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ksanders 07-31-2014 02:06 AM

vaccuflush issues
 
So I'm sitting around thinking just how unplesant working on the Vaccuflush units in my 4788 is going to be when they have an issue.

Tucked away in almost unreachable places

A technology I've never worked on.

Etc... etc... etc...

I'm the kind of guy that likes to prevent failures in critical equipment through planned replacement and or rebuild, and have spares readily available.

So I start looking for a complete Vg2 Vaccuflush unit and realize its something like a thousand dollars. Then I think about what could go wrong with the toilets themselves.

This leads me to wonder why I dont just replace the two toilets and vaccuflush units with Raritan Marine Elegance heads.

$600 each for fresh water model.

Fully self contained. Just unbolt the bracket and pull the unit forward to work on it.

Am I the only guy that has thought of this?

Robster_in_edmonds 07-31-2014 02:10 AM

Hi Kevin,

My 4788 still has the original grinder toilets, but a PO RE-plumbed them for fresh water. I will need to replace all of the hoses sometime in the not-too-distant future. If you were replacing your heads and related equipment today, what would you use?

Thanks,

Rob

ksanders 07-31-2014 02:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robster_in_edmonds (Post 253882)
Hi Kevin,

My 4788 still has the original grinder toilets, but a PO RE-plumbed them for fresh water. I will need to replace all of the hoses sometime in the not-too-distant future. If you were replacing your heads and related equipment today, what would you use?

Thanks,

Rob

I'd use the Raritan Marine Elegance heads set up for fresh water with the smart controller for watersaver operation.

Thats what I'm thinking of doing with my vaccuflush units. Preventative replacement before I have problems.

Pau Hana 07-31-2014 02:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ksanders (Post 253883)
I'd use the Raritan Marine Elegance heads set up for fresh water with the smart controller for watersaver operation.

Thats what I'm thinking of doing with my vaccuflush units. Preventative replacement before I have problems.

Kevin, we have that unit onboard- it's super quiet, easy to work on, and makes Kathy very happy.

My dock neighbor has a Vacuflush and hates it.

Robster_in_edmonds 07-31-2014 02:59 AM

Just watched a YouTube vid on the Raritan. It looks really good. So I would just replace the two heads (and the hoses because they are almost 20 years old) and nothing else, right?

sunchaser 07-31-2014 06:03 AM

Kevin

What issues are you having with current units? Replace one and see what you think may be an option. BTW, my two VFs work fine.

caltexflanc 07-31-2014 07:28 AM

The VFs are very simple and very reliable. Three of them, each a separate system, on the Hatteras. We lived aboard full time over five years and heavy use for 1 1/2 years after that. The only thing I ever did was remediate a bad installation by the PO on one of them, and even that took a few years to evidence its effects. The biggest mistake people make is not flushing enough water through these, especially any sort of solids including TP. Follow the manual and all is well, unless the installation is not done per their specs.

When you say the components are not reachable, what exactly does that mean? The most important one is the pump. I have to admit, all of my systems were extremely accessible, thing is, I never needed to.

Personally, I'd use them correctly rather than take the time and effort and money to remove them and replace. That job alone is more hassle than a properly used VF system will cause you in your lifetime.

timjet 07-31-2014 07:28 AM

My 2 16 yo VF's work fine too. I came from a pump type on my sailboat so I thought the VF were great. What's wrong with the VF units and why wouldn't you just maintain them? I think spares are easy to get.

caltexflanc 07-31-2014 07:43 AM

I should note that my VFs were installed about 3 years before I bought the boat, and had been used heavily by the PO, who entertained a lot.

Underway 07-31-2014 08:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robster_in_edmonds (Post 253882)
Hi Kevin,

My 4788 still has the original grinder toilets, but a PO RE-plumbed them for fresh water. I will need to replace all of the hoses sometime in the not-too-distant future. If you were replacing your heads and related equipment today, what would you use?

Thanks,

Rob

If the converted heads are later model Raritan centrifugal discharge models and the conversion removed the raw water pump, you wouldn't gain much, if anything in terms of performance (including noise reduction) with most of the new head designs. They're "grinders" with centrifugal discharge in a nice wrapping. If raw water flush, they use a diaphragm intake pump instead of the noisy, power hungry impellor of the older models...and that's about it in terms of differences. I'd keep the old heads and install the new hose such that you could easily pull out the old units at a later date and install a new design when the time comes.

Capt.Bill11 07-31-2014 09:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ksanders (Post 253881)

Am I the only guy that has thought of this?

It doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Unless you just hate the Vacuflushes for some reason. There is not much to the Vacuflushes as far as routine maintain goes. Replace the duck bill valves ever few years or so located at the pumps and then replace the seals in the toilets from time to time. And as George said use the right amount of water when you flush.

