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Old 12-27-2013, 11:38 PM   #1
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Toilet conversion

Is it practical/possible to convert a manual toilet to an electric system
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Old 12-28-2013, 03:10 AM   #2
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Check out West Marine, Defender Industries etc for electric conversion kits ,they are available. Most likely your own chandlery will stock one.

In my opinion it is still better to buy an electric toilet as a complete replacement install.
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Old 12-28-2013, 03:33 AM   #3
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From the major Australian chandlers, Whitworths Catalogue.Jabsco have a conversion kit for a Mk 2 model,$599. You can convert it back easily if needs be (say Whitworths), A new Jabsco electric is $449, a TMC electric is $229. www.whitworths.com.au
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:47 AM   #4
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My regular Raritan manual head allowed me to remove the pump which I covered with a plate and gasket, a 90 degree PVC fitting screwed into the end where the cleanout plug was, from there I just used 1 1/2 hose to go directly into the mouth of a cheap macerator that I screwed upside down to the platform the toilet was bolted to...then 1 inch cheap vinyl hose to the holding tank.....added a pushbutton flush switch on the front surface of the sink next to the toilet.

I haven't added the $10 12V electric water valve to flush yet as I never got around to getting a vacuum break for it (the critical device in making it safe to attach to your fresh water system but not needed if you keep her salt...which I may do when I redo my salt water washdown system). But no big deal as I just use a cup at the sink to add some water for flushing for now.

Total cost even with the vacuum break, 12V water valve, and macerator will be under $100. Nice thing is I can carry one spare macerator and it works as a direct, easy to swap replacement on either head or the overboard pumpout from the holding tank..

2 years without clog or issue, no smell....full time liveaboard so that head gets used all day long, all year long.
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:19 AM   #5
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I just replaced a working electric head with a manual one, after my wife and I discovered that we both hated the electric.

Besides being annoyingly loud, we find that it just doesn't give you the control you need. We end up using much more water with the electric.

I also have a theory that guests who have to manually pump out whatever they put in the bowl are less likely to think that it will all magically disappear with the press of a button.
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
haven't added the $10 12V electric water valve to flush yet
I would like too know where you found a 12V water valve for $10. (properly called a "solenoid valve" by the way)
I didn't find anything that low cost when I converted mine.
Thanks.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:15 AM   #7
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I replaced my manual heads with new Jabsco Quiet flush fresh water heads in 1994. I lived aboard the boat until Dec of 2010 and never had a problem except a cracked base which was easily replaced. I love them and don't have the smell you get from salt water flushes.

It does go through a lot of water but I carry 200 gallons. I have spent 8 days cruising without taking on water with another couple aboard but we did a few shore showers.

I highly recommend these heads as they have survived the Heads aboard the Heads Up.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:40 AM   #8
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There are a number of ways to convert your manual toilet to electric depending on which manual toilet you're starting with.

If you have a Jabsco toilet, you can just replace the pump with 29200 series electric conversion kit. I don't recommend this as it's loud and I don't know anyone who is happy with it. It is cheap and easy.

Jabsco also makes several conversion kits that just reuse your bowl and replace the base assembly. These are better than the 29200 conversion kits. Some of these allow you to convert to a fresh water flush system. These will work on most other brands of manual toilets as well.
You can see all of the Jabsco conversion kits here: Jabsco > Xylem Flow Control - Let's Solve Water.

Another option is the Raritan Sea Era Conversion kit. It's some what quieter than the Jabsco 29200 or 37010 series as it uses a diaphragm supply pump instead of a rubber impeller pump. The Sea Era is also available with a remote supply pump or a fresh water flush.
Here is a link to the Raritan: Raritan Engineering | Sea Era Conversion Kit




If you have any questions about these, send me a PM. I sell a lot of them in my store.
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Old 12-28-2013, 04:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jleonard View Post
I would like too know where you found a 12V water valve for $10. (properly called a "solenoid valve" by the way)
I didn't find anything that low cost when I converted mine.
Thanks.
here's one for $11...not my model...didn't see it but there's there's a bunch for now $13.....

