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Old 07-16-2018, 10:05 AM   #1
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Hard to flush

Hello,

There are lots of good explanations in this section about heads and holding tanks, but I couldnít decipher the right clue for my issue (although Iíll bet itís right under my nose).

Prior to buying our Monk 36 we had the holding tank replaced with a polypropylene 34g tank. The aft head has not flushed properly since - I assumed the boatyard would have tested it, and in the excitement of the purchase didnít check it myself.

Itís a manual pump, twist & lock type head, and when I go to flush it I feel a springy resistance like pushing against air pressure. After a few pumps I canít push the lever down an inch. A few seconds later a couple of big, weird smelling bubbles come up from below, and I can pump a few more times. The pattern repeats.

I have eyeballed the holding tank to make sure Iím not pumping it out of shape, and we have emptied the tank successfully a few times.

I suspect a venting issue, but am a newbie at this and am not sure I understand the systems fully. Iíve tried tracing the journey from the bowl to the tank, but not very successfully.

Also, possibly a related concern.... it seems like pumping waste forward about 10 - 12 feet through a fairly small tube is not the best way to deal with this issue. Iíd be interested to hear what are your favorite heads. This forum has opened my eyes to several types of products. I appreciate the input. (All puns unintended).

Thanks!
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:21 AM   #2
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You need to talk to Peggie Hall. She is the expert on all things related to heads. You can look her up and PM her. She is Head Mistress on this forum.
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:28 AM   #3
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Thanks, Comodave. I have read her posts with interest and have looked up her book on Amazon. I will take your advice. MH
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:30 AM   #4
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Oh, BTW welcome aboard.
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:34 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by MikeHorsfall View Post
Thanks, Comodave. I have read her posts with interest and have looked up her book on Amazon. I will take your advice. MH


Buy Peggieís book from Amazon which allows you to get both the hard copy and the kindle version. It is REALLY nice to have access to her book whether on the boat or at home. Kindle apps are available for iPad, Android, and computers.

My first ignorant guess would be a vent problem or a tank that is full.
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:24 AM   #6
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100% on Peggie's book.

Blocked or kinked vent hose?
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:29 AM   #7
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Not sure it is the vent hose, particularly since the other head presumably pumps ok. So probably a blocked or kinked main hose from the head to the tank. Also possibly a problem with the head pump.



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Old 07-16-2018, 11:41 AM   #8
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:49 AM   #9
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Try opening the deck pump out and then flush. If it flushes with the deck pump out open, you probably have a kinked or blocked vent. Another thing that will make it hard to pump out is if the Y valve is set to overboard discharge and the discharge through hull is shut off.

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Old 07-16-2018, 01:13 PM   #10
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If you are having the problem with the aft head only it may be that the PVC pipe going forward to the holding tank is clogged, apparently urine and seawater causes heavy mineral build up on the walls. you might want to remove it and check it and connecting hoses, if nothing else is found. not a fun or easy job some folks clean it out maybe easier to replace it with new. I believe Peggy recommends a weekly flushing of vinegar to help keep it clean.
She will probably have advice.
Welcome! we sure enjoy our Monk 36 I'm sure you will too.
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Old 07-16-2018, 02:33 PM   #11
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I've got this...he sent me a PM and we just had a nice chat on the phone about it. I'm pretty sure I know what his problem is, but can't be certain till he's on the boat again tomorrow and can confirm it. I'll post when I'm sure.

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Old 07-16-2018, 02:57 PM   #12
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Thanks for all your suggestions to this problem. Much appreciated! Steve, on ‘Gumbo’, nice to connect with another Monk. I’ve benefited from your posts on the MOA site. Peggie, thanks for your time. I look forward to reading your book.
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Old 07-16-2018, 03:18 PM   #13
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Just want to follow this thread to see what the problem was.

My guess would be a problem on the flush water intake side. A blockage on the intake would cause you to pull a vacuum on top of the piston on the down stroke. It would Feel like you’re trying to compress air. Check to see if the intake seacock is open.

