I don’t set these words down with any sort of pride, but with a simple desire to demonstrate the concept that the skipper of any craft is fully invested in the heads and related plumbing. This has had me worried for some time now because both of our pumpout macerators have demonstrated a fondness for mischief. When one throws the innocently labeled Macerator switch one never knows what will happen and even if it’s working perfectly how would one know? You flip the switch, it makes a racket, did it work? I don’t know. From the sound I think it might have. This is the kind of conversation we have every time. Things like “can you smell anything?” come up a lot too.
Well dear reader, “Fix macerator leak” has been on the list for some time now. There are many reasons why it hasn’t been seen to, I dare say some of which you’ve already thought of. The starboard macerator has been, up till now, my star pump unlike her evil twin the port macerator pump which has leaked, made unholy noises, eaten impeller blades, and simply not done anything at all since we bought Escape Velocity. Other than a small leak the starboard macerator has worked as advertised. Fix macerator leak…it sounds so simple. On inspection I could see that it was loose and missing two studs and fasteners. It’ll have to come out. Four hose clamps, two hoses, two wires, and four mounting screws and its all mine. I can take it out of the impossibly tight confines under the bathroom sink and operate out on the cockpit table. I got as far as the second hose.
The instant that 1-1/2″ hose slipped off the macerator shit was flying everywhere. Walls, ceiling, face, hair, clothes — and I’d like to offer this small piece of advice — if you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re holding a big hose gushing shit never open your mouth to say, “oh shit.”
I’m told that my second mistake was taking my dripping sorry butt through the boat to show Marce how hard I was working. She was initially bemused until she noticed the vile trail of holding tank product behind me. And the smell.
Well, thrill seekers, the Skipper was unceremoniously marched out of the living quarters onto the curiously named sugar scoop to de-poop. This gives Escape Velocity a whole new meaning!
After near retching the 1st mate cheerfully came to grips with what was left of the starboard hull.
I quickly formed a plan that would involve an old macerator that I knew was buried in the back of a cockpit locker. Maybe between the two I could make one worthy of the name.
With bits from this and bits from that your humble servant was able to fashion a macerator that leaked in new and unusual places.
But that’s not the bad news. The bad news was that I had to unplug that python of a hose and get it back on the macerator. A few words to St Jude, patron saint of lost causes and within minutes I was squirting down the guest bathroom again. Not quite as bad this time, after all the holding tank only holds 20 gallons, filled to the brim because the 1st mate thought the holding tanks were starting to smell a little so she topped them up with chemicals and water. I guess I fixed that. Now there’s no doubt about the smell.
Marce spent another hour or two scrubbing up again and sniffing every nook and cranny. It’ll take a few days to get back to normal. And the pump still leaks.