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 Marine Sanitation, Plumbing and the like.
 Raritan Crown Head - Spring Commissioning
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Author Previous Topic: Want a new head! Topic Next Topic: Vacuflush Pump Maintenance  

Vic Willman

RO# 3655

Posted - Jun 07 2006 :  10:15:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I get a lot of calls and questions about why a Crown Head will not bring in outside rinse water when the head is being used for the first time in the spring - even though it had worked perfectly well in the fall. There's a very simple procedure to follow, when using the head for first time for the season, that can save you a lot of aggravation (and expense). If the head is mounted conventionally, with the large round inspection/cleanout cover in the front, look at the very rear of the head. On the right-hand side is the incoming water line from outside. First turn off the supply water seacock, then remove this hose. After removing the hose, poke the eraser end of a pencil into the nozzle that the hose had been connected to.

Inside this nozzle is a black rubber ball and spring. They constitute a check valve that keeps a small amount of water inside the pump at all times, to aid it in priming itself. But, after sitting all winter with the spring pressing against the ball, this ball has a tendency to stick to its seat. As the motor runs, and the impeller inside turns, they don't always generate enough suction to unseat this ball from the seat. So, the impeller is turning inside the pump, but the ball is stuck, so no water can come in. As the impeller turns inside the pump, it heats up the inside of the pump from friction, burning out the impeller, and - if you run it long enough (more than about 15 seconds), it will actually melt the inside of the plastic pump housing, ruining it.

So, before you run a Crown Head for the first time every season, ALWAYS remove the supply water hose and unseat the rubber ball inside the pump! This may seem like a pain in the butt to do each spring, but as an incentive to do this, should you burn out the pump by running it dry, Raritan's current price for a replacement raw water pump assembly for a Crown Head is $163.38 + shipping...(2009 price is $180.55 + shipping)

In some installations, the pump/motor assembly of the Crown Head is mounted sideways and the toilet bowl and seat are rotated 90 - which will put the referenced cleanout/inspection cover on the right-hand side, and the referenced hose and nozzle in the rear, on the left side. This is often done when the head is mounted on a "step" to clear the curvature of the hull, etc.

-- The Head Master --

Edited by - Vic Willman on May 04 2009 14:38:18

Homeport: Millville, NJ

C team

RO# 24911

Posted - Apr 05 2007 :  05:36:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great advice Vic! I learned this the hard way last season. I could not believe how the impeller burned the pump housing. I kept the old housing as a reminder. I should post a picture so everyone can see the damage that was done.

1981 Egg Harbor 33'

Edited by - Vic Willman on Apr 05 2007 09:35:36

Homeport: Skipjack Cove, Sassafras River MD Go to Top of Page


RO# 27264

Posted - Aug 08 2007 :  09:12:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Vic when this season is over Ill owe you a lot IM so new, bought first HBoat. has the crown head, sitting for a long time no use, I replaced the impellar after multiple try's of every which way of pouring water in sucking water out the only way i could make the unit work was by removing the black ball, even after putting a new ball in. Understanding it was there as you stated to maintain the prime, but even after a week or so off the boat it would still operate w/out needing to be reprimed, B4 it Wouldnt let water come into the bowl with black ball ui.

Perhaps the spring was too stought your thoughts

Homeport: burkesville ky Go to Top of Page

Vic Willman

RO# 3655

Posted - May 04 2009 :  14:44:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dalehollow, this is sure a fine time to be answering your last posting (nearly 2 years later) but on most houseboats, the head is mounted above the waterline of the boat. In above-waterline installations, it isn't necessary to keep the ball and spring inside the pump - they serve no real useful purpose.

But in below-waterline installations, the ball and spring must be retained, or you will have the possibility of unwanted water coming into the toilet bowl, overflowing it, and and possibly sinking the boat.

-- The Head Master --

Homeport: Millville, NJ Go to Top of Page
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