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Using a Marine Head (Toilet)

Operating Instructions for Jabsco Manual Marine Toilet 

 

The following instructions are adapted from http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/document.do?docId=769

The toilet is one of the most used pieces of equipment on your boat. Correct operation of the toilet is essential for the safety and comfort of your crew and craft.

NOTE: Do not put anything in the toilet unless you have eaten it first, except toilet paper. Do not put in: Sanitary Towels, Baby wipes, Dental floss, Tampons, Wet Strength Tissues, Cotton Wool, Cigarettes, Matches, Chewing Gum or any solid objects, Petrol, Diesel, Oil, Solvents of any kind or water more than hand hot.

How to use:

Before use, ensure that there is enough water in the bowl to prevent the toilet paper becoming compacted at the bottom of the bowl.

If the bowl is empty, move the Flush Control Lever to the Open () position and pump the handle up and down until the flushing pump is primed and water enters the bowl.

Operate the pump with long, smooth strokes for efficient and easy operation.

Then Shut () the Flush Control.

(Alternately, fresh water can also be added using the nearby hand shower).

During use, pump in the position as necessary to keep the contents of the bowl low enough for comfort.

Use good quality hard or soft household toilet paper, but do not use more than necessary. Excess toilet paper is the main cause of malfunctions.  Many offshore sailors use baby wipes and dispose of them and/or toilet paper in a plastic bag rather than down the toilet.

After use, keep the Flush Control Shut () and pump until the bowl is empty.

When the bowl is empty, Open () the Flush Control again, and pump ten full strokes.

Then Shut () the Flush Control and pump until the bowl is empty.

Always leave the bowl empty when underway to minimise odour and spillage.  When at dock or when leaving the boat, empty the bowl, running in four inches or so of fresh water is good practise.

When the toilet is not in actual use and when underway, ensure the control is left in the  shut () position.

Warning: The toilets are connected to through-hull fittings that are below the waterline.  If the toilet or pipework is damaged, water may flood in, causing the boat to sink.

If there is any reason to think that such damage might occur, the toilet seacocks should be closed. In case of water leaks, closing both seacocks (lower right)is the first course of action to stop the flow.

Ensure that ALL users understand how to operate the toilet system correctly and safely, including seacocks.
 

Cleaning: Do NOT use aggressive chemical agents such as Acetone or Bleach because plastic parts may crack and the enamel coating on the seat and lid may blister.

To clean the bowl, use fresh water and the brush under the vanity.

To clean the rest of the toilet, including the seat and lid, wipe down with fresh water only.

CAUTION: Do not use abrasive pads on any part of the toilet and do not use cleaning agents.

Emptying the Holding Tanks

The preferred method of emptying the black water (sewage) tanks when near shore and facilities are available, is to use a pump-out station at a marina.  Check here for sites: http://atlas.georgiastrait.org/node/838

To pump out:

tie up securely at the pump-out station,

locate the waste caps on deck above each head. 

unscrew one cap using the key located in the nav station.

attach the pump-out suction hose

run the pump until nothing more comes out

Optional backflush: for best purging of the tanks and to remove any toilet paper which may linger, open the through-hull seacock momentarily to allow seawater to rise up into the tank until it appears in the pumpout hose. Close the seacock. continue to run the pump until nothing more comes out

turn off the pump

screw on the waste cap

proceed to the other tank, repeat the process, and screw on the cap

return the pump-out hose to the dock.

Oftentimes, however, discharge at sea is far more convenient, and sometimes necessary if the tanks are nearly full.  This is permissible in Canadian waters under certain conditions, listed below.

To empty the holding tanks at Sea

In Washington State waters. "Discharge of untreated sewage is illegal in Puget Sound, and in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It is only allowed if you are three or more nautical miles off Washington’s outer Pacific coast." See

Canadian Regulations for Sidney Area:
from http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/tp-tp1332-appendix2-1582.htm

129. (1) The discharge of sewage from a ship is authorized if...

(parts inapplicable to Cassiopeia omitted)

(ii) the discharge is made at a distance of at least 3 nautical miles from shore while the ship is en route at the fastest practicable speed, or

(iii) if it is not practicable to comply with subparagraph (ii) because the ship is located in waters that are less than 6 nautical miles from shore to shore, the discharge is made while the ship is en route at a speed of at least 4 knots or, if it is not practicable at that speed, at the fastest practicable speed

(A) into the deepest waters that are located the farthest from shore during an ebb tide, or

(B) into the deepest and fastest moving waters that are located the farthest from shore.

(2) The discharge of sewage authorized in accordance with paragraphs (1)(a) and (b) and subparagraphs (1)(c)(iii), (d)(iii) and (e)(i) shall not

(a) cause a film or sheen to develop on or cause a discoloration of the water or its adjoining shorelines;

(b) cause sewage sludge or an emulsion to be deposited beneath the surface of the water or upon its adjoining shorelines; and

(c) be such that the sewage contains any visible solids.

(3) The discharge of sewage authorized in accordance with subparagraphs (1)(c)(i) and (ii), (d)(i) and (ii) and (e)(ii) and (iii) shall not cause visible solids to be deposited upon the shoreline.

(4) In the case of a ship referred to in subparagraph 1(e)(iii), the discharge is not authorized if a reception facility is available to receive the sewage.

To empty the holding tanks at Sea

  • Ensure that the conditions above are met

  • Post a watch at the helm to ensure safe navigation while distracted below

  • Locate and open the appropriate seacock in each head

  • Wait a few minutes

  • Pump some water through the toilet if any residue is suspected in its tank

  • Be sure to close the seacocks when done.

  • Do not discharge waste in anchorages, marinas or near towns or beaches.

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While the information provided here is believed to be correct at time of publication, errors are possible
and things may change, so readers should verify details before making important decisions.

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