Skip to main content

What a glorious thing, this porcelain contraption!

It's finally in!  It's amazing, although not on the scale of a double rainbow or manned space flight, but on the scale of the day to day we couldn't be happier.  Many of you know that we've had some plumbing issues on Cygnet since we got her last May and it's been a challenge.  We've even had a couple weeks of "bucket" usage.  Yes it was terrible, but that's not going to be an issue anymore.

At the beginning of our season last year we had one toilet that worked just OK and another that didn't really work at all.  We did some maintenance and got both working temporarily but that lasted only a brief time until one day while we had friends aboard the rear head stopped working normally.  It simply wouldn't flush the waste out of the bowl at a rate faster than the new water coming in.  We decided that the front toilet would have to be our first choice in waste elimination.  Well that worked until we realized that the waste line had a hole in it and that waste was just pouring into the bilge.  That is also a very gross thing and something we needed to fix right away.  We spent a lot of time and effort trying to replace the hose but it simply came to the fact that we were not capable of budging the hose through the super tight space that Carver had designed for it.  Not only that, we didn't know how we'd get the new hose in.  We relented and asked Chicago Yacht Yard to do the job, see our previous post about this HERE.  It wasn't cheap or easy but they put a new hose from the toilet to the waste tank.

Meanwhile we had moved the working toilet from the front to the working hose in the back.  We had one working head and didn't really have much of a problem.  Kevin was able to replace and upgrade the waste line for that toilet and everything was going well.  It leaked a tiny bit occasionally (mostly fresh water) but we kept up with it and it has continued working.  We bought a Portable Toilet for guests and things were OK.  As the winter dragged on we planned to get a new toilet installed before the boating season and made sure it was one sized large enough for an adult to use. The one working toilet we had was the size of a donut.  So here she is, our brand spanking new Thetford Tecma Easy Fit Premium Plus.


Well maybe it isn't the sexiest toilet in the world but it works and it's comfortable.  It's a serious upgrade from our old Crown Heads since you can add water without flushing, it has a double flush, a tank level sensor, lighted smart touchpad with level display, and a very comfortable bowl.  It's compact and modern looking and we love it.  It wasn't easy to install however.

Not very pretty or functional.

We started with this, a pedestal, some wires, a fresh water tube, and a waste tube.  We measured, cut, measured, fitted and caulked and it is now fully operational.  We had to fit an additional pump for the water intake and run a series of wires through the bowels of the boat.  None of this was easy, and since we broke the seacock that stops the water from coming into the fresh water line from under the boat we had some difficulties there too.  The toilet uses the water around the boat to flush and the valve to close it broke in the open position so we had to come up with a solution to the water breaching our hull.  Here's what we did, a Glad Zipper bag and a clamp kept it dry enough for the install.

Broke my 'cock!
"Glad" we had quality product.

You can also see some of the new wiring that needed to be run, there were six wires in all- two each for the mid-level and full-level sensors and two for the new pump.  Kevin decided to make this install as good as he could so he actually purchased the right color wires and made sure anyone who has to work on this in the future can figure it out.


Unfortunately the elbows we needed for the hoses just are not easy to find since the hoses on Cygnet all seem to be some crazy size that doesn't fit anything commercially available.  We found these brass elbows at Menards and they mostly work.  The hoses don't fully seat on them, but they don't leak and they aren't sliding off.  Fortunately the old hose did fit on the pump outlet so no "fix" was required.  We both worked to get this thing in.  Kevin had to cut the fiberglass where the switch mounts with a small hack saw and only had about 3/4 inch clearance since there is a piece of wood behind the fiberglass.  If anyone from Dremel or Rotozip is reading we'll accept free stuff in exchange for some really nice words on this site, see last weeks post!  Kevin ran the wires and mounted the full-level sensor and is still considering whether or not the optional mid-level sensor ($110!!) is worth adding.  

Colette helped with the pump routing, drilling and mounting, and setting the toilet in place as well as hooking up the wiring.  If it were a perfect world Kevin would like the touch pad wiring to be routed behind the fiberglass to the bowl and not coming out the side like you can see in the photo, but there is no access to get the wires back there so it is what it is.

Pretty nice caulk job too, eh?

We've tested this thing fully and are happy to report that it works great!  So water we thinking about our latest project.  It's the #1 thing we have done to the improve our life aboard, also #2.  Seriously though, it's great to have a second toilet that is comfortable and WORKS!

Wiring Mess.

This all made it through!

Pretty colors.



Comments

  1. Why did you need another pump? Didnt the toilet have its own?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Greg, the toilet has an evacuation pump but it's not set up to pull water in. The flush panel allows you to add water to the bowl so the separate pump allows that without the flushing pump running.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Converting to Video, Let's Jump On the Bandwagon

  For six and a half years we've been living aboard Cygnet, a 42 foot Carver 4207 Aft Cabin Motor-yacht in Chicago.  We've also been writing this blog on and off and have been featured on local news and other programs.  We've had fun but it's time we transition to another format.  Originally we wanted to write about our experience and felt that a written blog was the best way to do it.  But times are changing and we've seen many boating channels on YouTube become massive.  We have no desire to become full time YouTube Vloggers but we know people like video.  They say a picture says a thousand words, what do thousands of pictures have to say?   See you on the Small Screen, Cygnet. We've seen the writing on the wall because many of you haven't seen the writing.  Due to us only occasionally posting, and other factors, our once thriving blog has dwindled into triple digit readership.  It's time to get people excited again!  By transitioning to YouTube we ho

You Live On a Boat? You Must Be RICH! Nope. Here is how to live aboard for cheap.

We've written before about how many people ask us private things just because we live on a boat. Since our lifestyle is a bit different than most  people there seems to be an idea that we want everyone knowing about our financial lives and personal habits.  Here are some questions we get: How much does it cost? What do you do in the winter? How do you heat/cool the boat? Do you ever leave the marina? Why are you doing this? Do you miss your house? How do you shower? How do you poop? Those last two come up a lot more often than you'd think.  Let's face it, most of us are a bit crude. Kevin has spent a lot of time with "proper" people, businesspersons, met many CEOs of large global companies or other folks you might think are high class.  Most of them turn into 14 year olds after a few cocktails.  That's when the real questions come out.  A lot of people are just curious, and their curiosity can overwhelm their sense of society, privacy, and politen

Powerless for Three Weeks and Counting.

On May 17, 2020 we had a flood.  River City, which sits on the South Branch of the Chicago River rose more than seven feet and the marina and building attached to it were flooded.  The building was evacuated but we on our boats were fine.  It took a few days for the water to return to normal but because the building was flooded we lost power and water. We've managed to get a temporary water solution by using the city pressure water from the spigot at the building on the weekends when they aren't using it for cleanup.  We also have a 250 gallon tank sitting nearby with water just in case we need it.  In fact as we write this we've been told we won't have availability to water for a few days at least.  Thankfully we have 150 gallons on board plus about 20 gallons in the hot water tank.  We can last a couple weeks if need be.  We've definitely upped our Solo cup and Dixie paper plate budget this month. Power is a bigger issue for us at the moment.  We have no inte