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Old 07-14-2014, 03:16 PM   #1
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Electric toilet

I'll be renovating the head next Fall and I'm contemplating replacing the manual flush toilet with an electric one. Main reason is to give a more modern look to the head and saving a bit of space by not having the pump on the side of the bowl.

Looking for info on pros and cons.
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Old 07-14-2014, 03:55 PM   #2
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Well, it's another thing that can break, another electrical connection with associated wiring run and circuit breakers and so forth.

We've been happy with ours, though.

Ours is freshwater, which I think cuts down on potential for odor, but also means you are cutting into your fresh water supply.

I perceive ours is quieter than the loud POP! I remember from the Vacu-Flush on our previous boat. Not a big deal, except when vacu-flushing at oh-dark-thirty and waking everyone up.

Routine maintenance is likely similar for electric vs. manual: joker valve.

I've had to replace the macerator pump/motor assembly, but that was after about 10 years of service. I reckon we (PO and us) got our money's worth from the first one, and the replacement didn't break the bank. Had to replace the solenoid after 11 years of service, ditto. The replacement work was relatively easy in both cases.

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Old 07-15-2014, 07:24 AM   #3
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Mine have been a god send for all of the non boaters that come on board. It is really simple for them to grasp - push the button and it all gets mince up and pumped out.
They simply couldn't grasp the concept of pumping it enough and they kept blocking with the pump style.
Ours are saltwater based so they can grind for as long as they like without using my water supply.
I find smell becomes a problem if they are not used. In summer when they are used all the time, no smell at all. In winter every time I go to the boat I flush both heads just to put new water through them. You can certainly smell the stale water that has been sitting in them for a while.
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:42 AM   #4
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I don't think you'll have any more problems with a good electric toilet than you do with a manual. They are easier for guests to operate correctly.
For a good looking reliable toilet take a look at the Raritan Marine Elegance. It's available with a raw water flush, fresh water flush or select fresh / raw flush.
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:06 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info. I like the idea of making things simple for guests and not having the awkward moment of explaining how to "go to the bathroom". Lol

For me the water and electricity usage is not a big issue as I do mostly day or weekend trips. The rest of the time I am at the marina. I am more concerned about the reliability of the thing. Considering the cost (around $1,000 from what I can see) I want to make sure I'm not flushing money down the drain. Lol
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:37 AM   #6
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After 20 years with salt water and now 7 with fresh water flush, if you have the choice, go with fresh. Less potential odor and less hose maintenance, plus the head/flush part of the system will like you better. With salt water flush, the urine reacts with the salt water to build a calcium type build up in the hose and head parts. Over time, the inner diameter of the hose decrease and unless you only eat pudding, most likely, you will eventually get blockage. I know you can add vinegar or periodically flush the system with other stuff, but if you have the option, fresh is the way to go.
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:37 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info. I like the idea of making things simple for guests and not having the awkward moment of explaining how to "go to the bathroom". Lol

For me the water and electricity usage is not a big issue as I do mostly day or weekend trips. The rest of the time I am at the marina. I am more concerned about the reliability of the thing. Considering the cost (around $1,000 from what I can see) I want to make sure I'm not flushing money down the drain. Lol

Which one have you been looking at? http://www.amazon.com/Jabsco-37010-0...lectric+Toilet

This should be a direct fit replacement, if you have the standard Jabsco pump toilet.
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Old 07-15-2014, 11:52 AM   #8
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Which one have you been looking at? Amazon.com : Jabsco 37010-0090 Marine Marine Electric Toilet (12-Volt, 25-Amp, Compact Size) : Boating Heads : Sports & Outdoors

This should be a direct fit replacement, if you have the standard Jabsco pump toilet.
I put that very toilet in my boat 5 years ago with zero maintenance and every boater that comes aboard comments they like it too. I mounted the push button on the floor to the left of the base and I have a saying when people go the the pee pee and ask how to flush it, " men flush with their left toe and the girls flush with their right heal !! Never clogged it.

Be aware that it sits too low to be comfortable unless you put it on about a 3-4" riser. I found one from a camping supply and it worked very well. Otherwise you are looking at making a likely wood platform or something else. If I was ever to do a new install again I would look for a taller version before buying but would be reluctant to pay much as that riser was online for $20 bucks ish if I remember right. Mounting direct to the floor would be a bit solider and cleaner looking on the install.

I use fresh tank water. I have considered switching to river water but have not as of yet, as it is always clean and oder free and Ohio river water is not a lot of times.

One thing and this is my fault. I believe as it ages it would benefit from and should of been plumbed with an anti siphon valve as I think the suction impeller sealed well enough for the first 5 years to take care of it but recently and only occasionally I catch the toilet filling the bowl with water, I believe it is a matter of where that impeller stops as to how well it seals from siphoning. I am going to add one to the supply side and see if it makes this go away. We learn from our errors.....

Marine toilet talk, gotta love it. My dock rule is " I will help anyone on their boat if you really need help but if it is toilet related you are on your own " Just sayin...
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:44 PM   #9
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I installed the standard height version of the one Adelaide and Doug Doty are recommending known as the Quiet Flush. It's been in year-round use for 3 years and has been flawless. The porcelain bowl height is the same as at home. I like that it allows me complete control of how much water to fill the bowl, if any, and how much flush water to use.

I will say that I believe the Raritan Elegance head is quieter than the Jabsco Quiet Flush, but with the Raritan being nearly twice the cost, that wasn't a big issue to me.
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:15 PM   #10
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I installed the standard height version of the one Adelaide and Doug Doty are recommending known as the Quiet Flush. It's been in year-round use for 3 years and has been flawless. The porcelain bowl height is the same as at home. I like that it allows me complete control of how much water to fill the bowl, if any, and how much flush water to use.

