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Old 04-29-2016, 08:28 PM   #1
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Electric toilets

Hi,

I have read some posts about Vacu Flush Vs Raritan Elegance ( which a lot of people like ) and I noticed in the specs that the Vacu Flush uses a total of 8 amps ( 2 for the toilet and 6 for the vacuum generator) and the Raritan uses 18 amps for a fresh water flush.

I am replacing the manual in our 36 Shannon and Have a concern about the 18 Amp usage in the Raritan.

Any comments ?

Thanks,
Bill R.
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Old 04-29-2016, 08:55 PM   #2
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I prefer pressure over vacuum. It is much harder to hold a vacuum than create pressure. Harder means leaks. The vacuum acts great when it works. The Raritan pressure system works much more often. Just my experience.
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:08 PM   #3
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We lived on board full time and our Vacuflush toilets were the most reliable, fuss free toilets we've ever owned, on land or on the water... having owned 10 houses.
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:43 PM   #4
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Amps are misleading. Watts consumed per flush cycle would be a better measure of electrical consumption. I have 2 Vacuflush systems(which I'm very happy with) and am pretty sure that the vacuum generator will run much longer than the macerator pump on the Raritan. The amp draw is probably irrelevant for both as the power consumption is likely under 1 watt per flush (This assumes a 15 second flush on a system that draw 10 amps at 12 volts [120 watts] per hour).

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Old 04-29-2016, 11:54 PM   #5
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Mansfield Plumbing introduced the VacuFlush toilet in 1978 (spun off their marine toilet division to a startup called SeaLand Technology in 1984)...it hasn't changed enough to notice except cosmetically since then. It was the first electric marine toilet designed to use fresh water from the onboard potable water system, didn't need 1-3 gallons/flush, drew less than 30-50 amps, and didn't make enough noise to wake the dead.

But that all changed in the early '90s when Raritan Engineering and Jabsco introduced the first macerating electric toilets designed to use pressurized fresh water from potable water supply and only needed 1-2 liters/flush, drew only 10-15 amps and were actually quiet. Soon afterward Wilcox Crittenden (no longer in business) began importing Tecma toilets, made by an Italian toilet mfr...and Tecma stood the marine toilet industry on its ear. Instead of toilet pumps that could only move bowl contents about 6', Tecma toilets have pumps that can move bowl contents 90 linear METERS or 30 vertical METERS! I remember asking a W-C technician how any pump could be that powerful without blowing the discharge hose off the toilet....he answered, "I dunno why, but it can." Every mfr "downshifted" into designing a toilet to compete with it...even SeaLand felt they had to compete and quickly introduced a private label version of a French clone of the Tecma that they call the MasterFlush.

Raritan designed their own...the Atlantes, available in both sea water and pressurized fresh water versions. The Marine Elegance, designed specifically to use pressurized fresh water, was next...with a year or two it began being consistently rated the best electric macerating toilet on the market...and still is. It's also the quietest toilet on the planet. Jabsco came along with their Quiet Flush series but the only thing it has in common with the Tecma, Atlantes and Elegance is a one piece all china bowl and pedestal.

A MAJOR advantage to macerating electric toilets is, all the "works" are in the pedestal instead of remote from the bowl in the bilge. And they offer multiple flush options--bring in flush water only, dry flush, low water flush and "full" flush. Raritan's "SeaFresh" system, which allows switching between fresh water and sea water flush can be added to their Atlantes Freedom and Elegance toilets.

The VacuFlush is a good system...It was the toilet on my last two boats. If that was the system already installed on a boat I was considering buying, I'd be glad to have it...but I wouldn't install another myself because today's macerating electric toilet technology is superior to it...and for a lower price.

And now you know more about the history of electric toilets than you prob'ly wanted to know...but if not, I'll be glad to answer questions.
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Old 04-30-2016, 06:54 AM   #6
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Interesting history review, Peggie.


FWIW, I thought the VacuFlush we had in the last boat was a tad on the "wake the dead" side, although I only really noticed the loud POP! during dead-of-night flushes. So did everyone else one the boat...


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Old 04-30-2016, 08:17 AM   #7
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HI Peggy, can you put toilet paper into one of these new electric macerating toilets? Do they work well going overboard as well as to the holding tank? My old Raritan electrics are just manuals with a motor to drive the hand pump. And LOUD! lol Thanks.

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Old 04-30-2016, 11:45 AM   #8
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HI Peggy, can you put toilet paper into one of these new electric macerating toilets?
I am not Peggy, but yes you can use TP in these macerating toilets.
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Old 04-30-2016, 12:01 PM   #9
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I have a manual salt water flush toilet (Raritan) and I also don't flush the paper. I agree it's gross, and the wife hates it, but I thought that's what I had to do.

Can I flush it? I would rather!
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Old 04-30-2016, 12:05 PM   #10
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This is my toilet. Does not macerate.

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Old 04-30-2016, 12:19 PM   #11
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I have a manual salt water flush toilet (Raritan) and I also don't flush the paper. I agree it's gross, and the wife hates it
Rectify that problem or sell the boat. If momma ain't happy ain't nobody happy
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Old 04-30-2016, 01:03 PM   #12
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can you put toilet paper into one of these new electric macerating toilets?

Yes, the all china "thrones" can even chew up extra strong premium TP....but NOT WET WIPES!!! "Basic" macerating toilets and even manual toilets can easily handle quick-dissolve TP. Just be sparing with it.

Do they work well going overboard as well as to the holding tank?

A toilet isn't gonna do anything different to a flush going into a tank than it does to a flush going overboard. No toilet will completely liquify TP...there will be snow unless it also goes through a treatment device. Up to you whether to flush it overboard.

