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Old 09-27-2016, 12:41 PM   #1
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Prairie 29 Head System

Hello All-
I have gone thru the Heat/AC and it is now up and running fine!!
My next project is the Head System. Can someone please give me a few bullets as to the operation. I have a push button switch and another pull out switch at the sink. Hose to the holding tank from head and macerator, also another hose that goes back to a thru hole. I guess it could pump straight over. I know all the laws, just want to know the theory of operation so I can start the troubleshooting. Nothing works.
Thanks for the help!!
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:15 PM   #2
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It's hard for anyone else to know how your system is set up. But this is the internet, so I'll just take a wild guess

A push button switch out in the open is probably for an electric head pump. Push the button and waste water exits the bowl while sea water is brought in.

A pull-out switch may be any number of things. On my Prairie there was one for the shower pump. Pull it out and the pump (originally a diaphragm pump) comes on and sucks the water down the drain.

You say there's a macerator. Somewhere there is probably a switch for that, probably not out in the open, but hidden behind a cabinet or something. Unless you're talking about the one that's part of the toilet fixture itself.

As for the hoses, we'd need to know where they terminate. There are lots of ways they could be set up, but two are common:

1) From toilet always to holding tank. From there, a "Y" valve with the option to pump the tank out the through-hull via the macerator, OR via a deck pump-out fitting.

2) From the toilet to a Y valve, with the option to go directly overboard OR to the tank.

But there are other variations. Mine has no Y valve. Toilet goes to tank always, and both macerator and deck pump out are T'd off the tank lower fitting.
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:23 PM   #3
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I just noticed that you've only just joined our merry band of mariners and wannabes...welcome aboard!

My next project is the Head System. Can someone please give me a few bullets as to the operation. I have a push button switch and another pull out switch at the sink.

The push button should be the toilet flush button. If that doesn't happen when you push it, make sure it's turned on at the breaker...or, if it's fused instead of a breaker, that the fuse is good. If you can tell me the make/model of the toilet I can give you a link to the owners manual.

The pull-out switch should operate the shower sump pump.

Hose to the holding tank from head and macerator, also another hose that goes back to a thru-hull.

The hose from the toilet to the tank should connect to the tank at or on the top of the tank. The hose to the macerator pump should not come directly from the toilet...it's used to the tank. It's usually connected to the tank at the bottom of the tank, or it may be on the top the tank. If so, it means there's a pickup tube inside the tank that goes to the bottom. From the macerator pump there should be a line to the thru-hull. However, there should be a y-valve or tee in that line with another hose coming off it that goes to the deck pumpout fitting. If there isn't, install one...because you must be in open sea at least 3 miles from the nearest point on the whole US coastline to use the macerator pump to dump the tank. If there's no deck pumpout fitting, you'll have to install one of those too. Any line coming off the toilet to the thru-hull should have a y-valve in it to provide a choice of of flushing directly over at sea or into the tank when inside the "3 mile limit."

Nothing works.

If neither the toilet or the sump pump works, it could be as simple as turning on the breakers for each, or maybe the master breaker. Or maybe not...

What's the make/model/age (approx) of the toilet? The sump pump?

I'll be glad to help you...meanwhile, you might want to check out this link...it goes to a comprehensive "marine toilets and holding tanks 101" manual that should help you sort a lot of this out.

Peggie
http://www.amazon.com/New-Get-Rid-Bo...dp/1892399784/
"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't completely understand it yourself." --Albert Einstein
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:59 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info. I have a good idea where to start. I agree with the shower puimp being the pull out. There is a breaker for that on the panel. I also agree the button iss for sea water and I will assume there is a pump in the base of the haead. I will get the info off the head and let everyone know what type it is. Until tomorrow.....
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Old 09-27-2016, 03:00 PM   #5
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Not sure about the Prairie 29, but my Prairie 36 doesn't have a holding tank, yet.
It has a hose to an Lectra/San unit for each toilet, then a hose from the Lectra/San that goes to a sea cock and thru hole.
Most holding tanks, not all, have the set up you described plus another hose that goes to a deck pump out fitting. Some tanks have a "Y" valve prior to the macerator to select it or the deck pump out. Others have a second and separate hose from the tank to the deck pump out.
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Old 09-27-2016, 03:10 PM   #6
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I also agree the button is for sea water and I will assume there is a pump in the base of the head.

If it's just a single button, your toilet is one that has an integral intake impeller and discharge impeller that simultaneously bring in sea water and push bowl contents out. Most likely it's a Jabsco 37010 You'll find the owners manual here: Jabsco 37010 owners manual If it's not that one, it has to be a Raritan SeaEra: Raritan SeaEra owners manual
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Old 09-28-2016, 02:06 PM   #7
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Thank you all for the feedback. I have the shower drain pump working now. The toilet is the Jabsco electric. The pump is shot and I ordered a complete new pump assy. I also ordered a new macerator for the holding tank. That one was shot too. I am sure I will now have all the systems up and running as soon as I install the new parts!!
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Old 09-28-2016, 03:54 PM   #8
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One more thing you need to check: make sure the holding tank vent isn't blocked. 'Cuz blocked tank vent will cause the tank to become pressurized and prevent a pumpout or your macerator from pulling anything out. The vent thru-hull is the most common location for a blockage, so scrape it out with a screwdriver blade, ice pick...whatever works. And pay attention when you flush the toilet...any sign that the toilet is "burping" or any backup is a strong indication that the vent is blocked. Stop using the toilet until you've cleared it.

Enjoy your new boat!
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Old 09-29-2016, 08:31 AM   #9
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Yep. Already checked the vent. Everything else is good to go. Put in a new Sink faucet last night and now have hot and cold running water in both the galley and head. Its the little things that make me happy.
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Old 09-29-2016, 08:53 AM   #10
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As long as you're solving and preventing little problems (which are the ones that drive us crazy)...swap out your holding tank vent thru-hull with an open 'bulkhead" or "mushroom" thru-hull that you can stick a hose nozzle up against and backflush the vent line every time you wash the boat. That'll not only prevent any future blocked vent, but it'll allow more air exchange with the gasses in the tank, which will help to prevent odor.
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