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Old 08-14-2018, 07:44 AM   #1
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ElectraScan vs Purasan

Hi All:


I have had an ElectraScan for two years and not particularly happy with it. Because we are full time cruisers we use both heads throughout the day so that in a year's time it accounts for approximately 3000 flushes. According to Raritan's engineers the electropack has a service life of about that many, although I don't think they really know. If they're right, it means a new one annually. The part is $600 ish and I don't relish the install job and would probably opt to pay the marine plumber to install it.


In addition, because we flush with salt water I have to treat the system monthly with either an acid or bleach flush of 6:1 for 45 minutes (Raritan says use acid but I've found bleach more effective at ridding bowl odors from biological growth in the rim due to sea water.) I've tried CH and Sew Clean both of which work but take 12 hours and cost $60 a month.



My marine plumber has suggested switching to Purasan which instead of using salt water and the electropack to create chlorine gas, this system uses essentially chlorine tabs and fresh water to make the gas to treat the waste. However, that requires monthly expense of tablets (don't know their cost yet and don't know if swimming pool chlorine tabs will work) plus the manual says a monthly cleaning or replacing of the check valve. My luck it will mean replacement at least every other month - so not only is it an expensive switch over but appears to have a maintenance cost and time factor equal to or perhaps greater than ElectraScan.


I'm so torn I'm about ready to abandon either system and just go back to the holding tank and dump 3 miles out but that could pose a problem if we decided to stay in a protected anchorage for an extended time and although I know it isn't a really big deal and lots of cruisers do it, but I'm not a fan of just dumping overboard, especially where I like to swim!



Please chime in with your thoughts on this dilemma. I'm seriously thinking about keeping the status quo - at least I know what I have and don't have to go through the expense of paying the plumber several thousand dollars to switch out the systems and re-plumb for fresh water usage but as always I respect the group's opinion. Thanks.


Jim
MV Kokomo
48 Hatteras LRC
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:54 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfelds View Post
Hi All:


I have had an ElectraScan for two years and not particularly happy with it. Because we are full time cruisers we use both heads throughout the day so that in a year's time it accounts for approximately 3000 flushes. According to Raritan's engineers the electropack has a service life of about that many, although I don't think they really know. If they're right, it means a new one annually. The part is $600 ish and I don't relish the install job and would probably opt to pay the marine plumber to install it.


In addition, because we flush with salt water I have to treat the system monthly with either an acid or bleach flush of 6:1 for 45 minutes (Raritan says use acid but I've found bleach more effective at ridding bowl odors from biological growth in the rim due to sea water.) I've tried CH and Sew Clean both of which work but take 12 hours and cost $60 a month.



My marine plumber has suggested switching to Purasan which instead of using salt water and the electropack to create chlorine gas, this system uses essentially chlorine tabs and fresh water to make the gas to treat the waste. However, that requires monthly expense of tablets (don't know their cost yet and don't know if swimming pool chlorine tabs will work) plus the manual says a monthly cleaning or replacing of the check valve. My luck it will mean replacement at least every other month - so not only is it an expensive switch over but appears to have a maintenance cost and time factor equal to or perhaps greater than ElectraScan.


I'm so torn I'm about ready to abandon either system and just go back to the holding tank and dump 3 miles out but that could pose a problem if we decided to stay in a protected anchorage for an extended time and although I know it isn't a really big deal and lots of cruisers do it, but I'm not a fan of just dumping overboard, especially where I like to swim!



Please chime in with your thoughts on this dilemma. I'm seriously thinking about keeping the status quo - at least I know what I have and don't have to go through the expense of paying the plumber several thousand dollars to switch out the systems and re-plumb for fresh water usage but as always I respect the group's opinion. Thanks.


Jim
MV Kokomo
48 Hatteras LRC
Bought an electrode pack for my Lectrosan online for under $300.00
Changing it was relatively simple and not dirty at all. You’d be surprised how clean the inside of the tank stays. Don’t know anything about the Purasan. Good luck.
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Old 08-14-2018, 08:01 AM   #3
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I have had an electrroscan for 5 years.

My plates last 1.5 years or so with using salt water and a salt tank to flush.

I believe the 3000 flushes or so based on our usage.... We just don't flush every use, especially at night.

I don't know if liquid chlorine will hurt the electrodes, so I clean the bowls when they need it with toilet bowl cleaner but bypassing the electroscan to the holding tank.

I only clean the electroscan 2x per year but think I am stepping it up to 3x per year with muriatic acid as per the manual...but I do let it sit for a couple hours to work and use plenty more due to the hose run volume.

So far it is WAY better than weekly pumping...but I am disappointed in the $315 US electrodes every 18 months or so.....and even more do the hassle to change them an NO it's not the sewage that bothers me, just the unfriendly maintenance procedure.
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Old 08-14-2018, 08:51 AM   #4
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Sounds like you could reduce your maintenance costs and time by just switching the heads to use fresh water instead of sea water. Then use those savings to pay for the electrode replacement. Also, as suggested above, only flush for solids and let liquids sit in the bowl until a flush is needed. When my parents lived in the Philippines, that was the rule in their house, because water was scarce there.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:30 AM   #5
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I have had an ElectraScan for two years and not particularly happy with it....

