Thursday, May 7, 2009

May 7, 2009.

I’ve been having to deal with head issues every 3 months or so and it was time to care of business once and for all.

When the head has been pumping slowly I usually give it the Nigel Calder approved muriatic acid treatment. This usually dissolves the immediate problem but doesn’t really help against the long term build up of “sediment” in the plumbing.

The problem again reared its ugly head and it was time to face the music. There was so much back pressure that nothing was going anywhere. I decided to completely disassemble the pump and give it a complete rebuild. The pump is a pretty simple assembly although pretty disgusting. I disassembled it and cleaned all the parts, replaced all the seals and put everything back together. The pump body itself had been pretty caked with sediment and some of it had made its way into the joker valve yet again.

Now with everything either clean or new I was pretty disappointed to find that once assembled, pulling the lever still didn’t send anything anywhere. Crap. That means that one of the 1 ½ inch hoses has to be clogged.

That means I’m going to have to drain the Lectra San and remove the 2 big hoses. I had already replaced the rest of the hoses in the system so I know that they’re in good shape. I decided that if I’m gonna go to the trouble of removing these 2 hoses then I want to replace them while I’m at it so everything will be fairly new. So I’ll wait for morning to remove them so once I have them out I can measure them and head over to West Marine and buy new ones.

I slept fitfully as I tossed and turned while dreaming of the prospect of opening up the Lectra San again. In the morning I emptied out the locker that holds the Lectra San. Don’t forget that we just got back from the Bahamas and yet I was astonished to find that we still had 31 rolls of toilet paper aboard. Christy might have a fetish that I’m not aware of.

Anyway, I watched as Christy assumed her role in dealing with head issues; she dinghied ashore to do laundry. I drained the Lectra San into a bucket and poured it down the forward head so the “flushins” would go into our forward holding tank. Then I removed the longer of the 2 hoses. This hose was downstream from our Lectra San and went to the vented loop in our system. When I peered inside I was pleased to find that it was clean as a whistle. I guess the Lectra San really does do a number on the flushins as there was no sediment build up in the hose at all.

This left the shorter of the 2 hoses; the one that runs from the toilet directly to the Lectra San. It was only 4 feet long but passed through 2 bulkheads and removing it was like arm wrestling an Anaconda. The thing was kicking my ass but I finally prevailed. When it was removed I was pleased to see that indeed this had been our problem.

The 1 ½ inch hose was closed up so badly that the opening was less than a quarter of an inch wide at either end. I don’t know about you but expecting to stuff one of my turds through a quarter inch opening would be unreasonable. David Copperfield couldn’t make that happen.

Since my cup is always half full, even when I’m up to my elbows in excrement, I thought I might have a piece of hose on board long enough to replace the clogged one. Even better was the fact that the hose was in the first place I looked and sure enough, perfect fit.

So after an extensive clean up of my tools, the bathroom and myself things are once again happening like they should when the magic happy handle is pulled. Afterwards I played a bit of charades with the dogs which they really seem to enjoy. Here's Tucker doing his John F. Kennedy.

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