Saturday, October 5, 2013

Head Troubles!

On WD we have been having head issues for sometime now.  (For landlubbers, the Head on a boat is the toilet.)

Marine heads are notorious for terrible smells and clogging pipes, even back pressure explosions of sewage all over the poor guy trying to fix them!  Our head has always been a source of frustration to Kristofer.  He has pulled out and replaced all the pipes, replaced through hulls, replaced the head itself, changed it from a hand pump to a macerating electric head.  The list of work goes on and on.  The last three years though, it seemed like nothing we did worked for very long.  The head clogged almost every day. 

This last week hasn't been any different.  For four days I have been unclogging the sink/toilet drain.  I would hear,  "Mom, it is clogged again".  I would then go in and work for a short while with a three foot pull tie as my snake to work the clog free.   This was a great plan and worked ok until Sunday morning when my handy dandy pull tie didn't work anymore.  I had to call in the big guns.   "Tofer I need your help, please".  (Prepare yourself for this little gem about "living the dream.") to fix these extra stubborn clogs Kristofer had to put on his mask and snorkel and swim up to the through hull fitting where he would run that wire tie up into the through hull from the outside while I pumped the head!  This always worked but it meant that when it unclogged he would be in the cloud of sewage! YUCK!!   

We worked like a fine oiled clog freeing machine.  It cleared with some effort and to our surprise a AAA battery game out of our thru hull.  Yes, a AAA battery... Then the metal wrapping of the battery came out on the next flush.  Lets just say our head hasn't worked this well in ages.  
To solve the mystery we asked the kids, having promised them immunity from punishment if they could shed some light on the mystery.  Benny contemplated the likely hood of this immunity being upheld by his father who had just climbed back on board after swimming in sewage, to his credit he 
piped up and said, "We'll, when I was around 6 I dropped one in the sink." There is our answer we 
laughed, but that was 4 years ago folks.  It took four years, a new toilet, many hours of frustration, gallons on Draino and some yelling fits to get that damn battery out.   

So our fingers are crossed and we hope this solves our heads issues for a little bit.

Below are some technical drawings of the workings of marine heads... You can see how complicated they are compared to landlubber models!  The last picture shows what happens when seawater meets sewage in pipes over time.... They slowly clog to the point that, well, a AAA battery would totally clog the system!

Liv'n the dream
Bec and the Burton Clan

1 comment:

  1. Hey guys, just started following along. Really inspiring! A battery! Crazy. I like the easy diagram you have above but I'm curious where you might install vented loops in the system. I know I can find tons of info in other places, just wanted to chime in here, and see if your thoughts on the matter differ from others.