Also I find it helps to flush a good full bowl of clean water through the system once a month or so just to flush through anything bits of stuff that may get stuck in the lines or duck bill valves.

It's a good system that is pretty low maintiance and trouble free.

ksanders 07-31-2014 09:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robster_in_edmonds (Post 253887)
Just watched a YouTube vid on the Raritan. It looks really good. So I would just replace the two heads (and the hoses because they are almost 20 years old) and nothing else, right?

Yes, thats all it would take. Eliminate the Vaccuflush pump units.

Quote:

Originally Posted by sunchaser (Post 253890)
Kevin

What issues are you having with current units? Replace one and see what you think may be an option. BTW, my two VFs work fine.

Quote:

Originally Posted by timjet (Post 253901)
My 2 16 yo VF's work fine too. I came from a pump type on my sailboat so I thought the VF were great. What's wrong with the VF units and why wouldn't you just maintain them? I think spares are easy to get.


I'm not having any problems with my Vaccuflush units at this time. They work just fine.

This thought process started when I started looking for a spare unit so that I could quickly resolve a issue when it does arise.

When I saw the cost of a spare unit I started thinking about replacement.

Some people have a maintenance philosophy of fixing things when they break. I would rather replace older equipment on a planned basis. I find that it makes for less "emergencies" on board. In this I'm trying to avoid a toilet full of somebodies poo to deal with. :eek: :nonono:

My Vaccuflush units are the VG2 type. They are 13 years old. Someday, probably sooner rather than later one of these units is going to go out, and it wont be pretty when it does.

I could remove one, rebuild it with a new (and upgraded) motor, duckbills, bellows, etc... I think those parts would run into the $350-$400 range or thereabouts.

Or I could spend $600 and get a newer technology water saving marine head and eliminate this unit from my boat.

Those are my choices. Rebuild or replace?

N4712 07-31-2014 09:53 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Has anybody heard anything about Tecma's they seem use them on most of the newer Nordies. We have two Raritan heads which I'm not sure of the models, but they work great! One thing to note though if you have a handle like the one pictured below make sure you service the spring every once and awhile, if you don't they'll start sticking. We had ours overflow because it stuck.Attachment 31685

ghost 07-31-2014 09:57 AM

Mine are original (rebuilt) Mansfield vacuflush, 30 years and going strong. I'd suggest rebuilding a bowl ring and duck bills. It will cost you Under a hundred bucks, about an hour the first time and will allow you to make more rational decisions. I'm in no hurry to replace mine, they are one of the most reliable things on my boat.

ksanders 07-31-2014 10:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by N4712 (Post 253944)
Has anybody heard anything about Tecma's they seem use them on most of the newer Nordies. We have two Raritan heads which I'm not sure of the models, but they work great! One thing to note though if you have a handle like the one pictured below make sure you service the spring every once and awhile, if you don't they'll start sticking. We had ours overflow because it stuck.Attachment 31685

Oliver

From the photo your unit looks like a Raritan Marine Elegance head.

It appears to be siliconed to the wall. When it needs servicing you'll have to cut out that silicone and pull the unit forward to access the parts which are behind it.

Thats the only thing I do not like, but they made unbolting it easy.

caltexflanc 07-31-2014 10:46 AM

Quote:

Someday, probably sooner rather than later one of these units is going to go out, and it wont be pretty when it does.
Tearing out the current systems, with the attendant re-hosing, and installing the new one, is going to be way, way, less pretty than any potential repair. Take care of these things and they will take care of you. I spent much less time futzing with these toilets than I ever did over the same period of time with toilets at our various land-based homes.

psneeld 07-31-2014 11:16 AM

I can understand that someone who lives in AK and has a system where a single failure point can make him resort to using a bucket...would want a bulletproof system or one that has redundancy or a system that allows the toilets to operate independently.

I set mine up to never put me in a bucket situation as a full time live aboard...

The only thing that can malfunction on my system (Electroscan not included) is a macerator pump...and I have 3 in the system and a spare...so the chances of me being "toiletless" is almost zero (yes some swapping could be required but in less than 1/2hour I'd have something back in business and thse odds are long that I would ever have to do that.

hollywood8118 07-31-2014 11:21 AM

I have had V Flush heads on the last two boats.. I have not seen any reason to ever change the units.. they work great and are low maintenance if you use enough water to flush them. The system is pretty simple.... just use enough water .. preferably fresh to limit the lime scale.

HOLLYWOOD

psneeld 07-31-2014 11:28 AM

I think like many boat systems...there's the 80 percent or so of people that have no or few problems...then there's the horror stories...whether self induced or not...they still work their way into the fleet.

Capt.Bill11 07-31-2014 12:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by N4712 (Post 253944)
Has anybody heard anything about Tecma's they seem use them on most of the newer Nordies.

Tecmas are very good heads. They will pump both vertically and horizontally better then most any other head out there.


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