“The List” is self-perpetuating- an oops adds….

A simple pumpout. No big deal. Odd that the forward head didn’t shut off after flushing a few bowls of fresh water, so I knew I was in for some maintenance. The guest head had had the vacuum switch replaced, and I suspected this one was due. After doing some diagnosis and troubleshooting, I concluded that there was a blockage in the system between the toilet bowl and the pump. The vacuum tank and the control switch is in that circuit, and I headed for the switch. In the process, I determined that the blockage was the primary culprit and the failing switch was a bonus! The vacuum tank is what “stores” the vacuum that makes the vacuflush “flush”. The blockage was at the bottom of the tank, and removal for cleaning would be required. I decided I’d attempt to clean it in place. As the hose at the bottom of the tank was removed, a mirror revealed the outlet was blocked with a combination of crystallized “stuff” (mostly urinary salts) and toilet paper that had become lodged in the occluded opening. As I discovered upon clearing the obstruction, the blockage was also stacking the product of who knows how many previous flushes. Oh well, my career path included worse. Not much. A virtual waterfall of raw stuff resulted, and although the wet vac got most of it, it was understandably nasty. The wet vac did a swell job of filling the whole boat with the sweet smell of success. I had solved the problem. Or so I thought. A few trial re-assemblies revealed a vacuum leak, and finally required complete removal of the tank for closer inspection, a bad glue joint was the culprit.

In the process of removal, I stressed the lavatory bowl tailpiece, and heard a dreaded “bink” as the china broke. Just a small piece of the bottom of the bowl, but no repair would correct it. Replacement of the bowl required. Arrrgh! A tedious job as the OEM install at the factory was completed with the yard’s signature gallon of Sikaflex or some other bonding material, liberal application does not cover it. It is nearly impossible to pry off, it must be cut. I was able to find a suitable replacement bowl, not a perfect match, but acceptable. All is back together, a new vacuum switch sits atop the vacuum tank, and the leaking fitting has been painstakingly machined out and a new one glued in with ample glue and primer. And the list goes on.

The exhaust ell mentioned in a previous post arrived and was installed, a shakedown resulted in higher temps than before, and some investigation determined that one of the minor, but critical modifications was not completed during fabrication, so the fitting went back to Ft. Lauderdale for correction. The manufacturer has been great to work with, and was frankly embarrassed by the error. They completed the changes, and sent photos of the ell undergoing testing in their test tank. I’m assured that this time it will work as designed. BTW, they paid the freight. I’m anxious to try out the new fitting, it will be a pleasure to be able to cross that worry off the list of problems.

Buffing and waxing is complete, Maerin sparkles like new. A shame it doesn’t last much more than 6-9 months, especially when that time is spent in the south!

One Response to ““The List” is self-perpetuating- an oops adds….”

  1. Linda Bialecki on 26 Sep 2011 at 4:24 PM #

    OMG, Steve, what a disaster! So sorry I wasn’t able to (continue) to repay your kindness for solving my relatively minor plumbing problem. At least your expert was resident :-).

    Good thoughts for a no problem future.