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 Post subject: New Head for Betty Lou
PostPosted: 22 Feb 2015 02:05 
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Skipper

Joined: 10 Nov 2006 22:56
Posts: 171
Location: Portland, Oregon
I just replaced the OEM Wilcox Crittenden head and all the plumbing except the holding tank. I wanted to go with a composting head, but after trying to fit cardboard templates of three different brands, came to the conclusion that our head space just won't accommodate a composter. Then at the Seattle boat show I looked at the Vacuflush system, but there is no possible way to fit the vacuum tank and pump in the space under the sink. I finally settled on a manual Levac vacuum head, and am really happy with the choice.

It was still challenging to fit the separate diaphragm pump inside the sink cabinet and make the hose bends. I simplified the plumbing, eliminating two diverter valves and the head to direct overboard option in the process. Everything goes to the holding tank, and then can be pumped out to the deck fitting or to the thru hull via a macerator pump.

This job was way overdue, as both diverter valves were stuck in position, and the 1.5" hoses were so calcified that their ID was reduced by half. You can imagine, the new system is a huge improvement. The diaphragm pump is a 16.5 GPM Whale, and really moves the water thru the system. Levac claims it uses about 5 pints per flush, but I think we'll have to be careful we don't fill the holding tank too fast with over-enthusiastic flushing. The head is pretty sleek since the pump is separate, making for a much more comfortable throne and a simple clean appearance.

There are some downsides the this installation:
  • It will probably take a good hour to get the pump out of the cabinet for major maintenance. There IS a inspection port that screws off by hand for clearing clogs, but for major rebuilds the pump will have to be pulled out.
  • The pump handle has to be removed to use the head, and replaced to flush. Not a huge deal given the much better performance, reliability and clean look, but it will be an irritation..

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Later,

Jay

_________________
Jay and Muki Kerr
Tartan 37 Betty Lou (formerly Rainbow)
Hull # 118, fin keel
St. Helens, OR
Betty Lou's Blog


 
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 Post subject: Re: New Head for Betty Lou
PostPosted: 20 Oct 2015 12:40 
Offline
Rail Meat

Joined: 27 Jun 2013 09:53
Posts: 3
I installed a Nature's Head brand composting toilet into my 1978 T37 last Spring and it has worked out very well. I tried everything short of a new head to get rid of the smell but nothing worked. Finally I ripped out the whole system and went with a composting toilet. Pros and Cons:

Pros:

No more odor, almost. There is a slight ammonia smell for a few hours after a #2. Nowhere near as bad as the chronic fecal smell of the holding tank and waste lines.
No more pump outs. 2 people aboard using the head everyday lasts for 3 weeks.
Fairly easy to empty, no fecal smells. Convenient Urine container.
Extra storage space under the port side v-berth bunk once the holding tank is removed.
No more chemicals.


Cons:

The throne is a little high. Have to climb on it and plant feet on the ledge on either side of the head.


 
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 Post subject: Re: New Head for Betty Lou
PostPosted: 21 Oct 2015 16:06 
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Skipper

Joined: 10 Nov 2006 22:56
Posts: 171
Location: Portland, Oregon
How about a photo or two of your installation. How did you route the exhaust hose?

_________________
Jay and Muki Kerr
Tartan 37 Betty Lou (formerly Rainbow)
Hull # 118, fin keel
St. Helens, OR
Betty Lou's Blog


 
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 Post subject: Re: New Head for Betty Lou
PostPosted: 22 Oct 2015 09:38 
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Rail Meat

Joined: 27 Jun 2013 09:53
Posts: 3
If I remember, I will take a picture next time I'm at the boat.

I routed the exhaust hose through the cabin top at the furthest point port and aft in the head cabin. Installed a Vetus ss vent through the cabin top.


 
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 Post subject: Re: New Head for Betty Lou
PostPosted: 01 Nov 2015 11:31 
Offline
Rail Meat

Joined: 29 Jun 2013 09:23
Posts: 13
I'm going to pull everything out the beginning of our next season (jan-may). The boss hates the smell. I find it annoying as well but could live w/ it. I believe it's the tank, vent, and possibly the hoses that are way up above the locker just below the deck. where they've never been replaced.

I'm going to get a custom tank, top fittings! I'll have two out fittings so I can get rid of the Y valve. That way I can have a macerator just for the over board thru hole, and a straight shot to deck pump out.

In addition we are going to go w/ a jabsco or thetford electric flush. We recently helped a buddy move his boat from st. thomas to ft lauderdale and LOVED his head.

We both also noticed no odor.

The whole conversion should be under 1200. I'm praying this is the last head conversion we do.

wish us luck.


 
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 Post subject: Re: New Head for Betty Lou
PostPosted: 21 May 2020 06:45 
Offline
Midshipman

Joined: 09 Nov 2011 07:22
Posts: 64
dtelep wrote:
I installed a Nature's Head brand composting toilet into my 1978 T37 last Spring and it has worked out very well. I tried everything short of a new head to get rid of the smell but nothing worked. Finally I ripped out the whole system and went with a composting toilet. Pros and Cons:

Pros:

No more odor, almost. There is a slight ammonia smell for a few hours after a #2. Nowhere near as bad as the chronic fecal smell of the holding tank and waste lines.
No more pump outs. 2 people aboard using the head everyday lasts for 3 weeks.
Fairly easy to empty, no fecal smells. Convenient Urine container.
Extra storage space under the port side v-berth bunk once the holding tank is removed.
No more chemicals.


Cons:

The throne is a little high. Have to climb on it and plant feet on the ledge on either side of the head.



So this was a 2013 post. How do you like it now?


 
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 Post subject: Re: New Head for Betty Lou
PostPosted: 25 May 2020 08:02 
Offline
Rail Meat

Joined: 21 May 2020 10:35
Posts: 6
That would be nice to know. Odors often come from hoses that have broken down. Like most things on boats, lack of use and improper layup causes a ton of problems.


 
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