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Old 09-24-2012, 08:48 PM   #1
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I've had all I can take, or The trouble with Tecma

Well, I've finally reached the breaking point. Some of you might remember all the problems I've had with my Tecma Silence toilet, problems that have been going on since I bought the thing (for over $1000.00). If not, I won't bore you with the details, let's just say the toilet is JUNK!! Sure, its really quiet, but in six years, I have had to tear it apart at least once a year, sometimes more. Today I discovered the pump motor is seized up: AGAIN

Ok, sorry for yelling (I feel a little better now) The seal leaked and froze the bearing (again!) If I were to replace the motor/ pump assembly, this would be the third time (at $400/ea) but I refuse, it's going in the trash. So, I need to buy another marine head, and I'd love to know what the current thinking is. My second head is a standard Jabsco unit that has been flawless for years, requiring almost no maintenance. The trouble is, it's so loud that when we are in the slip, it will wake up the neighbors, not to mention everyone aboard my boat. So, I'd love to know what you folks recommend. I would like a reliable unit (electric, raw water flush) that does not sound like a brush chipper. I'm more than willing to do normal maintenance, and might even sacrifice some additional maintenance for a unit that is quiet, but I'm aware that most heads make quite a bit of noise, but surely there are some that won't wake the dead from 100 yards and will work for more than a year at a time. Thanks in advance for your recommendations.................Arctic Traveller
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:12 PM   #2
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Well, our boat has a pair of Groco EB Jurassic Edition toilets and we operate them manually so they make almost no noise at all. Rebuild kits are still available so we've had no motivation to change them out but I obviously wouldn't recommend them as they've been out of production for decades.

But have you ever contacted Peggy Hall about your toilet problem(s)? As of earlier this year or late last year she no longer participates in forums but she has said she will respond to e-mails. I don't know if her e-mail was ever included in her posts to this forum but it was in her posts to the T&T forum. So if you go back a year or two in their rather user-unfriendly archives and search for any post by her you should get her e-mail address. Or perhaps someone on this forum has her e-mail address. I don't anymore.

I would be willing to bet she would either have a potential solution to the problem(s) you've been experiencing or would have recommendations for the ideal replacement.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:13 PM   #3
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Arctic,

I remember your previous posts. I had fantastic service from a VacuFlush unit I bought second hand in 2000. It was still running strong when we traded the boat this summer. Not exactly what you want (fresh water machine) but for us reasonably quiet and trouble free.

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Old 09-24-2012, 09:22 PM   #4
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Marin, I was in contact with Peggy numerous times over the years about this problem, she even put me in touch with folks at the factory, but unfortunately they refused to even entertain the idea that there was a design problem. This despite the fact that they engineered a replacement part that solved one of the bigger issues I had with the unit. (the constant plugging of the air bleed hose) Peggy tried to help, but it matters little now, as I won't spend another dime on it. I already feel better knowing it's out of my life forever. Anyone want it for free?..........Arctic Traveller
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:27 PM   #5
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Definitely need to get rid of the toilet and start anew.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:37 PM   #6
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Raritan products are some of the best in the industry.

They are not cheap, but I've never had a problem with anything that has their brand name on it.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:40 PM   #7
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Raritan products are some of the best in the industry.

They are not cheap, but I've never had a problem with anything that has their brand name on it.
I'm not cheap either, I'll spend what ever it takes but I want to make sure it's reliable and as quiet as possible. I'm sure the fine folks here can point me in the right direction............Arctic Traveller
By the way, I see your in Seward, did you get flooded out? The water fall I saw in the news looked Niagra falls, but I only remember it as a trickle..
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:48 PM   #8
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I've got two Vacu-Flush units which are fresh water flush (I don't know if they can be set up for raw water use) and other than a little noise when the vacuum first breaks, they are relatively quiet. The PO installed them several years ago and they have functioned flawlessly for the year I have owned the boat.

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Old 09-24-2012, 09:54 PM   #9
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Take a look at the Raritan Elegance. Raritan has a reputation for quality products. The Elegance uses a remote supply pump which can be mounted where it won't be heard. The Jabsco you have is loud because it uses a rubber impeller type pump. Not only can you mount the Elegance pump remotely but it is quieter than the Jabsco. Raritan uses a swash plate diaphram pump like many fresh water pressure pumps use.

When it comes time to replace your Jabsco, take a look at the Raritan Sea Era Conversion kit. It allows you to re-use your Jabsco bowl but it is quieter and has some other improvements as well. Here is a link to the Raritan website:
Raritan Engineering | Toilets

If you decide to buy a Raritan, Jabsco or Groco product, I'd love the opportunity to quote you on it.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:40 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Arctic Traveller View Post
I'm not cheap either, I'll spend what ever it takes but I want to make sure it's reliable and as quiet as possible. I'm sure the fine folks here can point me in the right direction............Arctic Traveller
By the way, I see your in Seward, did you get flooded out? The water fall I saw in the news looked Niagra falls, but I only remember it as a trickle..
Last weekend Seward was a mess.

I'd give Vic over at Raritan a call. He's been there forever. I've worked with him on several waste system projects over the years and he's never steered me wrong. You might ask him about the Marine Elegance units. I do not have hands on experience with them but they are reputed to be very quiet. The Sea Era has some noise associated with it, but it is rock solid dependable.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:52 PM   #11
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RV toilets, gravity flush into a mini holding tank (I have a length of 4in pvc screwed directly onto a $70 Ebay macerator that pumps to my main holding tank. each toilet is the quietest I've ever heard (when using the pump because it's in the bilge/engine room...silent when just flushing)...cheap and easy to install/maintain...each head setup cost around $350. Not cheap plastic either...nice porcelain bowls. Expected life and total maintenance to be far less than normal marine heads.
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:38 AM   #12
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Practical Sailor recently tested marine heads, you might get some ideas there.
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:02 AM   #13
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RV toilets, gravity flush into a mini holding tank

Best you can have , BUT sometimes a bear to retrofit.

