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Head-Mate Wilcox-Crittenden Pump Assembly

Mar 16, 2018
25
Catalina 310 202 Carlyle, IL
Ahoy Fellow Sailors, I'm looking for a Pump Assembly for a Head-mate Wilcox Crittenden Marine Head for my 2002 Catalina 310. Specifically, I need the Water Inlet Housing cover, part # 37321, but will buy the entire assembly if needed. Thanks!
 
Dec 2, 1997
7,659
- - LIttle Rock
It may be time for a new toilet. Thetford bought W-C about 10 years ago and promptly discontinued the entire product line. Replacement parts and rebuild kits remained available only until they ran out of 'em in inventory. By now you'd be lucky to find even a pump assembly gathering dust on a retailer's shelf somewhere, which is the only thing you should do, 'cuz as old as yours has to be, it's past time for a new pump anyway...7-9 years is the average lifespan for a Headmate before parts that never were in the kit begin to fail. You should be able to go with a "conversion" (pump assembly and base), which lets you keep your bowl, seat and lid, which saves you a bunch of money.

--Peggie
 

jviss

.
Feb 5, 2004
4,228
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
Holy cow, mark this day in your calendar, I agree with @Peggie Hall HeadMistress on this! I got 17 years out of my Head Mate without rebuilding it, and it was original to the boat, so 34 years when I sold the boat. I gave the new owner the rebuild kit that was on board when I bought the boat. I think it was time for a rebuild. But I think Peggy and I agreed mine was an unusual case.

For an inexpensive head you can't go far wrong with a Jabsco; you can buy the whole ting for $130, and a spare pump assembly for $90. If you want something that lasts, listen to Peggy. If it fits I might replace my Jabsco with the Groco K-H, 'though its street price is about $1,100.
 
Mar 16, 2018
25
Catalina 310 202 Carlyle, IL
It may be time for a new toilet. Thetford bought W-C about 10 years ago and promptly discontinued the entire product line. Replacement parts and rebuild kits remained available only until they ran out of 'em in inventory. By now you'd be lucky to find even a pump assembly gathering dust on a retailer's shelf somewhere, which is the only thing you should do, 'cuz as old as yours has to be, it's past time for a new pump anyway...7-9 years is the average lifespan for a Headmate before parts that never were in the kit begin to fail. You should be able to go with a "conversion" (pump assembly and base), which lets you keep your bowl, seat and lid, which saves you a bunch of money.

Thanks Peggie. What can you tell me about a conversion? I see other pump assemblies on line, e.g., the JABSCO pump. How do I know what will fit?

Thanks,

Brian
 
Mar 16, 2018
25
Catalina 310 202 Carlyle, IL
Thanks Peggie. What can you tell me about a conversion? I see other pump assemblies on line, e.g., the JABSCO pump. How do I know what will fit?

Thanks,

Brian
 

JRT

.
Feb 14, 2017
1,806
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
My head was upgraded to a Ratin PHII pump and kept the bowl. Mine is due for replacement and the discharge hoses so that will be my winter project. I already ordered a replacement pump assembly and will order new hose in the fall. I figure since the hose is original and the pump was replaced in 2007 they owe me nothing. The 310 is such a nice boat that cutting corners is a terrible idea.
 
Last edited:
Dec 2, 1997
7,659
- - LIttle Rock
A Raritan PHII pump shouldn't be due for replacement after only 13 years...they typically last up to 25 years if they're kept well lubricated, the joker valve is replaced annually and gets a rebuild kit every 5-6 years. Even if you've neglected it, I strongly suspect that a rebuild kit is all yours needs to make it work like new again for at least another 10 years. As for repairs...the air valve (that little square "nut" with hole in the center that's on the front of dry-flush valve housing is about the the only part a PHII ever needs that isn't in the kit.

Hose is another matter. 10 years is the average working life of any hose 'cuz rubber and plastics dry out over time, becoming hard, brittle and prone to cracking and splitting. So it's definitely time for new hoses. Raritan SaniFlex has proven to be 100% odor permeation resistant, and has the added advantage of being so flexible it can be bent like a hairpin without kinking, which makes installing it a LOT easier than with other hoses. List price is about $14/ft...you can find it on sale for <$9.

--Peggie
 
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JRT

.
Feb 14, 2017
1,806
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
I agree @Peggie Hall HeadMistress but mine from the previous owner was 5+ years, did no maintenance and has some other issues. For me I just want to have new parts and systems entirely. The 310 is such a nice boat I just can't cheap out on her. Oh and I plan to use Raritan SaniFlex per your years recommendations!
 
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KZW

.
May 17, 2014
704
Catalina 310 #307 Bluewater Bay, FL
I also replaced the WC with a Raritan PHII pump and kept the bowl. I, in no way, can be described as a mechanic, and I found the installation straight forward. It took two hours to get the old system out and the Raritan in. Works just fine.
 
