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Sunday, 5 February 2017

Macerator (er?) toilet fitting... a crappy job!

What a blooming faff that was.

You may recall a few weeks ago the toilet tank (made by tec-tanks) arrived along with the Leesan fitting kit and hull fittings etc.

They've been languishing in the garage ever since waiting for me to get the courage up to tackle the fit.

On Friday night after work, I went to the boat and got everything ready... when I say got everything ready, what I mean is I opened a bottle of wine and lit the fire 😄.  AS a result, the Saturday morning "early start" didn't materialise.

When we eventually made it home to collect the tank, it was about 9 am as I needed to call into screwfix on route to purchase a couple more of the Bosch quick connect circular saw blades in the sizes required for the hull fittings...  they're very good.

The tank wouldn't fit in Andy's car so we strapped it to the roof 'clampet syle' of my old works Rav and were relieved when we arrived safely.  Andy suggested we go incognito but given that most people wouldn't know it was a poo tank anyway, that seemed a bit OTT.

I won't lie - it was quite a relief that it actually fit into the space under the bed... especially given as I'd never actually measured it!

I'd printed out the tank fitting instructions off the Leesan website but the photos appeared to contradict the narratives... for example, it stated several times it was best to have the rinse out and pump out at opposite ends of the tank whilst the photos had them all in the same corner?

SO, ignoring this, I applied ginger common sense and did my own thing.

from left to right:  Vent, Rinse, Pumpout and toilet connections.

IT took a lot of pressure to get the fittings through the "uniseals"  - even with plenty of fairy.  Eventually, I got them all in position and began cutting through the wardrobe to accommodate the pipe work.

That all went easily enough but of course when it came to cutting out the lining and insulation under the gunwhale, things went down hill...  in that, I cut through the power cables hidden behind the panelling to power the loo.  They were supposed to be down the side of the unit as per my wiring diagram but once again, the builder must have deviated... only slightly (well 8 inchs) but it meant I had to cut and re-connect them.  Luckily I have plenty of ferrules left and 30 amp choc block thingys...

What's taken me only 15 minutes to type, had of course taken all day and by now it was dark.  SO - armed with head torch, once I'd drilled a guide hole up and out, I went outside to cut the holes in the gunwhale for the fittings.  Using the Bosch circular saws and plenty of oil to lubricate, it wasn't a bad job and my little cordless drill was fine... well it was on the "slow" setting.

Having done the pump out one, I then went on to do the rinse fitting.  I'm not sure if it's a little close (I suppose we'll find out when we do our first pump out) but it made sense to have them in the same place to me.

As usual, I slapped plenty of sikaflex around the fitting and through the holes before screwing them down.  I'll get some more expanding foam and squirt that around the area at the weekend to stop condensation forming AND to help support the pipes.  Note I used 2 hose-clips on each one - WHEN searching for them btw, you need to look for "worm clips"... or you don't get many results.  

By the time this was done, Andy was getting restless so we made the fire up and retired to the pub for tea. 

THIS morning once we were up and about, I went back to the job to sort out the internal plumbing and wiring.

ALL I can say is the Jabsco instructions are rubbish! - having followed them step by step, I noticed the minus feed to the pump was not connected to anything... NOR was there anything in the fitting guide telling you to.

I gave it the benefit of the doubt and did what it said - only to find when testing it, "nothing happened" - Applying my common sense again, I connect it up to the boat's negative feed and hey presto. 

Another thing that wasn't mentioned was the 19mm (ish) cold feed pipe required to connect the flush up...  I got lucky being able to modify some left over 'rinse' pipe to connect it to the solenoid.

I've had to "choc"up the pan on 40 mm of board so it's at the correct height when we get the oak flooring down and under it.  

For now, I've just fitted the vent and filter together and NOT cut any piping to the outside of the boat - IF the charcoal filter works as it's supposed to we won't notice any smells... the second we do, I'll be cutting another hole through and outside.  

This is the inaugural flush - 

I've added a sachet of brewers yeast to the tank and done a couple of flushes to mix it up - the theory being it will help "chomp up" the contents and remove the need for chemical additives like blue or green - no doubt we'll see if it works.

  Very pleased to have a "proper" toilet up and running.  I'll need to investigate how to use the pump-out machine at the services block shortly... perhaps enlisting the assistance of another boater the first time to show me the ropes.

Until next time...


Tom and Jan said...

Are you going to fit a tank gauge?

Naughty-Cal said...

We don't add anything to our toilet tank (other then wee and poo of course!) and don't get any smells from it at all.

NB Muleless said...

Have you got a toilet tank gauge?

Quaysider said...

not sure yet - the tank is quite opaque so visually it will be easy to check... although I'm NOT sure I want to lol. I did see one that straps to the side and uses some kind of ultrasound thing to determine if it's full... that looks less likely to "bung up" than some of the others - although they're all expensive and money has just about run out.

Quaysider said...

not yet - the plan (at the moment) is to see how we get on without one.

Quaysider said...

is yours vented "outside" or just a charcoal filter inside like I've done to begin with ? - I'd like not to have to drill another hole out but dont really like the idea of a smelly boat.

Naughty-Cal said...

It is vented to the outside. It has a fairly large vent in the hull side towards the bow.

Naughty-Cal said...

We have a simple light that comes on when the tank is 80% full. Well that is the theory anyway. It has a habit of sticking on.

It is fairly obvious when our tank is getting full though as it dips the bow down which is quite noticeable.

Maffi said...

My tan was fitted with a gauge 10 years ago. It rose to full in the first month and stayed there for the next 6 years. Since then it has slowly dropped to Zero over the next couple of years where it has stayed ever since.

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