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Catalina 30 MKIII head conversion

Discussion in 'Marine Plumbing and Sanitation' started by Tucson Sailor, Mar 27, 2016. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Tucson Sailor

    Tucson Sailor

    Joined Jun 2, 2004
    31 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 30 MKIII TR
    US Tucson, AZ Roosevelt Lake, AZ
    Hello Peggy,
    We have the standard Jabasco manual head in our 1996 Catalina 30. The bowl and seat are too small and the pump handle is definitely in the way. I want to replace it with a bit larger electric model and turn the mounting away from the aft wall it to fit the angles better. Do you know if anyone has made this change and can recommend a good product? We are weekend cruisers on a fresh water lake. Thanks, Tim
     


  2. FastOlson

    FastOlson

    Joined Apr 8, 2010
    816 posts, 45 likes
    Ericson Yachts Olson 34
    US Portland, OR Portland OR
    Until Peggy checks in....
    I would advise dumping (pun alert) the Jabsco and replacing it with a Raritan PH2 with the larger household-size bowl. Measure your head compartment first to be sure the new one will fit.
    Loren
     


  3. Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Joined Dec 2, 1997
    6,378 posts, 287 likes
    - -
    US LIttle Rock
    The PH II would be a good choice if they wanted another manual toilet. Take a look at the Raritan SeaEra Raritan SeaEra, rated "best budget buy" by Practical Sailor a couple of years ago.

    However I wouldn't rule out another, MUCH better, manual toilet. Raritan's new PH SuperFlush replaces both the PHII and the PHC. It's so new that it's not up on the Raritan site yet, but Defender has it and the description on the listing is pretty complete: Raritan PH SuperFlush Manual Toilet at Defender. You'll be amazed by how much happier you'll be with a top quality manual toilet.

    Both toilets are available with either the small "standard" bowl or the larger "household" size. The SeaEra can be mounted to put the discharge on either side or the rear...the PH SuperFlush pump can be on either side of the bowl. I'll be glad to answer questions after you've had a chance to check out both.
     


  4. Tucson Sailor

    Tucson Sailor

    Joined Jun 2, 2004
    31 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 30 MKIII TR
    US Tucson, AZ Roosevelt Lake, AZ
    Thank you both Loren & Peggy for the fast reply. I will check them out and get back. What's your opinion of the Jabasco electric heads?
     


  5. Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Joined Dec 2, 1997
    6,378 posts, 287 likes
    - -
    US LIttle Rock
    Jabsco has moved all its manufacturing to Mexico with components and parts from China and other 3rd world suppliers. So on a scale of 1-10, I'd rate them a 6. Except for the 29200 "conversion"... "1" would be a generous score for it. Even Jabsco admits that one is awful.

    There are only two U.S. toilet mfrs left who build a durable reliable product here in the US--Groco and Raritan Engineering. Groco makes only two manual toilets...Raritan makes a full range of manual and electric toilets.

    The Raritan SeaEra was designed to be an identical upgrade/replacement for the Jabsco 37010 series...even the mounting bolt patterns match. The base on Raritan's new PH SuperFlush was designed to make it a "plug 'n' play" upgrade replacement for the Jabsco manual toilet...same mounting bolt pattern for it too.
     


  6. Tucson Sailor

    Tucson Sailor

    Joined Jun 2, 2004
    31 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 30 MKIII TR
    US Tucson, AZ Roosevelt Lake, AZ
    Once again, thank you Peggy. I appreciate your advice and need to do my research. Tim
     


  7. njlarry

    njlarry

    Joined Sep 23, 2009
    1,190 posts, 82 likes
    O'Day 34-At Last
    US Rock Hall, Md
    Hope this this is not a high jack but on the topic of manual heads, which American made units are made for fresh water flushing?
     


