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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, really need help. I have a Raritan PHII manual head. Was working fine but
got a lot of use in a couple weeks, and suddenly, pump extremely hard to push down. If I wait a while, I manage to pump down, and waste water goes down without a problem.

But quickly the pump builds up pressure again,and I can't push down lever.

I've checked the tank vent line, no problem there. And I've emptied the tank.
HAVE not checked waste line from pump to tank as it's very hard to get back there and get hose off coupling.

I don't think this is blockage b/c if I wait it is pumpable. I did have toreplace the "flush- dry" valve recently,and think that's installed properly.

Suggestions for troubleshooting? Is it a problem with piston?

Thanks for any help. God, heads are one part of boat work I could do without!
 

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69' Coronado 25
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Check the vent line too.
 

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Also sounds like a plugged line to me.

To quickly rule out a plugged vent, you can open the pumpout fitting and try to flush. If it works, the vent is probably plugged. Mine plugged up last in the vent fitting at the tank, not the actual vent line. Also, if the vent is plugged, you'll probably hear pressure (or worse yet, effluent) escape when you open the pumpout fitting, so open carefully.

If it turns out to be a plugged line between the head and tank, you could first try pumping it out, and while pumping, open the sea water intake and pump the flush valve a few times to try and run water through the line. You might get lucky and clear it without disassembly (sort of like a vacuum plunger) .

Good luck.
 

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This happened to me when after a crew of non-marine types came aboard for a day sail. I gave them the usual safety briefing as well as my briefing on head use and that if they clog it, they will be the one unclogging it. Well, long story short, someone decided to use paper towels to wipe and they were bound up in the rubber one way valve. The symptoms were the same, the plunger handle had tons of pressure behind it but as slow steady push would slowly drain the bowl. The remediation was "easy" as you just separate that one joint and removing the offending material. Lesson learned, don't store the galley use paper towels in the available cupboard space in the head. Single ply TP will be the only thing within reach of the head from here on out.
 

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I've had the opposite problem with my PHII. The intake will often run dry. If I "seed" it with a bit of fresh water, it then pumps fine for the duration of that particular flush. Then, same problem later ... but not always. I checked the intake and doesn't seem to be clogged. I wonder if the O-ring around the piston in the pump needs to be replaced -- perhaps the seal is gone. Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread, but my question seemed substantially similar.
 

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I'm with TQA on this one. More than likely, if this is an older installation, the inside of the head exhaust lines are probably filling with scale. I've tried what many others have suggested, but to no avail, perhaps because we live aboards and can't let the (white vinegar, CLR, ospho etc.) work long enough. It is always pull it out and replace the line or beat the living daylights out of it against concrete wall.

sneuman, you might want to check the ball and seal in the dry/flush valve. Also check for air intrusion (hose clamp, crack in fitting, etc.). I'd dismantle the pump as a last resort. Of course, this is re; a PHII only, though air intrusion equals air instead of liquid for any pump, but not necessarily a visible liquid leak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
UPDATE: still having trouble with pump on Raritan PHII pump, but narrowed it down.

It's not the pump or joker valve, which looked clean enough and when I disconnected discharge line going to tank
it pumped easily.

It's not the tank vent, which I ran water through, and wire easily. Clean.

But I cannot disconnect the white, 1 3/4" flexible pipe from either the tank (where I think the problem is), or from the
90 degree elbow joint, plastic, which is in an awkward place.

Question: did PO use a special pipe lock or sealant which makes these difficult to remove (and conversely, leakproof)?
And how do you get them off?!

I tried pumping out while pumping in saltwater through bowl, and even tried blocking air vent and pumping to create a vacuum but no go.

Frustrating! Advice appreciated...
 

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UPDATE: still having trouble with pump on Raritan PHII pump, but narrowed it down.

It's not the pump or joker valve, which looked clean enough and when I disconnected discharge line going to tank
it pumped easily.

It's not the tank vent, which I ran water through, and wire easily. Clean.

But I cannot disconnect the white, 1 3/4" flexible pipe from either the tank (where I think the problem is), or from the
90 degree elbow joint, plastic, which is in an awkward place.

Question: did PO use a special pipe lock or sealant which makes these difficult to remove (and conversely, leakproof)?
And how do you get them off?!

I tried pumping out while pumping in saltwater through bowl, and even tried blocking air vent and pumping to create a vacuum but no go.

Frustrating! Advice appreciated...
If this white hose is your main discharge line from head to tank or thru hull, then it most likely it has been heated to fit on the barbs and it will need to be cut off or heated to remove. Any way you can do it is fine; it's just going to be a female dog. But keep in mind that the plastic piece which fits the head is pretty fragile. Good luck.
 
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For replacing the hose, I would suggest removing the elbow from the pump first, heating the hose, then working the elbow barb out of the hose. Trying to horse it off in place may lead to a broken elbow. That would be the discharge elbow, you're right elbow, or both.

Also, such jobs are best scheduled when there as few bystanders as possible to be offended by the requisite outbursts of profanity. And have a first aid kit handy. I for one never seem able to finish such jobs without bleeding.
 

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bell ringer
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Cut the dam hose off above the nipple, then take a razor knife and slowly cut the remaining part lengthwise till you can peel it off the fitting (squeezing with a pair of channel lockers helps). Forget this heat gun crap!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well the heat gun did work well and in a couple minutes I found the blockage: two paper towels like a cork in a 90 degree elbow. Think the elbow isn't a good idea, but certainly not paper towels! But... I also found little chips of metal, a few cms wide. I'm worried that they might have come from the sea water intake, which I'm having trouble closing.

Still, I feel like I won this battle with the head and will know what to do next time.
Thanks for all the advice.
 

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Sounds to me as you have a clog and my guess would be in the vent line. Check right at the fitting as it comes out of the tank. That seems to clog quickly esp. if you have had a lot of use and maybe a full tank. Also pour some veggie oil right in the bowl and pump thru it does a marvelous job lubricating your pump piston.
Peter
 
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