Electric Solenoid Valve Water etc DDB CS 12VDC | eBay

I did check flow and pressure...seems like mine will work when I get around to it...though I do like the use a cup of water to flush from the sink...I know and can control water usage...also when running low or conserving water...I just get a container of salt water for flushing.
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Old 12-28-2013, 04:03 PM   #10
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What I like about my conversions...the macerators are in the bilge so the only real noise come when the bowl empties and you can hear the growl through the pipes into the bowl...not that loud.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:21 PM   #11
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Thanks very much for your advise guys, my head is a manual TMC which is only 3 months old but the hand pump continually jams/becomes very hard to pump and I am sick of pouring olive oil in the bowl to free it up so would like to convert it.
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Old 12-29-2013, 02:15 AM   #12
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As much as anything that`s a useful product review of TMC. However, I have been putting oil down my Jabsco manual (doesn`t have to be virgin olive oil ) for a while, but it endured an adjacent boat on the hard being sandblasted, with sand getting into the bowl. I`ll fit the replacement pump tube soon, you could try doing that.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:38 AM   #13
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Thanks very much for your advise guys, my head is a manual TMC which is only 3 months old but the hand pump continually jams/becomes very hard to pump and I am sick of pouring olive oil in the bowl to free it up so would like to convert it.

Sounds like a mechanical problem , that adding a motor to operate will still stall, and you will be replacing fuses as well as pouring oil in.

The far better grade mechanical toilets , Groco K , Skipper , and others ($700 instead of $120) seldome have this problem/

WE tossed a new Jabsco Cheapo , and installed a $120 rebuild kit in an ancient Skipper and have never looked back.

Cruising and plumbing repair are different hobbies.
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:26 AM   #14
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I've never heard anything good about TMC toilets. If my memory is correct it has a standard four bolt bowl base. If that is the case you could up grade to a better manual toilet and reuse the bowl. The Raritan PHII is a good manual toilet and you can buy it without the bowl.

The toilets that FF mentioned are really the best manual toilets. The Groco K is very expensive. The Skipper hasn't been made in many years and I expect the parts supply to dry up pretty soon.
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Old 12-30-2013, 06:29 AM   #15
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The Skipper hasn't been made in many years and I expect the parts supply to dry up pretty soon.

Currently they are OTS at Defender.

My guess is the supply of parts will dry up eventually , but with decades of toilets still out operating it will be a while.

The Groco K is expensive , but so is a vacation spent repairing a toilet.

For a liveaboard ONLY a quality simple mechanical toilet will usually take the years well.

ON our 90/90 I simply built a toilet WWII monel troop ship bowl,

Edison 2 inch Offset bronze pump , operated Lavac style ,,done.

Only downside is it uses lots of water , one stroke is one gallon into the holding tank.

Today a Lavac style head/bowl with a Edison 1 1/2 pump should work for enough decades to amortize the price.
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:52 AM   #16
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Is it practical/possible to convert a manual toilet to an electric system
It depends on the brand of toilet, but I have to ask why? Pumping a toilet doesn't seem that difficult. My wife and I have been doing it for years.

Besides the cost of the conversion kit, there's the wiring and circuit breaker to purchase and install.

Perhaps your toilet is just in need of a repair.
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:56 AM   #17
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My wife and I have been doing it for years.
Just because you and your wife have been doing it for years, doesn't mean he wants to.
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:11 AM   #18
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I prefer telling guests to "push that button" when done as to "read this placarded instruction here, and that read that one over there, and flip this lever before you go, pump till you get here, then go, flip the lever back and pump till gone, then for good measure do it all over again ensuring that you have used at least a quart of water so everything has made it to the tank....."

Then after several more drinks, repeating it all over again to them...
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:15 AM   #19
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I prefer telling guests to "push that button" when done as to "read this placarded instruction here, and that read that one over there, and flip this lever before you go, pump till you get here, then go, flip the lever back and pump till gone, then for good measure do it all over again ensuring that you have used at least a quart of water so everything has made it to the tank....." Then after several more drinks, repeating it all over again to them...
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:51 AM   #20
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My Jasco electric flush was noisy until I converted to fresh water flush. I removed the impeller and blocked off the ports and cavity. Now it flushes almost silently. It's as quiet as the Sea Era head.

Scott, that valve should work fine. You don't need all that much flow anyway. I have the flow cut down going to my heads using a 1/4 turn ball valve.
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