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  1. #1

    Galley Maid Head Question

    My master head GM toilet acts like it is sucking air and losing it's prime when pumped. I have recently replaced the pump and stators. There is plenty of intake water but after 5-8 seconds of pumping the water starts to back up and fill the bowl. I have to plunge the toilet to force water into the pump to get it to drain. There is no blockage downstream of the pump as I put a guage on the line to check. Any ideas?

  2. Re: Galley Maid Head Question

    In trouble situations like this when seeking adive, it is best to first state all the symptoms and observations you make...so you can replicate as much as possible what we would observe were we present....then state the actions you have already taken which often eliminates some possible solutions.

    Miximg your analysis of the situation with observations confuses what may be happening....and may easily mislead those tyrying to assist.

    What do you mean "acts like it is sucking air".... when the bowl is full?? Are you describing what you think is causing the bowl to fill or are you observing such a sound?? In general, any loose water hose connection which might admit air during pumping should leak water out when the toilet is idle,right???

    I don't know Galley Maid explicity, but only two things I know of that causes water to back up assuming it used to pump out normally: a blocked or kinked discharge line, like maybe growth at the exhaust thru hull ( mussels or barnacles) or a weak discharge pump. Can you observe between the bowl and the first discharge mechanism (like macerator blade) to be sure there is nothing blocing water flow into the mechanism??? Its not unheard of for something to fall into a toilet, maybe slide off a countertop, and become lodged blocking water discharge flow.

    Did you check the discharge pump housing and impeller?? in other words,s omething like a worn cam (eccentric) or broken impeller or macerator blade can reduce pumping capacity.

    As a matter of interest, how did you "put a gauge on the line" and what results did you observe.
    Last edited by REBrueckner; 01-01-2010 at 10:21 AM.
    Rob Brueckner
    former 1972 48ft YF, 'Lazy Days'
    Boating isn't a matter of life and death: it's more important than that.

  3. #3

    Re: Galley Maid Head Question

    Okay, thanks, let me try again. If you flush the head on the first try, it flushes fine. Flushing a second time (holding the button 5-8 secs), the bowl starts to fill up the bowl. Only water comes in and none goes out. Now with the bowl full, you must use a plunger to get the pump to evacuate the bowl. There are no obvious leaks around the bowl or the lines going to the pump.

    The pump and stators (worms) are new this summer.

    I installed a pressure guage on the discharge side of the pump to measure for any blockage to the tank or overboard. The guage only read 10 psi or less during the flush cycle. I am guessing that is normal or nearly so.

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4

    Re: Galley Maid Head Question

    Was the stator new? If it has sat around for a while, it can get stiff and not pump right. It could also have a crack in it. I would first check and/or replace that stator and see if that takes care of the problem.
    Sky Cheney
    1985 53EDMY "Rebecca"
    ELYC on White Lake--Montague, MI

  5. #5

    Re: Galley Maid Head Question

    It does sound like a stator problem to me, too. I had a head with a fairly new pump. It did not get used regularly and I had to replace the stator to get it working again. Likewise, I had a brand new pump, used once upon installation. Sat for over a year and I had to replace the guts in that one too. I have the one I used all the time, and never a problem. That stator is at least 3 years old. So, my point is that age and use or lack of use can greatly affect the condition of the stator. I used to think that because it never got used, it was still "new". Also, if flushing with saltwater, if the head has been sitting, it will build up with a calcium/concrete-like "rock" inside and mess up the water flow. I've only got 2 galleymaids left on my boat so I do have to do battle with them every now and then. I just went through the same symptoms you are describing and it was the stator on the discharge end.
    1980 58MY "Sanctuary"

  6. #6

    Re: Galley Maid Head Question

    One of our GM heads will lose all of the water out of the bowl after a period of four to five days. It primes and flushes fine. What is the problem? Thanks.

  7. #7

    Re: Galley Maid Head Question

    Thanks for the advice. On Monday, I will be at the boat and will start with the disassembly of the discharge side of the pump.

  8. Re: Galley Maid Head Question

    Ok, that's a clear explanation...I now understand what you are seeing!! Sounds like either a restriction in the output line or the problem I describe below.

    Again, I don't know Galleymaid brand per se, but when I had a similar problem on my Raritan Crown it turned out that a set screw came loose between the macerator blade and the common drive shaft. In these toilets the input pump (an impeller) is on the same shaft as the output macerator blade (a centrifugal pump mechanismI think) ...but somehow the set screw on the macerator blade came loose and it would pump for a few moments, and presumably the set screw would then start jumping.

    I removed an elbow pipe connection on the output side of the toilet, attached to the bronze base of the toilet and when I lifted the toilet up so I could in there and put a screwdriver in, I could easily turn the darn macerator blade!!!! it was loose???? ...As I turned it the set screw came into view....and I realized what was wrong...I don't remember how I realigned it with the flat section of the driveshaft to make a good "set" but that fixed the problem....

    I've used that basic toilet design for 25 years or more and never had that happen....so I assume somehow in rebuild or initial assembly somebody did not make that set screw tight enough...

    Good luck....

    Another simple test for any toilet: Remove the discharge hose at the toilet (and plug it to prevent seawater from entering and/or close the discharge seacock first) and attached a separate discharge hose...into a bucket or shower stall....now operate the toilet does it behave the same way???

    If the SAME mis operation is observed, you know the problem is in the TOILET mechanism. But if the toilet now pumps PROPERLY and pumps repeatedly as you want, you know the problem is in that discharge line which has been removed...
    Last edited by REBrueckner; 01-02-2010 at 04:15 PM.
    Rob Brueckner
    former 1972 48ft YF, 'Lazy Days'
    Boating isn't a matter of life and death: it's more important than that.

  9. #9

    Re: Galley Maid Head Question

    Wait on dis-assembly until you check the drop slope of the discharge line! I am very familiar with the GalleyMaid head pumps and they will lose prime on the discharge side and produce the exact symptoms you describe if bowl water can get away from the pump discharge intake cone.

    There is supposed to be a downwards slope from the bowl to the discharge pump, with no dip or low spots in the discharge hose. If there are any low spots, the water can backflow after flushing away from the discharge pump and cause it to lose it's prime. Also, if there is internal or external leaking that lets the water get away from the discharge pump the same thing happens.

    Check to see if your hose has only a downwards slope from the bowl to the pump. If there is, change the discharge hose so there is a straight slope from the bowl to the pump.

    If the discharge slope is OK, there is a cross priming feature on these pumps to solve the problem you have. You'll find a small NPT threaded hole on the top of the inlet pump housing and another on the top of the discharge pump housing. These pumps originally had a 1/4 inch copper tube on flare fittings that went between these two holes so the inlet pump would automatically prime the discharge pump every time it ran. They stopped installing it in the 1980s because some people reported leaking across the tube into the holding tank as the stators wore down. You can get copper tube and flare fittings at any hardware store and install this cross priming tube to auto-prime your head pump. This can also be done if your setup requires a dip in the discharge line.

    Doug Shuman

  10. #10

    Re: Galley Maid Head Question

    Here is what we found on the boat this week. We replaced the stator, which was made of rubber, with a stator made of urethane from Galley Maid. There were no apparent holes or cracks in the rubber but the head now works perfectly with the urethane. Thanks for all the help.

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