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twisted23 10-11-2010 03:17 PM

head troubles......
head not staying flushed......the nasty water and a little solids come back into the bowl after flushing.and i have no idea in what position the wet bowl- dry bowl lever needs to be in ?the bowl doesnt seem to fill , but if i add water it does pump out, then partialy leaks back in.....i can not see water come in to fill it when pumping ...lever position ?/ me it acts like it is pluged ....any way to run a snake thru this kind of system? replacement is an option but need to get the lines empty first!....
help ! the holding tank is empty......seacock open......thats all i could figure out....

remetau 10-11-2010 03:20 PM

Sounds like your joker valve needs replaced. This is on the exit side of the pump.

twisted23 10-11-2010 03:29 PM


Originally Posted by remetau (Post 653227)
Sounds like your joker valve needs replaced. This is on the exit side of the pump.

that sounds do you empty the lines first?

IslanderGuy 10-11-2010 03:34 PM

This is exactly the symptoms we where having this spring. I got a rebuild kit and rebuilt the head. In my case, the joker valve was quite rotten as well as several other pieces. The rebuild kit did the trick. The hardest part was getting the toilet out without making a huge mess as all the pipes are full of water! Here is what I did, may or may not work for you.....

1. Pump out
2. Flush a LOT of water through the system via the toilet pump to try to clear out as much of the nasty as you can.
3. Pump out again.
4. Here is where I got lucky... I found I could unbolt the toilet and lift it up quite a ways with the outlet hoses still attached. (I think I took off the water inlet hose before this). Holding it up I was able to pump the toilet dry and not get any water back in the bowl, and a lot of the water in the hoses drained back into the tank. Then, while still holding the toilet up (ugh) I took off the other hoses, kept it at an angle and was able to get the whole thing out of the boat without dumping water everywhere.

Whether or not you will be able to get the hoses off without dumping nasty all over will depend a lot on your particular setup. If you can not, perhaps you can get it high enough to fit a small dish pan or cut down bucket or bottom from a milk jug or anything under the hoses to catch the nastiness when the hoses are pulled off.

No matter what, this is a less then desirable job, but I found it turned out to not be as bad as I feared all the way around.

Good luck, and be sure you have lots of soap, water, and paper towels on hand! A few helping hands made a big difference for me as well.


Cruisingdad 10-11-2010 04:11 PM

got get a pumpout and cover up the vent line so it has to suck water out of the toilet (assuming your overboard discharge is closed). Then rebuild or replace. It is most likely the joker valve. It s the last valve out to the tube leading out to the head. You cannot remove it without making a mess. Lots a bleach and a good gas mask is suggested. Incidentally, the cost of replace versus repair is close to teh same. Many just replace.


twisted23 10-11-2010 05:54 PM

thanks guys.looks like i have a mess to deal with......i ll let you know how it goes...... i am soooo not looking forward to this...

genieskip 10-11-2010 06:50 PM

Tear the whole thing out and go to a composting toilet. ;-) That's what I did and have never regretted it

PorFin 10-12-2010 07:54 AM


If you elect to replace the Joker valve instead of replacing the entire unit, here's a suggestion from experience:

Don't go cheap and replace only the Joker valve! Since you've got the unit mostly disassembled anyway, now's the time to do a complete overhaul and replace ALL of the seals, gaskets, o-rings, and the like. If you do it all at once, you can feel confident that your headaches with the head have been pushed well down the road; if not, you may find yourself tearing the unit apart soon to replace a different seal or valve.

svHyLyte 10-12-2010 08:13 AM

Based on our experience with two very old Bryden Boy Heads, I suggest a complete rebuild if you can obtain the parts, including the lip-seal for the pump. Then, do routine mainenance on the unit at least annually but never ever allowing chlorine bleach into the system. The lips on Joker Valves deteriorate very quickly when exposed to chlorine bleach.

Also, FWIW we keep squire bottles filled with a mixture of water and "SaltAway" in our heads and, once the bowls have been pumped clear--10 pumps each please-we add a shot of the SaltAway mixture to the bowls and give one or two more pumps. The SaltAway keeps the lines clear and seems to protect the Joker Valve lips. Our heads have been truble free since we began this process quite a few years ago.

Good luck!

Cruisingdad 10-12-2010 09:21 AM

We actually put a bit of mineral oil in to keep the valves happy. I also have been using chloring tablets for years as it keep the smell out of the heads (rotten egg smell). However, as mentioned above, it will take its toll on the valves. We get anywhere from 6 months to 18 months before rebuilds (before we went to electric heads which do not seem to be very suceptible to those issues). But we still lube it up with mineral oil periodically. I generally pushes us well past the 6 months mark.

Everything is a trade off.


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