This was supposed to be the “summer of the paintbrush”, and
yes, I have got quite a bit of that done but for a while there it was the
“month of the pumps”.  Kairos has four
water pumps that deliver water to the sink, the hot water heater and the
handbasin in the head,  and the last one pumps out the
shower when that’s in use. It has a macerator pump on the head, and three
electric bilge pumps plus a manual one, and one more which is the engine
cooling pump.  Ten in all, some of which have quite complex plumbing.
Would you believe that over about a month I’ve worked on
every one of those!
I’ve replaced two of the domestic fresh water pumps, and
overhauled two more. I’ve replaced two bilge pumps and repositioned one, put a new impeller in the
engine cooling pump and put an overhaul kit in the head pump.
Every pump in the old ship has been either replaced or
But one, just one, and that one the worst one, still didn’t
do its job.
That’s the head.
So, bearing in mind that the outlet from the head is just
below the waterline, and that only thing that could be wrong was the plumbing
from the head itself through the holding tank and to the skin fitting with its
big ball valve, and that I’d cleaned that ball valve out from outside a week or
two ago, I took everything moveable and shifted it from the bow to the stern,
anchors, chain, toolkit, bedding and a heap of other stuff, and with the RIB
inflatable dinghy on the davits managed to get the bow up enough to get that
fitting up to about water level so I could pull the hose off the inside of the
fitting then flick it on and off to check that it was still clear. It was, and
I only had a couple of buckets of water come in and the bilge pumps took care
of in very short order.
I’d already taken the hose off the head outlet, and with a
bucket under it had established that the pump itself was working as it should,
(sigh of relief, that meant that my overhaul wasn’t a messup) so working back
from there took each piece of hose off in sequence.  About halfway back through the five pieces I
found that they were packed full of you know what, as full as a politicians  campaign speech.
Cleaning them out and refitting them as I went, I worked along the
series, and voila, hard up against the ball valve found a big chunk of cotton
wadding and shredded plastic filling the end of the hose and the rest of it
packed solid.  Pulled the hose right out,
up to the workshop with it, drove an aly pipe through it and then a pullthrough
in the same way you’d clean a rifle barrel which  fixed that, hosed the area down with bleach
and hot water, and reassembled it all. 
Got my garden sprayer, more bleach (lemon scented of course) and got the
area as clean as possible then tried it. 
Bingo, it all works.
Did much wiping of the very hard to access spaces and took great care in
fastening all the hose clamps, and after taking three showers things are back almost
to normal.
It wasn’t fun, but gosh its good to have everything working
Living on a boat is not all a bed of roses, marine toilets
are cantankerous things.

Open for business again.  A very mundane subject I know, but necessary.