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Old 09-22-2015, 09:47 AM   #1
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Reworking Toilet System

I'm at point on my new boat where is runs, steers, and generates. Now I'm on to the next issue, which is the smell. I know the sanitation system hasn't been touched in at least 10 years, so I'm about to learn how it all works.

It has a Purisan system with older Jabsco electric (37010) heads. I have the rebuild kit for one toilet as a trial run and I feel fairly confident that I can pull it, clean it real good, and replace all of the seals. If there is anything to watch out for, please let me know.

My main questions are:

1. We are on the Mississippi River...fresh water, but not exactly "fresh". I believe I've seen that you can convert your toilets to pull flush water from the water system, not from the lake/river. I'm sure it's possible, but how do you separate the fresh water system from the toilet...ie, prevent backflow? Does anyone else have a set up like this?

2. The hoses are disgusting. I've been reading about using PVC and I like that idea, but I'm sure it will be mix of PVC and hose. I looked at the existing hose and it doesn't have any writing on it. Without taking things apart and measuring, is there a way to know the size of the sanitation hose?

3. Any tricks on draining the hoses as much as possible before pulling them? I figured I could shut the water off, pour in fresh water to the bowl, then flush for a few minutes. After than, can I just flush (with water off) to run out the lines?

What else do I need to consider besides Vaseline on my upper lip?
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Old 09-22-2015, 10:09 AM   #2
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First off, it's not Vaseline you put on you upper lip but something with mint or menthol in it.

I'd start by being sure the toilet bowl internal water passages are cleaned and flushed out of any rotten organic matter. Then move on the replacing the hoses. The hose size is very likely 1 1/2 ID.

Flushing the old hoses is simple enought. Shut off the incoming water to the heads and fill the bowls with a mixture of bleach and fresh water or Pinesol. Flush that into the hoses and let it stand for a while. Then pour a lot of clean fresh water in the bowls and flush the lines out with that.

Changing to fresh water flush isn't complicated. Check with your Jabsco, they may even have a kit that will work for your head.
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Old 09-22-2015, 10:16 AM   #3
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Buy some nitrile rubber gloves, have buckets handy, seal and tape off the hose ends as fast as you can. Test low spots for stuff by cutting small holes. Getting the old hose off the the fittings you will need a heat gun, hacksaw,etc. try to size the new hose runs off the hoses you remove, err on the side of cutting the new hoses longer than you need, you can always shorten them but not make them longer. Maybe the Head Misstress can jump into the discussion with the best hoses to use, you need to use the best as you don't want to have to repeat this job. Good Luck
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Old 09-22-2015, 10:52 AM   #4
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Unless your toilet has a similar model that uses fresh water flush and you can add the backflow parts to protect your fresh water system from contamination, don't do it. You are in Memphis, right. There is no salt in Memphis, just silt. Fresh water even with silt in it won't stink like salt water will.

Take a paper towel and wet it down and rub the outside of the hose and sniff the towel. If it stinks then it has been permeated and it almost certainly has.

You can replace with PVC and small hose sections but that is a PItA with lots of connections. Sealand makes a non permeable hose. Not cheap but worth it. Use a hair dryer to heat it to make the bends.

Flush and drain first as indicated above. It's not that bad of job.

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Old 09-22-2015, 11:03 AM   #5
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No wet towel test needed here...the boat has "the smell".

Further research on the fresh water hookup seems to point to not advisable. I've reached out to Jabsco for input, but it looks like I'd have to replace my toilet with one designed for pressurized systems. After springing for all new hoses, I'll pass on that cost for now.

Are SeaLand hoses the popular choice? Seems to be the middle priced hose at Defender.com. Are there better places to purchase it?
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Old 09-22-2015, 11:16 AM   #6
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I would replace the toilet instead of trying to convert it to fresh water flush. You say it's an "older" one...all kinds of things that can't be cured with a rebuild can be ready to fail, including the motor. Jabsco does NOT offer a kit to adapt a sea water toilet to use pressurized fresh water, nor does any other manufacturer today. Raritan did several years ago, but stopped on the advice of their lawyers. Cobble up one on your own at your own risk.

