Calling Head Experts

Discussion in 'General Maintenance/Repair Questions' started by DWABoat, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. DWABoat

    DWABoat Member

    42
    Aug 13, 2019
    S Louisiana
    2001 280 Sundancer
    1989 220CC Cuddy Cabin
    Twin 4.3 w/Alpha Ones
    5.7 Mercruiser Alpha One
    New owner of a 2001 280DA with the Vacuflush system - no macerator.

    I am testing the system.

    I energize the boat water pump...all good, the water lines pressurize fine and the pump shuts off as expected.

    I put water in the bowl using the foot pedal..all good. Water stays in the bowl. No leak down until I got tired of watching.

    I energize the head system on the main panel and turn on the key on the control in the head. Little panel reads “Empty” in green and the vacuum generator starts clunking away in the engine room.

    I say “clunking” because it makes more noise than I would expect, but have no experience with these systems. Is that normal?

    Vacuum generator runs for 38-40 seconds and shuts off. I did this four times after flushing and the time was the same each time. Is that about normal?

    The system remained in a vacuum for 8 minutes undisturbed then the vacuum pump started on its own and ran for about ten seconds before shutting off. Toilet flushed fine afterward. Is that amount of time before re-pulling a vacuum normal?

    While waiting and watching in the engine room after the vac pump shut off, about two minutes into my timing, I can hear low volume squeaks and little noises sounding like things moving inside the system. Is that normal?

    I realize there are four questions here. I am just hoping to get a baseline of expectations from you guys who have handled these for a long time.

    thank you for any information.
     
  2. The Bill Collector

    The Bill Collector Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    450 Sundancer
    3126 Cat's
    You have a vacuum leak somewhere... duckbill valves will be the most common thing, but there are also hose clamps etc that might need to be tightened. I solved my leak by using Noflex Digester over the layup last winter.
     
    Boaters Mate likes this.
  3. spikedaddy99

    spikedaddy99 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 11, 2008
    Prentice, Wi
    2005 500 DB
    QSM-11
    Once the vacuum has been reached, it should not come back on without either flushing, or a leak. If water stays in the bowl, but vacuum pump still comes on, you have a leak. 1st to replace (if you don't know the history) will be the duckbills. We just had to replace the seal holding the toilet itself to the boat as this finally stopped our pump running every 2 minutes or so.
     
  4. Korkie

    Korkie Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    596
    Feb 2, 2016
    Leonardtown, MD Potomac River / Chesapeake Bay
    340 Sundancer 2006, Garmin 7612, xHD Radome
    Merc 496 Mags
    Bravo III Drives
    Duckbills and it will only get worse. Change them out.
     
  5. Steve S

    Steve S Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    997
    Jun 5, 2007
    Northern IL.
    2000 400 Sedan Bridge with twin CAT 3116's

    2000 340 Sundancer - SOLD!
    210 Monaco 1987 - SOLD!
    Twin Caterpillar 3116's 350 HP straight drives
    If I had to describe the sound my vacuflush sounds like I would say that it clunked also. But then mine doesn’t run afterwards either.
     
  6. The Bill Collector

    The Bill Collector Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    450 Sundancer
    3126 Cat's
    We bought our boat in May '07, the PO had just replaced the valves within 6 mos of our purchase. The aft head was rock solid and the pump cycled only when flushed, the master head was more problematic and would cycle every several hours for a few seconds. I knew the valves had just been replaced so I never thought about replacing them. Last winter I used Noflex Digester and this past season the master head performed flawless (like the aft head) with only cycling if it was used.
     
  7. DWABoat

    DWABoat Member

    42
    Aug 13, 2019
    S Louisiana
    2001 280 Sundancer
    1989 220CC Cuddy Cabin
    Twin 4.3 w/Alpha Ones
    5.7 Mercruiser Alpha One
    Ok. Got it.
    No duck biflexor
    and
    Lots of dollar bills.

    seriously, I was afraid eight minutes was too short.

    I have the Noflex Digestor. I read the directions, but they were vague.

    do I just put it the bowl and flush? What is the best way to treat the system?
     
  8. DWABoat

    DWABoat Member

    42
    Aug 13, 2019
    S Louisiana
    2001 280 Sundancer
    1989 220CC Cuddy Cabin
    Twin 4.3 w/Alpha Ones
    5.7 Mercruiser Alpha One
    Oh, I will also start learning about duckbills!
     
  9. The Bill Collector

    The Bill Collector Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    450 Sundancer
    3126 Cat's
    For winter lay-up I wanted some in the tank and some in the lines to the tank so the first flush was with the head turned on and the second flush was with it off so the Noflex stayed in the system not running all the way to the tank...
     
  10. Korkie

    Korkie Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    596
    Feb 2, 2016
    Leonardtown, MD Potomac River / Chesapeake Bay
    340 Sundancer 2006, Garmin 7612, xHD Radome
    Merc 496 Mags
    Bravo III Drives
    Not real familiar with NoFlex, but make sure it will not freeze in your lines.
     
