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Joker valve substitute for Thetford Headmate

Mar 17, 2017
Catalina 28 MK2 Toronto harbour
Hello all. I have a 2005 Catalina 28 Mk II with a Thetford HeadMate Model 37001. I don't know if this was the factory head, I'd be curious to know. It's working fine but I keep reading here from Peggy that I should be changing the Joker valve every couple of years and I've never done it, having owned the boat for 6 years. True we try not to use it much and we are in Canada so our season is short.

I read somewhere that there are no aftermarket Joker valves for this manufacturer but that there are some Jabsco that fit.

Can anyone give me some first hand knowledge?
Feb 20, 2011
Island Packet 35 Tucson, AZ/San Carlos, MX
Can anyone give me some first hand knowledge?
Dec 2, 1997
- - LIttle Rock
Can anyone give me some first hand knowledge?
I can... First a little background on your toilet. The Headmate was a Wilcox-Crittenden compact toilet...Thetford bought W-C and continued making them for only a couple of years--or maybe even just put their name on the inventory till they ran out--then killed the whole W-C product line. It is the same toilet as the 1460 .So anything that pertains to a W-C Headmate also pertains to the ones with Thetford's name on 'em. I'm not able to find the owners manual online, but I do have one in my files that I can send you if you'll send me a PM that includes your email address (no way to attach anything to a PM). It's a pretty old scan, but readable.

Meanwhile, the Headmate has a 1.5" discharge so a Raritan, Groco or Jabsco 1.5" joker valve (I recommend the Raritan or the Groco) should fit. However, it's really time for a rebuild kit...that is, IF you can find one. If not, it's gonna be time for a new toilet soon. You can delay that by keeping it VERY well lubricated.

If you have my book (if you don't, you should), find the chapter "Joker Valve 101"...it explains why joker valves in manual toilet should be replaced at least annually.

Last edited:
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Feb 20, 2011
Island Packet 35 Tucson, AZ/San Carlos, MX
What the...?!