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Head Games...Oh No!

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by Jtcf78911, Jun 13, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Jtcf78911

    Jtcf78911

    Joined Aug 16, 2015
    130 posts, 12 likes
    O'Day 28
    US Salem, MA
    Yeah. You never know when another 2008 will come rolling along - - though we can be fairly certain something similar is on its way....
     


  2. kloudie1

    kloudie1

    Joined Nov 6, 2006
    7,908 posts, 543 likes
    Hunter 34
    US Mandeville Louisiana
    Sounds like a bad "foot" valve at the base of the pump.. it is supposed to open when you pull up the pump, admitting stuff from the bowl.. then it closes on the downstroke so the pump can push the stuff through the joker and into the tank.. if the foot is stuck open, the stuff will swish back and forth between bowl and pump without building enough pressure to make stuff move through the joker. Part # 19 in the little parts list in this link:
    https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?id=309371
     


  3. All U Get

    All U Get

    Joined Oct 2, 2008
    2,589 posts, 309 likes
    Pearson/ 530
    US Strafford, NH
    :doh:
     


  4. Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Joined Dec 2, 1997
    6,850 posts, 519 likes
    - -
    US LIttle Rock
    I've been away from my office all day, so I'm just getting into this. I'm going back to the OP's first post:
    The Groco HF is a pretty decent compact toilet and HF is the current version, so I wouldn't jump to replace it. I agree that it needs a rebuild, unless it was new when you bought the boat. How long has it been--since you lubricated the pump?

    But first we need to get rid of the water in the bowl that won't go down. DO NOT USE A PLUNGER! That will mess up all the seals, o-rings etc in the pump. Has the pump gotten progressively harder to pump? If so, that's a pretty strong indication that something downstream of the toilet is creating back pressure that's preventing the toilet from flushing. Since 99% of the time, the culprit is a blocked tank vent, let's start with it:
    Rarely is there ever a blockage in the vent LINE...it's almost always in two places--the vent thru-hull and the other end of the vent line, the vent fitting on the tank and that end of the hose. So start by scraping out the vent thru-hull (mud daubers love to build their nests in 'em)...use an ice pick, screwdriver blade--whatever works. If there's a screen in it, knock it out...screens cause more problems than they prevent. If that doesn't result in a rush of air--and maybe waste too if the tank is full--you need to clean out the other end of the vent. Do NOT remove the vent line from the tank until you've relieved any pressure in it by very carefully--and with a hose at the ready--loosening the deck pumpout cap. (I'd make sure to be upwind of it too.) No eruption, any pressure has dissipated making safe to remove the vent line from the tank. Warming it with a blow dryer will make it a lot easier to remove. Scrape out the vent fitting and that end of the vent line, replace the vent line. Now try flushing the toilet. If the bowl still won't empty, we need to look at other possibilities.

    The next most likely scenario is sea water mineral buildup in the toilet discharge line. It can reduce the diameter of a 1.5" hose to less than 1/2". Checking for that requires removing the discharge fitting from the toilet and checking both the joker valve and the hose...which you prob'ly don't want to do until we get the bowl empty. So if clearing the tank vent doesn't work, it's time to break out a dinghy bailer and bucket or a shop vac.

    Groco doesn't see fit to include any instructions in their catalog or on their website, but I have the trouble-shooting guide for the Groco HF and also the parts list and exploded drawing for it. They're not websites, they're documents...I can send 'em to you if you'll send me a PM that includes your email address.
     


  5. Mark Maulden

    Mark Maulden

    Joined Jan 25, 2011
    1,633 posts, 135 likes
    S2 11.0A
    US Anacortes, WA
    West Marine will price match...
     


  6. Chris Patterson

    Chris Patterson

    Joined Oct 17, 2011
    2,777 posts, 66 likes
    Ericson 29
    US Southport..
    You can always siphon it out, kinda like you do gasoline.
    A good shot of white liquor right handy helps a lot too.
    Important safety tip.
     


  7. CaptKimble

    CaptKimble

    Joined Jul 29, 2017
    132 posts, 51 likes
    Catalina 380
    US Los Angeles


  8. Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Joined Dec 2, 1997
    6,850 posts, 519 likes
    - -
    US LIttle Rock


    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
  9. Apex

    Apex

    Joined Jun 19, 2013
    753 posts, 88 likes
    Oday 28
    US Traverse City
    Check SBO as well, they were able to beat best traveler prices. As far as the Raritan conversion, I think SBO is the ONLY game in town for that kit.
     


  10. jibes138

    jibes138

    Joined Jan 27, 2008
    2,806 posts, 110 likes
    ODay 35
    US Beaufort, NC
    If the pump is just going up and down without resistance or pressure with the seawater closed with the pump in the dry bowl position it should pull the bowl contents into the pump then if there was a clog in the joker or hose you wouldn't be able to pump it down, you would have a full pump and no way to push it out. It sounds to me like the flapper at the bottom of the pump is broken so if you pull waste into the pump it just goes back to the bowl when you push it down. It is just like a check valve, it opens to let waste into the pump then closes when you push down on the handle. If it broke off or stuck open there would be no resistance back to the bowl and nothing would be forced through the joker valve. Empty the bowl as best you can, remove the outlet hose and seawater hose. three screws hold the pump assembly on the base, the flapper is below that, if it isn't the flapper then you now have the pump off and can rebuild it. I have the same head and have rebuilt it a few times. Here's an outfit that sells individual parts for the HF. The flapper is 11 bucks. https://www.marinesan.com/Groco-HF-parts-s/111.htm
     


  11. Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Joined Dec 2, 1997
    6,850 posts, 519 likes
    - -
    US LIttle Rock
    Replacing one part at a time is like making a batch of cookies and baking 'em one cookie at a time. If one part is completely worn out, they're all worn enough to fail very soon. So if it's been at least 5 years since the pump was rebuilt, replace everything while you have it off the base.
    However, Groco told me years ago that the average lifespan of the HF is 9-11 years...so if it's at least that old, I'd replace it instead of rebuilding it.

    -- Peggie
    "If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't completely understand it yourself." --Albert Einstein
     


  12. jibes138

    jibes138

    Joined Jan 27, 2008
    2,806 posts, 110 likes
    ODay 35
    US Beaufort, NC
    Point well made Peggie, but be advised you can buy just the pump assembly and not have to replace the bowl, base assembly, seat, or lid. I'm sure the lifespan is also dependent on usage and whether it was maintained along the way.
     


  13. Gunni

    Gunni

    Joined Mar 16, 2010
    5,173 posts, 1,005 likes
    Beneteau 411 Oceanis
    US Annapolis
    You get a boat and people start referring to you as captain, nobody ever calls you by your other title - sewage plant operator!
     


  14. Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Joined Dec 2, 1997
    6,850 posts, 519 likes
    - -
    US LIttle Rock
    Apparently you missed the word "average" in my previous post. It's only the pump that wears out (ok, so can the seat and lid, but never mind) So you're correct that you'd only have to replace the pump if you're replacing it with identical new. But if you're switching to a different toilet, the new pump isn't likely to fit the existing base, so you'd need to replace it too.

    --Peggie
    "If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't completely understand it yourself." --Albert Einstein
     



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