  11. The Bill Collector

    The Bill Collector Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    450 Sundancer
    3126 Cat's
    We are plugged in and heated... But yes if you are subject to freezing this wouldn't work.
     
  12. Ovmman

    Ovmman Member

    42
    Sep 16, 2016
    Great South Bay, Long Island
    2005 280 Sundancer with twin 4.3 engines, alpha 1 gen 2
    Twin 4.3 alpha 1 gen 2
    Sorry thought this was a Craigslist add
     
  13. Boaters Mate

    Boaters Mate New Member

    17
    Jun 9, 2018
    Four Winns 328 Express Cruiser 1999, SeaDoo Jet boat 14', inflatable dinghy with electric motor
    Dual Volvo Penta
    Thanks everyone for recognizing Noflex Digestor as the wonderful scale dissolving product it is! As the Amazon Seller for Noflex Digestor, here are the instructions for winterizing with Noflex. And as your fellow boaters said, it should clear out your sludge problem over the winter lay up. However, some duck bill issues are greater than others! I think some of you unfortunately know what I mean! Still its worth a try as many report great results!

    How to Use Noflex Digestor: Shut down-Leaving for More Than a Week Winterizing Instructions Pump out first, Pour 2 Tbs Noflex per 10 gallons tank capacity into the external pump out fitting followed by at least 5 gallons of RV Antifreeze, 2 Tbsp. to the toilet(s) flushed with a couple gallons RV Antifreeze only. Do not use auto antifreeze. ANTIFREEZE WINTERIZING WARNING! DO NOT USE AUTOMOBILE ANTIFREEZE, NOFLEX IS VERY COMPATIBLE WITH RV ANTIFREEZE ONLY! Liberal use of RV Antifreeze is OK- recommended.
    Buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07C7HRV4P

    Additionally we are pleased to announce our newest Toilet Bowl Cleaner
    INTRODUCING Zaal Toilet Bowl Cleaner - LUBRICATES SEALS
    Made by the same great manufacturer as Noflex.
    Introducing Zaal Toilet Bowl Cleaner with Uric Acid & Calcium Scale Remover Contains Lubricants to protect Seals, Duck Valves, Plastic Pipping, with a very light fresh scent.
    Get it on Amazon, Boaters Mate. Best to use TBC on days you are not using Noflex to avoid neutralizing the cleaner. You can leave TBC set in the bowl, wait until return to flush it.
    Find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DFBLKNG

    I am Kat from Boaters Mate, you can call me at 1-866-241-4518 or write to ez@boatersmate.com with any comments or questions. I'd love to hear from you.
     
    Chris-380 likes this.
  14. Boaters Mate

    Boaters Mate New Member

    17
    Jun 9, 2018
    Four Winns 328 Express Cruiser 1999, SeaDoo Jet boat 14', inflatable dinghy with electric motor
    Dual Volvo Penta
    Please use RV Antifreeze, the pink stuff. Do not use water or Automobile Antifreeze when shutting down over the winter. It is safe to use the pink stuff. Kathy Boaters Mate, Noflex Digestor Zaal distributer 1-866-241-4518 (paid sponsor)
     
  15. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    IMG_4230.JPG While there is a lot that can go on with VacuFlush heads, they work well when maintained by the book. When we sold our boat it was 14 years old. The head was still all original and had extensive use every year. All we did was maintain it exactly as prescribed. A large part of the regime is doing a very good job with pump outs and storing it with just residual amounts of clean waste water in the holding tank so hoses do not begin to smell.
     
    Boaters Mate likes this.
  16. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Yeah, when I first saw the thread title I was going to give the OP my old girlfriend's phone number. She was maybe not an expert but was purty darn good.
     
  17. DWABoat

    DWABoat Member

    42
    Aug 13, 2019
    S Louisiana
    2001 280 Sundancer
    1989 220CC Cuddy Cabin
    Twin 4.3 w/Alpha Ones
    5.7 Mercruiser Alpha One
    You know, I’m new to the forum. When I made the title I hesitated. I thought further to myself, “Surely this forum is comprised of mature, responsible, serious adults only concerned about educating novices like me. I can post this title with confidence that not one single member will chuckle quietly to themselves.” :)
     
  18. Soulshine

    Soulshine Active Member

    398
    Sep 25, 2016
    Seneca Lake, NY
    '83 SRV 360 Express
    Twin Merc. 454
    Not only did I chuckle but it made me think I’d something that happened to me at Lowe’s recently.

    I bought a new navy style shower head with the push button shut off.

    The LED stalk on the register said “INCREDIBLE HEAD - $6.99” when the cashier scanned the package.

    She smiled and said “Not a bad deal”.
     

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