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Jabsco Manual Toilet Minor Service

Jabsco marine manual toilets are probably the most common system on board modern boats, and the main advantages are parts being inexpensive and available worldwide. These toilets are well designed and rarely fail if treated properly, cleaning and lubrication is essential for proper operation of the system, the calcium build-up in and around the toilet breaks the seals and the pump will under-perform. Jabsco released the operation manual for this product, you will find instructions for use and winterization. Jabsco recommend that at the end of the season the following steps should be taken:

“Drain the complete system, both as protection against frost damage and to discourage the growth in the pipework of anaerobic bacteria that cause unpleasant smells”

  • Open any secondary valves.

  • Remove the base drain plug (key 8).

  • Disconnect the discharge flange (key 32) from the pump (avoiding the need to remove the hose from the discharge elbow (key 34).

  • Loosen hose clips and disconnect the hose ends from both seacock hose tails. Pump the handle (key 17) to drain the toilet pump and ensure that all water is drained from the toilet system

how to lubricate the pump

Here I will go into detail on how to lubricate the pump as a regular service procedure. Repair kits include all the gasket required to reseal the pump assembly, and with the right cleaning materials you will ensure longevity of the pump. Whether you are a weekend sailor or cruiser, the service intervals should be roughly the same, as a standard I would recommend applying lubrication once every six months. With time and the sea environment the Pistons’ O-Ring becomes dry and the friction restricts operation, applying lube to the O-Ring and the inner part of the cylinder will result in a smoother pump operation. Once the O ring is in plain view, check the O Ring has its original properties and has not flattened with time, which can happen to older pumps.

The pump's piston shaft is sealed with a lip seal at the pump head, this lip seal also dries and restricts the operation of the pump. Therefore, in order to lube the lip seal, you should apply lube on either side of the piston shaft.

The lip seal has a steel spring to contract the rubber lip onto the shaft it is sealing, this steel spring rusts in the salt environment and fails, therefore a spare should be carried on board, but more importantly, the lip seal will benefit from frequent lube application.

When the toilet bowl requires cleaning, or descaling, avoid using the standard products sold for household use; these products include strong degreasers that dry the Pistons’ O-Ring. Instead, use a dedicated cleaning product by Jabsco.

Cleaning and lubrication are standard service procedures, to be performed during and in between seasons and be sure to follow Jabscos recommendations and shut the valves before any work is performed on the system. Remember that in order to keep the toilet in good condition you should use it frequently, the problems start when you leave things to settle, especially any boat with multiple heads; just alternate between the toilets so all units are used.


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