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Thread: Toilet impeller replacement

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  1. #1
    Senior Member GoVols's Avatar
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    Toilet impeller replacement

    I have 2 Raritan Crown heads on my boat that havenít functioned quite right since I bought it nearly 2 seasons ago. I know these have impellers in them to suction the water out of the lake and into the heads and I know impellers have a life expectancy. I went through all the fittings over the weekend to check for air leaks. I checked for blockages and then tightened everything down again, but Iím still losing prime. After lots of test flushing Iíve determined my air leak is coming from inside the toilet itself. I fear the impeller has stiffened or shrunk due to nonuse over the winter. My neighbor had the same thing happen to his marine head in his cruiser and is suggesting I buy an impeller replacement kit. My boat is 6 years old now, so I suppose itís time.

    Other reasons I believe itís worn out are we keep getting sewer odor inside the boat. I believe the holding tank is venting past the impeller and into the toilet itself. Also, the toilets vibrate pretty darn good when itís flushing, which indicates something is off balance.

    Have any of you done this type of repair?
    '06 Sailabration located on Percy Priest Lake

    Bet On Another Thousand

  2. #2
    Senior Member 42gibson's Avatar
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    i've never done the raritan but i've done several jadsco's. its pretty simple and the kit comes with directions.the worst part for me was getting the pump unhooked and out.
    44 gibson executive
    on the muskingum river & ohio river
    marietta,ohio

  3. #3
    Senior Member GoVols's Avatar
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    Tell me if this makes sense. I called a local Raritan parts supplier that was listed on Raritan’s website. This company tells me that Raritan no longer offers the impeller any longer and I must update my intake pump to the latest design, which they’ll happily sell me for $260 each. He said it converts the system from an impeller to a diaphragm pump, which is virtually maintenance free for life. My toilets are 2005 models. You mean to tell me I can’t buy a lousy $30 impeller for it anymore?! I’m calling BS on this. If this is truly the case, I’m calling the Better Business Bureau on this outfit. There’s no excuse. Automotive is obligated to offer repair parts for at least 10 years past the last manufacture date, so why would there be no available impellers. It’s not like the impellers are difficult to make in the first place! Surely someone makes a knock off of the impeller if Raritan doesn’t have the decency to make the repair parts. This is highly disappointing.
    '06 Sailabration located on Percy Priest Lake

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  4. #4
    Senior Member easttnboater's Avatar
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    I have had several Crown heads, so I understand more about them than I want. I just replaced both of them on my boat with Marine Elegance toilets. A couple of things:

    1. Your holding tank is not venting past your intake impellers into your cabin. The two sides of your toilet are not connected that way. Your sanitation hoses may be permeated. You can either smell them directly or take a rag soaked in warm water, place it on the hose for several minutes, then smell the rag. If the hoses are permeated, then you will need to replace them.
    2. Your intake impellers are not intended to hold prime. If you have good water flow into your toilets, then the impellers are OK.
    3. There is a check valve - a spring with a rubber ball - in the housing that holds the impeller that supposed to hold prime. They tend to get stuck. If you look opposite from where your water line comes in, you can see a plug that you can unscrew to get to the spring and ball. Pull it out and look at it.

    Even if the check ball looks OK, there is only so much that it can do. It is at the end of the water line and is trying to hold the water in the line by suction. If you use your boat, cruising down the lake can literally suck the water out of the line. If you do not have strainers on the incoming water line, then debris can get in there. I eventually put in strainers and inline check valves right after the strainers to keep the prime.

    They naturally vibrate some when they are used. They are also loud - the noise actually comes from the intake impellers, not from the macerator. If they are vibrating a lot, then someone probably put something in there that they should not have and it is wrapped up in the macerator blades. To see that, you will need to pull the round cover off of the front of the toilet. This is not a pleasant job if you are squeamish.

    I have quite a few spare parts for the Crown heads that I replaced. If you want some parts send me a private message and I will see if I have what you need.
    Last edited by easttnboater; 05-14-2013 at 06:07 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member GoVols's Avatar
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    I got hold of one of the Raritan engineers in New Jersey. He's confident my toilet design already has the diaphram style pump and not the impeller design. I will have to pull the toilets over the weekend to confirm. They make a diaphram rebuild kit for $50, which I will likely have to buy. Because he's sure I have the diaphram pump, he didn't address the availability of the replacement impellers.

    My toilets have the strainers on the intake, but some idiot installed the check valves in front of the strainers! After a coulple of months of owning the boat, I discovered this and cleaned out the cloged intake hoses and the check valves. This became a very regular issue, so I have since taken the spring and the ball out of the check valves. Honestly, I haven't noticed a difference in the toilets' performance with or without them check valves. I think it's just due to poor placement and long intake runs. I'll have to move the check valve eventually to the opposite side of the strainer. I may even move the strainer and the check valves to the compartment under the guest cabin bed where the water supply comes out of the pontoon. At any rate, I think the toilets are losing their prime by draining down the toilet, not back to the lake throught the water inlet. Water is pulled up past the height of the boat's floor and then runs down hill to the toilet and down to the holding tank.... Damn, I'm convincing myself to rebuild the entire toilet plumbing. The wife will be so happy to hear of this project. *sarcasm*

    I am positive that the hoses under the boat going to the holding tank are permiating. I fear all sorts of evil from replacing those! I must swim under the boat and pull the lines down, which means I will be swiming with whatever is inside those hoses...... I'm trembling as I type this. God help me!
    '06 Sailabration located on Percy Priest Lake

    Bet On Another Thousand

  6. #6
    Senior Member easttnboater's Avatar
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    If you want to spend the money, convert to the Marine Elegance toilets.

    Either way, replace as much of the hose as possible with PVC pipe.

  7. #7
    Senior Member GoVols's Avatar
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    Hey EastTN! You seem to be well-versed in this area. You care to come down to Nashvegas and show me how to do all this? I love to learn by watching. There's a case of beer in it for you...
    '06 Sailabration located on Percy Priest Lake

    Bet On Another Thousand

  8. #8
    Senior Member easttnboater's Avatar
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    NFW. I have replaced too many of them on my own boats. The Marine Elegance is many steps up from the Crown - about $700 depending on what controls you buy.

    Using 1 1/2 PVC is cheaper and quicker than using the hose. Put a couple of no-hub couplings in there and it will alleviate any vibration problems. And, the best part is that PVC will never permeate.

  9. #9
    Senior Member 42gibson's Avatar
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    i'm with easttnboater,what a mess. when i replaced all my hoses i ran enough bleach through them first to kill ANYTHING in them and it took all the odor out. it wasnt perfect but it was a whole lot better and remeber rubber gloves!
    44 gibson executive
    on the muskingum river & ohio river
    marietta,ohio

  10. #10
    Senior Member Stmbtwle's Avatar
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    The vibration may be caused by part of a paper towel or other product in the chopper part of the pump. Been there. Enjoy.

    I solved the prime problem on my old Jabsco by removing the integral impeller pump and installing a remote diaphragm pump below the water line where it cannot lose prime. The remote pump I used was a Shurflo "blaster" washdown pump. It has worked well (and quietly) for years now, in salt water. Might work for your Crown.
    She's a tired old barge but she's paid for... http://s71.beta.photobucket.com/user...24993.pbw.html

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