Both Raritan and Jabsco do offer "conversions" that replace everything south of the bowl...available in both raw and fresh water versions. You'd have a brand new toilet except for the bowl. Jabsco's 37055 37055 Quiet-Flush Pressurized Fresh Water Conversion Kit is a direct replacement for your 37011. The Raritan SeaEra SeaEra Conversion Kit was purposely design to be an upgrade replacedment for the Jabsco 37011...even the mounting bolt patterns are a match.

Any tricks on draining the hoses as much as possible before pulling them? I figured I could shut the water off, pour in fresh water to the bowl, then flush for a few minutes. After than, can I just flush (with water off) to run out the lines?


Measure the amount of new hose you’ll need and buy it (add at least one extra foot as a safety margin). Use sanitation hose throughout the entire system, including the toilet intake and tank vent.

Map out your entire plan and determine solutions to all problems and obstacles before you remove a single hose. Photos can be very useful in helping you map it out, and in finding out what you'll be up against in hard to see areas. In some cases, real time video can even be your eyes while doing the work.

If you discover that you have questions that need answers, or problems you aren’t sure how to solve, ask those questions before you start any work, because it’s always cheaper and easier to do it right the first time than it is to do it over!

Prepping to do any work on any part of the sanitation system starts with thoroughly rinsing out the whole system with plenty of clean water before taking anything apart. Pump out the holding tank VERY thoroughly with lots of clean fresh water. Adding Raritan C.P. to the rinse will remove most of the odor. Rinse out the toilet, all hoses and any macerators or manual pumps, VERY thoroughly with lots and lots of clean water. If the hoses REALLY stink, it may help to smear a healthy glob of Vicks Salve under your nose before you start. If possible, schedule your project for a time when you can do it on a cool day. And be sure to create plenty of ventilation, especially in any closed areas in the bilge.

Put plastic garbage bags or disposable aluminum pans under hose connections to catch any spills. (Warming hoses with a blow dryer makes them easier to remove and replace). Have a couple of rolls paper shop towels (super heavy duty paper towels) handy...you'll need them. And buy several pairs of rubber gloves...you'll need those too.

NOW you're ready to start pulling hoses!
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Old 09-22-2015, 11:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clynn View Post
No wet towel test needed here...the boat has "the smell".

Further research on the fresh water hookup seems to point to not advisable. I've reached out to Jabsco for input, but it looks like I'd have to replace my toilet with one designed for pressurized systems. After springing for all new hoses, I'll pass on that cost for now.
FWIW, having "the smell" and equating that to permeated hoses is often two different things. Lots of "head odors" don't actually come from permeated hoses... but from loose fittings, crapped out (so to speak) vent filters, etc. Just mentioning that in passing...

Ah. Crossed posted with Peggie's...

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Old 09-22-2015, 11:29 AM   #8
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Thanks for the input, Peggie. Two follow up questions.

1. I have two toilets. My plan was to replace hoses on one toilet first. After that experience, I would then tackle the forward head. Any issues with that approach?

2. Do you have any recommendation on what hose to use and where to purchase it? I've heard to get the most expensive one, but i'd rather not just throw money down the crapper SeaLand has been suggested...any thoughts?
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Old 09-22-2015, 11:33 AM   #9
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I have what I believe is that same Jabsco toilet (with the electric flush) and I have hooked mine up to pressurized domestic water.
It is not hard to do but you need to buy the correct parts. You need a vacuum breaker and a solenoid valve.
I also removed the raw water impeller from the motor housing and tapped the hose fittings with 1/8 NPT and plugged them both. That makes the flush very quiet.
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Old 09-22-2015, 11:41 AM   #10
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I can't add much to what Peggie said other than to suggest you buy her book.

My favorite trick for removing old hoses is to use a Dremmel tool with a cutting wheel to split the hose over the hose barb.

The conversion kits that Peggie mentioned save you the cost of a new bowl but give you all new mechanical parts.

