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Old 02-15-2011, 04:35 PM   #1
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Noisy electric heads

I have seen several threads about heads and head tanks, but I haven't seen anything yet about comparing electric heads by their noise factor. *We are very shy cruisers and don't really want everyone next to us to be aware of what goes on at 3:00 in the morning!!

We have two Jabsco electric heads (both using raw water) that make a significant amount of noice when used. *One of them was replaced just two years ago (the new one is still noisy), but we need to replace the other one *because of back flow issues from leaking valves in the macerator/pump. *We have tried to replace seals/valves with no success and if we need to change out the head, we would like to install the quietest electric head currently available. *(price will of course be of some concern!!!)


Practical Sailor did a review saying Raritan Marine Elegance was one of their picks for durabiliity as well as quiet function. *I have also heard of Tecma Silence Plus but have seen no user reviews. *I am not sure what else is out there. *Does anyone have good knowledge of what might work best for us?
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:40 PM   #2
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RE: Noisy electric heads

Quote:
Delia Rosa wrote:

but I haven't seen anything yet about comparing electric heads by their noise factor.
We have electric heads (sort of) but we run them manually for the noise factor.* Run with the motors, the heads can be heard loudly all over the boat.* Operated manually, you cannot hear the forward toilet being operated from the main cabin or aft cabin, and you cannot hear the aft toilet being operated in the forward compartments of the boat.

*
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:59 PM   #3
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Noisy electric heads

Quote:
Delia Rosa wrote:

*


Practical Sailor did a review saying Raritan Marine Elegance was one of their picks for durabiliity as well as quiet function.**
********* DR- We have a fresh water Raritan Marine Elegance-*Nice working unit- and pretty quiet.* You can't hear it on deck and in our small cruiser the sound is not really an issue.

********* We choose the multi function control over the smart programable flush

********* Like being able to control water level and flush times.

********* The computer controlled smart flush has a higher price point and is a little more complex.
**

-- Edited by JohnP on Tuesday 15th of February 2011 05:59:51 PM


-- Edited by JohnP on Wednesday 16th of February 2011 04:23:14 PM
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:04 PM   #4
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RE: Noisy electric heads

Marin,running the electric heads manually, does the macerator function still work?


JohnP,
you say you are using the Raritan unit with fresh water... is there ever a danger of backup to the freshwater tanks?? *we have only ever had raw water inputs, would like to hear from you how your system works..
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:13 PM   #5
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Noisy electric heads

90% of the noise is generated by the water impeller.

You can remove this impeller and feed the heads*with a salt water wash-down pump controlled by a solenoid valve. When the button is pushed, the solenoid valve opens and the pressure drop starts the washdown pump. I've been using this system for several years with no problems.

There have been quiet flush kits available in the past which do the same thing but contain a disk to insert between the macerator chamber and the impeller chamber - to stop waste being circulated back into the bowl. I made a disk to fit from a piece of plastic.

Cheers,

-- Edited by Bendit on Tuesday 15th of February 2011 06:14:14 PM
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:26 PM   #6
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RE: Noisy electric heads

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Delia Rosa wrote:

Marin,
running the electric heads manually, does the macerator function still work?
I suspect our situation will not be applicable to too many people these days.* Our toilets are Groco EBs, which date from the 1970s (I think).* They are diaprhagm pump toilets and will flush an overcoat if you put it in there.* The electric feature is nothing more than a big electric motor and gearbox that connects to the diaprhagm pump arm.* So all we did was disconnect the connecting rod form the pump arm and run the arm manually.* There is no associated macerator pump.* There are macerator pumps on the output of the holding tanks but not on the toilets themselves.

*
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:42 PM   #7
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Noisy electric heads

Quote:
Delia Rosa wrote:

*


JohnP,
you say you are using the Raritan unit with fresh water... is there ever a danger of backup to the freshwater tanks?? *we have only ever had raw water inputs, would like to hear from you how your system works.
.

The Raritan heads come with a backflow antisiphon valve as part of the head.**

The fact the head uses the boats freshwater system is partly why it is quiet.* The sea water models actually have a seperate pump which draws in the sea water.

