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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > sewage backs up into head when boat heeled
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Thread: sewage backs up into head when boat heeled Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-25-2010 10:52 PM
harbin2 I think my problem is "solved" - at least temporarily. I tried the vinegar (as suggested by Jabsco). After 24 hours, the back leakage seemed unchanged. While I was waiting, I took measurements for the changeover to the Raritan base. After 24 hours, I disconnected the toilet's discharge flange. The joker valve came right out. It was a little dirty and even perhaps a little deformed. I cleaned it up and put it back in. Removal, cleaning, and reassembly took about 5 minutes. That seemed to resolve the back leakage problem. Note – my holding tank has been flushed out several times and was empty so this was not a real “dirty” job. So I’m going to live with what I have for a while since none of the mounting holes or intake or discharge holes I currently have will fit the Raritan. The conversion will mean patching many of the existing holes and drilling new ones (in both fiberglass and teak bulkheads.
Harbin2
07-20-2010 04:53 PM
speciald Before you take the head apart to clean the joker valve, try putting muriatic acid in the system. It make dissolve the deposits on the valve and allow it to close. If it doesn't work, it didn't cost much to try.
07-20-2010 04:40 PM
harbin2 Thanks Dog
I'll look into this before spending any additional $$ on Jabsco parts. I went to the Raritan site and to West Marine and don't see where you can buy just the LBA (Lower bowel assembly). I googled it and found a fair amount of reading material that helps. But the only place I can see to purchase the LBA is via Catalina. Is there a better source?
Thansk again.
07-17-2010 07:30 AM
sailingdog
Quote:
Originally Posted by harbin2 View Post
I'm currently having the same problem as the original poster. I have a Jabsco toilet. I called Jabsco and talked to their "expert". He said it was the Joker valve. Here is his advice:

The most common is mineral build affecting the gaskets. Both urine and salt water contain high concentrations of calcium. When you stop flushing or allow the lines to dry out, calcium can build up over time and cause the seals to no longer line up properly to stop the backflow. This issue can be rectified by purchasing a gallon of white vinegar from your local market, pouring the vinegar into the bowl and pumping it on the dry bowl setting. Allow the vinegar to sit for 24 hour and rinse clean with fresh water. The vinegar should dissolve any mineral buildup that may have occurred.

I plan to try this first, then clean the valve, then replace it. Until recently, I had no problem so I can't see installing a vent (although I realize that would also prevent the problem).
I'd point out that the Jabsco brand heads are generally poorly regarded and often considered disposable. If you have to re-build a Jabsco head, my recommendation would be to REPLACE IT with something like a Raritan PHII or PHC head. This can be done fairly economically by getting a Raritan PHII/PHC LBA kit and re-using the bowl from your existing head--and will result in you having a much more reliable and lower maintenance head.
07-16-2010 02:01 PM
Mark1948 When I saw the lead I guessed Catalina 27. I have had the same issue, replaced the "joker" valve and have not had an issue. Old valve simply did not seal any more, regardless of backflow pressure.
07-16-2010 01:00 PM
harbin2 I'm currently having the same problem as the original poster. I have a Jabsco toilet. I called Jabsco and talked to their "expert". He said it was the Joker valve. Here is his advice:

The most common is mineral build affecting the gaskets. Both urine and salt water contain high concentrations of calcium. When you stop flushing or allow the lines to dry out, calcium can build up over time and cause the seals to no longer line up properly to stop the backflow. This issue can be rectified by purchasing a gallon of white vinegar from your local market, pouring the vinegar into the bowl and pumping it on the dry bowl setting. Allow the vinegar to sit for 24 hour and rinse clean with fresh water. The vinegar should dissolve any mineral buildup that may have occurred.

I plan to try this first, then clean the valve, then replace it. Until recently, I had no problem so I can't see installing a vent (although I realize that would also prevent the problem).
07-13-2010 07:35 PM
sailingdog The valve is designed to normally stay closed until a vacuum is created inside the hose by liquids trying to siphon... then it opens and breaks the siphon effect....and closes again. So, if it is working properly, it will not vent odorous gases into the cabin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf10 View Post
Thank you for the replies. I do have a rebuild kit for the toilet, I just have not gotten around to installing it, will do soon.

The holding tank is vented to the outside of the boat. The tank inlet is unfortunately located on the starboard side of the tank, this is how ronco plastics suggested it be fitted, so it is what it is. I will install a vented loop in the discharge line.

If the vented loop has a valve and does not connect to the outside of the boat, will the valve prevent the loop from discharging foul odors into the boat?
07-13-2010 07:19 PM
ajf10 Thank you for the replies. I do have a rebuild kit for the toilet, I just have not gotten around to installing it, will do soon.

The holding tank is vented to the outside of the boat. The tank inlet is unfortunately located on the starboard side of the tank, this is how ronco plastics suggested it be fitted, so it is what it is. I will install a vented loop in the discharge line.

If the vented loop has a valve and does not connect to the outside of the boat, will the valve prevent the loop from discharging foul odors into the boat?
07-13-2010 07:04 PM
SlowButSteady
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
The tank vent will only help the siphoning event to flow better.
ONLY if the inlet fitting is submerged, which can ONLY happen if the fitting isn't on the centerline of the tank AND the tank is almost full.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Sorry but pumping dry won't and rarely clears the entire line when using the "dry" mode. Been the recipient of the remaining fluid on numerous hose changes on all types of marine heads.
True, but as I said, the remainder will potentially leak past a bad Joker Valve with or without a vented loop. If the tank's inlet is not submerged (which can only happen with a full tank that has the inlet fitting improperly positioned) a siphon cannot develop (unless you've invented a new Physics that you're keeping to yourself).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
I have seen MANY instances where siphons overcame a simple high loop especially when heeling. Unless your head is located above the holding tank on all points of sail there really should be a siphon break in this line.
I will grant you that there are many head tanks with fittings improperly placed. But, that doesn't contradict what I said above.
07-13-2010 05:47 PM
Maine Sail
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowButSteady View Post
Nope, not the ONLY solution. It may be the easiest remedy in this case. However, IF the tank's inlet fitting is located properly (i.e., on or near the tank's centerline), the tank vent will break the siphon (unless the tank is almost full; low, flattish, waste tanks being more problematic in this case).
The tank vent will only help the siphoning event to flow better.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowButSteady View Post
Also, a simple loop in the toilet-to-tank hose, with its "apex" as high as possible above both the toilet and tank, will stop the siphon from developing in the first place as long as you pump the toilet empty (i.e., fill the hose with air; something you should do with or without a vented loop) after each use.

Sorry but pumping dry won't and rarely clears the entire line when using the "dry" mode. Been the recipient of the remaining fluid on numerous hose changes on all types of marine heads.

I have seen MANY instances where siphons overcame a simple high loop especially when heeling. Unless your head is located above the holding tank on all points of sail there really should be a siphon break in this line.
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