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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having a problem with my Jabsco marine head.

The unit is relatively new (used one season).

The issues are:

  • even when the lever is on the 'dry bowl' side and the handle is twisted into the 'locked' position, water slowly seeps in from the intake side, filling (and overflowing) the bowl.
  • on the down-ward (flush) plunge there is a lot of resistance. This feels like pressure, not friction. I noticed this when I first installed the head but found that by pushing the further over to the 'dry' side the pressure was aleviated. I figured it was a slight misallignment of the flapper valve and could live with it. This year the issue is worse and no amount of adjusting the lever resolves the issue.

I have taken the pump apart top to bottom: checked the joker valve and the flapper valves at the top and didn't see any obvious issues.

I checked the vent and found that a spider had nested in there. I removed the vent through-hull and the vent tube right down to the tank. The tank seems to be venting well now, but the pressure issue still persists.
The drain hose is free of obstruction.

I'm convinced that the problem lies in a faulty pump assembly, but am open to any other suggestions as to what might be the problem.

A replacement pump kit is almost as expensive as a new unit ($159.00 at my marina). I'm inclined to replace the whole toilet.

If I were to replace the existing toilet any suggestions for a replacement brand at a comparable price?

As always: time is of the essence.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Does sound like there is something wrong with the head. I had one of those on my previous boat and it worked quite well for an inexpensive head. I'm assuming that even though its only a year old, its out of warranty. Rather than a whole new pump or a entire new head, I would get a rebuild kit and put that in. The rest lf the pump should still be like new after only a year.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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About the water coming in through the inlet, it is worth adding a vented loop on the inlets side. I think you will find a little bit of smaller hose at the back of your toilet from the pump to the bowl. Replace this with a longer hose that goes up inside a convenient locker, with a vented loop valve at the top and you will have no water syphoning in. About the pressure in the pump, you probably could buy just the pump parts online rather the full rebuild kit.

It is a difficult question when the rebuild kits are so expensive. Seems shame to throw out so much stuff when the problem is likely one part of pump. We have two heads onboard (double the fun), but it means I can experiment and try moving parts from one head to the other before breaking out the spare parts kits I have onboard.

Can't help you with brand suggestion. We have Raritan manual pumps and they often seem to need repair, although we use them full-time when we are on the boat. Had great success with Wilcox-Crittenden back in the day but they were close to $1000 30 years ago. We have friends who have a Vacuflush toilet (like on an airplane). Worked great, they had no problems in several years of live aboard, but they are pricey and use a small amount of fresh water and power to flush.
 

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Have a Raritan electric "elegance". Same issue bowl would slowly fill over 5-10m after flush. No issue when the boat is still but very once in awhile its real nice to sail the thing and go somewhere. Then the "backfill" will end up on the sole and make a stinky mess. Have become an "expert" after boat builder, broker, hired hand and Raritan tech support have all had a go at it. Builder is footing the bill as its been this way from the get go Things to check
1. this a a "classic" symptoms of bad joker valves. On the electric heads there are two.
2.this can also occur when there is excessive pressure in the intake line.
3. this can occur when there is too much hose. Need to use chart ( on their instructions book - available on web). Tech support says jokers valves are good for 10' vertical.
In my case seems the joker valve that is first in line on exhaust is getting deformed when the hose(s) place traction on that area when you pick up toilet to put it back down in place. Dumb design. This region should all have fairly rigid hosing that's anchored directly to unit. Struggling with that now as we are leaving for 10d of cruising with 4 on board. May end up using just forward manual head but a shame as other than this the electric head is a joy.
 

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Our prior boat had a Jabsco(aka Par-Jabsco-Brydon) head. For ten years I just took it for granted that marine heads needed to be rebuilt every year or every other year. :rolleyes:
And that the screws that held the pump together would just strip out once in a while. :eek:
As it turned out it was kind of a POS.

Then we bought our present boat with a Raritan PH2 head. I finally replaced it, with no rebuilds ever, after over a decade. Wish I had known about such a quality difference in products a long time before!

Good luck with whatever solution "moves" you.

My experiences, FWIW.

Loren
 

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Crealock 37
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The Jabsco in a former boat would get hard to pump when holding tank was full.

Really like the new Groco in the current boat....you could flush a pirate down this thing!
 

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Solved our head. Piece of hose coming off head needs to be at 90 degree angle from back,of head. During original install was placed at 30 degrees. Oddly this places traction on it deforming joker valves. Make sure on install this first discharge hose is perpendicular to head and bulkhead behind unit. See picture in install directions. Have friend who is a plumber. He figured it out.
 

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It pays to only open the seacocks when you are using the toilet then close them when you are done gives you peace of mind you cant flood the boat then.also over here in new zealand electric toilets are in fashion they are a bastard contraption as the out let is only 1 inch and always seem to block I have spent too much time bailing out **** to ever consider one,every one I know who has one has the same issue.
 

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FW, you can find Jabsco rebuild kits for under $70 no eBay, with free shipping. Better yet, you can buy a whole new pump assembly for a bit under $100, shipped. There have been many head threads on here, and quite a few people have given up on Jabsco. But for every one of those there are probably thousands with no issues.

My boat came with a Groco head, and it seems to be a good quality, reliable fixture. They're not as ubiquitous as the Jabsco, therefor not as many cheap parts options. It did eventually let me know that it needed a rebuild:

That's the disc from the flapper (check between the bowl and the pump) stuck partway through the joker.

Given what these marine heads have to do, some parts (especially the check and joker) are bound to fail, sooner or later. At least these manual units are easy to repair, just keep a rebuild kit aboard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks all for your feedback.

Just to clarify: my marina is selling the whole toilet for $159.00 - just under twice the price of a pump assembly.

I checked all of the valves (including the joker valve) and they seemed pristine.

If I find another cause I will let you know.
 
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