The 12volt inlet valve is closed basically all the time unless you are adding water.* Another reason I kind of like the multifunction control over the computerized smart control.

Johnp
*


-- Edited by JohnP on Tuesday 15th of February 2011 06:45:24 PM
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:43 PM   #8
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Noisy electric heads

All raw water electric toilets are a lot noisier than any toilets designed to use pressurized flush water. That's because, contrary to what most people believe, it's not the macerator and discharge impeller that make all the noise, it's the impeller or diaphragm intake pump. Toilets designed to use pressurized flush water don't have an intake pump...they have a solenoid valve.*

All toilets designed draw from the fresh water system have all the necessary safeguards built in to protect the potable water supply from contamination.* However, NO toilet designed to use sea water should ever be connected to the fresh water plumbing because it cannot be done without risk of contaminating the potable water supply, damage to the toilet pump, or both...and every mfrs specifically warns against it in their installation instructions.

However, the noise level in both types varies with the make/model. Jabsco toilets are the noisiest in both categories...at present the Raritan Marine Elegance is the quietest toilet on the planet! Also an excellent toilet that outperforms several that cost twice as much.

Motors that "convert" (all they really do is replace the pump handle with a motor and a flush button) manual toilets to electric are typically even noisier than any sea water macerating electric toilet...also considerably more power hungry and cost more than electric macerating toilets.

-- Edited by HeadMistress on Tuesday 15th of February 2011 06:47:48 PM
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:47 PM   #9
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RE: Noisy electric heads

Interesting your comment about the disc you created to insert between the macerator and impellor chamber. *This would presumably fix the problem we have of waste being reintroduced to the bowl after flushing.. *but regarding the noise problem... you mention that most of the noise is from the water impellor... I am not technical enough to really understand everything... I thought some of the noise was also from the "grinding" of the macerator...

re your comments about : "quiet flush kits available in the past which do the same thing but contain a disk to insert between the macerator chamber and the impeller chamber - to stop waste being circulated back into the bowl" *do you rememer which companies made them?


The easy fix seems to be total replacement by a unit like the raritan one that John P uses... Bendit, your fix sounds great, but I am not sure we have the skills??
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:57 PM   #10
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Noisy electric heads

Quote:
HeadMistress wrote:
However, NO toilet designed to use sea water should ever be connected to the fresh water plumbing because it cannot be done without risk of contaminating the potable water supply, damage to the toilet pump, or both...and every mfrs specifically warns against it in their installation instructions.

To HeadMistress:

Thanks for your comments ... I was one of the misinformed re where the main noise orignated from. *But to fix our problem... it sounds like the quietest solution is to move to fresh water plumbing... but how do we do that regarding your comments above.

If we do stay with the raw water installation, Rariton does have a model available... any reader comments? *Also, I know of one trawler for sale that installed new Techma units to replace their older heads. but still haven't heard from anyone about what they think of this manufacturer.
-- Edited by Delia Rosa on Tuesday 15th of February 2011 06:58:47 PM
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:43 PM   #11
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RE: Noisy electric heads

Here is a link to the conversion kit to make a Jabsco electric toilet into a freshwater toilet. The kit contains a siphon break to keep the toilet water out of the fresh water.

http://www.marineparts.com/partspage...nd/jabsco2.htm

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Old 02-15-2011, 07:49 PM   #12
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RE: Noisy electric heads

Tried electric, just because there was one on the boat, still in its box. We lasted several months before the noisy operation drove us back to manual. Still manual after another 15 years, and not looking to go electric any time soon.
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:56 PM   #13
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RE: Noisy electric heads

We installed a Raritan Marine Elegance with fresh water supply and it is GREAT! Very quiet and clean.*

Most of the smell with heads comes from the seawater left sitting in the hoses. No problem with fresh water.
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:35 PM   #14
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Noisy electric heads

Quote:
Delia Rosa wrote:Thanks for your comments ... I was one of the misinformed re where the main noise orignated from. *But to fix our problem... it sounds like the quietest solution is to move to fresh water plumbing... but how do we do that regarding your comments above.
If we do stay with the raw water installation, Rariton does have a model available... any reader comments? *Also, I know of one trawler for sale that installed new Techma units to replace their older heads. but still haven't heard from anyone about what they think of this manufacturer.
-- Edited by Delia Rosa on Tuesday 15th of February 2011 06:58:47 PM

As for how to change to a fresh water toilet, the best way is a new toilet designed to use pressurized flush water...The Raritan SeaEra is good choice if you'll be happy with a basic model...available in both sea water and fresh water version. The Raritan Marine Elegance is actually designed to be* a fresh water toilet, but can use sea water with the addition of a remote intake pump.* Practical Sailor recently rated both as the best in their class.

