Diagnosing Waste Back Flowing into Your Jabsco Marine Toilet

Here we show you what to check in your system to figure out what may be causing waste to back flow into your Jabsco marine toilet, including checking the joker valve, the vent, and the discharge line itself. Don't forget to wear gloves.

Diagnosing Waste Back Flowing into Your Jabsco Marine Toilet 4:27

Jeff: Thanks for watching jascotech.com. I'm Jeff Lander.

Mike: And I'm Mike Irving.

Jeff: And today we're going to talk about back flow coming back into your ceramic bowl.

Mike: We have a mock system set up here on our work bench. It's going to give you a picture of what we're talking about. I know we're using corrugated hose; you're supposed to be using sanitary hose, but we're going to use corrugated. Now what we have here is we have a manual toilet that's going to be representative of any of our toilets – Electric, Deluxe Flush, designer series, manual – and then we've got a Y valve. Some systems go directly to the holding tank, but it gives you an idea. And then we got a holding tank and a bench with a holding tank. All of these parts are critical parts of the system. And what we want to talk about is we have customers calling and saying we have waste going into my toilet.

Jeff: Yeah, we get a lot of calls on that, Mike. Me specifically, I'm the waste guy. I know with the dirty job, someone has to do it. But you know, we get a lot of calls on that. Anytime you see back flow into your toilet, first things first, check the joker valve. If you can see light through there or you can stick your finger through there, it needs to be replaced. We have a couple of the videos that we did and what to look for and how to replace it. Review those as well because that will give you more in-depth information on it. If you can see a pin-hole light, that's okay, that's fine. But like I said, if the joker valve  checks out, the two other places that you're going to want to check, the discharge hose line itself and the air vent and the holding tank.

Mike: You know what this shows over here it’s kind of representative of some installations where the tool is installed, the line comes up, goes down, goes over a stringer, there's valleys, there’s dips. If you have waste coming back into the toilet and the koker valve’s okay, we want to check two things. It's going to be the plumbing and the vent. The vent is going to be the easier one because what you can do is you take the vent off the holding tank and, if it's accessible, put this into a bucket just to kind of keep the sprayer from going all over the place, and spray some water in it. Reason being is because if the holding tank has ever gotten overfilled the waste comes up this line and gets trapped in the little screen up there. The waste dries out and turns into like a hard cement plug, so you want to try to blow that down through again. If you leave it attached to the holding tank, you could be okay, but you're also putting pressure into the holding tank, so whatever pressure you put into it, it's going to want to come back up the other way. So, if you've checked the joker valve and you've checked the vents, you want to check the discharge line itself.

Jeff: Yeah. And Mike, you know we've seen cases where we've had inch and a half discharge line net down to as little as half inch or three-quarter inch tip because of all the mineral and calcium buildup from either salt water, your urine or waste itself. Now basically how to remedy that is take a couple of cups of white vinegar. You know, you might need more depending on how you know how long your hose line is or your installation. So, take some white vinegar, flush it through the system and let it sit overnight. What that will help do is that will help dissolve all that calcium and mineral build up in your system. Come back the next day, flush some fresh water through there and that will help any mineral build up in your discharge hose line.

Mike: Now one thing you have to keep in mind is if your if your plumbing is really old, you might need to call in a marine mechanic to come in and switch out those lines if the waste is has built up so much that the vinegar is not doing anything, it's time to swap out those lines. Now the big thing is don't use a plunger on the system because you're going to invert that joker valve and don't use your household or commercial drain cleaners. It's just not suitable for this system. Any other things we have to cover?

Jeff: No, I think that pretty much wraps it up, Mike. Hopefully this video was helpful in trying to diagnose backflow into your toilets. I'm Jeff Lander.

Mike: And I'm Mike Irving

Jeff: Come back soon; we'll have some more videos for you.