S/V Hello World's Travel Log

Dear Jabsco,

Thank you for manufacturing the cheapest toilets out there, but your products are supposed to dispose of crap, not be crap.

Hello World

Well, we finally dumped the ol' Jabsco in the trash. It was a long time coming. We decided while in Mexico that we will never allow Rule/Jabsco products on the boat any longer. We still have 1 residual toilet in the aft head, but it's been out of commission longer than I can remember. Therein lies the issue. They're cheap, yes, and you get what you pay for. Even after downsizing to one head so we could cannibalize parts in Mexico, our one working toilet still leaked because of cracks in the cheapo plastic, important parts breaking off, etc. We tried to convince all guests aboard Hello World that the leak was in the inlet hose (not the poo hose!) - I'm not sure anyone ever really believed us.

ANYWAY. Enough of my rant. We got a new Lavac!

Not only is it pretty, it doesn't leak. Also? It works. The mechanics are amazingly simple. The installation, as with any head, were a bit of a pain in the a**, but it's finally in and we can invite people over without embarrassment :)

A few lessons that I learned:
  1. I feel like I finally got the hang of removing and installing sanitary hose (I know, this is exciting stuff). The secret?? KY Jelly on the inside of the hose and the outside of whatever you're putting it on. Then add heat (both the heat gun and the hairdryer worked well). I had tried these options separately before, but together, that's the ticket. Now we can be embarrassed about guests finding our KY Jelly, instead of our leaky head...

  2. As much as I love that the hoses are hidden with our bulkhead mounted pump, it was a serious hassle to install and it will be a hassle to take apart if ever we need to take it apart. I'm still happy we went with the hidden hoses, but I had a different opinion this past weekend. I'm bi-polar like that.

  3. The key that no one ever writes about? When installing a Lavac, it requires a tiny hole at the top of the inlet hose loop so the vacuum will release. The size of this hole determines the amount of water left in the bowl. That much is well documented. What they don't tell you is that if that inlet line doesn't go straight to the toilet (ours dips to the floor then back up to the toilet), that hole needs to be at the highest point just before the toilet. Normal people wouldn't run their hoses this way, but we wanted to use existing holes in the cabinetry.

  4. And finally, thanks to some advice from our friends on s/v Former Pisces, we rummaged through the lockers and found some canned goods that we will never eat. Instead of testing the head with real "product", we used this stuff (which may actually be nastier). This way, if there was a leak or a problem, we're not dealing with even more poo.

Jamon de Diablo - Ham of the Devil. Maybe I was drunk when I bought that? I don't know what I was thinking...

Anyway, all things considered, it was a "relatively" easy job (maybe because I'm comparing this to the aforementioned fridge project). Only 3 trips to Fisheries, 3 trips to the hardware store and about 2 days of swearing. So far, that's about 42 times easier than the fridge project...which is nowhere close to done.

You didn't think we'd do an entire post about the head without the obligatory plumbers butt picture, did you?


Sabrina and Tom said...

Well done! Yay for you! Although you made it sound way easier than it probably was.

Naomi said...

HURRAY!! I ♥ Lavac! So glad this went well. I think it is my favorite upgrade done by our boat's PO. Enjoy. PS...FYI, in the toilet biz, I believe they would call your canned food product - MEDIA. Yup. Don't ask me how I know.

Jason said...

Hey Renova! I'm gawking at your blog wishing we were out there where you are. I can't in a million years imagine you're wishing you were here. :)

Treat our blog as a cautionary tale to what happens when you come back to real life and stay out there as long as you can! Great pictures. Made my morning.