Rebuild head, or replace, and with what? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 29 Old 04-24-2013
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Re: Rebuild head, or replace, and with what?

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Originally Posted by poopdeckpappy View Post
I think you'll find that most rebuild kits cost almost as much as a new head, add your time to do the rebuild and the $130.00 for a new manual head is looking pretty good
That's about what I have found. You may save a little by rebuilding, but the last time my electric head quit working, I just pulled the whole thing out and stuck a brand new one in. It cost me an extra $150 but it was worth it to me (and I like to fix most stuff on my boat myself).

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post #12 of 29 Old 04-24-2013
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Re: Rebuild head, or replace, and with what?

Have you looked through your stash of goodies left behind to see if there's a rebuild kit already on the boat?.. might be worth a shot if so, and you'll know whether you ever want to do it again.

Not familiar with that brand, sounds like it's not a premium one, we have a Raritan and plenty of parts, I think that's a quality unit.

There definitely is something to be said for the $130 Jabsco Re and Re program.. even at a new one every 3-5 years you'll be money ahead.

Ron

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post #13 of 29 Old 04-24-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Rebuild head, or replace, and with what?

Funny, in researching the head issue a bit, I had heard elsewhere that the Jabsco's weren't that good. Mind you, I'm OK with $150-200 every 3 or 4 years for a new toilet compared to $70-90 every 2 years to rebuild the existing one. But if an extra $100 gets me something that will last even longer, or will work better, or will be easier for my kids and guests to work, then that makes some sense.

Faster, thanks for the suggestion. I basically tore the boat apart trying to find the canvas for the bimini and dodger. I found some other spare parts and LOTS of tools, but no head rebuild kit(s).

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post #14 of 29 Old 04-24-2013
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Re: Rebuild head, or replace, and with what?

I replaced the Raritain with a Jabsco been about 5 yrs now. no problems

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post #15 of 29 Old 04-24-2013
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Re: Rebuild head, or replace, and with what?

Maybe look into a composting head. There are many manufacturers now. I just built one in and will post on how it works out. C-Head portable composting toilets

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post #16 of 29 Old 04-24-2013
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Re: Rebuild head, or replace, and with what?

We've had good luck with our Jabsco compact. Had it 4 or 5 years and all I've had to do is replace the joker valve.

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post #17 of 29 Old 04-24-2013
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Re: Rebuild head, or replace, and with what?

Devils advocate here perhaps.

Granted I hate the job as much as anyone. But are we really suggesting chucking the whole head every few years? The $$ might make sense but aren't there other factors aside from cost? I say rebuild it, here's why:

1 - Keeps the old one out of the landfill
2 - Gives you a deep understanding of how the thing works.
3 - Nothing wrong with hard work. even hard stanky work.

more to #2: understanding how anything works (not just a marine head) has many benefits:
- gives you appreciation of how to care for it.
- gives you insight in how to operate it better.
- increase your "knowledge capital". Every time take something apart I see applications to other things. The knowledge adds to your ability to improvise repairs down the road, at inopportune times.

I get that for most of us saving time and sanity is high priority (since both are so scarce) and replacing the whole thing makes sense in many cases.

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post #18 of 29 Old 04-24-2013
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Re: Rebuild head, or replace, and with what?

I successfully installed the "rebuild kit" on my friends Groco head (forget which model). My research at the time indicated that the Groco models generally are fairly expensive and better made than the Jabsco el cheapo heads. I consulted with Peggy Hall (the now retired Headmistress) on another forum.
I recall that the rebuild kit was a bit pricey ($100 < X < $200) and that Groco head new cost at least $350. This is why many just buy the el cheapo Jabsco head for < $200 and replace them after a year or two or whenever they "crap out".

I'm with Bristol299Bob and I like to tinker with stuff to learn how it works.

Before I did any work on the head I made sure the holding tank was pumped out. It was really not all that bad in terms of the "grossness quotient".

I have also cleaned all 4 heads on a Bene505 so perhaps I should change my forum title to "the HeadMaster".

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post #19 of 29 Old 04-24-2013
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Re: Rebuild head, or replace, and with what?

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Which one did you get, Minne?
Jabsco electric maceratng full size heads were installed before I bought the boat. I'm usually happy with them.


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post #20 of 29 Old 04-25-2013
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Re: Rebuild head, or replace, and with what?

I generally prefer to fix rather than replace too. On my Groco head (which was at least 3 generations out of date) I not only needed to buy a rebuild kit, but I needed to buy two upgrade kits to get the head up to date. That was about $200, and a new Raritan PHC was about the same price. This was a highly recommended head from Peggy, so I switched.

I also like that Raritan sells just the pump, so if my current system ever goes completely dead I can keep the existing bowl (the big part) and replace just the pump (the small part). This would also be an option for upgrading the existing head if it uses the same size of bowl.

My impression is also that Groco heads are higher quality than Jabsco.

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