Testing the “fit” of the new toilet
Ever wonder what the single most used object on a boat is? Well, it would come down to 2 … the refrigerator and the toilet. Discovery has 2 refrigerators and 4 toilets … and with 6+ on board, the toilets, I can tell you, get the most use … these are the most used systems on the boat.
Testing the new facility for kid fit :)
Now, you’d think that there isn’t much to a toilet, heck … sit/stand, do your thing, flush. How hard is that … everyone pretty much can do this, and it isn’t something that needs much explanation … until you get on a boat … if you’ve never spent any time on a boat, here the how your first 30 minutes go … “blah, blah, blah … welcome to our boat … blah, blah, blah, let me explain how to use the toilet”.
Here’s an excerpt on the instructions provided with the toilets that came with Discovery …
The toilet is one of the most used pieces of equipment on your boat. Correct operation of the toilet is essential for the safety and comfort of your crew and craft.
1. First use
After periods without use the toilet may benefit from lubrication.
Open inlet and outlet seacocks (and secondary valves if fitted).
Half fill the bowl with warm fresh water.
Keeping the Flush Control Lever (key 23) in the Shut () position, pump out the warm water.
2. Normal use
Open inlet and outlet seacocks (and secondary valves if fitted).
Before use, ensure that there is enough water in the bowl to prevent the toilet paper becoming compacted at the bottom of the bowl. If the bowl is empty, move the Flush Control Lever (key 23) to the Open () position and pump the handle (key 17) up and down until the flushing pump is primed and water enters the bowl. Then Shut () the Flush Control.
Operate the pump with long, smooth strokes for efficient and easy operation.
During use, pump as necessary to keep the contents of the bowl low enough for comfort.
Use good quality hard or soft household toilet paper, but do not use more than necessary.
After use, keep the Flush Control Shut () and pump until the bowl is empty.
When the bowl is empty, Open () the Flush Control again, and continue to pump until all waste has either left the boat, or reached the holding tank (allow 7 complete up/down strokes per metre (yard) length of discharge pipework).
Then Shut () the Flush Control and pump until the bowl is empty. Always leave the bowl empty to minimise odour and spillage.
– SHUT () THE FLUSH CONTROL.
– SHUT BOTH SEACOCKS
If the toilet is connected to ANY through-hull fittings that are below the waterline at any time, and if the toilet or pipework is damaged, water may flood in, causing the craft to sink, which may result in loss of life.
Therefore, after every usage, both seacocks (or secondary valves) MUST be shut.
Whenever your craft is unattended, even if only for a very short period of time, both seacocks (even if secondary valves are fitted) MUST be shut.
Ensure that ALL users understand how to operate the toilet system correctly and safely, including seacocks and secondary valves.
Take special care to instruct children, the elderly and visitors.
NOTE: Do not put anything in the toilet unless you have eaten it first, except toilet paper. Do not put in: Sanitary Towels, Wet Strength Tissues, Cotton Wool, Cigarettes, Matches, Chewing Gum or any solid objects, Petrol, Diesel, Oil, Solvents of any kind or water more than hand hot.
Ok … now let’s paraphrase for a minute, because I am confident, like my children, most of this doesn’t make sense, at least not when you have to go pottie … well, going pottie isn’t the issue … it’s what you do when you are finished :).
Technological marvel … old manual toilet, vs new electric macerating toilet … woohoo
Out with the old, cleaned and ready for the new … this is what an in-progress toiletdectommy looks like
Jaci, my #1 boat helper … installing the “button” and working on the wiring … she found something else to do, once I have to remove the old toilet and “drain the hose” :)
This is what I explained to the kids (and anyone visiting).
1. Never put anything in the toilet that you have not eaten! “I didn’t eat the toilet paper, should I put that in?” … no … we are adopting the rule to the letter, if you ate the toilet paper and it came out of you, then you can put it in the bowl, otherwise, it goes in the basket beside the toilet … wait for it … ewww, yuchy! … yep.
