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post #1 of 10 Old 12-30-2018 Thread Starter
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Mascerator Pump or Diaphram Pump?

I just finished cleaning up the leftover from an exploded Jabsco macerator pump. Ripped out the old hosing that looked like it was original to the boat.

Now, I have to decide if I will put in a macerator pump or a diaphragm pump - I am more concerned about reliability than the aesthetics of un-marcerated poo temporarily floating around my boat when I am 3 miles offshore.

Not looking to do this again for atleast a decade.
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post #2 of 10 Old 12-31-2018
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Re: Mascerator Pump or Diaphram Pump?

I'm not going to suggest one over the other because we have only ever used a manual Whale pump.
I would like to point out a myth suggested in your post...that unmacerated holding tank effluent contains chunks of poo. What comes out of our tank is coloured water, there is no chunks or toilet tissue; it has all disintegrated while bouncing around.
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Re: Mascerator Pump or Diaphram Pump?

Iíve only ever had a mascerating pump to evacuate the holding tank. What exactly exploded? The pump or the hose?


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post #4 of 10 Old 12-31-2018
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Re: Mascerator Pump or Diaphram Pump?

I would and did stay with the macerator pump.

Don't blow air up my rear, be useful and blow it at the sails!
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post #5 of 10 Old 12-31-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Mascerator Pump or Diaphram Pump?

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Iíve only ever had a mascerating pump to evacuate the holding tank. What exactly exploded? The pump or the hose?
It was the exact same issue as described in this Sailnet thread.

Essentially, there are long screws that hold the housing together and they are susceptible to rust/corrosion and that is exactly what happened.

The factors that I am considering are, if I go with a vacuum pump type solution, then I have to:
  1. Figure out what size vacuum pump will fit in a small area where it needs to go. If I this route, it will be a manual pump.
  2. Add a Y-valve switch between the pump-out, holding tank and the vaccum pump (there currently is just a T-Connector - i.e. the mascerator pump does not appear to need that Y-Valve, a T-Connector is sufficient), and always remember to set the valve correctly depending on if I am pumping out at a pumpout station or at sea. Needless to say, current T-connector solution does not need to be fiddled with.

I am thinking this Raritan 53101 Series Macerator Pump with Waste Valve Assembly might be a nice middle ground, it is approximately the same side as the Jabsco, so it should fit right in. Additionally, I will not need to install a Y-valve. If the Raritan needs servicing, there are compact detachable ball valves at both the inlet and outlet side, so servicing can can be done with a minimum of mess. It is only $50 more than the Shurflo mascerator pump, which would otherwise have been my top choice in mascerator pumps.

Last edited by hildamman; 12-31-2018 at 11:49 AM.
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post #6 of 10 Old 01-01-2019
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Re: Mascerator Pump or Diaphram Pump?

We have a Lavac toilet that is served by a manual diaphragm pump (Henderson Mk V, now Whale). That pump creates a vacuum to draw in raw flushing water and evacuate the bowl. From there it goes to the holding tank or directly out (when more than 3 miles offshore, of course). To pump out the holding tank (also 3 miles offshore) we have a macerator pump. At that point, everything has already gone through the manual diaphragm pump at the toilet, so it is not apparent why a macerator is even needed. In other words, a diaphragm pump would work here.

In any case, the macerator pump has been a PIA and I’ve replaced it twice in 22 years. The primary cause is running the macerator dry and trashing the impeller. You could rebuilt the pump, but replacing it with one supposedly longer run dry time seemed a better solution. BTW, it isn’t always easy to determine when the macerator pump has begun to draw liquid from the tank—hence the run dry problem. A diaphragm pump would be the more reliable solution IMHO.

P.S. The Lavac system has never failed and has to be one of the most reliable flushing toilets in the world.

Last edited by fallard; 01-01-2019 at 10:04 AM. Reason: Added info
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post #7 of 10 Old 01-01-2019
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Re: Mascerator Pump or Diaphram Pump?

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Originally Posted by hildamman View Post
It was the exact same issue as described in this Sailnet thread.

Essentially, there are long screws that hold the housing together and they are susceptible to rust/corrosion and that is exactly what happened.......
Sounds awful. I've had the mascerating pump fail, but it simply stopped pumping. It didn't leak. I wonder how common this really is.

Whenever I pump the tank out, I add back at least 5 gallons of clear water and pump that out too. At the slip, I use a hose back down the pumpout, but at sea, I flush a totally full bowl five times. This practice is as much for the tank, but I wonder if it impacts the pump;s corrosion potential too.


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Re: Mascerator Pump or Diaphram Pump?

After chewing this over some more, I decided to take the following course of action: I am going to examine the boat this weekend, if I can fit in a manual vacuum pump into the limited space, I will do so, option number two is an automatic vacuum pump. Doing all this research has convinced me that (1) Vacuum pumps are simply more reliable than macerator pumps and (2) manual pumps are more reliable than automatic pumps.

I am going to great lengths to never ever have to go back there. I got the Shields Poly X sanitation hose which supposedly lasts forever w/o permeation, now if I can fit a manual vacuum pump in the limited space I have, I think I will be good to go.
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Re: Mascerator Pump or Diaphram Pump?

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Originally Posted by hildamman View Post
After chewing this over some more, I decided to take the following course of action: I am going to examine the boat this weekend, if I can fit in a manual vacuum pump into the limited space, I will do so, option number two is an automatic vacuum pump. Doing all this research has convinced me that (1) Vacuum pumps are simply more reliable than macerator pumps and (2) manual pumps are more reliable than automatic pumps.

I am going to great lengths to never ever have to go back there. I got the Shields Poly X sanitation hose which supposedly lasts forever w/o permeation, now if I can fit a manual vacuum pump in the limited space I have, I think I will be good to go.
Do mean a vacuflush system? These are terrific, but they can still clog, if abused.

No hose is immune to permeation, if raw waste is left sitting within it. Flushing enough clear water to push the contents to the tank is still critical. Some hose, will however, resist permeation much better than others. Trident green stripe is my go to.

Good luck sorting it out.


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post #10 of 10 Old 01-01-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Mascerator Pump or Diaphram Pump?

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Do mean a vacuflush system? These are terrific, but they can still clog, if abused.

No hose is immune to permeation, if raw waste is left sitting within it. Flushing enough clear water to push the contents to the tank is still critical. Some hose, will however, resist permeation much better than others. Trident green stripe is my go to.

Good luck sorting it out.
Thank you, I mean manually operated diaphragm pumps that create a vacuum, like the Whale Mark V, which seems to be the most robust of them all.
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