Ongoing Head Challenge …

So we solved the smell finally but I noticed something still wasn’t quite right with our Raritan PHII head.  It became immediately clear when I added some of the smelly blue tank chemical to the bowl and pumped.  The blue stuff was coming out the TOP holes in the bowl…. illustrating that we were still getting waste water mixing with the salt water intake.

The infamous O Ring

The infamous O Ring

WHAT?  No way “waste” water can get in – we’ve replaced the joker valve twice now.  Both of us were beyond frustrated and I called Raritan Tech Support in complete desperation.  (Raritan Tech Support 954-525-0378, Matt – or maybe Mack, didn’t get his name clearly).  Matt was a miracle worker.  He listened to the situation and said …

“There’s only ONE place in the entire PHII configuration where waste water and intake water can touch.  And that’s the O Ring inside the pump housing.  Have you changed the O Ring?”

That sent us digging in our spare parts for a new O Ring.  We found a used one fairly quickly, but that won’t do.  Finally we found a new one.  David began dismantling the pump once again and pulled out the offending O Ring.  It didn’t look bad at all, in fact it might look better than the new one.  Oh dear …

O Ring being put back inside the pump casing ... after lubrication with PTFE Magic Lube - or SuperLube -grease.

O Ring being put back inside the pump casing … after lubrication with PTFE Magic Lube – or SuperLube -grease.

But off with the old and in with the new – which would barely fit inside the pump housing!  The old one slid out with plenty of clearance … maybe, just maybe.  David lubed up the new O Ring with PTFE heavy duty grease and finally eased the O Ring back into the housing.  After putting it all back together, IT WORKED!

Being the pessimist I am (actually I’m NOT at all, but this head project was getting on both of our last nerves!), as soon as David left the boat, I poured more blue chemical crap in the bowl and flushed.  NO mixing!  No blue water, only clear salt water!

So hopefully this is the END of the END of this year’s head saga.  At least we know everything is new … and we don’t remember changing that O Ring since we bought an entirely new pump in 2012, so I guess it is 4 years old and maybe we should have changed it sooner.

The Culprit (otherwise known as The Head)

The Culprit (otherwise known as The Head)

Just one more thing to check if you’re having trouble with your head.  In retrospect, I wish I had poured the blue chemical into the bowl and pumped earlier, we would have immediately seen it coming out the bowl top and would have diagnosed the situation differently (with the help of Raritan Tech Support).

Anyone want 3/4 of a bottle of the blue crap chemical for the holding tank?  OdorLos and Raritan Kills Odors, the two I use are both relatively clear.  🙂   Cheers!  Jan


  1. Jim Shell says:

    Kinda makes you want to get a C-Head, doesn’t it?

  2. As to a C-head – I would, but my husband… not so much. He has a lot to say about things that I take care of ;->

    Anyway thanks for showing your Raritan PhII piston ring replacement. Gives me courage to get in there and get the hoses off the piston so I can clean it all up. I change the joker valve, when it starts to leak, but have never done anything else to the thing – it has been 12 years.

    Fair Winds!

    Cap’n Jan

  3. Yeah! I did the piston rebuild. There are a couple of gotcha’s when taking the danged thing apart (like the set screw that holds the ‘screw on’ handle holder AND the fact that the thing screws on even though it also has a set screw. )

    Anyway, back together, all greased up and it works like brandy new!!

    I very much appreciate your postings and will be ‘staying tuned’. Hope to see you in the islands one of these days! For the next year we are on a ‘dock princess’.

    Cap’n Jan
    Doublewide #838
    2004 Gemini 105Mc

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