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Are Joker Valves Interchangable?

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Mar 26, 2011
2,909
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
First, it sure seems that the joker valves one the Jabso twist-n-lock, Raritan PHII and Groco manual head are functionally interchangeable. Yes, there are minor differences in the molding and the flange on the Groco is about 1/16-inch thicker, but I betting all will fit and all will work. I'm sure I've heard of folks swapping the Jabsco and Raritan valves. Good to know, if the store only has one brand.

Second, is one of these better, in anyone's expereince (you've tried both in the same head)? Yes, there are price differences, but that's not what I care about.
 
Dec 2, 1999
15,184
Hunter Vision-36 Rio Vista, CA.
I would guess that there is a lot of difference between them based on their functional life. My Jabsco toilets were usually good for 6-12 months before they started acting up. My Raritan toilets have never been repaired! What is the difference?
 
Jan 10, 2009
590
PDQ 32 Deale, MD
I would guess that there is a lot of difference between them based on their functional life. My Jabsco toilets were usually good for 6-12 months before they started acting up. My Raritan toilets have never been repaired! What is the difference?
Please add some detail. Your post seemed more antidotal than analytical.

  1. How long is "never."
  2. What was wrong with the Jabsco? Was it joker valve related? Backflow even after a good flush?
  3. Failure to empty well? Often as not, actually the flapper valve.
  4. Or was it something else? Perhaps it was the intake valve, which a Jabsco design weakness (prone to plugging).
I do understand that the Jabsco heads are light duty. But that has been beaten to death and is rather off the topic.
 

Joe

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Jun 1, 2004
7,389
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
Please add some detail. Your post seemed more antidotal than analytical.

  1. How long is "never."
  2. What was wrong with the Jabsco? Was it joker valve related? Backflow even after a good flush?
  3. Failure to empty well? Often as not, actually the flapper valve.
  4. Or was it something else? Perhaps it was the intake valve, which a Jabsco design weakness (prone to plugging).
I do understand that the Jabsco heads are light duty. But that has been beaten to death and is rather off the topic.
Geez..... what's with the 3rd degree? Did you have something to contribute or were you just interested in grilling Steve.

By the way, "antidotal" may be misused in your analogy. Look it up in the dictionary. I believe you meant to use "anecdotal"... which would refer to something based on personal experience or random observation.... rather than "analytical" - systematic scientific observation.
 
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Rick D

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Jun 14, 2008
6,996
Hunter Legend 40.5 Shoreline Marina Long Beach CA
Well, as Steve will testify, I have one of the few $1000 Jabscos around. (The bowl IS original.) Having said that, the Joker valves manufacturer to manufacturer appear to be interchangeable. I have grabbed a few duck-billed valves and used them over the years. I can't detect a difference, they all fit, but do note I change them yearly. Our boat is a part time residence, however and in the water year round so the head gets a serious work out. I an partial to the Jansco because I believe the tri-flap design does allow more flow through with less chance of a clog. I have not had a clog in the joker from either design. I will say that calcium build up in either of the designs greatly limits the effectiveness and is, I believe, the more common reason for failure. Vinegar treatment when leaving the boat a la Peggy's advice may retard that.

BTW, FWIW, the recent (last couple of years) Jabsco manual head pumps seem to be a lot more durable. Maybe I just got a good batch, but with lubrication every six months, they are doing well going on almost two years. Before, I changed them yearly and they usually needed it.
 
Dec 2, 1999
15,184
Hunter Vision-36 Rio Vista, CA.
My EXPERIENCE with our Raritan is such that the toilet was installed over 10 years ago and the joker has never been changed. I install the head and sold the boat about 6 years ago. The current owner has not changed it either.
 
Oct 3, 2008
310
Beneteau 393 Chesapeake Bay
From what I've read, I believe that Raritan makes a more durable head overall. That said, I have used the Raritan duckbill joker valves in the Jabsco head and all works fine so far. They last longer too. I used to change out the Jabsco joker valves 1-2 times per season, while the Raritan has now completed two years without a backflow.
 
Sep 25, 2008
615
Morgan 415 Out Island Rogersville, AL
People keep telling me I should replace my Jabsco head for something more reliable. My jabsco head has been very reliable in the 4-1/2 years I've owned the boat. I've only had to rebuild twice during that time.

The first time I rebuilt the head I bought the rebuild kit and took the pump apart, replaced the components, and then put it back together. It leaked because the thin plastic cracked when I torqued the screws on the pump. I learned that happens a lot. The second time I rebuilt the head, a few days after the first time (it took that long to get the parts), I replaced the entire pump unit. The pump unit was cheaper than the rebuild kit. (It took a little googling, but I found a place that sold the pump unit very reasonable.) The time it took to change the pump unit was much less than the time it took to rebuild the sucker. I haven't had any further trouble with the head. It's been about 4 years now.

Perhaps my Jabsco's reliability is due to that I live aboard and that it gets used every day.
 
Jan 10, 2009
590
PDQ 32 Deale, MD
Geez..... what's with the 3rd degree? Did you have something to contribute or were you just interested in grilling Steve.

By the way, "antidotal" may be misused in your analogy. Look it up in the dictionary. I believe you meant to use "anecdotal"... which would refer to something based on personal experience or random observation.... rather than "analytical" - systematic scientific observation.
My sincere apology to Steve, if it seemed that way. I was simply trying to say that I wanted to talk about the joker valves and not drift towards a "Jabsco is lame" thread. Jabsco is definitely built to a price point, but the question was, if the parts are interchangeable, which joker valve is best.

And my spelling stinks. Thank you for the grammatical correction; I'm certain I've made that one too often, most probably to my silent embarrassment.

_________________

Back to the topic.

I have used a Raritan joker valve in my Jabsco. I wasn't really interested in the comparison at the time, only that it worked, so I can only observe that it seemed about the same. Since I have measured the opening side-by-side; no question, the Jabsco opens about 20% more area, based upon what it will pass. But I wouldn't infer from a single measurement that it is "better." It seems to be made of the same polymer as Raritan, but a slightly softer formulation. The Groco valve seems to be a different polymer.
 
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