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Can''''t get water in to head

Just bought an 18 yr old boat with original manual head, very similar to the cheapest unit in the West Marine catalogue. I can''t get water into the bowl, tho'' hose is clear. I wonder if unit is installed incorrectly. Does the pump mechanisn have to be below the waterline to function? In my case waterline is about 2" below the pump.
 

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Can''''t get water in to head

Insure that thruhul valve is open. A pump rebuild kit could be in order. But check the price of a new head also, you could be surprised.
 

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Can''''t get water in to head

I assume you have disconnected the inlet hose and determined that the through hull is clear and water comes out if you lower the end below the water line.

With only 2 inches of lift it should prime very easily. Mine is about 12 inches above the water line so when it is working you have to give it several very quick short strokes to suck water up - but once it wets the valve surfaces it works fine.

You can remove the valve cover and refurbish the flapper rubber parts there. They may have crystallized minerals on them that are preventing a seal. Carefully check the "DRY" lever that disables the valve by holding the outlet valve open. On mine, the pin rotted through on the brass block with it stuck in the "DRY" position, disabling the pump.

Finally, try lubricating the o-ring at the pump shaft with a little vegetable oil. If this is leaking air, it will break the prime.

Having got it working, a couple of teaspoon fulls of vegetable oil flushed down the toilet on a regular basis will keep the rest of it working smoothly.
 
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