  8. Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Joined Dec 2, 1997
    6,378 posts, 287 likes
    - -
    US LIttle Rock
    The Raritan Fresh Head FRESH_HEAD Promo Sheet is the only manual toilet designed to use onboard pressurized flush water. All of Raritan's electric macerating toilets are available in both sea and fresh water versions, although it's necessary to add a remote intake pump to the Elegance and the Atlantes if you want to flush with sea water. Adding the "Sea Fresh" system to the Elegance and Atlantes also allows you switch between fresh and sea water at will . The SeaEra is also available as a complete toilet or a "conversion" which allows you to save money by re-using your existing bowl, seat and lid. You can get any of them from the sbo.com online store for prices that are hard to beat.

    Raritan's website is a mess right now. If you can't bring up a toilet you're interested in, let me know and I'll send it to you from my files. Defender usually has very good descriptions and specs on their listings too.
     


    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
  9. bigpapaporsche

    bigpapaporsche

    Joined Jun 4, 2010
    56 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina Capri 22
    US Cincinnati
    We have a 20 foot Pacific Seacraft -Flicka, with a Marine Head. One of the previous owners took the original Head out and replaced it with a Portie Potty, but left all the original plumbing in place. We want to reinstall a Marine Head and are considering an Electric Head. My thinking is the Electric Head, with its natural Macerating function, is a no brainer, cost aside. I don't see a downside to an Electric Head as compared to a Manual head, other than cost. It seems to me that because the solids are macerated, the waste would flow through the plumbing into the Holding Tank faster/easier, therefore using less water and creating fewer problems. On the other hand, when you research Heads in general the problems jump off the page at you, stopped up plumbing, bad valves etc. It is apparent to me, generally speaking, that Manual Heads have always been problematic and a pain in the Butt, no pun intended.
     


  10. Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Joined Dec 2, 1997
    6,378 posts, 287 likes
    - -
    US LIttle Rock
    With any marine toilet--manual or electric--you'll also have to install a holding tank and all the related plumbing that goes with it. You may or may not have to install an inlet thru-hull and seacock for it. If the hoses are old, they should also be replaced. If you go with electric, you'll also have to run a new dedicated circuit for it and also prob'ly need more battery power than is likely to be available on a 20' boat. You're not gonna have ANY storage space left...a manual toilet and tank will run you upwards of $300...add at least $200 for an electric toilet.

    So I suggest you take a hard look at an MSD version portapotty. "MSD" in the model name/number means it's designed to be perrmanently installed and is fitted to install a pumpout line and vent line....so you don't have to carry anything off the boat. A 5-6 gallon model holds 50-60 flushes...you'd need at least a 30 gallon tank to hold that many from any marine toilet. Total cost: about $200. There's been quite a bit of discussion about MSD portapotties in this forum...a search for it should turn up all you need to know about 'em. Do a search too for both manual and electric toilets by make/model...reliability and durability and PITA problems frequency varies considerably.
     


  11. bigpapaporsche

    bigpapaporsche

    Joined Jun 4, 2010
    56 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina Capri 22
    US Cincinnati
    Peggy, I didn't explain the situation, or our sailboat accurately enough. The Pacific Seacraft's model "Flicka" might be a 20 footer, but it is not your average small sailboat. For example it weighs 6000lbs, has a Full Keel, 5' 11" inches of standing Headroom, 18 HP Inboard 2 cylinder Diesel Motor, Enclosed Head, and two Group 27 Batteries. As you can imagine, it is not your normal 20 footer, it feels more like a 30 footer.
    All the original plumbing is still there, including the 20 Gallon Holding Tank.
    My question simply concerned the Manual Head vs an Electric Head equivalent. I can't see the down side, other than cost, of the Electric Head, everything else being equal. I can't see how the Electric Head wouldn't work better!
    What I am I not considering?
     


  12. Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Joined Dec 2, 1997
    6,378 posts, 287 likes
    - -
    US LIttle Rock
    Maceration is over-rated, 'cuz solid waste is 75% water and gets broken up going through a manual pump. so it dissolves pretty quickly in water. So there are really only two upsides to electric over manual: "push button" convenience over pumping by hand...and electric toilets require very little maintenance. Those two factors alone are worth the extra expense to a lot of people, so if you want an electric toilet, go for it. You'd still have to run a new dedicated circuit for it. The Raritan SeaEra is your best choice. Raritan SeaEra

    Is your holding tank metal or plastic? If plastic, pressure test it to be sure it wasn't the reason the PO swapped out the toilet for a portapotty 'cuz that was the cheapest quickest solution to the problem. If metal, you'd be wise to replace it now, 'cuz urine is so corrosive that it typically eats through a weld at a seam or a fitting within 2-5 years and turns the tank into a colander not long afterward. So better to replace it now than have to replace it AND deal with a leak later.
     


