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Discussion Starter #1
Well I finally have my new Raritan PHC head installed, complete with the Raritan inline strainer and soon the TWK. I skipped the vented loop for now, as I was low on time and plan to keep the seacock closed anyhow. I'll get that installed in the coming week.

So after the last clamps were tightened we moved the valve to flush and pumped the handle. Water came in, and went right out. Then it occurred to us that there does not seem to be a way to fill the bowl.

Is that normal? If so, doesn't it result in a pretty gross bowl?
 

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It should fill. You may have a small switch at the handle, or someplace else for filling, and draining......i2f...as a last resort read the instructions.....lololol...I always throw mine away as soon as I open the package...;) .
 

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This is bad. this is very bad. I do not know the fix. On mine I have a lever that one way is fill and the other is empty. The bowls fills to about 1/3.

Without water in the bowl how do you know when to go sailing? As long as there are not white caps in my bowl then I know it's ok to take the boat out.
 

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I have a new (well, new to me) PHC model on my boat and I find too, that the bowl does not fill...in fact...the pump doesn't seem to draw water into the bowl unless I 'prime' it in some manner - typically, with an abundance of beer on board, this is not an issue. But on rare occasions, I have to pour a cup or 2 of water to make the thing do its thing.

Now the back-story - this head was a gift. I got a free head in the parking lot of a Ruby Tuesday's in Fishkill, NY. Hold your snickering. A new and good fried was gracious enough to part with one. You know who you are and thank you.

But back to the mechanical question. Is this normal? Does it suggest maintenance is required?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The pump has two settings, "FLUSH" and "DRY." I did follow the instructions. It does not make any reference to any way to draw water into the bowl without discharging it at the same time.

Today I installed the TWK (toilet water kit) which is just a Tee check valve that draws some cleaning solution in with the sea water. The instructions said to remove two parts of the pump. When I did, it completely stopped working, which is what I expected it to do. I put them back and it worked again. So much for instructions.
 

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But back to the mechanical question. Is this normal? Does it suggest maintenance is required?
I just put in a brand new out of the box grocco hf head and mine does not fill with water. The water goes in the bowl and gets pushed right through. The grocco hf that came with the boat would fill with water that was coming back through the valve because the base was corroded and the silicone the po tried to seal it with did not work.

I was kind of expecting that the fill lever would put water in the bowl as well and then the flush would pump it out. But it fills and flushes at the same time. I did not have to assemble the pump part so I am assuming it is put together correctly and that is how it is supposed to work. Having taken apart the previous one I don't think it could be put together wrong and function at all. They are pretty simple on the inside.
 

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Telstar 28
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No, the bowl on a manual marine head does not fill like a household bowl... but pre-filling the bowl by pouring a little water into the bowl is probably a good idea before using it for solid waste...since it will allow the head to flush more cleanly...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If the bowl does not fill, I can't see how these things don't get, you know, stuck all over the bowl then stink like crazy...
 

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In many marine toilets the toilet needs to be mounted at a height so that the water level outside the boat is about 1/4 way up the bowl to get the bowl to fill to the same level. Put a temporary clear hose on the flush water through-hull and mark the water level on the wall beside the toilet with a piece of tape or a pencil, then install the toilet at a height that will put the line 1/4 way up the bowl. If the toilet is higher than the water level it will pump OK but it won't partially fill. The water line between the hand pump and the back of the toilet where the water goes into the bowl needs to be run several feet above the water line and have an anti-siphon valve at the top of the loop to make sure the toilet won't start a siphon and sink the boat.
 

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It's time for all you geniuses to think out of the box. It's time to figure out a better way of dealing with waste on a sailboat easily and responsibly. I am so disheartened to read these threads. So many things go wrong, so much time wasted working on a fix. There's got to be a simpler way to move waste from you to the holding tank.
I started sailing when I was 12 and at 30 bought a cruising boat - 33 Hunter. Used, clean, surveyed - only things that went wrong were weather related ie sudden squall ripping a jib to shreds. I just maintained that work horse of a production boat and I suppose luck played a part. Sailed her hard for 5 years, sold her to raise a family on land. Now I'm ready to buy again and I just don't want to deal with head and plumbing problems. I just dread it. I think I'd rather use a bucket with lehman's composting gel and dump it in the holding tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Now I'm ready to buy again and I just don't want to deal with head and plumbing problems. I just dread it. I think I'd rather use a bucket with lehman's composting gel and dump it in the holding tank.
Let us know how that works out for you.
 

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Courtney the Dancer
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Just pump several times prior to using it, the bowl will be wet and "stuff" won't stick to it (usually). We've had one for years and it works great.
 

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pre-filling the bowl by pouring a little water into the bowl is probably a good idea before using it for solid waste...since it will allow the head to flush more cleanly...


Yup, I've been on a few boats that would not fill the bowl with the switch in 'flush or fill' mode. Used the hand held shower head to wet the bowl, switch to 'dry' afterwards and pump. Use additional water from the shower head as needed to completely clear the bowl. Although quite capable, I've never clogged one yet! :rolleyes: :D
 

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S/V Loon
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Use a toilet brush

We keep a toilet brush next to each head, wedged back behind the hoses so it stays next to the head. I expect my crew to use it when they engage the head for something serious. Why should either the skipper, or worse still the first mate have to clean toilets on the boat?

Neither my newly rebuilt Groco type K or my Ratitan PHII (with newly replaced pump) fills more than an inch or so. These are double acting pumps, they draw water in on one stroke, evacuate waste on the other stroke, and the dry/flush value just controls it raw water is allowed into the bowl.
 

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If the bowl does not fill, I can't see how these things don't get, you know, stuck all over the bowl then stink like crazy...
About 10 years ago I heard on another list that bugs Don't Like "Lemon Fresh" JOY dish detergent so we use that for dishes. I also always keep a slightly diluted squeeze bottle in the head and before I sit down for some solid business I give the bowl a light coating to help move things along. I also always use the "dry" not "sea water" setting on the input and use either the shower flexible hose on previous boats or the same type hose that comes right out of my head sink apparently just for that purpose to wash down the "stuff" and keep the smelly dead sea water beasties out of the picture completely.
 

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By not filling the bowl using the flush or wet setting, you're likely to be damaging the seals in the raw water side of the pump.
About 10 years ago I heard on another list that bugs Don't Like "Lemon Fresh" JOY dish detergent so we use that for dishes. I also always keep a slightly diluted squeeze bottle in the head and before I sit down for some solid business I give the bowl a light coating to help move things along. I also always use the "dry" not "sea water" setting on the input and use either the shower flexible hose on previous boats or the same type hose that comes right out of my head sink apparently just for that purpose to wash down the "stuff" and keep the smelly dead sea water beasties out of the picture completely.
 

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By not filling the bowl using the flush or wet setting, you're likely to be damaging the seals in the raw water side of the pump.
Then why the heck do they give you the option then ???????? Any way that's the way I've been doing it for 3 years on one boat, 6 years on another boat, and now I'm into my 4th year on this boat - With No Problems. So I and many other people I know will continue to not use sea water to flush with and I'm not the Slightest Bit Worried about any problems you may have imagined.
 
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