Trident 101 or 102 hose has a good reputation for black water use. Raritan Saniflex hose is very good as well and is very flexible. It's pretty pricey.

Your Jabsco toilet is designed to use a 1" discharge hose and a 3/4" intake hose. The discharge is sometimes adapted to 1-1/2". If it is, you'll see the adapter.

The fresh water flush toilets mentioned will be a lot quieter than your Jabsco 37010. That rubber impeller intake pump makes a lot of noise.
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Old 09-22-2015, 12:14 PM   #11
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I have two toilets. My plan was to replace hoses on one toilet first. After that experience, I would then tackle the forward head. Any issues with that approach?

As long as you're willing to endure the odor from the plumbing on the remaining toilet, I don't have a problem with it. However, when it comes to things that make boats stink, if it were my boat I'd want to get rid of ALL the sources of odor as quickly as possible! And now that the weather is cooling off, it's a great time of year to do it.

Do you have any recommendation on what hose to use and where to purchase it? I've heard to get the most expensive one, but i'd rather not just throw money down the crapper SeaLand has been suggested...any thoughts?

SeaLand's "OdorSafe" hose isn't...I've been on more than half a dozen boats on which it had permeated in less than a year. They warranty it for years, but the warranty doesn't cover YOUR labor. It's expensive, but not the MOST expensive...that distinction goes to two hoses--Raritan's SaniFlex and Shields Poly-X, both around $12-15/ft. Raritan SaniFlex has a 5 yr warranty, but been on the market for close to 10 year now without a single reported odor permeation failure....Shields PolyX has a "lifetime" warranty, but the average working life of any hose is only about 10 years because the plastics and rubber in hoses dry out, become brittle and start to crack after that...so I doubt it's really any better than the Raritan or Trident 101, which is a double walled rubber hose that's half the price of either and has been on the market for nearly 20 years without a single reported permeation failure. The only complaint about it is, it's stiff as an ironing board.

Hard PVC is ok for long straight runs, but if a lot of unions are needed, you have a lot of potential leaks...so I'd go with hose in runs that have a lot twists and turns.

As for where to buy all of this..."HopCar" who's the owner of Hopkins Carter marine supply, is a regular poster here who can usually match and often beat any other prices. And, he's a very nice KNOWLEDGEABLE guy. So I'd start with him.
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Old 09-22-2015, 12:36 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the info and recommendations. I checked out Hopkins Carter's website and for the price of 2 foot of sanitation hose I can get the Todd Bucket Potty Seat

Just so I'm clear, your recommendation would be the Trident 101 with the understanding that it is not super flexible, correct?

I'll measure this weekend and order my first round of supplies. I'll post an update after phase 1 is complete.
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Old 09-22-2015, 01:37 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the info and recommendations. I checked out Hopkins Carter's website and for the price of 2 foot of sanitation hose I can get the Todd Bucket Potty Seat

Or, for a little more you can bolt this to the transom and forget about hose: bumper dumper (Parks, you really should consider stocking these....they'd really add a touch of class to the muscle boats in your neck of the woods!)

Just so I'm clear, your recommendation would be the Trident 101 with the understanding that it is not super flexible, correct?

That would be my first choice, although "not super flexible" is an understatement. If the route to the PS is full of twists and bends (although it shouldn't be!), I'd go with the Raritan hose.
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Old 09-22-2015, 01:53 PM   #14
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I did this almost ten years ago on an aft cabin boat. Redesignd the entire black water routing. Added a riser and vented loop just after the head and located under the vanity in each head. The vented loop achieves water in the bowl, which blocks odor from the tanks, the (new) PVC (hard and flexible), and the pump itself from leaking back through the system and stinking up the joint. Omit the water in the bowl...and you will have renewed odor problems before long.


