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Author Topic: Dead Head  (Read 6954 times)

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2ndwish

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Dead Head
« on: June 11, 2011, 07:09:30 AM »

The title says it all. We have a Groco HF on our '87 which needs to go. It would appear from various head-threads, that the best option is the Raritan PHII. It looks like the PHC is a closer fit to the Groco HF though. Can anyone tell me whether it is easier install the PHC or the PHII? Also, there were concerns in various threads about clearance to the hull, does anyone know how deep the drill holes are and how much clearance is there?

Thanks
T

PS does anyone know if it is just coincidence that the Raritan models share the initials of the Head Mistress ;) ?
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noworries

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Re: Dead Head
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2011, 07:50:40 AM »

I recently replaced my head with a jabsco compact.  When doing my research I saw that people prefer Raritan, but I also found that parts are EXPENSIVE for it.

Since you can get the jabsco for about 1/2 the cost of the raritan, I didn't see it making a lot of sense.  The install was easy (no worrying about will it fit, will you need longer hoses, or elbows, etc), and if it dies I can replace the whole thing.
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1991 Catalina 34 Mark 1.5 w/ M35

Footloose

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Re: Dead Head
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2011, 09:46:50 AM »

FWIW-I installed a PH II three years ago and have never looked back.  I previously had a Jabsco from the PO and it was always an adventure as to whether or not things would go to the holding tank or sit there for a while.  I have had no issues and guests, who are intimidated by marine toilets, are able to use it for the most part.  Installation required some cutting and fitting of the "skirt" that covers the lag bolts but other than being careful with the drill it was straight forward.  All of the previous holes were either used or covered.

I can not comment on the PHC.
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Dave G.
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Hull# 608  1988 Tall Rig/Fin Keel
Malletts Bay, VT- Lake Champlain

Peggie Hall

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Re: Dead Head
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2011, 03:25:17 PM »

It's just a coincidence...one I never noticed before!  :D

The PH II and PHC are equally easy/difficult to install. Both use the same pump...both mount using lag bolts...neither mounting bolt pattern will match Groco.  They're the same toilet...The owners manual is the same for both. The only difference: the PHC is on a compact base with a shorter handle, to fit in a tighter space.

As for cost comparison...if you go with the "conversion"--everything but the bowl, seat and lid...see it here: http://shop.sailboatowners.com/detail.htm?group=1357&cat=1002 -- you can have a PHC for not a whole lot more than a Jabsco.  And while parts for the PH II are a bit more expensive than parts for a Jabsco (although the rebuild kit is actually CHEAPER), they're rarely needed. Keep in mind that parts for a Mercedes or a BMW cost more than parts for Ford Fiesta too.

 Keep it lubricated, replace the joker annually (which you should do no matter which toilet you have)...rebuild about every 5-6 years (approx $50)...a PH II pump will last at least 20 years.  Or, you can spend $100 a year to replace the Jabsco pump...and before you know it, you'll have invested $500 in a $100 toilet!  :clap
« Last Edit: June 11, 2011, 03:28:06 PM by Peggie Hall »
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Peggie Hall
Specializing in marine sanitation since 1987
Author "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors - A Guide To Marine Sanitation Systems and Other Sources of Aggravation and Odor"
http://www.amazon.com/New-Get-Rid-Boat-Odors/dp/1892399784/

Stu Jackson

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Re: Dead Head
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2011, 05:39:38 PM »

I have a PHII sitting in my garage just waiting to be installed by our boat's enthusiastic, hand's on, get-right-to-it skipper.  There have been a few major posts about installs of these heads on our boats.  One of them mentioned the clearance of the lag bolts to the hull.  I believe it also recommended that you simply use a piece of tape on the drill bit to keep it from going too far.  Easy to do by checking the clearance using the inboard holes.

noworries:  Many, many of us have "been there, done that" with re-buying less expensive heads and have come to the same conclusion that Peggie just presented, which appears on this and many, many other boating 'boards.  I have, too, after almost 15 years with three or so W/C Headmates, which worked pretty well and way better than jabscos or Grocos.  

It appears to me that the PHII can share the same location for the head outlet, the BIG 1-1/2" hose to the holding tank (I've measured it twice, but have yet to confirm it with the new head in place).  That means the only change I have to make is the hose for the inlet to the head pump from the thru hull, since the pump inlet is in the front of the head compared to my existing W/C Headmate.  A 90 degree elbow should do the trick, but I'm going to check the pictures provided by the guys earlier on this 'board.  

And then the pump to the bowl hose, which goes to the vented loop, is easy.  

Heck, I figure I have to change the 3/4" hoses after all these years, anyway, so it's no big deal! :D :D :D
« Last Edit: June 11, 2011, 05:40:27 PM by Stu Jackson »
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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scotty

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Re: Dead Head
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2011, 09:29:33 PM »

Remember that when you use tape on a drill bit it moves a bit.  Check it after each hole (or make a jig out of a piece of wood).
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Scotty

2ndwish

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Re: Dead Head
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2011, 09:31:02 PM »

Well fate stepped in and dictated the choice for us. We needed to get it installed this weekend to be ready for an upcoming cruise and the only locally available head was the Jabsco  Twist n' Lock which was purchased at W-M with a Defender price match. There were some problems with the install. The existing hose was too high for Jabsco with its 45 deg tail piece. This meant we need to open up the bulkhead hole by 1/2 inch (required purchase of an $18 hole saw). When we reinstalled the existing waste hose, we found it leaked a little. Replaced it with a new one from W-M. The new one leaked uncontrollably (a steady stream-pardon the pun). After inspection of the tailpiece, we realized that the ~5mm plastic injection mold mark was right on the sealing face-duh. Anyway reinstalled the old hose and with two clamps, got it sealed. The other problem was where the rear mounting hole behind the bowl ends up. It is right against the back of the platform. After some more contortionist moves, managed to get my head under the sink to see the hull clearance at that point. It is 0. The liner, without wood backing seems to contact the hull at the rear of the platform.  I will wait to drill that hole until the next haulout since I couldn't determine the thickness of the hull or liner there. Will share reports of its performance later.
T
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noworries