My old Raritan electrics are just manuals with a motor to drive the hand pump. And LOUD! lol Thanks. Kevin

Putting a motor on a PHII (or any manual toilet) is the equivalent of putting
jet engine on a bicycle...'cuz the motor only replaces the pump HANDLE...you still have a manual toilet pump that still needs all the maintenance required by manual toilets. What's more, the motor pumps the toilet with a shorter and faster stroke than pumping manually so it takes longer to prime, wearing out seals and o-rings a lot faster unless you're scrupulous about keeping the pump very well lubricated. Shorter faster pumping also can result in the toilet "choking" on flushes that slower more deliberate flushing can easily push through the system....As you've noted it's NOISY...what's more, the motor alone costs almost as much as a basic macerating toilet like the Raritan SeaEra...more if you only swap out the pump and base for the SeaEra "conversion."

It's only popular with sailors who want the "push button convenience" of an electric toilet but want to be able to convert to manual in the even of a power failure. But if you have a power outage so catastrophic that you can't even flush a toilet, you have a lot more to worry about than that...'cuz you're not likely to have nav lights, nav equipment, communications or maybe even no steerage...but you DO still have a bucket and some rope you can use to lower if over the side to "flush" it.

Chris, Both my VFlush pumps were under my berth...it was the CHUNKacHUNKaCHUNKA of the vacuum pump under my bed in the middle of the night that could even blow Rip van Winkle out his 20 year nap. Making sure the "night switch" (switch in the head that turned of power to the pump, but not the water) was on helped considerably.

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Old 04-30-2016, 01:52 PM   #13
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Rectify that problem or sell the boat. If momma ain't happy ain't nobody happy

Ha! True. Or change out the toilet--might be cheaper.
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Old 04-30-2016, 02:56 PM   #14
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I found convincing people who need to use more the 4 to 5 sheets of paper to use multiple flushes... that will pretty much guarantee no clogs till the macerator blades become dull, disabled, corroded or covered with deposits.

I converted my pump flush to electric by removing the manual pump, covered the hole with a plate. Put a 90 degree plastic barb at the end to feed a plain old cheapo $80 macerator mounted below the toilet on the underside of the deck where the toilet sits. Works like a charm and is much quieter as the pump is "out" of the space. Yes the toilet is fed by the salt water wash down system and uses a $10 solenoid to fill or flush and also runs the macerator on flush. About $100 total, actually less as some macerator pumps can be had for less.. this setup seems better than the mods the manufacturers offer.
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Old 04-30-2016, 03:37 PM   #15
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Quality of toilets and flushing has changed dramatically the past few years. We have Headhunter and Vacuflush on different boats. The headhunter work great and accept toilet paper pretty much the same as units you have in your house. We were a bit wary of Vacuflush when we ordered a boat that they are what comes in it. We became less so in talking to owners who had no issues. Now that we've used the boat, we're quite happy with them. The bad rap seems to have come from older units.
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Old 04-30-2016, 04:01 PM   #16
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The bad rap with many things on a boat comes from not managing their limitations.

Toilets aren't as bad as most make them out to be if reasonably managed.

Families regularly plug and wreck household toilets through mismanagement also.
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Old 04-30-2016, 04:18 PM   #17
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Families regularly plug and wreck household toilets through mismanagement also.
Especially since the water conservation rules and models hit. Like many things the plan was better than the results. They use less water but require many more flushes.
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Old 04-30-2016, 05:48 PM   #18
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90% of problems with VacuFlush can be laid directly at the feet of owners--equally divided between those who think that SeaLand's claim that it can use "as little as" one pint of water means that's ALL it EVER needs, and owners who try to solve a problem without the slightest clue about how the system actually works and never bother to get out the owners manual to check the troubleshooting guide before blindly charging in.

But...that doesn't make V/F owners any different from the owners of every other marine toilet. If more people bothered to read instructions and then follow 'em BEFORE all else fails, I wouldn't have very much to do.

Btw...several years ago I put together a piece I call "VacuFlush 101" that I'm glad to share with anyone who'd like a copy. Just send me an EMAIL

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Old 04-30-2016, 06:30 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
I have a manual salt water flush toilet (Raritan) and I also don't flush the paper. I agree it's gross, and the wife hates it, but I thought that's what I had to do.

Can I flush it? I would rather!

I had the same toilet on my sailboat. I thought it was great. We definitely used TP in that head and never had any problems. The key is to use cheap paper that dissolves reasonably well and pump the head well. I always instructed folks on the boat to dry pump the head 20 times after the bowl was cleared. I figured that if they did 1/2 that all the waste would make it to the holding tank. The Raritan manual is a great head in my experience. However, my experience is limited to Jabsco, Wilcox-Crittendon, and Raritan. Each being the low end manual toilets. The Raritan was by far the best of the bunch.
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Old 04-30-2016, 06:34 PM   #20
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I had the same toilet on my sailboat. I thought it was great. We definitely used TP in that head and never had any problems. The key is to use cheap paper that dissolves reasonably well and pump the head well. I always instructed folks on the boat to dry pump the head 20 times after the bowl was cleared. I figured that if they did 1/2 that all the waste would make it to the holding tank. The Raritan manual is a great head in my experience. However, my experience is limited to Jabsco, Wilcox-Crittendon, and Raritan. Each being the low end manual toilets. The Raritan was by far the best of the bunch.

Ok. Awesome. Thanks. You might have just saved me $200000!

20 times! I've been flushing 8 for some reason. I have Peggy's book but still learning.
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