Nov 16, 2017
26
Catalina 310 #246 TX
I also replaced the WC with a Raritan PHII pump and kept the bowl. I, in no way, can be described as a mechanic, and I found the installation straight forward. It took two hours to get the old system out and the Raritan in. Works just fine.
Was there much hole patching?
 

KZW

.
May 17, 2014
704
Catalina 310 #307 Bluewater Bay, FL
This is my install, there is no evidence of hole patching

View attachment 181611
Looks just like my installation. Drilled four holes, and plugged the W-C holes with Marine-Tex. They are covered by the Raritan installation. At the same time, I re-plumbed for fresh water flush. That took longer than the Raritan installation.
 

KZW

.
May 17, 2014
704
Catalina 310 #307 Bluewater Bay, FL
Rationale for a freshwater flush is to reduce orders from dead critters in raw seawater.

Important: No water from the head can possibly contaminate the fresh water supply.


I plumbed the head for a freshwater flush when I installed the Raritan PHII pump assembly.
Picture 1 shows the plumbing under the head sink before the modification. Note the head sink drain running to the seacock that empties the sink. Picture 2 shows the T connection I put in. It is just above the seacock. The T line (white hose in picture) goes to the Raritan pump water inlet in place of the raw water inlet which is plugged so that it can be put back in a pinch. Note the line runs up to the top of the sink cabinet, then outside through the access hole that was already there to the Raritan pump. It is important that the line get above the the level of water you will put in the sink. In that manner, no water from the sink discharge will go to the Raritan unless you want it to. Opening the seacock will empty both lines.
To run water to the Raritan, ensure the seacock is closed, turn on the freshwater pump and fill the sink about 1/3 to half full. Turn off fresh water pump. Pump away with the Raritan. Water in the sink empties and goes into the head bowl. Works just fine.

Note: Not my idea. Stole this from another post way back in the forum,
 

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Dec 2, 1997
7,659
- - LIttle Rock
I suspect the post you "stole" this idea from was one of mine...I "stole" it sometime in the mid-90s from a customer whose Tartan was plumbed this way by the builder and have been recommending it and even included it in both of my books as the solution to intake odor problems ever since. And the toilet doesn't have to be a Raritan...any manual toilet or sea water electric toilet can be teed into the sink drain line.

You have to be an engineer 'cuz only an engineer would feel the need to improve what's actually a very simple bit of plumbing. I'm reminded of a fun bit about engineers: To normal people, if it ain't broke don't fix it...to an engineer, if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet! :)

The T line (white hose in picture) goes to the Raritan pump water inlet in place of the raw water inlet which is plugged so that it can be put back in a pinch.
A zillion boat owners and even a few boat builders have plumbed their toilets this way...none have ever needed to reconnect the original flush water inlet line from the thru-hull. So feel free to remove it, freeing up that thru-hull for something else you're actually likely to use...a washdown pump maybe?

It is important that the line get above the the level of water you will put in the sink. In that manner, no water from the sink discharge will go to the Raritan unless you want it to.
I'm not quite sure what that means. You don't have to worry about water from the sink being pulled into the toilet unless you're simultaneously pumping the toilet and draining the sink. Because the tee is below waterline, the toilet will always pull in sea water unless the seacock is closed. Any gray water that hasn't made it out of the thru-hull that gets mixed with the sea water will be too diluted to matter.

Btw...you're in FL so you'll never need to winterize...but for those who do, plumbing the toilet this way makes winterizing the whole system a lot easier than disconnecting the head intake line from the thru-hull to stick it into a jug of antifreeze...just pour the antifreeze down the sink--with the thru-hull closed of course!--and flush to get it into the intake line, pump, channel in the rim of the bowl AND the holding tank.

--Peggie
 

KZW

.
May 17, 2014
704
Catalina 310 #307 Bluewater Bay, FL
Peggie,

The system is not operated with the seacock open. It is operated with the seacock closed. That seacock is ALWAYS closed except for those times when one wants to empty the sink. You fill the sink with water with the seacock closed. If the seacock were open, it would just run out. Fresh water is fed to the Raritan pump from the sink via the white hose in the picture.
 
Dec 2, 1997
7,659
- - LIttle Rock
It's designed to use sea water unless you choose to use fresh. That's why the tee needs to be below waterline as close to the seacock as possible. You're certainly welcome to use fresh water all the time--and some people do. But most people--especially those who don't carry enough fresh water to flush at least a couple of gallons a day of it down the toilet---opt to use it as it's actually designed to be used: using their fresh water only to rinse the sea water out of the entire sanitation system before closing up the boat and/or after being in skanky waters, preventing the odor created by stagnant sea water left to sit in the intake line.

--Peggie
 

KZW

.
May 17, 2014
704
Catalina 310 #307 Bluewater Bay, FL
I don't cruise for more than a week at a time and that is usually less than once per year. I only did three over-nighters last year. Where I sail, water is readily available at marinas. AThe C-310 has a 50 gallon fresh water capacity, so use of fresh water flush isn't an issue. I carry drinking water, choosing to use the water in the boats water tanks for washing and cleaning up.
 
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