Gravity is your friend!!

Otherwise Grocco K and hand lever .
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:13 AM   #14
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I converted two old Raritans to fresh water flush by removing the raw water impellers and plumbing into a fresh water supply...using appropriate safety procedures suppied by Vic at Raritan. As stated previously, the impeller is the noise generator. While not completely silent, these old heads are competitive with the new "silent" units in the noise department and could be made even better with a little noise insulation around the pump/motor. The power usage also drops dramatically without the raw water impeller. If I had to keep raw water flush, I'd find one of these old heads, remove the impeller, and add a remote diaphram pump as mentioned above. Inexpensive, bulletproof, easy parts, and quiet. No way would I purchase a new unit.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arctic Traveller View Post
I'm not cheap either, I'll spend what ever it takes but I want to make sure it's reliable and as quiet as possible. I'm sure the fine folks here can point me in the right direction............Arctic Traveller
Arctic, I can concur with what others have said re the Vacuflush, having had occasion to use two on a canal narrowboat in the UK last year. They work well, use minimal water, and are quiet. The only issue for me would be their need ideally for fresh water, but if tankage is not a big concern, that is what I would recommend. Almost impossible to block, and few moving parts. That should really appeal. They do need a fairly straight drop into the holding tank though I suspect, as there is no macerator pump to push waste through narrow piping, so that might be another downside.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:29 AM   #16
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Raritan Elegance

We really like the two Raritan Elegance electric heads we have installed. Easy install, good price (under $400), and trouble free. I am using freshwater for flushes, but only a pint or so is required for a #1 and about a quart for a #2.
Didn't need to buy the add-on expensive controls, just the basic pushbutton to flush. Quiet and reliable, we have used the first one we installed for over a year, living aboard for 6 months of the year and using it night and day......no problems!
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:39 AM   #17
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Arctic, I can concur with what others have said re the Vacuflush, having had occasion to use two on a canal narrowboat in the UK last year. They work well, use minimal water, and are quiet. The only issue for me would be their need ideally for fresh water, but if tankage is not a big concern, that is what I would recommend. Almost impossible to block, and few moving parts. That should really appeal. They do need a fairly straight drop into the holding tank though I suspect, as there is no macerator pump to push waste through narrow piping, so that might be another downside.
I have to disagree to a point...Vacuflush might be better than many MARINE toilets...but are far from perfect.

1. Quiet...relative term...when first flush they make a noise that is louder than almost all marine toilets and has the ability to wake the dead with it's unnatural sound. Plus, whomever is near enough to the vacuum pump...they have to listen to it as long as it takes to build the vacuum back up (if there's a tiny air leak...that's all night)...and while it's not real loud if far enough away...you usually can hear it on a quiet boat.

2. Minimal water...sure...each flush...but everyone including the "experts" if I remember correctly say that at the each day you should run a bucket or bowlful of water through the pipes to clean them out all the way to the holding tank...I'm suspect that it works all the time.

3. Not sure if they have fewer moving parts than another system that only has one pump (of course it only needs one where other systems usually have one per toilet...which in my thinking is the auto backup to a broken one pump system)...plus they can be bears to correct errant air leaks in...

All in all after over a decade working and using them...I elected to go homegrown as I still firmly believe marine sanitation engineering is way off base as the systems have to conform to some idiotic interior layout the NA designed without a decent head system.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:39 AM   #18
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Our Tecma is 13 years old and still going strong with no hint of any problems (yet!!). Only complaint is that it uses a lot of water that goes to the holding tank. Only solution so far is to "let it mellow" if we do not see a pump out opportunity near by. The other head is a manual Raritan (with spare joker valve etc) -- just in case!!
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:16 AM   #19
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I'd have to vote for the Groco model KH manual. 3" bronze piston could pump tomatoes. Costly, but heavy, durable, simple design. When my current unit gives up, I'll be going that way too. A good friend has one on another Manatee, and if it works with the way he abuses a head, it will work for anyone.
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:24 AM   #20
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We have a two 15 year old Jabsco electric toilets that are used every day almost maintenance free during that time except I had replace the motor/pump. I like the loud noise so I can hear when people are going to the bathroom and if they are having trouble, especially when we have grandchildren. The secret is knowing how to use Jabsco toilet, so that you do not over load and plug it, so you have a flush several time and use a lot of water and/or let is mellow. Letting it mellow/sit 90% of the time will unplug. We use the toilet paper that dissolves instantly in the water.

I picked the Jabsco for it pumping power as the holding tank is 40 ft away, and about 3 inches above the toilet. All the plugs have been at/in the toilet so it’s easy to unplug. Not one has it been in the 1 ” long main hose. The toilets out let is 1” for about one ft and the rest is 1 ” hose, so if the stuff can get through a 1” it can go through the 1 ”. I converted to fresh water when I installed 15 years ago by connecting it’s own domestic water pump to the electric button, with two one way valves so no back flow. The only complaint I have is the macerator could be better and the out let is a 90 degree so it does tend to plug some what easily. There have been several occasions that I had to wet vac out, unplug then pour the stuff back in.

At the boat shows we have looked at toilets and Raritan and Tecma are what most are recommending aas they have the push equal to the Jasbsco. Any ideas how to make the Jabsco maserator grinder/impleller more agressive?
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