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Re: Dead Head
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2011, 10:34:21 PM »

I've never had to spend $100 year working on any toilet.  (3 boats ago I put a w/c electric head on it, never had an issue with it for 3 years)

My c27 had a jabsco toilet.  I owned it for a little over 2 years, didn't cost me $100/yr.  Didn't cost me anything actually in maintenance.  It was used on average 2-3 weekends/month.
My c34 I just put a jabsco in it.  Cost me $150.  Took me 20 minutes or less to install, since that's what I replaced.

If you want to warn people about jabsco products, warn them about their poorly designed macerators, that are held together by 4 bolts that will corrode and fail causing the thing to come apart and spew waste everywhere.  I just installed a new macerator today, and all new waste hoses... and wow the boat smells sooo nice inside now.  If you have black hoses--swap those suckers out... HUGE difference.

Maybe if you live aboard or eat a lot of curry the other toilet is worth it.  I'm not going to argue with anybody about which toilet is better, and I certainly don't want to jinx mine, but saying you're going to spend $100/yr maintaining a jabsco toilet just seems misleading to me.
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Peggie Hall

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Re: Dead Head
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2011, 05:43:45 PM »

You'd be amazed at the number of people who replace the pump on a Jabsco toilet every year as preventive maintenance.  Jabsco prices rebuild kits at close to the price of a whole pump--sometimes the price of the whole toilet!--to encourage that...they build 'em to be "disposable."  Thetford-Norcold has discontinued the entire Wilcox-Crittenden product line, which used to include the Skipper and Imperial--bronze "thrones" built to last 50-100 years with maintenance--because even the W-C Headmate too was too well made to be "disposable" as the Jabsco is, and there's no profit in repair parts. The market for manual toilets has shrunk dramatically in recent years...everybody wants marine toilets to be "like the one at home"...push a button and walk away.  The Raritan PHII and PHC are the only good quality manual toilets still made in the US...most likely because Raritan isn't a division of a big conglomerate, they're still a small family owned company. So quality still matters at least a much as the bottom line. Which may explain why the PH II/PHC may cost twice as much as other manual toilets but lasts at least 5x longer. And why it's been rated best in its class for more than 20 years.

All that said, it's YOUR boat, YOUR money...what you choose to do with both doesn't matter to me one bit.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2011, 05:47:13 PM by Peggie Hall »
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Peggie Hall
Specializing in marine sanitation since 1987
Author "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors - A Guide To Marine Sanitation Systems and Other Sources of Aggravation and Odor"
http://www.amazon.com/New-Get-Rid-Boat-Odors/dp/1892399784/

noworries

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Re: Dead Head
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2011, 08:05:54 PM »

Well I learned a lesson today--never question the queen of sanitation... my lovely new white hoses leak at the toilet.  Even with 2 hose clamps on it... I'll try using the heat gun to see if it will seal better... I'm sure if it was a Raritan it wouldn't have leaked!

 :D
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John Langford

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Re: Dead Head
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2011, 08:46:23 PM »

I think the dissing of the standard Jabsco toilet is a bit overdone. I have just replaced the pump assembly ($80) on my 2004 Jabsco toilet, but only because I wanted the new lock down feature for the base flapper valve. I am keeping the 2004 pump assembly as a backup as it still works fine. The previous Jabsco toilet worked fine for 5 years  and I only replaced it in 2004 because a whole new toilet was on sale at WM for $129. Please note that my wife and I spend about 50 nights a year on the hook so this is a toilet that gets a fair amount of use. the only maintenance I have done to my Jabsco toilets is to regularly change the joker valve and occasionally put some lanolin on the pump piston.

Before spending a lot of  money and time installing an alternative, be sure that it's really necessary. I think the standard Jabsco is a pretty reliable and inexpensive toilet. And, if I was going to change, I would install a Lavac (http://www.lavac.com/) to reduce the the volume of flushing water required, thus extending the effective capacity of the holding tank.
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Cheers
John
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Peggie Hall

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Re: Dead Head
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2011, 09:05:32 PM »

Heat gun won't help...could make matters worse.  Where exactly is the leak?  When I know that, I'll know what the fix should be.
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Peggie Hall
Specializing in marine sanitation since 1987
Author "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors - A Guide To Marine Sanitation Systems and Other Sources of Aggravation and Odor"
http://www.amazon.com/New-Get-Rid-Boat-Odors/dp/1892399784/

Indian Falls

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Re: Dead Head
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2011, 04:41:00 AM »

Make sure you get one of the clamps over the single barb on the toilet fittings.  The shape of the clamps drive housing won't allow it to seal on a smooth tube.  If you heat it the clamps will sink into the hose and that doesn't look professional.
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Dan & Dar
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noworries

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Re: Dead Head
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2011, 07:28:20 AM »

It's leaking where the 1.5" waste hose connects to the toilet.  I tried adjusting the hose clamp positions as well, but I guess I'll have to pull the hose off and inspect things.  Just soooo tired of dealing with these head issues!!!
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Ron Hill

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Re: Dead Head
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2011, 08:22:38 AM »

No : Go to Lowe's and get a can of pipe joint sealant (non hardening) and put that on the solid piece that houses the joker valve and goes into the hose.  I'd be carefull with that heat gun and I agree with Peggy that you could do more damage. 

When working with that white sanitary hose I like to soften it up with warm water NOT a heat gun.
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