I'm not surprised because apparently you've never read the owners manual ElectroScan owners manual If you had,you'd know that the ElectroScan does NOT create chlorine gas! It would poison everything in the water around it if it did. The ElectroScan (and its predecessors, the LectraSan) creates hypochlorous acid--chlorine, but a different type than the chlorine in bleach--by charging the ions in salt water with electrical current. And unlike bleach the solution reverts to salt water when the stimulus (current) is removed, so--unlike bleach--there's no residual corrosive effects from it.

You'd also have seen on page 4 all the information that the control panel provides, including a "low voltage" warning that tells you the electrodes may need cleaning, . How often they need cleaning depends largely on water temperature because warm waters have a much higher mineral content than colder waters. You'd also have seen the strongly worded warning on page 5 against flushing bleach (sodium hypochlorite, which is not the same type of chlorine created by the ElectroScan) or any household chemical bowl cleaner into an ElectroScan because they damage the electrode plates. Also on page 5 are instructions for using muriatic acid (inexpensive and available from any hardware store) to clean the electrodes.

As for the average life of the electrode pack, that depends as much on how well the system is maintained and/or abused as much as it does on the number flushes. The use of bleach and ANY household bowl cleaner will definitely shorten its life! Again, the control panel will tell you what you need to know.

So before you replace the ElectroScan with a PuraSan--which would cost you a lot more than a new electrode pack every couple of years (and no, swimming pool chlorine tabs will NOT work in it, they will damage it)--read the owners manual and get help from Raritan tech support if there's anything in it you don't understand and then FOLLOW the instructions in it...and I think you'll be a lot happier with it.

--Peggie
"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't completely understand it yourself." --Albert Einstein
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Old 08-14-2018, 10:42 AM   #6
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Thanks to all who replied so quickly! As always the arguments are convincing and helpful.



I will order the pack online and learn to change it and discontinue using bleach as a cleaner and stick with Muriatic acid. I also think the wire connecting my DC panel and the Electrascan control panel is undersized for the round trip distance between the two points and beefing that up will assure any unnecessary voltage drops while we're in salt water.


Special thanks to the Headmistress for calling me out on my misrepresentations. Thanks again.


Best,


Jim
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:35 PM   #7
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I will order the pack online and learn to change it...

Doncha think it would be a good idea to make sure it needs a new electrode pack before replacing it?

I also think the wire connecting my DC panel and the Electrascan control panel is undersized for the round trip distance between the two points...

The wiring specs for it are in the owners manual (see link in my previous reply). However, if the ES is inadequately wired, the odds are very good that the toilet is too. I can provide the owners manual for it when I know its make/model/age. Meanwhile, I can tell you that all electric toilets should be on their own separate dedicated circuit shared by nothing else except a treatment device (which can be wired to start when the toilet is flushed), not even cabin lights, that can reduce power to it...'cuz low voltage to any electric motor will damage it and that's also one of the most reasons for sluggish toilet discharge. So when you check the wiring for the ES and the toilet you'll also want to make sure it's adequate for BOTH devices.

Special thanks to the Headmistress...

Glad I can help. I enjoy saving boat owners from themselves.
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:47 PM   #8
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Dear Headmistress:


Good point about checking the Electrode pack before replacing. But right now in a marina with brackish water and have it powered off - using the holding tank.


Once I change out the wire from #6 to #2 and provided I'm in salt water, my voltage drop issues should go away. Is there another way to check the pack?


Regarding the toilets, there are dedicated breakers, one for each toilet and to my knowledge, nothing else is on those circuits. The toilets are Raritan Atlantis installed about 18 months ago which replaced two original Galley Maid toilets that were DIY rigged to the ElectraScan by a previous owner and rigged not so nicely. Frankly, the new heads have worked perfectly except for the fact that they are prone to allowing growth up in the rim which causes foul odors if I don't regularly treat the system. By the way, I had a 5 gallon bucket rigged with a fitting that allows me to insert a hose with fitting inside. The other end of the hose connects to a T which I had installed adjacent to the raw water strainer for both heads so when I use the Muriatic Acid treatment I fill the bucket appropriately with water and chemical and instead of pouring it into the bowl (which doesn't permit any of the chemical liquid access to the rim) I connect it to my hose fitting, close the raw water sea cock and the head pump pulls the chemical treatment from the bucket through the hose and up and over the rim as it would otherwise - assuring that the rim is treated as well.


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Old 08-14-2018, 01:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimfrens View Post
Sounds like you could reduce your maintenance costs and time by just switching the heads to use fresh water instead of sea water. Then use those savings to pay for the electrode replacement. Also, as suggested above, only flush for solids and let liquids sit in the bowl until a flush is needed. When my parents lived in the Philippines, that was the rule in their house, because water was scarce there.
Problem is lectrosan needs salt water to work. In fresh or brackish water this s provided by an external salt brine tank.
Switching to fresh water solve nothing and And increases the use of the brine tank
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