I rebuilt two Raritan Crown heads, likely of similar vintage as your Jabsco's....one of them last month. Both are converted to fresh water flush (with raw water intake pump removed). A complete set of parts for the black water pump side was $126. With the raw water pump removed, you have excellent pumping action, and quiet, low amp operation. I'd advise against buying new pump assemblies to use with your old bowl, as these older pump units are much more robust and do a fine job without the drag of the raw water pump. Other than the motor, there is virtually nothing to go wrong once they're rebuilt. New macerator, new impeller, new woodruff key, new pump wall, and new shaft seal...plus a hell for stout pump casting. That's literally all there is. Soak all the old parts (pump and bowl rim) in vinegar for a couple of days and cleanup is simple. Don't get talked into buying wimpy new pump assembles that you truly don't need.

The Jabsco combination anti-syphon/shutoff valve (part # 37038-1012 ~ $125) is a nice compact, functional unit and identical to what the factory uses for their fresh water flush offering. Other than that valve (and a raw water pump), there is functionally nothing different between a fresh water and raw water flush unit from any of these companies or from your old Jabsco. Mount the antisyphon valve at least a foot above the rim of the bowl and you're good to go....it's all the factory does. By the way, Raritan uses a divorced antisyphon valve. Photos of a factory installation are in earlier related strings. No magic about this.

I designed the new PVC discharge lines so they run downhill to the tank from the exit of the raised vented loop. No low spots...mostly straight hard pipe. (That raised loop helps in this regard as well as providing the pool of water in the bowl). The new routing required a number of new circular holes through bulkheads and blocking old ones. Where needed I used flex PVC from a dairy bulk tank system. Used hard PVC "street" elbows or flex hose for bends. No sharp bends/elbows. Also replace all of the pumpout hose and vent lines. Fresh water hooked into the gray plastic lines on the boat with "Sharkbite" quick connect couplings. Easy to install and no leaks.


No stink in almost ten years.


PS One of those cheap gasoline syphons worked well to suck water out of the bowls and some of the lines.
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Old 09-22-2015, 02:30 PM   #15
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I rebuilt two Raritan Crown heads, likely of similar vintage as your Jabsco's....one of them last month. A complete set of parts for the black water pump side was $126. With the raw water pump removed, you have excellent, quiet and low amp operation. I'd advise against buying new pump assemblies to use with your old bowl as these older pump units are much more robust and do a fine job without the drag of the raw water pump.

Crown Heads are indestructable...but they're power hungry--36 amps vs 10 for a toilet designed to use pressurized flush water--and water hungry--a gallon or more per flush vs the 2 quarts needed by the toilets designed to use fresh water. Raritan has actually been trying to move people who want to exchange worn out Crown lower units for rebuilt ones onto SeaEra "conversions"--which are the SeaEra lower units--for those reasons. In fact, the only reason they continue to make the Crown is because there are still enough 'old salts' who wouldn't have anything else even if they gave it to 'em to keep 'em in production.

Don't get talked into buying new assembles that you truly don't need.

"Need" is a pretty subjective word. For about $500 I could prob'ly have gotten at least another 5 years out of my 20 yr old refrigerator--so I didn't NEED to spend the $2k the new one cost me, but I'm glad I did 'cuz I love it. So it all comes down to, whatever floats YOUR boat is what you "need."
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Old 09-22-2015, 02:55 PM   #16
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The Crown head amp usage drops dramatically without the raw water pump....easily by half...probably more. So quoting old brochure numbers is inaccurate and highly misleading. The improved (much faster) pumping action (particularly without a Joker valve) also dramatically reduces water usage. I use about two quarts per flush....measured. An old Crown or Jabsco sans the old raw water impeller pump is an entirely different animal. That suction pump is the power hog. Apples to apples, please.

No, the guys at Raritan tell me the old heads are still in production because they were a robust, well designed product to begin with....and that's why there is still demand...even though the cost of the casting and machining alone make them very expensive. The inference that only stupid old guys keep them around is not only an insult, but uninformed. They still sell because operators in the know, including the workboat community, know a good thing when they see it. Raritan market the cheaper toy toilet replacements for folks who don't know better or who are on a budget.