  13. Tucson Sailor

    Tucson Sailor

    Joined Jun 2, 2004
    31 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 30 MKIII TR
    US Tucson, AZ Roosevelt Lake, AZ
    Peggy, we' ve ordered the Sea Era as you suggested. I'll replace all the hoses including the fresh water ones because we are getting the black specs when pumping water in. Regarding the electrical wire, it's about 20 feet from the panel around the salon and into the head and doubling the distance, as recommended by Raritan, yields a run of 40 feet. That figure requires a duplex wire sized 4 which seems very large. I'm not trying to skimp because I know the head will draw some high loads. But, I want to avoid pulling a battery cable through the boat. What is your experience with the safe and effective wire size? Thanks, Tim
     


  14. Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Joined Dec 2, 1997
    6,378 posts, 287 likes
    - -
    US LIttle Rock
    That's a question for Raritan tech support. 800-352-5630 However, the wire size should be calculated for the distance to/from the power SOURCE (battery), not the breaker panel. The sea water version of the SeaEra draws 15 amps, the pressurized fresh water version only 10. Which version you chose may impact the wire size needed. I don't advise going anything smaller than Raritan tells you that you can get away with because wiring too small for the load can cause an electrical fire.

    As for preventing black specs in the flush water, if you're going with the sea water version consider teeing your head intake line into the head sink drain line instead of to the head instake thru-hull (see "Options to convert to fresh water flush" thread in this forum for a detailed discussion of this).
     


    Last edited: Apr 21, 2016
  15. Tucson Sailor

    Tucson Sailor

    Joined Jun 2, 2004
    31 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 30 MKIII TR
    US Tucson, AZ Roosevelt Lake, AZ
    Thanks Peggy, your quick replies are much appreciated. Your mention of the battery location versus the panel is helpful and I'll be careful to get the correct measurement for the added run from the battery to the panel. The boat is a 1996 with 10 years in salt water and the balance in fresh. We are in fresh water so I hope the black specs will be eliminated with a hose change. I plan to use the white hose for both the intake and the vented loop sections. I'll let you know how it goes and post some pictures. Best, Tim
     


  16. Ron20324

    Ron20324

    Joined Jan 22, 2008
    5,532 posts, 347 likes
    Beneteau 323
    US Annapolis MD
    [QUOTE...As for preventing black specs in the flush water, ... teeing your head intake line into the head sink drain line instead of to the head instake thru-hull....[/QUOTE]

    Several years ago I tee'd the head pump intake into the sink drain. After every cruise I used sink water pumped through the head. But still the 15-inch hose from the pump to the bowl became black with whatever. Over the course of a weekend the black would flake off, and into the bowl. I must believe alot of those flecks are too big to pass through the hole in the rim, and there they stay for a while at least..
     


  17. Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Joined Dec 2, 1997
    6,378 posts, 287 likes
    - -
    US LIttle Rock
    You've apparently managed to pull some animal or vegetable sea life into your head intake line..or it may be stuck in the sink drain line. So, first disconnect your intake hose from the tee (close the seacock first) and from the toilet....take it out onto the dock and blast it out with a hose to clean it out. Then cap the tee, fill the sink with water, open the thru-hull and use a plunger to create pressure to clean out the sink drain line.
    If you still have black flecks, something is caught in the channel in the rim of the bowl or--if you're lucky, stuck in the intake spud on the back of bowl.
     


  18. Mikes 87

    Mikes 87

    Joined Feb 2, 2014
    12 posts, 1 likes
    Catalina 30 mkII
    US Pasadena, MD



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