How Much Water Can Flow Through A 2 Inch Pipe Macerator Toilet Troubleshooting

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Macerator Toilet Troubleshooting

Macerator toilets are quickly becoming the first choice for boaters on canals and rivers and they are reliable, but when they go wrong they tend to get really messy with a lot of mess…

Common problems and how to solve them

  • The toilet makes a nasty noise and does not flush properly
  • This is usually because someone put something on them that they shouldn’t. Note that only lightweight (2 ply) or specially formulated disintegrating toilet paper (like that made by Thetford) can pass through them and be fine for long term use (!) If you put heavy duty toilet paper that is advertised as extra soft and extra thick will be fine for a while, but can cause problems by jamming an open check valve, a bend in the pump outlet pipe, or even a tank opening if overfilled. In order to fix the blockage due to the use of such products, you will need to remove the macerator or call a professional. Note that opening the macerator is quite a skill, requires torx security screws, and will void your warranty if it’s new. The best thing to check first without voiding the warranty is the vents and check valve. The non-return valve is usually a 90-degree rubber bend that also serves as a pipe connection on the back of the toilet bowl. You can remove the jubilee clips and remove it (with a bucket underneath, may need a large one depending on your tank and pipe layout!) to inspect it. They are very simple in design, just make sure nothing opens or closes them.
  • The toilet works well, but fills slowly (a little but not overflowing)
  • This is probably a non-return valve fault. On some ships the pipe may go up before going down transversely to the tank. If the check valve is slightly open, then the volume of waste contained in the vertical part of the pipe will flow back into the bowl.
  • The toilet does nothing at all when I try to flush it
  • Complete failure without something obvious happening is pretty rare so check the simple things first. Check the fuses and connections on the loom and remove the washboard panel if you have one to check for wire damage or moisture ingress. If you have a non-electronic button that is mounted on the toilet itself, the pipe on the back may have gone. These buttons have a small tube on the back that connects to the pressure sensor on the main panel and are common on pressurized toilets. They force air down the tube like a syringe, so if someone was too hard on it, the tube may have popped out and needs to be put back. You may be able to see from the side how to do this, depending on your installation.
  • Another potential problem could be that your capacitor is broken and needs to be replaced. They are connected to the main board and are quite large, about 8 cm long cylinders.
  • The toilet is slowly emptying
  • Sometimes your pipework could be the culprit. The macerator should have a pipe attached that does NOT have a 90 degree bend in it and should not decrease in size further down the cycle before it reaches the tank. If you have a particularly small pipe outlet, calcium may be building up. Take 5 liters of standard white vinegar and pour half a liter down the toilet with each flush for a few days to break it down. It’s surprising how quickly this can happen even on new boats that fill their tanks with water in certain areas.
  • The toilet overflowed
  • This would usually only happen if the toilet grind pump broke or the tank was full and flushed multiple times to try to clean it.. If the toilet doesn’t clear on the first flush you shouldn’t flush it again until you at least close it. water supply. These toilets are nothing like the ones at home which can sometimes clean themselves if the water level increases the pressure. What’s more, they don’t have sensors to let you know they’re broken. They usually only have thermal loads and fuses to protect the pump itself and nothing that takes into account the state of your head if the toilet overflows. So, isolate the water supply – it should have a stopcock right next to the toilet, if it doesn’t, you should turn off the main pump and drain the tanks from the faucet. You can now try flushing again because the toilet will not be able to add more water to the bowl and cause it to overflow. If the inlet is overflowing on its own, you may have a bad pipe installation which is not unheard of.
  • There is an increase in pressure, I think the tank is not releasing air
  • Find the tank vent and pull it as it may have become dirty. This would normally be quite unusual, but on larger ships you can have a large charcoal odor filter. Vetus for example have a 1.5 inch hose inlet and outlet with a housing about 5 inches in diameter that unscrews at the top. If this vent filter has been severely flooded due to an overfilled tank, it may have water in it or it may be stuck in an incompatible state. Find it and clean it and you will probably need to buy a new filter element for it.
  • If you have a complex pipe installation, for example an over the side pumping option, or an integrated pump in the tank that can discharge to either side, you should check your stopcocks that control which side the flow is pushed to as you may not want both closed.

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