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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-26-2013 03:15 PM
Re: Rebuild head, or replace, and with what?

For anyone following this thread, WestMarine just published their weekly sale catalog:
West Marine eCatalogs

The Jabsco Twist'n'Lock is discounted from $195 list to $160, and then there's a $25 rebate.

I'm going to look at my head when I'm there on Sunday and see which model Groco I have; if it's one of the better quality, metal ones, then I'll rebuild. Otherwise, at $135, the Jabsco could fit the bill nicely. I'm still planning to walk the boat show in Annapolis to see if I can get a good deal on a Raritan PHC, too, but the Jabsco could be interesting.
04-26-2013 02:50 AM
Re: Rebuild head, or replace, and with what?

Originally Posted by n8kraft View Post
......Next flush the head with plenty of freshwater to completely purge any blackwater from the hose, then switch to dry. ....
Ironically, one should always flush enough water to completely purge black water after each use. Most don't and it's the biggest reason for odor. In particular, there is typically a vent loop that waste must be pumped up to, before it goes to a holding tank or a thru hull. It will never empty, so one must pump enough that only clean water remains in it.
04-25-2013 09:40 PM
Re: Rebuild head, or replace, and with what?

Thanks, the instructions are appreciated! I'm not sure, however, that I'd classify this as an "enjoyable" project!
04-25-2013 02:18 PM
Re: Rebuild head, or replace, and with what?


I'm a fan of rebuilding the head and having a rebuild kit aboard so you know you can make it work later when you're in that lovely secluded anchorage and the crapper stops working you already have an idea how it goes together.

Regardless of whether you will rebuild or replace you need to completely clear your blackwater hose from the toilet. The best way I've found is to go to the pumpout dock and completely pump and rinse out the holding tank. Next flush the head with plenty of freshwater to completely purge any blackwater from the hose, then switch to dry. Have someone else help by either pumping the hose dry or holding the pumpout suction hose for you. There will be barely any effluent that comes out of the hose to the holding tank!

Enjoy this project.
04-25-2013 01:31 PM
Re: Rebuild head, or replace, and with what?

Group9, I think you've just hit on the winning argument. Not so much the "Admiral demands it" part, but the idea of working from a known-good head so that, when something breaks, I will have a better sense of where the problem(s) are. At this time, I'm not sure WHERE the problems are (if any) or how to fix them.

I'm going to visit the boat on Sunday, and since I'll be nearby, I'll head over to the Annapolis boat show, too. Who knows, maybe I'll find a REALLY good deal on a head.
04-25-2013 09:53 AM
Re: Rebuild head, or replace, and with what?

I think the main reason I go with a new head almost every time is that a working head is the one thing by significant other absolutely demands on our boat.

I am not going to try and calm her displeasure when my repair doesn't work, by saying, "I really thought I could fix it, honey."
04-25-2013 03:03 AM
Re: Rebuild head, or replace, and with what?

I had terrible luck rebuilding a Jabsco, but two new replacement units on two different boats worked out great...both units worked fine for fairly light weekend use. I like the Raritan PH II unit we have currently, but it will be soon due for a rebuild. While I like the idea of repair versus replace, my expereince with a rebuild was less than satisfactory. The Raritan we have was rebuilt a couple years ago, but the pump isn't doing as good a job as it should. I'me not thinking to rebuild it again.
04-25-2013 01:20 AM
Re: Rebuild head, or replace, and with what?

I recently rebuilt a similar looking Groco, and the rebuild took about 10-15 minutes and really wasn't that messy/stinky. Flush a bunch of fresh water (or something stronger) undo about 4 bolts, replace a bunch of gaskets, o-rings, joker valve, etc, grease the pump, put it all back together, and wash up. The kit was more expensive than I thought it should be, but much cheaper than a similar quality head. I can't imagine replacing the head would be easier or less messy or more cost effective than what I experienced. I hear the several people saying the cheapo Jabisco works fine, but I personally would rather have a rebuilt ~$400 head that I already own, than a new ~$150 head that gets questionable reviews.
04-25-2013 12:22 AM
Re: Rebuild head, or replace, and with what?

I agree with the idea of knowing how to fix it being a good thing. But a) I'm not likely to be taking extended cruises any time soon, and b) I have a lot of other, more valuable ways to spend my time at this point. If we were talking 20 minutes to replace and 30-35 to rebuild, then ok. But if this will be an hours-long process, I'd rather replace.
04-25-2013 12:18 AM
Alex W
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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