29 February 2020 | Stuart Fl
Sally | Blowing like stink
As I mentioned in previous posts we've been having issues with the head. The head is one of the worst things to have to repair. Much worse than a land side toilet, as the flushing mechanism is much more primitive. With very limited space on the boat it's installed in a tiny closet which also doubles as the shower. There is no room for more than one person and not a very big one at that! All the fittings, hoses and valves are crammed into an area about 1 square foot. Not to belabor the point, but it is quite literally a crappy job.
We've been waiting for the parts to be delivered. After waiting more than a week the Captain called the manufacturer to see where they were. Sitting on a shelf in Md, there'd been packaged but never shipped. They apologized for the slip up and sent them rush. They arrived on Thursday. Today was the day Scott tackled the task.
The unit is affixed to the boat via 4 large self tapping screws. Unlike what you might think there is no hole underneath where the waste exits. Instead the waste is pumped from the bowl through a mechanism. The mechanism includes the joker valve, a spring controlled flapper, a piston and cylinder, and nylon rings all which coordinate to pump the waste to the holding tank via a hose. After talking to the manufacturer the diagnosis was that this mechanism needed a rebuild. The actual bowl is itself bolted to this cast mechanism with a seal in between. The casting includes the piston and cylinder. If the cylinder should be scored there is no repairing the unit. Oy!
Armed with rubber gloves, tools and the rebuild kit Scott set about removing the bowl and flushing unit. The only place to do the work was on the salon table. Blech! We covered the table with a plastic tablecloth. After disassembling the unit he did find that the flapper valve was indeed shot and the nylon rings were significantly worn. The cylinder and the piston looked to be in okay shape. While Scott cleaned the casting and reassembled the unit, I cleaned the head locker aka the shower and sink.
Reassembly of the unit was a bear of a job as everything had to align perfectly. As with all things boar, there wasn't a spare millimeter to be had. After significant cussing and angst we got the bowl attached to the flush mechanism and all of it afield back to the boat. Unfortunately, after a full day of nasty work the problem remained, what a dissapointment! We can get by with it for a time while we formulate plan b. In the mean time no overnight guests on Light Reach.
The picture is of The Captain up to his elbows in ......