A refrigerator is decidedly different from a sewage pump from a convenience perspective. Apples to apples.
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Old 09-22-2015, 04:50 PM   #17
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The Crown is a robust well designed product...and the only toilet I'd recommend for a work boat. But electric macerating toilet technology has greatly improved in the last 15 years...the toilets that Raritan builds today are every bit as durable and robust as anything they've ever built. You almost never see or hear of a request to trouble shoot any of them--something that cannot be said about any other sanitation mfr's equipment. Their manual PH II toilet has been top rated for the 30+ years it's been on the market and continues to be.

I never implied that only stupid old guys want them on recreational boats...any more than I think YOU meant to imply that only stupid people who don't have enough money to do things the right way want newer products that are quieter, more efficient and just as durable as '60s technology.

In advising Clynn to rebuild and modify his toilet, you ignored something very important: he doesn't have a Crown, he has an old Jabsco...hardly apples to apples.

As for refrigerators being different from sewage pumps...they certainly are, but both are equally necessary appliances in today's world unless you have an outhouse and don't mind buying ice every day if you want to store perishable foods.

Have a nice day!
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Old 09-22-2015, 05:48 PM   #18
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The Crown is a robust well designed product...and the only toilet I'd recommend for a work boat. But electric macerating toilet technology has greatly improved in the last 15 years...the toilets that Raritan builds today are every bit as durable and robust as anything they've ever built. You almost never see or hear of a request to trouble shoot any of them--something that cannot be said about any other sanitation mfr's equipment. Their manual PH II toilet has been top rated for the 30+ years it's been on the market and continues to be.

I never implied that only stupid old guys want them on recreational boats...any more than I think YOU meant to imply that only stupid people who don't have enough money to do things the right way want newer products that are quieter, more efficient and just as durable as '60s technology.

In advising Clynn to rebuild and modify his toilet, you ignored something very important: he doesn't have a Crown, he has an old Jabsco...hardly apples to apples.

As for refrigerators being different from sewage pumps...they certainly are, but both are equally necessary appliances in today's world unless you have an outhouse and don't mind buying ice every day if you want to store perishable foods.

Have a nice day!
Great advice Peggy!

Now outhouse.....Does a chair with a toilet seat strapped to the bow pulpit work?
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Old 09-22-2015, 05:56 PM   #19
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You're conveniently ignoring the fact that an older head without a raw water pump is very comparable to the new products in every respect (noise, water usage and power consumption).,.at a considerably lower cost than a replacement unit. Perhaps you don't understand the technical implications of the pump deletion. By the way, if the new offerings are such great products, why would you only recommend the old Crown to workboat users? Not a very convincing endorsement of the new product line.


I clearly stated the fact that Clynn has similar vintage Jabsco heads in my first post. He mentioned converting from raw water flush to fresh water flush in his first post. jleonard subsequently spoke to removing the impeller from the back of a Jabsco motor. Same set up as Raritan. Apples to apples.


You took a shot. My point regarding posters here on the forum is that the "experts" don't give the engineering facts regarding a fresh water conversion, or a realistic cost benefits analysis for modifying/overhauling an existing head versus buying a new one. When someone does present such info, you seem to go out of your way to argue/obscure the facts...or ignore them altogether. Members seeking info on options are invariably encouraged to purchase "new", "improved", and costlier products....that are arguably no better than a rebuilt product that is heavy duty, long lasting, proven, and very nearly as efficient and quiet.

For clarity, the pump I just rebuilt needed a Woodruf key for the impeller (it had rotted away) and a new shaft seal (although it wasn't leaking when I removed it). All else was absolutely serviceable. I could have put it back together for a $50-60 investment...compared to $500 for a new and improved module. It was that good inside. Twenty seven year old pump that's set for another quarter decade.
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Old 09-22-2015, 06:26 PM   #20
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[QUOTE=Alaskan Sea-Duction;372520]Great advice Peggy!

QUOTE]

You mean the advice to buy a $500 pump module when an existing unit can typically be rebuilt for a small fraction of that?
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