DIY electric heads/toilet?

mattnj

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I was looking at new loos today...the conversation kits or the new electric jabsco are crazy money seeing as the manual ones are £99.

Has anyone looked at a £99 twist and lock with a fresh water feed to the back of bowl (standard pipe) and some sort or macerator in line with existing waste pipe?.....obviously would need some blanking/removal of manual pump bit.
 

prv

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pooing and weeing !

You can do that just as well with the £99 manual bog though.

And it won't eat yer batteries or make lots of noise in the middle of the night. It might possibly get blocked, but much less easily than the whirly bits of a cheap macerator. It won't allow your drinking water system to be contaminated with shit like a bodged freshwater flush system might. And it will come straight from the chandlery and bolt in without any DIY fannying about. What's not to like?

Pete
 
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VicS

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You can do that just as well with the £99 manual bog though.

Pete

The ladies don't like pumping them .......... everybody else on board can hear.


with an electric one everybody else in the anchorage can hear ............... but they don't know which boat the noise is coming from
 

simonfraser

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The ladies don't like pumping them .......... everybody else on board can hear.


with an electric one everybody else in the anchorage can hear ............... but they don't know which boat the noise is coming from

nothing wrong with ladies pumping :)
 

vyv_cox

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with an electric one everybody else in the anchorage can hear ............... but they don't know which boat the noise is coming from

My Jabsco LITE is not all that noisy. The flush pump is the same unit as a domestic water pump, making about the same amount of noise beingon rubber mounting. The discharge impeller motor is a little more noisy but only runs for about two seconds x 2. I doubt if anyone outside the boat could hear it and even on the boat someone in the cockpit might not hear it.

The reason my wife likes the LITE so much is its smooth, crevice-free exterior that is easily cleaned and looks good. It is considerably easier to use than a standard £99 one, a big advantage for arthritic fingers. It is also x4 the price, of course.
 

DannyB

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The boat across the pontoon from me was having problems with the holding tank discharge getting blocked. I recommended getting a new set of false teeth, but he decided instead to fit an electrical conversion kit. The noise is horrendous. Everyone in the marina knows when he takes a dump.
 

2copplane

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I posted the same concept a year ago as I have the same issue of too posh to pump though my primary reason was to cure bad odours from that first flush when you return to the boat.

I think running fresh clean water rather than sea water in to a loo would cure the nasty pong. In the end under recommendation I fitted an electric loo, which is is great to use but didn't cure the pong.

I was going to have a three way sprung switch, lift up would open a solenoid valve and fill the bowl with water, push down would run the macerator and empty it. The fresh water would need some thought to ensure no contamination of the tanks.
 

VicS

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I posted the same concept a year ago as I have the same issue of too posh to pump though my primary reason was to cure bad odours from that first flush when you return to the boat.

I think running fresh clean water rather than sea water in to a loo would cure the nasty pong. In the end under recommendation I fitted an electric loo, which is is great to use but didn't cure the pong.

I was going to have a three way sprung switch, lift up would open a solenoid valve and fill the bowl with water, push down would run the macerator and empty it.
The fresh water would need some thought to ensure no contamination of the tanks.

Separate tank perhaps... just used for a final flush when leaving the boat. Could perhaps be filled from the main tank if necessary otherwise independently ... just a thought.
The whole length of the inlet pipework would have to be included in the fresh water flush if it is the source of the pong.
 

Tranona

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Lee Sanitation do a kit for freshwater flush that uses its own water supply. only 250ml but intended to just give a flush before leaving the boat.
 

RichardS

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Lee Sanitation do a kit for freshwater flush that uses its own water supply. only 250ml but intended to just give a flush before leaving the boat.

Or see past threads for my solution to first flush pong. Possibly free on your boat or max cost £15.

I have two loos and leave them for shortest 1 month and longest 6 months and first flush is exactly the same as last flush before leaving boat.

Richard
 

Interlude

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We have a sink adjacent to the manual Jabsco. Flush loo with water from the flexible shower hose from the fresh water sink. Much better than the still available salt water flush. No possibility of contaminating the fresh water tank (unless you drop the shower head in the loo, I suppose, but no one has been that wasted yet ...)
 

simonfraser

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We have a sink adjacent to the manual Jabsco. Flush loo with water from the flexible shower hose from the fresh water sink. Much better than the still available salt water flush. No possibility of contaminating the fresh water tank (unless you drop the shower head in the loo, I suppose, but no one has been that wasted yet ...)

pongs due to the bugs in the flushing water = contaminated
as above, use fresh, or no water in the bowl / hose if that can be arranged
 

prv

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bad odours from that first flush when you return to the boat.

A simple way to deal with that is a pre-emptive flush when you arrive at the boat. My normal routine is to unlock the cabin, turn on the batteries, pump the head, remove and stow the instrument and binnacle covers, then start bringing the baggage and stores on board. By the time anyone wants to use the head the first-flush smell has long since dissipated.

I think running fresh clean water rather than sea water in to a loo would cure the nasty pong.

Might well do, but it depends how you arrange the plumbing. The reason for the smell is the double-sided pump on most common designs of manual head. Bacteria on the walls of the pump barrel can get from the waste side to the inlet side, where they grow and cause the smell. The idea that it's caused by organisms in clean seawater dying and decomposing is a myth, as demonstrated by Vyv Cox a couple of years ago by sealing up samples of seawater in various containers. So if you supply an ordinary heads pump with fresh water, it will still become smelly, but if you supply the freshwater direct to the bowl (from the pressure system or via a separate pump) then it won't. Richard's system of introducing biocide into the flush side also ought to work.

If I was starting from scratch I think I'd use the pan from the large model Jabsco (which I believe takes a standard domestic seat) but ditch the pump and plumb it via rigid PVC pipe to a Henderson-style diaphragm pump instead. Then use a second diaphragm pump to bring in the flush water, keeping the two systems completely separate.

Pete
 
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Hydrozoan

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... The reason for the smell is the double-sided pump on most common designs of manual head. Bacteria on the walls of the pump barrel can get from the waste side to the inlet side, where they grow and cause the smell. The idea that it's caused by organisms in clean seawater dying and decomposing is a myth, as demonstrated by Vyv Cox a couple of years ago by sealing up samples of seawater in various containers. ...

I had thought that an H2S smell on first flush could be the result of naturally-occurring sulphate-reducing bacteria reducing the sulphate in seawater to H2S, using as a carbon source organic substances in the water (the latter not necessarily from the heads, but possibly from the seawater itself, especially in summer when algae are growing strongly). Did Vyv Cox's study definitively disprove that notion? (I guess that in principle incubation of seawater samples could disprove it, but it might not be definitive if the organic carbon content of the water were not high enough to support sustained growth of the bacteria.)
 

prv

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Did Vyv Cox's study definitively disprove that notion?

I said "demonstrate" rather than "prove" quite deliberately :)

I can't remember the details of his test and I can't easily find the details now. But it seemed fairly convincing at the time.

It also matches my experience of replacing heads pumps and hoses, which I've done on both our boats. In each case, the first-flush smell did not subsequently appear (despite seawater being left in the hose for weeks or months) until the first time someone used the heads for solids. With the first boat, whose minuscule compartment strongly discouraged such an activity, that was over two years of non-defecatory use and no first-flush smell. But rub poo up and down the pump walls and leave to marinate for a while, and the smell will in due course appear.

Pete
 
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