Tag Archives: Thetford Products




If you need a portable marine toilet aboard, Thetford just may have what you are looking for.

Portable toilets are an ideal choice for small weekend, trailer and sport boats. They provide the convenience of a fixed head, but without the weight, complexity and space requirements of a plumbed system. Thetford, the inventor of the Porta Potti®, offers selection and maintenance tips.

There’s a broad array of sizes, features and options when shopping for a portable toilet. Heights range from around 12″ to over 17″, and seat dimensions from medium to large. The dimensions of the unit selected is often based on available space and the level of comfort desired. The average weight is only around 10 lbs., making it an ideal choice for racing sailors.


Flushing is accomplished manually by a bellows or piston-actuated pump, or electrically. This ultra-convenient feature on the Porta Potti Curve is self-contained and runs on disposable or rechargeable AA batteries. Other options to choose from are waste and fresh water holding capacities, and level indicators for one or both tanks.

All Porta Pottis can be used with a hold-down plate for semi-permanent installation and many come standard with this feature. Several models have plumbing adapters for permanent pump out convenience and to comply with US and Canadian regulations.

Maintaining a Porta Potti is simple. When the tank is nearing capacity, the upper portion is simply lifted off and the leak-proof waste side removed for emptying in a land-based toilet or designated area. Because of their modern designs, discharge is splash-free.

Quality tank deodorants, such as Thetford’s Eco-Smart or Aqua Kem, reduce odors and quickly liquefy waste; samples are included with every Porta Potti. Marine toilet paper, such as 2-ply Aqua Soft Tissue, breaks down fast and makes emptying the holding tank simple and clog-free.

Thetford Marine offers eight models of its famous Porta Potti, including the ultra-compact 260 series and the electric Curve. These high quality toilets are durable, long lasting and cost-effective. Prices start around $90.

For over 50 years, boaters have relied on industry innovator Thetford Marine for its quality and dependable products. Its wide range of marine sanitation equipment is installed on boats worldwide.

Contact Thetford Marine, 7101 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103. Toll-free 800-543-1219 or 734-769-6000.

About Thetford Marine
Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Thetford is the world’s leading supplier of sanitation and refrigeration products for the marine, RV and heavy-duty truck industries. It is a privately-held company with seven manufacturing facilities in four nations. Thetford Marine is the nautical business unit of Thetford.

Thetford subsidiaries include Norcold of Sidney, Ohio, America’s leading manufacturer of gas-absorption and AC/DC refrigerator/freezers for the RV, marine and truck markets; Tecma, an Italy-based maker of fine-china toilets and powerful waste-transfer systems; and Thetford Europe, which manufactures Thetford-brand high-quality cooking and heating appliances, as well as accessories.

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Posted by on September 21, 2015 in Products


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Your marine toilet is the one system you do not want to have problems with.

By Capt. Ken Kreisler

Let’s cut to the chase here shipmates. You DO NOT, under any circumstance, shape, manner, or form, want to, pun obviously intended, mess with your marine toilet. I’ll take dealing with sopping up bilge water rather than hear the dreaded news that something is wrong with the boat’s toilet system.

No matter what, make sure everyone on board heeds this warning.

No matter what, make sure everyone on board heeds this warning.

My worst experience? Luckily we were in the dock when a backed-up MSD, being attended to by one of my crew members, coughed up not only the clog, which in this case was caused by a significant plug of way too much toilet paper, but whatever else was sent down on its way to the holding tank as well. A long, hot shower at the marina, and a complete change of clothing was necessary before we were able to continue on our way. Not fun.

The best way to prevent any problems, no matter how small, is to become familiar with the particular operation of your system, its parts, how they work, what can go wrong and why, and what you can do to head off any confrontations with it.

For most of us, our concern is with a Type III U.S. Coast Guard approved Marine Sanitation Device designed to simply hold waste material for pump-out into a shore-based facility. Whether you have a simple portable unit or a top-of-the-line electric system with multiple locations plumbed into a holding tank and utilizing a macerator, you will want to make sure it is properly maintained and cared for..

Simple and easy to care for, Thetford's 550P can make life aboard a bit easier.

Simple and easy to care for, Thetford’s 550P can make life aboard a bit easier.

With smaller boats, the most simple and easy-to-care for unit is the basic portable unit like that of the Thetford Porta Potti® 550P. As with all similar models in the marine line, this compact system requires only minimal care, including proper replenishing of the deodorizing chemicals and cleaning, to ensure trouble-free operation. “It’s always advisable to keep the slide lock seals between the upper and lower parts properly lubricated as they do tend to wear,” said Thetford’s Scott Mason. However, as a vessel’s length increases, so does its need for a more sophisticated system and in there, to quote the Bard, is the rub.

