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Old 06-06-2012, 02:44 PM   #1
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Too Snake or Not Snake

That is the question...

Jabsco Electric Head. Aft head wont drain. pump works get it down a bit but then it wont drain completely...

fear a snake may be in order?
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:06 PM   #2
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You would do better to get the instructions and follow them. A marine head is not like a residential toilet. I suspect the snake will get stuck, damage something, or both.
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:15 PM   #3
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Rwidman,
Yea easy if I had instuctions and I thought that is why we have these forums to share technical info? Nice answer. Thanks.
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:17 PM   #4
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Greetings,
Mr. BH. Mr.rwidman is absolutely correct. No sense creating many $$ of damage for a few cents in parts. Possibly your near future involves a rebuild kit and...



Sarcasm? Google is your friend..

http://www.depcopump.com/catalog108/157.pdf

But that's just me. Go ahead and snake if you so desire. Just for your own info, sharing technical info is just one of the many functions of this bunch of.......no wait..what????
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:51 PM   #5
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RT,
If I had instructions I would use them. I dont intend to snake the toilet, rather I would disconnect the line to the holding tank and attempt to determine where the blockage is.
I get it that the systems are different than a dirt toilet. I also suspect there are MANY others who have faced the same issue and conquered it.

I hope to hell I dont have to go in wearing decon suits but I will wrestle with brown trouts if required.
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:24 PM   #6
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RT,
If I had instructions I would use them. I dont intend to snake the toilet, rather I would disconnect the line to the holding tank and attempt to determine where the blockage is.
I get it that the systems are different than a dirt toilet. I also suspect there are MANY others who have faced the same issue and conquered it.

I hope to hell I dont have to go in wearing decon suits but I will wrestle with brown trouts if required.
How about searching the Internet for the instructions?

Your thread is titled "Too snake or not snake" so you shouldn't be surprised if folks though you intended to run a snake down the opening in the head.
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:26 PM   #7
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I just went through this. Before you start tearing stuff apart you may want to switch your diverter valve to overboard and see if it will drain that way. If not then your problem is (likely) either in the pump itself or in the hose to the diverter valve. The pumps aren't hard to service. I've done 2 in the last 2 months and we now have a spare onboard - which means we won't likely ever have trouble again as long as we own the boat but its a small price to pay for that comfort. And I have a snake onboard and I have used it.

Peggy Hall said somewhere to use Raritan CP to clear a plugged line. IMHO that might work as a preventative measure but once the line is actually plugged there's no shortcuts. In my case both the short line to the diverter and the main line forward ended up being plugged and it appeared to be dried salt that had actually plugged the lines.
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:50 PM   #8
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Had the same problem on a boat we bought last year. In the past we always had two heads, just in case. Never had a problem. This boat only had one head, so of course it plugged while at anchor. Pulled all the hoses apart and found a wadded up paper shop towel in the vented loop.

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Old 06-06-2012, 07:48 PM   #9
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bobofthenorth gave a great idea with the diverter valve. After that I'd try the snake first, nothing ventured nothing gained. Depending on the age and condition of your waste hose I'd start thinking about the inevitable eventual replacement. Someone had a partial roll for sale in the classified section on this forum for a fair price.

Salt crystallization and mineral deposits are no fun to remove from cast iron pipes, don't figure it would be any more fun to remove from a length of hose. 5/16" nut driver will be easier to take the hose clamps apart than a standard screwdriver.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:57 PM   #10
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Smile

But that's just me. Go ahead and snake if you so desire. Just for your own info, sharing technical info is just one of the many functions of this bunch of.......no wait..what????[/QUOTE]

Very appropriate answer RT!!!
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:28 AM   #11
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When I bought Mahalo, both toilets clogged in the first few days. There was a snake on board so I emailed the old owner. She said they never has a toilet problem but they did bring the snake on board.... Anyway, pineapple girl had just replaced her toilets with fresh water and I felt the need to keep up with the Neumans.

Turned out the aft toilet had been disconnected from the holding tank and the forward head was shot. Everything goes away perfectly now and I love not having the SMELL. hoses seem to be in fine shape.

