Our 8 year old Sanicon macerator pump failed due to a broken bolt getting lodged inside which damaged the grinder and also broke off a couple of internal black plastic impeller blades.
Notice one of the 4 bolts is missing. It is placed on the side.
I priced a new Sanicon pump. Phoenix and Thetford sell them for around $450. I did find someone else selling one for $379.
On Ebay, a number of sellers offer a Seaflo pump that is a very close copy to my Sanicon. They cost around $58 including shipping.
Don't get confused as I was at first. The pictures on Ebay here shows the Seaflo pipe flanges with large lips that appear as stubby stops. Those are just protective rubber shipping caps.
With the protective shipping caps removed, the pump looks like this.
I bought a Seaflo pump for $58 and it arrived just 3 days later. Here are my old Sanicon and new Seaflo pumps side by side for comparison.
I disassembled both pumps to find the inlet components to be an identical match. Since my old inlet was still in perfect condition, I reused it.
If you determine that your original Sanicon inlet component is damaged, you can easily saw the extra plastic off the new one to create a very close working copy.
For the curious, here are the two grinders. The new Seaflow blades resemble a kitchen blender. One of the four Sanicon blades is folded over, bent from grinding the broken bolt. Both types are very strong, bendable only with good plyers. The Seaflow blades have a sharp edge on them for effective grinding. The Sanicon blades might have been sharp some time ago, but are surely dull 8 years later.
The new Seaflo pump did not have a screwdriver feature as did the Sanicon for freeing up a jammed pump, but upon opening it, it did have a slot in the end of the motor shaft so I drilled a 3/8" hole in the end cap to access the slot, just like the original Sanicon.
Limited water will get inside through the screwdriver hole in both pumps, so a weep hole in the bottom of the motor case becomes critical. The two holes from the screws of the new pump stand make a great pair of weep holes.
I intentionally drilled the screwdriver hole in my new pump smaller to reduce water potential and offer a nice surface for a stick-on pad to seal the opening.
Not Shown: When done, I capped the hole with a nice stick-on-pad to protect the inside of the motor.
Water did get inside and damage my old Sanicon bearings. They spin as noisy as old roller skates.
I assembled the Sanicon inlet component to the Seaflow pump for a perfect replacement at a fraction of the cost.
To further demonstrate component-compatibility, I assembled the leftover parts on the original Sanicon pump.
The Seaflo pump came with a mounting stand but I determined it best NOT to use it. The holes from the stand screws make great weep holes.
Now for the Tips & Tricks.
I had to disassemble everything to determine compatibility and such. But that is now learned. I recommend you DO NOT disassemble anything at all with the new pump. Simply cut off the inlet nozzle to resemble the Sanicon, and drill the hole on the opposite end for the screw driver. Use common sense and care when drilling and cutting. The most important thing to watch out for would be plastic debris getting inside the pump. While cutting and drilling, I advise to setup yourself with a vacuum cleaner over the inlet and in the work area around the screw driver hole. Once done, continue vacuuming anything that might have fallen inside.
I suggest this because it is tricky to reassemble an opened pump. The 3 sections (motor, pump, and grinder), plates and gaskets all need to be in perfect alignment when assembling. Just behind the grinder plate, there is an odd shaped plate that must "seat" exactly proper inside a slight indent. That is very easy to miss. To avoid all that inconvenience and detail, I advise DO NOT loosen any bolts. Just cut-vacuum, drill-vacuum, and be done. Very simple, very fast, risk-free, completed in just 10 minutes.
I initially thought I would use the stand to mount the pump, but it would require reassembling the pump with the motor case 180 degrees, and then I would need to drill a weep hole. With the stand off, the two mounting screw holes become weep holes face down. Taking the pump apart again was a deterrent.
One final suggestion. The pump bolts require a 5/16" thin wall socket. I suggest you make sure the bolts are tightened up. When loosening mine during disassembly, they were almost loose.
Closing point: My original Sanicon is 8 years old. That company was bought by Thetford around 4 years ago. It is conceivable the pump in recent years could be different than the pump made by the original company. Before buying a new pump, I advise to first remove your original pump to see if it looks like my old pump.