Upgrading the head to a fresh water electric head

On Last Affair, we installed a Raritan Elegance 12 volt macerating, flushing head. For anyone that has had to lean over the head after doing your business and pump the manual type head, knows that this is never the highlight of one’s day.
 What we liked so much about the flushing toilet was the fact that it would macerate, and was single button operation. We are believers in a backup system, so the other head had a manual Jabsco.

Turning off the seacocks and splicing water line

When we bought DreamChaser, we knew that we would be upgrading the forward head to the same system.  On Dream Chaser, however we also have a “elctraScan waste treatment system” on it, and they rely on the salt water from the ocean to help them treat waste.  So this took a bit of thinking to make sure we had planned all of the plumbing correctly, including a direct feed salt tank into the ElectraScan.  This was important because we wanted the head to use fresh water to flush.  For anyone with a head that pumps water from outside, you know that there are times when the boat is unused that the head will have an odor.  This happens from small bacteria and whatnot that gets pumped up into the head and then deteriorates over time causing a smell.

We started this project by turning off all seacocks and disconnecting the water intake hose, as well as
the discharge line.  I removed the small tube that runs from the pump to the back of the head (This is what pushes water down the sides of the bowl during a flush).  Disconnect the 4 bolts that hold the head down to the base.  I always pump the head in the dry position to empty as much water out as possible.  When I get ready to remove the head from the boat, I put the whole thing down into a trash bag, to keep any drips contained as it is carried out of the boat.

The next step was to plan the exact path for all of the wires, water intake, and waste discharge.  I use the template that comes with Raritan Elegance to drill the hold through base in the head.  I wanted to install this head with all of the plumbing hidden directly behind the porcelain bowl, so that it is not seen.  I also found the spot that I wanted to mount the electronic control panel (we chose the one that has 4 buttons and a tank level indicator light on it).

The next step is to mount the electronic control panel in a dry location that is not too far from the head.  I chose to mount it in the cabinet directly behind the head up high so it would not interfere with the storage that we use it for.  This allowed for short runs of wires to the head, as well as to the control panel.  With our installation, I chose to mount the ElectraScan control panel next to it, even though it is possible to program the system to automatically trigger the ElectraScan waste treatment cycle.  I wanted the controls near each other in the event we make a change to the head at some point down the road, we don’t have to run the control wires at that time.

connecting hoses with head loose

We then dry fitted the discharge line.  This required a run from the head, down under the head base, into a cabinet up to an anti siphon device just above the water line (Even at a heal angle), from the anti siphon to the holding tank.

I then connected the fresh water line to the head intake.  Remember always ensure you have a check valve to only allow flow in one direction in the event of any kind of problem.

I found it easier to connect the hoses to the back of the head before it was actually mounted down
onto the floor base.  Once all hoses and electrical lines were connected, I then connected the head to the base mounts.  This is actually a really challenging task.  The way the nuts are mounted into the brackets require that when inserting the bolt through the head and into the bracket, it is easy for the nut to come dislodged from the bracket.

Connecting all wires

This requires you to lift the head up again, put the nut back in place and start the process over again.   I found the easiest way to do it, short of ask Deb to do so with her small fingers, was to put some tape on the back of the nut and be very cautious that when you start to put the bolt in,  you only turn clockwise.  If you turn a partial turn counter clockwise, it will pop the nut out of it’s slot.

With power and all control panel wires connected, it was now time to test the head.  It is always a great moment when the head fills with water, you hear the swoosh of the flush, and then the preprogrammed amount of water refills the base of the head.  With that, we now have the new head installed and couldn’t be happier with it.   It works great, but I must tell you, I still have some learning to do on the combo head, holding tank, electra scan, discharge pump or deck flush port.

See out Interior Projects Page for a video on how to do a similar project.

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