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Discussion Starter #1
I have to replace my head due to the pump leaking. I was wondering if anyone has used this head:

http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|51|806|315133|823306&id=1055779

or has any reviews as to if its good/bad/clogs/malfunctions/maintenance? Thanks!
 

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They work just fine for occasional use. Wouldn't buy one if you are a live aboard. I have seen them sell for as low as $99. The rebuild kit is about half the cost of a new head, so it is basically a throw-away. Thats what I did. Why spend good money to fix a stinky old potty, and get your hands all dirty when you can get a new shiny one for just a little more? It will do what you expect it to do. For the price you can't go wrong.
 

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You can retrofit that Twist-N-Lock pump onto your current head, if your current head is a Jabsco.

These heads are pretty much the low end of the indusrty.
I have one on board our boat and we replace either the entire head or the pump assembly every few years. Sometimes its just as cost effective to replace the entire head. Following your link the head is $140.00, The pump alone is right around $100.00. So the parts are more expensive than the complete head. Go figure??
The other thing that goes is the joker valve.
get used to it, or replace it with a better head.
When working and all new, I have no problems with them, just that they don't last long.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
so with avg use being day sails primarily and a few over nights cruising during the season it would last on avg 3 years? Is that about right?
 

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Telstar 28
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It depends on how full of crap you are... :) Usage, more than anything else is what will be the determining factor. :)
so with avg use being day sails primarily and a few over nights cruising during the season it would last on avg 3 years? Is that about right?
 

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so with avg use being day sails primarily and a few over nights cruising during the season it would last on avg 3 years? Is that about right?
I bought two 2 seasons ago. One still works fine. The other needs to be replaced already. I'm planning on moving up to something more reliable. Can someone post a more reliable option?
 

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Telstar 28
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The Raritan PHII is an excellent unit, and SBO has the marine bowl version on sale ATM for about $270, which is far lower than you can find it for elsewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Does the raritan PHII have to be replaced every few years? Any other issues with it?
 

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Warm Weather Sailor
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I've used the low end Jabscos for years. Many bad mouth them but I've had very good usage out of them and I live aboard six months a year at anchor all the time. Well, not all the time, sometimes I'm sailing. The lousiest part is the joker valve which needs replacing nearly annually. I've just installed a Raritan joker valve and they're supposed to be better. The reason why the joker valves seem to go fast is that in my Beneteau the holding tanks are quite a lot higher than the head. If they crap out on you get another one for under $100, much better than the parts kit. On my CS36 I've had one for eight or ten years and it's still working fine. They claim the new twist lock pump solves the joker valve problem. My next head will have the twist lock pump.
 

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Does the raritan PHII have to be replaced every few years? Any other issues with it?
I replaced my boats Jabsco with the PHII at my wife's request. It is a good toilet but it is still on the cheap side. Mine has so far lasted 3 years, 1 of which was live aboard, and about 3000 miles of cruising. I haven't had to do any maintenance to it at all. My suspicion is it will die in the next 2-3 years. The little plastic parts are loosening up. I feel like something is going to break, but what the heck? $140 every 3 years or $270 every 6 years?
You could even spend $1000 and have a crapper that lasts the life of the boat, but I say there is something satisfactory in having a new shiny head.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My existing head is a cheapo jabsco that has to be at least 10 years old the previous owner never used it. The pump is really hard to move and water leakes out of the freshwater hose that supplies the pump.
 

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Maybe I'll give Jabsco another try with the new twist-n-lock system. It would be easiest if I could just switch out to the new style pump though. Has anyone seen the twist-n-lock pump to retrofit a head (which are only a year and half old)?
 

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Steve, Like I said in my first post here, the new Twist-n-locks are a direct retrofit for (I believe) all existing Jabsco's. I did ours last season.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
and the twist n lock solves the issue with the joker valve?
 

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SY Valkyrja
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Absolutely. The Twist n Lock is simply referring to the pump which can be closed by twisting the handle. I have rebuilt my two heads and replaced pumps (just before the TnL came out...6 months ago) and it's not much of a deal. Though it can be a touch messy as many will agree.

You can get the retrofit kit, bang it in in a matter of 30 minutes and remember to cover the joker and valve under the pump in silicone grease. I don't think the TnL will protect the joker valve though - the risk to the joker is that it inverts in the pipe when the flow is not right and you then get the nasty stuff flowing back.

Being based in the tropics I have learned from older salts that the joker valve lasts longer if protected by silicone grease. Expensive, but apparently one should avoid petroleum products as it will, over time, harden the rubber.

I keep a couple spare joker valves onboard, just in case.
 

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They all need regular attention, it seems. I tear down and clean out the pump assembly every spring. In spite of that I find myself replacing the toilet every 3-4 years because something breaks, the parts kit is so expensive and people like a new-looking toilet. I got 2 extra years out of a Jabsco once when the pump housing cracked and leaked when I was rebolting it after clearning out a small toy. I sealed it with epoxy. Interesting comment about the silicone grease on the joker valve. I had been using vaseline.
 
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