Tecma toilets are made in Italy...one of the best on the market.* The
European division of Thetford-Norcold bought the companyabout 5 years ago. They're a bit noisy
and a bit more power hungry than most, but have an incredibly
powerful pump that can move bowl contents up to 30 linear meters and 10
verticals meters and a "grinder" (they don't call it a macerator) that
can even chew up a tampon...though a steady diet of 'em isn't
recommended.* Until Raritan introduced the Marine Elegance, Tecma was
the most recommended marine toilet in its class (all china "thrones").

YOu can read all about all the Tecma models on the Thetford site here: http://www.thetford.com/HOME/PRODUCT...6/Default.aspx


You can check out the Raritan Marine Elegance here: <a href="http://www.raritaneng.com/products/toilets/electric/marine_elegance.htm">Raritan Elegance toilet
</a>

And the SeaEra is here:
Raritan Sea Era
*

Keith...electric toilets have come a long way in the last 15 years...they're nothing like the one you tried any more.


-- Edited by HeadMistress on Tuesday 15th of February 2011 10:43:28 PM
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:08 PM   #15
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RE: Noisy electric heads

On Volunteer the forward head was a older Par electric unit... it is about as loud as a $40 garbage disposer... I used the sound as a gauge to judge if the guests flushed long enough or too much... and you could hear if someone "plugged" it. This actually only happened a couple times in 8 years.* What it also did was to keep the guests from over pumping and filling the holding tank prematurely.
The master head was a direct dump that could use either fresh or salt water and was absolutely silent... and next to impossible to plug
HOLLYWOOD
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:38 PM   #16
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RE: Noisy electric heads

A few thoughts on this.
I don't mind the noise - we use an electric TMC. It's quite loud, but not really heard outside the boat much at all. It sounds like it would be inside but I've checked. Also at night we try not to flush if just for a quick number 1. However there is one important plus for freshwater flush, and that is it can be put into normal sewage systems, whereas salt water flushed sewage must not, because the salt kills off the treatment bacteria. And there is the less smell factor, tho we don't find that much of an issue either. Unfortunately, the downside, otherwise we would all go freshwater flush, is the simple issue of having enough tankage to cope with that significant extra drain on the fresh water tanks. I can't see it being possible on a boat the size of mine for example for more than a weekend anyway.
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:19 AM   #17
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RE: Noisy electric heads

I replaced one of my Jabscos with a Fresh water version of the Sea Era. Very quiet .
Then I converted the other Jabsco to fresh water using the same design plumbing as the Sea Era (siphoin breaker, solenoid, etc). Now that one is dead quiet as well.
I simply removed the impeller out of the Jabsco pump, then tapped the*two ports and plugged them.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:33 AM   #18
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RE: Noisy electric heads

Quote:
Peter B wrote:
"the downside, otherwise we would all go freshwater flush, is the simple issue of having enough tankage to cope with that significant extra drain on the fresh water tanks.
I have a Jabsco and, yes, it is noisy but it is so simple and works every time. My
system has two vents for the holding tank and I use enzymes as a treatment. So
far, so good.

*
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:53 AM   #19
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RE: Noisy electric heads

Ahhhh, there is nothing like waking up in a quiet anchorage, walking out to the back deck with coffee in hand, listenng and watching the birds and sounds of nature, and hearing the roar of the Raritan.* I just doesn't get much better!
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:58 AM   #20
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RE: Noisy electric heads

Quote:
Moonstruck wrote:.... and hearing the roar of the Raritan.* It just doesn't get much better!
Very funny, but there's a nugget of truth in there somewhere.
*
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