2. Switch the lever to flush (colored arrow) … now you have to show everyone what the lever is.
3. Pump to flush, this is an up down motion, grab the handle and pull up about a foot, then push down … repeat until empty … this should be 20-30 times. Count the number of times you pumped. There is math involved here, bet you never knew that math would be handy going to the toilet.
4. Pump an equal amount of times once the bowl is clear. This is important, as it makes the stuff go through the pipes … if not, it just sits there in the pipe and slowly makes it way back to the bowl … empty bowl now, 30 minutes later, not so much.
5. Switch the lever to the dry mode (hollow arrow) … this is very important, if you don’t the boat will sink! … at least that is what I explain, then I explain how the water can come back in, fill the boat, we’d sink, have to get in the lifeboat, catch fish with our bare hands, find an island, make a hut from palm trees, build a fire and wait for 3 years to be rescued. While this is a possibility, on Discovery and many boats, the plumbing is set in such a way that this is highly unlikely … and with modern equipment, we’d probably be rescued within 48 hours, not really enough time to build a hut.
… Ok, so now that everyone understands how to use the most valuable piece of equipment onboard, we should all be set … yeah … right.
Turns out that dealing with the toilet is a “Daddy, or as some would say, a blue job” … here’s what happens … “Daddy, my toilet is broken”, “Daddy, the toilet won’t flush”, “Daddy, there is a big poo that won’t go down”, “Daddy, the bathroom smells”, “Daddy, the water won’t go down and is spilling”, “Daddy, my toilet has stuff in it” … now from my side “Who didn’t flush”, “Why is the lever on flush and not dry”, “Can you please flush when you are done”, ugh …
The reality is that on any given day 1 of the 4 toilets is clogged, at least 4 times a day, an “adult” has to make the rounds of each toilet and flush it as it has stuff in it … ugh.
Some clogs can be resolved with a large spoon or hatchet to “coax” the stuff through, you see marine toilets have a 1.5″ hose connected to them, and “large items”, must be “coaxed” through.
Watching some dance videos … Jack not so interested, although he’d get up an dance to the music he liked
First time I’ve taken Kate to dance by boat … had a ballet and pointe private
Some clogs, my favorites, require the use of snorkeling gear … I’m not kidding … this unfortunately has become a common occurrence … and as you would expect, snorkeling to clear the blockage is a “daddy” job. The issue as it appears is that the drain from the tank to the ocean is a 1″ opening, so sometimes, since not a lot of flushing water is used, the stuff starts to collect at the bottom of the tank and does not make the passage … this is identified, by the stuff, coming out of the vent on the side of the boat … usually goes like this … “Daddy, there is yellow/brown water coming out the side of the boat”.
This is my cue to get my snorkeling gear on, jump in the water with a coat hanger and poke the “poo hole” as the kids have come to call it … when I am successful, approximately 8 gallons of human (I hope) stuff empties out into the water … which I happen to be in … I can tell you that I swim faster from this “outflow event”, than from any large marine life out there … shark week has nothing on this! The underwater visual (which I have witnessed first hand many times), is like an upside down volcano erupting.
Didn’t take us long to conclude that we wanted modern, electric, macerating toilets … the kind with a button and a built in chopper … so this past week, I installed the first of the 4 new toilets that we ordered … 1. deposit goods, 2. press button, 3. walk away … The toilet pushes everything through a 3/4″ pipe, it does so by having a powerful motor with blades, yes blades, that grinds everything up.
Kate working on her swing … they all really enjoy this
Mark , the tennis pro made Jack his tennis monkey … he was having a good time
Jaci working it … she was very happy … went back later in the day to hit balls
Now, since I only have one installed … all I hear is, “Daddy, can I use your toilet”, “Daddy, I’m using your bathroom”, “Daddy, can I press the button” … last night I was woken 4 times by bathroom visitors … I guess I need to do all the others quickly … can tell you, won’t miss my snorkeling trips.
Good thing it is the off season, I think the marina staff would ask us to leave if all the superyachts where in … I haven’t read the bylaws about becoming a laundry scow :)
Dinner at Jimbo’s … everyone, but me left with a tummy ache, not sure this is on our “must go again” list