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  #1  
Old 08-10-2010
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Question Head issues

The scene:
1981 C&C 32 with an original-appearing wilcox crittenden "headmate" head.
Wife balking at going on boat with a balky head since 3-year old has great delight in using the head when at sea and she doesn't want to create problems for him or herself. Apparently, women dont want to pee off the pulpit.

The problem:
1. On the "flush" setting, the water trickles in and does not fill the bowl
2. On the "dry bowl" setting, there is a lot of noise and fury, but not much movement of fluid out of the bowl...but it does eventually leave.

Supplies:
1. joker valve in good shape, found in a bag from previous owner
2. Flapper valves in good shape, same situation as above.

The questions:
1. Attempt repair?
2. Replace?
3. If replace, with what?
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Old 08-10-2010
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Given that the Wilcox Crittenden Headmate was discontinued about two years ago, what I would recommend is replacing it.

However, I would recommend replacing it by buying a Raritan PHII or PHC LBA unit. This is the entire Raritan PHII/PHC head except the bowl. You un-bolt the bowl from your existing headmate unit and put it on the new LBA unit, and voila, you effectively have a brand new Raritan PHC/PHII head for a considerably lower price than buying the whole thing. Sailboatowners.com has the LBA units for order, as it was a brainchild of Peggie Hall, who is a moderator/forum expert there.

The PHC LBA is about $220, the PHII LBA is about $290. According to Peggie Hall, the PHC LBA was redesigned so that it can be used with both the compact and household size bowls.

I'd point out that Peggie Hall considers the PHII/PHC as the most reliable and easy to use manual head that is under $500. The Lavacs are also well regarded, but more expensive.

BTW, in terms of full disclosure, I know the Headmate's bowl will fit, since I just did this upgrade from a WC headmate to a PHC LBA this past spring.
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Old 08-10-2010
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We replaced our manual head with a composting toilet. We chose the Nature's head because of the bigger seat. The air-head has a smaller footprint. Easy to install. We live aboard full time and are very happy with our decision. I do still have the manual head in the back of my truck. Only needs a rebuild kit (which may be buried somewhere.) Contact me off list if you are interested.
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Old 08-10-2010
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BTW, while you're doing this, I would highly recommend replacing all the hoses. Trident 101/102 hose is the proper stuff to get for the sewage lines (1-1/2" diameter), and Trident 148 is the stuff you want for the intake and vent lines.

Also, given that you're probably a saltwater sailor, I would recommend re-plumbing the head in the process so you can dump the tank when out past the three-mile limit. I generally recommend plumbing the head output directly into the tank, and then plumbing the tank pumpout fitting to a diverter vavle and have one side go up to the deck fitting, and the other side should go to a manual diaphragm pump and then to the seacock and through-hull that were previously used for the head's direct discharge option.
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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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Old 08-10-2010
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I've got two PHII heads that I am removing from my boat as my wife has convinced me to put in fresh water heads. I'll let both go for $500+shipping.
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Old 08-10-2010
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My spousal unit absolutely hated the yacht-sized bowl/seat, though. She also didn't like pumping the head. So we discarded the HeadMate in favor of of a Raritan SeaEra electric head with a household-sized bowl/seat and built-in macerator. It also uses fresh water to flush, reduceing aroma. And it accepts 1" sanitation hose - much easier to work with. With an electric pump, I know it won't be as reliable in the long run, but so far so good. And WAF is important. I don't think I'd do that with a 3 year old, though. The macerator is at the bottom of the bowl and I'd hate to think about a kid jamming something down there and reaching in to get it back.

FWIW If you're going to keep the bowl, you've already got the parts to rebuild the pump, why not use them? When it needs its next rebuild, which may be several years, then do as SD suggests.
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Headmate replacement

I'm with SDog on this one for sure. Earlier this season I replaced my 1983 WC Headmate with the PHC LBA (and hoses too). That is definitely the way to go. Check out Peggy's forum on sailboatowners.com for a thread with details of the process. Not too expensive and for a minimal amount of work you have essentially a new head. It also gives you a chance to take out everything and really clean up the area. Good luck.
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Old 08-10-2010
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@sailingdog: luckily, the prior owners did replace all the hoses and did put in a "y" valve...so that bit all all perfect (why they didnt spend the effort on a new head is beyond me)

Thanks everyone for the feedback so far. Interesting & good ideas all.


As far as electric head s go, I dont think I want to think about yet-more wiring on the boat.
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Old 08-10-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
and then plumbing the tank pumpout fitting to a diverter vavle and have one side go up to the deck fitting, and the other side should go to a manual diaphragm pump and then to the seacock and through-hull that were previously used for the head's direct discharge option.
Any first hand experience/recommendations for such a manual pump? A regular manual pump with 1-1/2 fittings like this:

JABSCO Pump at West Marine

or something more specialized?
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Old 08-10-2010
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I'm using a Whale/Henderson Mk V pump, which I think is a better pump than the Jabsco one you've listed. However, the Jabsco one should work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RhodesSwiftsure View Post
Any first hand experience/recommendations for such a manual pump? A regular manual pump with 1-1/2 fittings like this:

JABSCO Pump at West Marine

or something more specialized?
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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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