Of course that doesn’t explain the bubbles in the bowl.
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Old 07-16-2018, 03:33 PM   #14
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Yes, please post the solution when you find the problem.
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Old 07-16-2018, 05:22 PM   #15
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Sounds like a y valve to a closed seacock instead of the holding tank or a discharge hose that has completely blocked itself with who knows what.

Like Gordon J posted in #9
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:40 PM   #16
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Still waiting to hear back from him after he's checked out a couple of things. He told me yesterday he planned to be on the boat today, so I'm sure I will soon.


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Old 07-18-2018, 12:06 AM   #17
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Channeling my last convo with Peggie- Jabsco and a faulty wet dry cam or whatever itís called.... itís on my to do list with same symptoms
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Old 07-18-2018, 05:30 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by MikeHorsfall View Post
Also, possibly a related concern.... it seems like pumping waste forward about 10 - 12 feet through a fairly small tube is not the best way to deal with this issue. Iíd be interested to hear what are your favorite heads.

I've come to appreciate electric macerating toilets, with freshwater flush.

Had Vacuflush with freshwater, previously, and it worked OK; the loud POP! in the middle of the night could be a bit disconcerting for all aboard, though...

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Old 07-18-2018, 07:05 AM   #19
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"It’s a manual pump, twist & lock type head, and when I go to flush it I feel a springy resistance like pushing against air pressure."

It sounds like you have a Jabsco manual toilet. I had the exact problem you are explaining and it had nothing to do with the holding tank or vent. The problem is with the pump. You can get a rebuild kit or just replace the complete pump for a few extra dollars. I replaced the pump, a 5 minute job. Never had a problem after I replaced it.
Here is a link to get a new pump
https://www.wholesalemarine.com/manu...-assembly.html
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:37 AM   #20
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I'm 99% certain that his problem isn't in the plumbing or the tank vent...it's in the toilet: A failed wet/dry cam. It's been a very common in Jabsco manual toilets several years. The wet/dry "valve" is actually just a little "gate" (the cam) that the lever swings to block or unblock the flow of incoming flush water. Due to either a tooling or mfr'g flaw, it hangs up...creating back pressure that feels like pumping against a clog or blocked tank vent, except usually only happens in one mode. Jiggling the lever can sometimes--but not always--free it up, but only for a couple of flushes. The only real cure: replace the wet/dry cam assembly. If the toilet is fairly new, Jabsco often sends out a new one for no charge...but then you have to take the pump apart to replace it, which can be a PITA and really messy because you can't flush water through the pump to clean it out before you take it apart.

So my advice: just replace the pump instead.modern Jabsco toilets have fairly short lifespan anyway--an average of about 2 years 'cuz they're purposely made to be "disposable" like everything else today. A service kit costs almost as much as a pump, which doesn't cost that much anyway, and swapping it out only requires removing and replacing the 4 bolts that hold the pump on the base and two hoses, which beats the socks off taking the pump apart!


Better yet, replace it with a reliable trouble-free toilet that's still made in the US. If you want to stick with a sea water manual toilet, the Raritan PH SuperFlush Raritan PH SuperFlush is the newest version of the PHII, which has been the top rated manual toilet since it was introduced in 1982. Will easily last 20 years if you keep it well lubricated put a rebuild kit in it every 5-6 years...Defender has it for < $300. Raritan PH SuperFlush Manual Toilet at Defender If you want to stay with a manual toilet, but would prefer to flush with fresh water, the Raritan Fresh Head is the only manual toilet designed to use onboard pressurized fresh water. Raritan Fresh Head Both are available as either a complete toilet or a "conversion" (everything south of the bowl, which allows you to re-use your Jabsco bowl, seat and lid. The mounting bolt patterns on both are an exact match for the Jabsco manual.

If you've decided it's time to upgrade to the push-button convenience of an electric macerating toilet, there are several good choices: the Raritan Marine Elegance Raritan Marine_Elegance Promo.pdf is top rated, very popular and can be found for < $700 including the 4 option "Smart Flush Panel." Tecma (now owned by Thetford) is available in several models and is popular with a lot of trawler owners
Tecma Permanent Sanitation | Thetford Marine


--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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