FROM: Gene Gruender, 104675,2134

DATE: 1/22/99 11:33 AM

Tennis Ball...

(This is a question about how to use a tennis ball when the head breaks. I'd posted a note to the Liveaboard list.)

>I'm relatively new to this game and never had a head apart, don't
>even know what a "Joker" valve is.
>Please explain where you employed the tennis ball. In the bowl,
>holding it down during the pump-out...,
>or did you disassemble the pump part and somehow use it there?

When you look down ito the head, the hole in the bottom has a valve that goes down to let stuff out, then when you pump the other way, it pushes the stuff against that valve. If it closes, it will force the crud out another hole, the discharge, which also has a 1 way valve.

It has a pump with two chambers - one side sucks out of the bowl, the other sucks clean water from the inlet. The other stroke forces the crud back to the bowl. If the joker valve closes, it will not be able to go back into the owl, but will go out the discharge. Back into the bowl is the easy route, so if the joker fails, or has something in it (toilet paper, chunk of anything the size of a pea or bigger) it leaks and stuff just goes out and back into the bowl.

What you do is drop a tennis ball into the bowl and hold it down - not with your fingers, preferably. Hold down on the stroke that would push stuff back into the bowl - not too hard to figure out which one, then let it float, or roll it off of the hole to suck more into the pump. You can add fresh water and flush the crud all the way out of the hose before dissasembling if you don't want it leaking out when you take it apart.

I think they recommend putting a new kit in a head about once a year. That may be over kill, but every other year certainly isn't.

If in salt water, it will probably be half clogged with a lime like deposit, hoses and all. If it won't scrape away, use a product from the grocery store called "Lime Away" to disolve it.

Hope this helps. Heads aren't fun.

Gene Gruender
Rainbow Chaser