I will say that I believe the Raritan Elegance head is quieter than the Jabsco Quiet Flush, but with the Raritan being nearly twice the cost, that wasn't a big issue to me.
I am going to feel dumb when you answer but just let me have it !! how do you control how much water gets puts in the bowl or flushes ?? flow restrictor or in line or button push manipulation ?? making me wish I was a directions reader
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:39 PM   #11
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The unit comes with a 2 switch panel, each a momentary type switch that only activates the function as long as you hold the switch in that position. The top switch operates fill and flush together. The bottom switch has 2 separate functions....fill OR flush. You can select how long to fill the bowl, if any, and how long to flush without any rinse water.

You can see the switch in the picture below.

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Old 07-15-2014, 02:00 PM   #12
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I am going to feel dumb when you answer but just let me have it !! how do you control how much water gets puts in the bowl or flushes ?? flow restrictor or in line or button push manipulation ?? making me wish I was a directions reader

Yep, two types of switches. One big red button to flush/fill. Plus a rocker, one direction to flush only (no fill), the other direction to fill only (no flush).

You might check your solenoid; if that starts going south one symptom can be uncontrolled fill into the bowl. Easy replacement, assuming you can get to it.

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Old 07-15-2014, 02:01 PM   #13
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I'm looking for a lower flow (and hopefully quieter) fresh water head to replace our Jabso raw water grinder as our 26 gal holding tank fills up fairly fast.

Having difficulty making up my mind between the Raritan Sea Era and a Dometic Masterflush 7120 one that is new to the market.
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:08 PM   #14
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Huh !!! I just got a toilet in a box i assumed the water and maserater pumps were driven off a common shaft single motor, wow ??
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:36 PM   #15
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I'm looking for a lower flow (and hopefully quieter) fresh water head to replace our Jabso raw water grinder as our 26 gal holding tank fills up fairly fast.

Having difficulty making up my mind between the Raritan Sea Era and a Dometic Masterflush 7120 one that is new to the market.
David, do you have the same controls that I posted above? I noticed on Walt's Halvorsen that he had the exact same head and controls that I installed on FW.
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:49 PM   #16
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Huh !!! I just a roilet in a box i assumed the water and maserator pumps were driven off a comon shaft single motor, wow ??
Doug, I got it wrong when I said that ours are the same unit. Mine is the quiet flush with two pumps...one for fill and one for macerator/flush. The fill pump is remotely mounted and the macerator/flush pump is at the base of the toilet. My bad. Sorry for the bad info.
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Old 07-15-2014, 03:06 PM   #17
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David, do you have the same controls that I posted above? I noticed on Walt's Halvorsen that he had the exact same head and controls that I installed on FW.
Our current Jabsco only has one push button for controls.
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Old 07-16-2014, 01:28 PM   #18
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I'm going to go against the flow here. We actually replaced one (working) electric head with a manual one. Main reason was we both just like having the "wet" and "dry" options, so we don't end up overfilling our relatively small holding tank. I see there are now electric heads with those options, so maybe that's not a good reason any more.

The manual head is also quieter and simpler. I've replaced parts and done total rebuilds on them before, not a big deal. And it's cheap enough to keep spares of all the maintenance parts on board.

We haven't had problems with raw water smells, mostly because we use the head regularly. If it hasn't been used for a while, I'll run a few quick flushes through it.

I did leave the other head electric. That's mostly for guests. As was pointed out, it's easier to explain, at the cost of using more water.

A VacuFlush would use even less water, but I could pay for a LOT of pump-outs for the price of one of those.
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:20 PM   #19
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I'm going to go against the flow here.
LOL. Do we need a inline back flow preventer on this thread? Oh, wait. That's what the mods are supposed to do.
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:24 PM   #20
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We went through this exercise last winter. Our old electric saltwater toilets (one Jabsco, one Raritan) used a lot of flush water, and were loud. Waking the dead loud. And the strong odor after every flush due to the dead sealife in the raw water supply hoses was nasty.

(Replacing the raw water supply hoses would have resolved the odor issue for a time.)

In our deliberations we came down to Vacuflush and Raritan Elegance. We were also leaning toward fresh vs salt flush.

In the end we went with the freshwater Vacuflush for the following reasons:

1) The Vacuflush only uses about a pint of water per flush. We couldn't get consistent answers about the Raritan water use, but it was suggested to be closer to a gallon per flush. (That may be high.)

2) Given our experience with previous macerator type toilet noise levels, we were looking forward to the lower noise of the Vacuflush.

3) The Vacuflush was touted as being very clog resistant.

Our experience:

1) Water use is very low; part of this is due to not having to wet the bowl for certain applications. The vacuflush always has water sitting in the bowl, much like a home unit.
So far the increased freshwater use has not been noticeable when relying on the water tank.
The most noticeable difference though is that the holding tank takes much longer to fill up. To the point that I was beginning to doubt the accuracy of the indicator.

2) Flushing is much quieter, although not silent. The "pock" sound when stepping on the pedal needs to be explained to the timid, as the first experience can be unnerving.

3) No clogging at all, whereas the previous setup was a constant challenge. The inventor of wet wipes and their ilk should be taken out and shot.

We went with a vacuum generator per head, which was recommended, and also piped it so that we no longer had direct overboard discharge, as I gather that it could be a somewhat explosive underwater event. Probably a good thing anyway.

One big advantage to using freshwater and holding tank only is that you no longer have to worry about anti-siphon devices and their like, which gives more flexibility to locating your toilet.

There was about a 15% premium cost over the Raritan.
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