vent for the holding tank. See no reason why you couldn't tee into that if you don't want a new hole in the side.
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Old 07-13-2010
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A proper vented loop does not need or require a hole in the boat. They are designed to let air in and not liquid out.
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Old 07-13-2010
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clean it

Before investing in a rebuild kit or a new head all together why not simply take it apart and clean the joker valve? It is probably encrusted with that junk that builds up as a result of urine and sea water. In any case it isn't working and needs fixing. That will solve your problem.
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Old 07-13-2010
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You shouldn't really need a vented loop on the line from the toilet to the holding tank (although, it doesn't hurt to have one). As long as the fitting is on the top of the tank, and close to its center-line, the tank's vent will serve as a siphon break. If the fitting is correctly located, and heeling submerges it in waste, it's TIME TO EMPTY THE TANK. The exception to the above being systems using the dip tube as both the outlet and the inlet.
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Old 07-13-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf10 View Post

Is the only solution to install a vented loop between the holding tank and head?
Yes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf10 View Post
Or, is replacing the joker valve enough to prevent backflow?
No, it won't always prevent back flow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf10 View Post
There is no overboard pumpout in the circuit, so siphoning of seawater is not a concern.
But siphoning effluent into your cabin is okay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf10 View Post
I would rather not have to drill a hole in the topsides for the vented loop to vent overboard.
No hole necessary vented loops DO NOT need to vent overboard. They break a siphon via a check valve that opens on suction and closes on pressure.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf10 View Post
I am also concerned about how difficult it would be to empty the toilet completely with the vented loop in place, since the toilet doesn't seem to pump water through very well as it is.
Considering this is a fairly standard industry practice your head should pump it just fine IF it is working properly. Make sure your intake line does not have a siphon break/vented loop in the INTAKE line. It should be between the outlet of the pump and the back of the bowl and working on the pressure side not the suction side.
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 07-13-2010 at 04:55 PM.
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