Toilet Troubleshooting - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 31 Old 09-16-2010
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If you have the origional PSC installed head, then you'll have the Wilcox Crittenden Head Mate. If you pump the handle and no water comes into the bowl then the seacock may be plugged, or the pump may be fouled (provided you have the seacock open and the red flush/pump dry handle is in the flush position). I had an instance with mine where the pump flappers were plugged up with eel grass. Its not a big deal.

Check out the exploded view diagram of the pump at this link:

http://www.chessie.com/boat/documents/Head-Mate.WC.pdf

The main area of concern for getting water into the bowl is going to be items 1 through 15 (mainly clean out the inlet valve cover and inlet flap valve #8 and #9).


To test if you have pumping out of the toilet problems, just dump some water into the bowl and with the red handle in the pump dry position trey to pump her out. If she won't pump in or out, then look at the pump handle components (#24 through #31). Not pumping in OR out would tell me the pump piston isn't tight and the #29 needs replaced.

west marine carries head-mate repair items (and i'm sure many other do too like Defender?)

Repair Kit for Headmate Head


If you are unsure or can't narrow down which single component is the problem, bite the bullet and buy the whole rebuild kit for $80. Then do a full rebuild.

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post #12 of 31 Old 09-16-2010 Thread Starter
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Sapperwhite & all:

Yep, I checked last night, and it is a Wilcox Crittenden RH Head Mate 90 model number 37001. So it might be original. There is no anti-syphon valve in the water inlet path at all. The hose goes from the seacock and loops up to just under the deck and back down to the pump assembly. With both the seacock open and the blue tipped flush water supply lever up, no water pumps into the bowl. Sounds like I am just pumping air. If I pour water into the bowl, and pump the black handle it will flush, but then I hear escaping air / girgling which might be a bad seal or plugged vent line. Sounds like I have at least a clog or bad seals on the intake side, and possibly a plugged vent or bad seals on the flush side. I have had the boat for 4 years now, and have never rebuilt the head, so it might be worth getting the entire $80 kit and doing it, since there is no mention in my service records of any of the previous owners ever repairing the head.

The hoses might be original as well, and I wonder what modern brands / type of sanitation hose should be used these days?

I wonder if I should add the anti-syphon valve at the top of the intake loop as shown in the installation manual you sent? Is that recommended these days on the intake side before the pump?

Is a separate intake strainer for the head also considered a must have? I guess it makes sense if I have one for the raw water intake on the engine. Same concerns. Hmmmm.


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post #13 of 31 Old 09-16-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWingCA View Post
Yep, I checked last night, and it is a Wilcox Crittenden RH Head Mate 90 model number 37001. So it might be original. There is no anti-syphon valve in the water inlet path at all. The hose goes from the seacock and loops up to just under the deck and back down to the pump assembly. With both the seacock open and the blue tipped flush water supply lever up, no water pumps into the bowl. Sounds like I am just pumping air. If I pour water into the bowl, and pump the black handle it will flush, but then I hear escaping air / girgling which might be a bad seal or plugged vent line. Sounds like I have at least a clog or bad seals on the intake side, and possibly a plugged vent or bad seals on the flush side. I have had the boat for 4 years now, and have never rebuilt the head, so it might be worth getting the entire $80 kit and doing it, since there is no mention in my service records of any of the previous owners ever repairing the head.

The hoses might be original as well, and I wonder what modern brands / type of sanitation hose should be used these days?

I wonder if I should add the anti-syphon valve at the top of the intake loop as shown in the installation manual you sent? Is that recommended these days on the intake side before the pump?

Is a separate intake strainer for the head also considered a must have? I guess it makes sense if I have one for the raw water intake on the engine. Same concerns. Hmmmm.
sounds like a clogged intake to me, and the gurgling may be the discharge side anti siphon valve pulling in air.

you may not need the full rebuild kit, just clean out the pump components and put some o-ring grease on the piston seal.

an inlet strainer is a good thing. i put a sureflo basket strainer inline, mounted under the head sink. it catches the grass and stuff before it has a chance to foul my pump. It's also an inexpensive upgrade.

something like this (get the correct size) with some hose barbs that thread into the strainer. just cut it in when you want and fasten with some hose clamps (make sure flow is in correct direction). easy fix and easy to clean out rather than have to take the pump apart.

