Features April 2018 Issue

Pump Out Attention Extends to the Head

Although head maintenance is low on everyoneís fun task list, working on functioning head that has been flushed clean (flush with lots of clean water, soak in vinegar for 15 minutes, and then flush that through with more water) head is much more pleasant than working on a broken, clogged head.

You donít have to flush with freshwater at every pumpout, but it will help control odors and prevent vent clogs.

Joker Valve. If you have a Jabsco Manual or Groco Manual head, install a Raritan joker valve. It is dimensionally interchangeable and long term PS testing has confirmed that they last about twice as long. The price is a bit more, but the total cost is less and the improved operation and reduced labor is a blessing. The joker valve should be installed with the lips vertical; placed horizontal, they droop under gravity and fail prematurely.

Lubrication. Follow the manufacture instructions, giving the pump a good slathering of synthetic grease every season (every other season, if use is light). Break the cooking oil lube habit; itís bad for the holding tank and marginal for the pump.

Replace vs. Repair. Jabsco sells a rebuild kit, but at 70 percent of the Amazon price of a new pump, itís a poor investment. The new pump will last much longer and is much easier to install than the kit. Raritan heads are easier to rebuild, and the results more durable.

Preventive maintenance is the key. Motivating yourself to actually do it is the challenge.

Comments (7)

I hope that this sailor didn't really stick the water hose from the dock down into his pump out fitting.... I shudder to think about the poor cruiser coming to the dock after him to pump out and take on water. We should all make a practice of holding the hose tip at least 6 inches or more above the deck fitting.

Posted by: SV Lagniappe | April 8, 2018 6:01 PM    Report this comment

I hope that this sailor didn't really stick the water hose from the dock down into his pump out fitting.... I shudder to think about the poor cruiser coming to the dock after him to pump out and take on water. We should all make a practice of holding the hose tip at least 6 inches or more above the deck fitting.

Posted by: SV Lagniappe | April 8, 2018 6:01 PM    Report this comment

I hope that this sailor didn't really stick the water hose from the dock down into his pump out fitting.... I shudder to think about the poor cruiser coming to the dock after him to pump out and take on water. We should all make a practice of holding the hose tip at least 6 inches or more above the deck fitting.

Posted by: SV Lagniappe | April 8, 2018 6:00 PM    Report this comment

To mapdad:
I determined years ago that having a separate head-discharge inlet and pump-out outlet on a holding tank isn't a good idea. I have one 1 1/2" solid PVC pipe that serves both, and extends to above the top of the tank so no odors permeate from waste that stands in that pipe as the tank fills. The incoming waste action keeps that area flushed clear so that the pump out action is free-flowing. Never have had any problem.
As an aside, what really reduced/eliminated odors was plumbing the tank vent entirely with 1/2" CPVC with continuous slope upwards toward the deck fitting, carefully avoiding any trapped areas.

Posted by: Wayne Richard | April 8, 2018 11:24 AM    Report this comment

If you are inthe stink, wear a cartridge respirator. No more stink. Otherwise, gag on.

Posted by: Canuckanuk | April 8, 2018 11:21 AM    Report this comment

Any suggestions about what to do with a clogged holding tank? I've isolated the clog to be between the base of the tank and elbow that rises to the macerator. I've been treating the system with straight vinegar down the pumpout tube and thru the bowl to no avail. A pumpout with higher suction is likely my only course of action other than complete disassembly (which would be very messy). Any suggestions?

Posted by: Mapdad | April 8, 2018 11:09 AM    Report this comment

Well in PS issue July 2013 you give Jabsco the highest grade at the end of the review. So either one should be fine of course lol.

Posted by: dennymusic | April 8, 2018 10:44 AM    Report this comment

New to Practical Sailor?
Register for Free!

Already Registered?
Log In