I tossed the snake
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:28 AM   #12
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But that's just me. Go ahead and snake if you so desire. Just for your own info, sharing technical info is just one of the many functions of this bunch of.......no wait..what????
Very appropriate answer RT!!![/QUOTE]

BlueHeron,

Disregarding the sarcasm, it seems like you've received sound advice.

Test the pump function by bypassing the tank hoses by moving the diverter valve to the overboard position. If it pumps cleanly, you have a blockage.

Disconnect the hoses where you can and try to find the blockage. If carefully snaking can be completed without damaging hoses and components, have at it. But if an obvious blockage does not present itself, maybe it's time to replace the hoses.

Keep us posted on your progress and findings.
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:30 AM   #13
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I bought that partial roll from Anode and I'm glad I did. After seeing more of the inside of the old hose after removal, it's nice to know there is nothing in the line to worry about for as long I will own the boat.
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:57 AM   #14
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You might want to check the vent on your holding tank. If the vent won't vent it's hard to pump into the tank. It's pretty easy to get a blocked vent, especially if you have a filter in the hose.

Here is where you can find the instructions for Jabsco toilets: Xylem Flow Control - Let's Solve Water.

If you have the common 37010 series toilet and you want a new motor pump assembly I think I've got a pretty good price on them: Jabsco 37041-0010 Toilet Motor / Pump Assembly 12 v.

Peggy Hall would tell you to up grade to a Raritan Sea Era conversion kit: Sea Era Conversion Kit - 16LI012

You might also consider buying Peggy Hall's book. I think every boat owner with a head should read it. Get Rid of Boat Odors by Peggie Hall
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Heron View Post
That is the question...

Jabsco Electric Head. Aft head wont drain. pump works get it down a bit but then it wont drain completely...
fear a snake may be in order?
I have had this happen with our new, (well, fairly new still), TMC electric toilet, which I installed after the old manual did block completely from clogged lines, so replaced them all. So far, any blocks have cleared by using the domestic plunger and pushing firmly down, with some clean water in the bowl, but just don't suck it back, or it might damage the non-return valves just downstream of the loo itself. Certainly might be worth trying this simple trick (after checking the holding tank vent is not blocked, as mentioned), before you start ripping into things, or even the snake idea. Just a thought...
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:02 AM   #16
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A plumbing snake is pretty useless on a boat because it can't be used on the head without damaging it and all or most of the waste plumbing in a typical recreational boat is hose, not pipe, and a snake will damage the hose.

An electrical snake or "fish tape", on the other hand, comes in very handy on a boat if you do your own electrical work.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:32 AM   #17
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Thanks all, I will try the suggestions and get back to you all with the results.
Thanks HOPCAR I looked and wasnt sucesseful. Appreciate the info.
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:14 AM   #18
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A plumbing snake is pretty useless on a boat because it can't be used on the head without damaging it and all or most of the waste plumbing in a typical recreational boat is hose, not pipe, and a snake will damage the hose.
Sez you. Domestic plumbing is almost exclusively plastic now. The plastic hose on my boat is significantly heavier wall than plastic sewer pipe. I wouldn't hesitate to use a snake in either situation but I could make a better case for avoiding it on domestic systems than on marine ones.
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:21 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by bobofthenorth View Post
Sez you. Domestic plumbing is almost exclusively plastic now. The plastic hose on my boat is significantly heavier wall than plastic sewer pipe. I wouldn't hesitate to use a snake in either situation but I could make a better case for avoiding it on domestic systems than on marine ones.
It may seem heavier, but it's much softer and would be easily damaged by the typical plumber's snake.

But, as posted above by someone else, "Go ahead and snake if you so desire."
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:46 PM   #20
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We cleared a stubborn blockage in the "out" piping from our manual head using the salt water washdown hose. The pump checked fine (except for whiff of Thai curry). A home type drain plunger applied at the skin fitting by a man in the water was ineffective, as was inserting various probes from either end. Eventually we pushed the washdown (garden type) hose in, from the inside, plugging around it with a towel to stop backflow, and turned on the pump. After a couple of tries our intrepid man in the water reported output showing the blockage had cleared.
I`d be hesitant putting a mechanical snake down flexible piping. Our next step would have been removing the out pipe,access was poor so we were relieved not having to. BruceK
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