Raw Water Strainer

they sell sanitation hose that is specifically branded as "sanitation hose". it cost more, but is treated to prevent odors. examples are Sealand "Odorsafe" or Trident "XDH".

Sanitation

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Don't go cheap, you don't want the boat smelling like poop just to safe a few bucks on hose.

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Last edited by Sapperwhite; 09-16-2010 at 03:52 PM.
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post #14 of 31 Old 09-16-2010
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Good to see you around Sapper...long time?

Just did a rebuild on my cheap jasbco one, had the Willcox original before. Took about 30 minutes. You may just consider buying a cheap one?

Cheers,
Shawn

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Good to see you around Sapper...long time?

Just did a rebuild on my cheap jasbco one, had the Willcox original before. Took about 30 minutes. You may just consider buying a cheap one?
Yeah i poke my head in to play the song game, occasionally leave smart @$$ remarks about pirates and travelling without a passport, and give advice about toilets. Other than that i live in the "real" world lately. Hope everyone is doing well out there!


Did the Jabsco have the same mounting footprint as the WC, or did you have to drill new holes to mount?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWingCA View Post
Hi Everyone:

I need some help from those of you who have had to troubleshoot the marine head on your boats. Mine doesn't seam to want to pull water from the thru-hull anymore into the bowl when the handle is pumped.
From the foregoing, evidently it worked at one point but now does not. From you response to the prior suggestions, I suspect that the lip-seal around the piston rod at the top of the pump cyclinder has died. If so, it sucks air around the rod as the handle is depressed on the down stroke which prevents raw water being drawn into the cyclinder. One test is to apply some Lanacote to the shaft and give it a few pumps. If the pump primes, the lip seal is gone. Replacng that is not too difficult if the parts are still available and merely requires the pump cycliner assembly be removed from the bowl, the piston and rod removed, the old seal pulled and a new one pressed in place. If that proves to be the case, in the future do not use any lubricant on the piston rod save a silicon based water-proof pump grease (fill the hollow in the new lip seal with that before you install it). I see many people using vasoline and the like to lubricate head piston rods and the petroleum based lubricants seem to attack the lip seals.

As a matter of routine annual maintenance, it is wise to pop the top valve off if it is removable and inject a little silicon grease into the cup of the lip seal to protect the little spring that holds the lip fast against the piston shaft.

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post #17 of 31 Old 09-16-2010
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Quote:
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Yeah i poke my head in to play the song game, occasionally leave smart @$$ remarks about pirates and travelling without a passport, and give advice about toilets. Other than that i live in the "real" world lately. Hope everyone is doing well out there!


Did the Jabsco have the same mounting footprint as the WC, or did you have to drill new holes to mount?

I know I had to drill a few new ones, at least two.

Cheers,
Shawn

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1982 Tartan 37C

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I'd point out that the WC Headmate 90 was discontinued two years ago. Rebuilding it may not be the wisest decision, but YMMV. My boat's original head was a WC Headmate 90 and I opted to replace it with the rARITAN PHC LBA unit I mention above.

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I'd point out that the WC Headmate 90 was discontinued two years ago. Rebuilding it may not be the wisest decision, but YMMV. My boat's original head was a WC Headmate 90 and I opted to replace it with the rARITAN PHC LBA unit I mention above.
They stopped production of my boat in 1989, should i stop fixing it and working on it?

Head Mate rebuild kit: $80
Raritan PHC LBA: $250-275

thats provided the rebuild kit is even needed.

I could understand if parts weren't available, but they are. Unless you are going to go for the throat and get a Lavac, it seems to be to be overkill to replace the whole head. I'm frugal by no means, but there's no need to go straight to DEFCON 1.

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Last edited by Sapperwhite; 09-16-2010 at 10:54 PM.
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post #20 of 31 Old 09-16-2010
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Quote:
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Head Mate rebuild kit: $80
Raritan PHC LBA: $250-275

thats provided the rebuild kit is even needed.
I just fixed my WC HeadMate last week. I bought the rebuild kit, but the only parts I needed from it turned out to the be the intake flap valves. The metal components had rusted away completely. All in all, it took about 10-15 minutes of work to replace. I took the entire pump assembly apart anyway for inspection and the rest of it was in great shape. I just used some Super Lube on the piston and packing and it put it back together. In the future, I'm going to see if I can just get that one piece.

A new Lavac head sounds great, but is a lot more work and money than just doing the simple rebuild I did on the WC Headmate.

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