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Old 07-12-2020, 11:12 AM   #1
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Vacuflush won't pressure up

My vacuflush was cycling on about every two minutes, but was creating a vacuum and the toilet would flush. I'm pretty familiar with this system, I've had issues with it before.



Toilet is holding water, so I assumed it was a duckbill valve.



Changed the two duckbills in the outlet line. No improvement.



Changed the two duckbills in the inlet line, now it won't create a vacuum at all, the pump just runs.


Disassembled and reassembled several times using Vaseline. No fix.


Used the shaving cream trick, nothing is being sucked in that I can see.


I'm in the Bahamas with somewhat limited parts and worried this could be a trip breaker (we just got over on Wednesday).



I do have a replacement bellows for the pump, how would I diagnose that?
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Old 07-12-2020, 12:44 PM   #2
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Step two.



Changed the bellows, I don't have a spare set of o rings but they looked fine. I greased them with vaseline before reinstall.


Took the toilet off of the base, cleaned up the gaskets under it and reinstalled.


I'm now getting some pressure when I flush, but not as much as normal. Pump just runs and runs.


Could it be a clog possibly?
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Old 07-12-2020, 01:05 PM   #3
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Clue 3.


Took off the inlet hose. Put my hand over the inlet pipe and turned on the head. It sucks pretty hard against my hand but won't turn off. Water is still sitting in the hose between the head and the inlet to the vacuum generator.


Blew through the inlet hose and the toilet bubbled, so it doesn't seem like there is a clog in that section.
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Old 07-12-2020, 01:37 PM   #4
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The trouble-shooting guide lists all the possible causes and cures for no vacuum...it's in the owners manual...also in my book. If you don't have either one, send me a PM that includes your email address (no way to attach anything to a PM) and I'll send it to you.

If none of the probable causes and cures in the trouble-shooting guide solves the problem, it's time to contact Dometic/SeaLand tech support. The phone number for their US plant in Ohio is 800-321-9886 They'll give you the name and contact info for the nearest authorized service center who can walk you through the problem and solution on the phone.

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Old 07-12-2020, 01:54 PM   #5
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I had a leaky diaphragm on the pressure switch on the tank. Can you try the shaving cream trick there? That won't be good for you out there in the boonies away from parts supply.

This is not your problem, but I had a clear circular light cover pop off and bounce its way into the toilet unseen by anybody - the lid is always down now. It fit PERFECTLY over the small end of the funnel in the toilet and nobody could see it in there. We spent forever trying to figure out why the water would not suck out of the bowl. At first, we did not even know for sure there was vacuum generated in the system and broke a thing or two figuring that out.
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Old 07-12-2020, 03:03 PM   #6
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Another vacuflush nightmare. Seems there is a new thread every month. Ditch the vacuflush and get a trouble-free Marine Elegance electric head. In eight years following this forum I have never seen a problem with a Marine Elegance.
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Old 07-12-2020, 03:52 PM   #7
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!st fix is always flush a bunch of water.

Anytime I have any issue with my Vacuflush I just fill the bowl up with water almost to the top and flush away. This cleans out any debris that can be fouling up the duckbills or any other parts. I have had my Vacuflush for 9 years now and changed the duckbills once when I was noting longer pump down times. Other than that it has worked flawlessly. Also the plain water will help your pump push and pull better clearing any blockages. If it will pump that much water then i would say there are no blockages.

The Vacuflush system is not complicated. Just a diaphragm pump and a pressure switch.

A blocked pump discharge will misshapen the duckbills or turn them inside out. Did the old duckbills look deformed when you replaced them?
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Old 07-12-2020, 03:56 PM   #8
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Also make sure the pressure switch is tight.

We had a worn switch and it gave those symptoms as it wasn't moving enough when pressurized to break the connection. I ordered a new one and it solved the issue, so I then ordered a spare as well.

Until we got the new switch we just turned off the breaker . Turned it on before we wanted to use the head.
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Old 07-12-2020, 04:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catalinajack View Post
Another vacuflush nightmare. Seems there is a new thread every month. Ditch the vacuflush and get a trouble-free Marine Elegance electric head. In eight years following this forum I have never seen a problem with a Marine Elegance.
You beat me to it...
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:13 PM   #10
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I'd be happy to replace my vacu flush with a different head. In fact, at the next major repair, that is exactly what I'm going to do.


In the meantime, this issue turned out to be a case of dumassery on my part. I put one of the new duckbills in wrong.


It's still cycling every 5 minutes, but at least it is flushing now, it should make it through the trip. In the last six years I've spent over $1,000 keeping this vacuflush running. Two new bellows, a new pump motor, new vacuum tank, multiple duckbill valves, a toilet base, bowl gaskets, a pressure switch, it just goes on and on. And now I don't trust it anymore. It's my least favorite system on the entire boat.


I had a basic raritan sea era on our old boat and never touched it in 8 years of use.
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:39 PM   #11
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I had a similar issue. Ended up being a small hole in the main pipe. Replaced it, works fine. Get Peggie's book and it will guide you.
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Old 07-12-2020, 11:13 PM   #12
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We just put in a Raritan Marine Elegance this winter. Love them. Put one in a previous boat. Unfortunately it looks like this summer we wonít really be able to use it with the virus. Highly recommend the ME head.
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