One of the biggest problems is the result clogging the system by using way too much of the aforementioned t.p. or throwing something down there that, as with your toilet at home, just does not belong. This includes tampons, sanitary napkins, paper towels, and baby wipes. It’s best to use t.p. specifically made for marine use that is both biodegradable and fast dissolving.

“The number one trouble maker is using improper tissue,” agreed Dometic’s Bill Friedman. “Household products are hard to break down, especially going into a pump or with systems using level indicators.”

If you use a saltwater flush, you are going to have to deal with the possibility of pipe and hose

Regular preventive maintenance can keep your Dometic Sealand Masterflush free from problems.

Regular preventive maintenance can keep your Dometic Sealand Masterflush free from problems.

scale forming within the system. A careful check of the bowl and even any accessible hose or piping, making sure all seacocks are shut, will help. For scale buildup on the discharge side, you can dump the proper agent down the bowl. On the intake side, remove the intake hose from the thru hull—make sure you shut it off first—and, in a bucket filled with a decalcifier, pump the liquid through the system as well. And regardless of fresh or saltwater operation, you should regularly check all hoses, connections, clamps, and fittings for leaks and wear. If found, or at the very least, suspect, replace them as soon as possible.

 “Over time, odor is going to be a problem due to organisms being brought in and constantly replenished by the saltwater,” said Mason, adding many a service call for a leak was actually the odor of decaying sea life in the lines. While you can try and mask the smell with deodorants and air fresheners, obviously switching to a fresh water system will alleviate this problem.

General wear and tear can also be trouble and in the case of most electric systems, there is not too much you can do. It’s best to keep an eye on things and pay careful attention to your owner’s manual for scheduled upkeep. Most of the major manufacturers such as Dometic, Thetford, Headhunter, and Raritan, all have convenient service centers and dealers in the major boating areas.

As far as macerators are concerned, today’s units are fairly robust and, but for the errant foreign object—again, tampons and sanitary napkins for the most part—forcing an electrical pause and being unable to start up again, you should have uninterrupted service for many years. However, should that EFO (errant foreign object) finds its way into the system, and if you are not the kind who can follow the schematics in your owner’s manual, it’s time to call in the experts.

Using holding tank treatments such as Thetford's AquaKem (left) or Dometic products can help to alleviate odors.

Using holding tank treatments such as Thetford’s AquaKem  can help to alleviate odors.

Odor and flushing problems can also be caused by a tank vent and filter being clogged by water or debris. Check both these on a regular basis and swap out that filter according to the manufacturers recommendations. You also might want to consider having a yearly cleaning of your holding tank as sediment can settle on the bottom and build up over time.  “To help keep it somewhat clean, you can also try sending a couple of capfuls of liquid laundry detergent into your holding tank, filling it with water, and then doing a proper pump out at your marina,” offered Friedman.

Your best bet in preventing problems with your marine toilet is make sure everyone aboard knows how to properly operate the system and what does and does not belong in it. Check all hoses and connections for leaks and try to keep your holding tanks relatively empty whenever possible. In this way, you will have one less thing to worry about while enjoying being on your boat.

For more information about proper MSD operation, it’s always best to contact your specific manufacturer. With those mentioned here, it’s;;;

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Posted by on December 10, 2013 in Maintenance


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Thetford Marine, a leader in sanitation chemistry, introduces Eco-Smart Free & Clear.  The newest member of the Eco-Smart family was developed by Thetford’s chemistry staff for those sensitive to dye and perfumes.  It’s named Free & Clear because it is free of fragrance and dye.  Like the other two Eco-Smart formulations, Free & Clear provides excellent odor control and waste digestion, contains no formaldehyde and is 100% biodegradable.

This strong formula ensures year-round odor control.  Available in a convenient, easy-to-use liquid, this product gives boat owners maximum performance with minimum effort.  It is offered in 36- and 64-oz. bottles with an easy-to-use, integrated dosage device.

Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Thetford is the world’s leading supplier of sanitation and refrigeration products for the RV, marine and heavy-duty truck industries.  It is a privately-held company with eight manufacturing facilities in four nations.

Thetford subsidiaries include Norcold, America’s leading manufacturer of gas-absorption refrigerators and freezers for the RV, marine and truck markets; Tecma, a producer of fine-china toilets and powerful waste-transfer systems based in Italy; and Thetford UK, a unit in England that manufactures Spinflo brand high-quality cooking and heating appliances and accessories.

Contact Thetford Marine, 7101 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103.
Toll-free 800-543-1219  or 734-769-6000;  Fax: 734-769-2023.


Posted by on March 8, 2012 in Products


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