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It's a dirty job, but John's up to the task

 

The Dometic SeaLand Concerto toilet gets replaced

Our queen-of-the-fleet (in 2005) Horizon came equipped with many amenities and high-end fixtures and furnishings, one of which was the Dometic SeaLand Concerto all-ceramic toilet. I've never been thrilled with this particular toilet, the chrome plated brass flush handle kept coming loose and the set screw had to be tightened over and over again. Finally some high strength thread-locker kept the screw and handle in place.

Second issue was the relatively short handle made flushing the toilet difficult requiring quite a bit of pressure on the handle to operate. Thanks to a weird design, the half-ball never rotates enough to fully expose the discharge pipe. For a long time I thought something needed adjustment but a SeaLand distributor told me this was normal. Thirdly, the Concerto would intermittently not hold water in the bowl, after cleaning around the half-ball this issue usually disappeared (at least for a while.) The last straw was when the bowl would not hold water regardless of cleaning effort. Oh, the hand spray would usually leak a little water when flushing.

So why replace it? Why not just replace the seals? Great question. The Concerto is now eight years old so I thought it should have a complete overhaul. The Concerto is a rather complex potty with the flush handle operating a cable which rotates a half-ball, so there are several parts that I wanted to replace. Additionally, the toilet has to be removed for even a seal replacement. Without describing the agony of trying to find parts for it on-line (or even a parts diagram), I finally called SeaLand and had to leave a message, the next day I received a call back from one of their distributors (I was astounded that I couldn't talk to a real-live SeaLand tech.)

Here's a list of the parts that I thought would be necessary for an appropriate overhaul of the Concerto (refer to this parts list graphic.) Oh, by the way our Concerto model number is a 3210P:

Parts list for the Concerto overhaul
Item # Part No. Description Price
6 385311009 Bowl Seal Kit $39.55
8 385311010 Shaft, Flush Ball Kit 46.08
12 600344609 O-ring, 3.1 x 3.5 x .21 3.88
23 385311026 Vacuum Breaker Kit 51.06
24 385310809 Hand Spray, White 54.80

Since the distributor didn't stock all of the parts, it would have been best to have all of the parts drop-shipped from SeaLand, that was going to be another $20, and shipping was going to be extra. So the decision was to spend maybe $230 on rebuilding the Concerto (which didn't include all moving parts) or spend about $450 (shipping excluded) on a brand new potty. Obviously you realize what decision was made ;-) .

And the winner is...

Before I reveal the winner, I'll mention the loser - SeaLand. They had no parts diagram on-line for me to refer to, there were no Internet shops that listed all of the parts and as a final insult, they wouldn't call me back - they pawned me off on a distributor. I really, really wanted to talk to a SeaLand tech to discuss recommended parts that would be necessary for a complete overhaul, but had to rely on their distributor's expertise. To me this is lousy customer care - FAIL.

Not choosing a SeaLand toilet dramatically narrowed the pool of potential candidates - it was basically going to be a Thetford product. Winnebago Industries are installing the high-end Thetford Tecma potty in the Tour/Ellipse coaches so I asked my Winnebago contact what he thought about the Thetford models and he was very positive with his evaluation.

Fortunately Thetford makes models that are claimed to be a direct replacement for the Concerto (see the chart here), so after looking at the choices and after comparing features, we chose the foot-operated Aria Classic in the high bowl version with the hand spray. While I liked the electric Aria Deluxe II (not much more expensive over the Classic) I thought staying away from electrics would reduce maintenance (I used to rebuild each of our two marine heads on the last boat at least every 18 months!) The potty was shipped June 28, 2013 via truck freight ($120 shipping - yikes!) so we should receive it sometime the week of July 1.

Let's get on with the project!


 

Page 1 (this page) - introduction
Page 2 - removal of the Concerto, prep for the Aria Classic
Page 3 - installation of the Aria Classic, project wrap-up