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Head Plumbing and Y-valve

Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:05 am
by jerry
My older J/109 is starting to show her age. Went out for first race and found out the 1) the head won't pump water in, and 2) the Y-valve for tank/overboard is frozen and I broke the handle trying to loosen it. Thought it would be an easy fix, but it isn't- looking for some ideas
1) Does anyone have schematics on the head plumbing? I can't find it in the owners manual (I may need to replace some hoses and want to make sure I replace them correctly).
2) I have the replacement Y-valve from Bosworth (M-95), but I can't get the hoses off the older Y-valve. Any tricks? They seem to be glued on after 14 years. I've tried brute force, a pipe wrench, heat gun, nothings working. Going to try an auto hose puller (like a U-shaped screwdriver), but open for any ideas. The hoses are cut to exact length so I can't cut them. Hacksaw the old Y-valve apart?
3) Looks like I'll have to take the head out (or at least the intake hose off), but same issue, minimal flexibilty of the intake hose. Anyone repaired or replace the head?
4) Finally- I think they have the text in the J/109 Owner's Manual on Page 40 backwards. IT states: "The salt-water intake thru-hull is underneath the head sink and the discharge is in the starboard aft locker". The Thru-Hull Location Diagram on Page 22 is correct. It should be "The salt-water intake thru-hull in the starboard aft locker (below the battery charger) and the discharge thru-hill is underneath the head sink"

Thanks, for any insight. In hindsight, should have just called the marine repair guy...

Re: Head Plumbing and Y-valve

Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:33 am
by Vento Solare

You found a hole in the J/109 owners manual that I just filled. The plumbing diagram is the same as the J/105. I stole the diagram from the J/105 owners manual and posted it on the class website. On the menu, mouse over Info and click on Drawings and Manuals where you will now see J/109 Head Plumbing System Diagram – same as J/105 – 4/1/2003 in the J/Boats Documents section.

I was able to remove the hoses using a heat gun and ended up using lots of force. Since you have a new valve and hoses, it may be just as easy to cut the hoses and then use the heat gun and a knife to cut through the remnant on the fittings you need to replace. I did not remove the flushing water supply hose. When I reassembled, I lubed all the hoses and fittings with silicone and used the heat gun . In my case, I used the Bosworth Y-Valve spec sheet located on the same page as the J/109 manuals, marked the position, removed and disassembled it. All the scale and salt was scraped off and the valve soaked in vinegar. Once it was clean, I lubricated all the rubber parts with silicone and reassembled it noting the alignment per the spec sheet. Before disassembly this was also very difficult to turn and I broke a handle. The replacement handle I used was metal rather than the plastic handle that came with the valve.

I have not removed the head but did disassemble it in place and used the Raritan PHII rebuild kit. The manual for the PHII is also on the same J/109 website page.

I agree that the J/109 manual has the description of the head intake and discharge backwards.

Re: Head Plumbing and Y-valve

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:23 am
by jng7000
Hindsight is funny like that, always 20/20 when looking back. I had the same thought when I replaced our valve and hoses, when it was all said and done I would have gladly paid any amount of money to have someone else do that nightmare of a project.

Best advice I can offer is similar to Bill's, heat it until it looks like it's hot enough, then heat it twice that much, then pull, pull and pull, and when you can't pull any longer pull on the hose some more :o Or, if it's not too late pay someone to do it. No matter how overpriced it may seem it's still better than doing it yourself.

#168, "Junkyard Dog"

Re: Head Plumbing and Y-valve

Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:16 am
by jerry
Thanks for advise. They were on solid. In the end I had to cut the hoses, then found out a new problem with all the foul accumulation of salt, calcium deposit that had cut the diameter of the hoses by 50%. Never heard of a "Joker" valve, but that had to be replaced as well- it is appropriately named. I've decided to replace the hoses. I will take better care to do the preventative maintenance.

I fully agree, this is a job I'd gladly have paid any amount for someone else to do. If you're interested, attached are few pictures of what you DON'T want your plumbing hoses and Joker valve to look like (caution- they are gross). If I were to re-write the J/109 handbook, I'd go into more detail on head and plumbing maintenance.

Re: Head Plumbing and Y-valve

Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:43 am
by Vento Solare
When I rebuilt the Y-Valve I found similar scale buildup as Jerry did. The scale was soft so I scraped using a coat hanger to get as much out as I could. In the future I will use a solvent a couple times per season that contains Phosphoric Acid made for descaling marine heads. You mix up a couple gallons and pump it both into the tank, and pump some through the overboard and shut the valve so it gets to work on all the surfaces. Even better is to go out sailing and let the stuff slosh around. Let it sit for 8 hours and pump it out, then flush through the system with fresh water. This should dissolve the scale and keep the hoses open.

Re: Head Plumbing and Y-valve

Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:20 pm
by jerry
Hopefully the final post in the plumbing saga. Just a double check before I re-install new hoses-

I reviewed the specs on the J105/J109 plumbing diagram and noticed they have a vented loop between the Y-valve and the overboard discharge. The Raritan PHII Head manual also shows vented loops. When I removed my old hoses I didn't see one, nor do I see one as I trace the hoses back to the holding tank. So my question before I start cutting hoses and re-installing:
1) If the plumbing schematics show a vented loop, why isn't there one on the J109. Is it just my boat?
2) Is the vented loop optional? According to marine sanitation store they are recommended.
3) Any problem with installing one or, in an attempt to improve the system, I make it worse?

Just curious why the specs have a vented loop, the Raritan Manual shows vented loops, but I don't see any on my J/109.

Thanks again for the all the advice and help

S/V Shada
J/109 #44
Seattle, WA

Re: Head Plumbing and Y-valve

Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:19 am
by Vento Solare
Jerry - I have a vented loop on Vento Solare. The hose runs from the head back aft with the loop positioned outboard near the top forward edge of the holding tank, then the return follows the path back. This picture taken when I did the purchase survey is the only photo I have. It is kind of hidden, but if you look closely you will see a piece of the vented loop.

My guess is having the loop aft like this makes it accessible for service. The vented loop is installed for anti-siphon reasons. I have seen many other boats that don't use them. Given that you have the project ongoing, I would take the time to install one.


Re: Head Plumbing and Y-valve

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:24 pm
by 30101
Upon its arrival from the UK, I discovered that my french-built 109 does not have a holding tank. I guess they weren't required as a factory installation?
I'm having that remedied before commissioning this spring.
The plumbing schematic in this post is helpful but some tips on the installation would also be great.
Does anyone have additional information on where to install the tank or even additional photos?
Is it always in the aft starboard locker? Could it be fit behind the moulded panel that the actual head is mounted on?
Any thoughts are much appreciated as I've got to get the yard going on the job.

Re: Head Plumbing and Y-valve

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:53 am
by jerry
I don't know if these will help. Once I got my system back up and running it has been working fine. I did do an upgrade on the schematics and pictures for my boat in case I had to do this again. They are attached below.

Re: Head Plumbing and Y-valve

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:47 am
by Vento Solare
Jerry - that is an awesome diagram you created. It accurately represents the standard J/109 Head system with the locations and flow.

Adam - I don't believe there is enough room in the void behind the head to install a holding tank. You would also need to cut the liner in order to install it since the space isn't accessible. Probably best to mount the holding tank stbd side aft per the photos above. In addition to the tank photo I posted earlier, here is a photo showing the aft end of the holding tank. What isn't clear shown in the pictures is the shelf that is tabbed to the hull that holds the tank. There is a lip that prevents the tank from sliding and nylon webbing to hold the tank in place.

Re: Head Plumbing and Y-valve

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:25 pm
by 30101
Thanks guys. These responses are very helpful. The only open question is the absolute necessity of being able to empty the tank overboard given the prevalence of pump out facilities in ports these days. I suppose its nice to be able to empty it when offshore, as desired?

Re: Head Plumbing and Y-valve

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:38 am
by Vento Solare
If you have the overboard already, I would install the y-valve and pump. Incrementally not that much more but provides the option if needed.

Re: Head Plumbing and Y-valve

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:42 am
by AustinM
I gotta say, those are the most dedicated diagrams I have ever seen.
Good work Jerry!