Monday, 13 July 2015

Crap Job.

I am full of the joys of spring - even if it is summertime. There is a skip in my step and all is well in my tiny little cocoon of the world. Why you may ask am I in such a frame of mind. Being noted as a premium grade, grump monster and part time twat. 

But I digress.  I shall reveal all, but first my tale of joy.

The Memsahib came quietly up from behind, I was suddenly startled by her quiet outward demeanour and the fear in her eyes. I instinctively knew something was seriously wrong. (Its a man thing)  I mentally skipped through everything I had done in the last few hours, but could not remember anything. Then, she uttered the words that all boaters fear and dread more than 'we are sinking prepare to abandon ship'.

No, this time it was the ultimate sphincter tightening moment. She revealed - the toilet has stopped working. Shit, I thought and shit I was right. Yes, there it was so to speak, leisurely bathing in the bowl. I did all the usual man things, I pressed the button. Nothing, so I pressed it again, still nothing. The pump-out light indicated that the tank was empty (we had a pump-out a few days ago)  - but the ready light on the Maceration system remained extinguished. The French have a word for such situations - Merde!

The thought of what might need to be done, if my worst fears proved true. Brought with it a dark cloud overhead and the metaphorical deluge began to drizzle. 'OK, you can do this' I said to myself - 'all that is required is a systematic check'. So systematically I start, 'check trips, check'. Using multimeter, I test for 12v power availability, check. Then as a means of over kill, all the trips on the panel were reset, nothing. The circuit diagram for the boat revealed no in-line fuses. Next level down, I need to check the power at isolation switch on the control panel. Where 12v is available. Shit this is going down hill fast - or in our case to be factually correct, it wasn't.

In times of crisis, I usually boil the kettle and then make a cup of tea. The Memsahib, sensed the level of stress and made a strategic withdrawal and went shopping. I was hoping it was not for arm length marigolds and a gas mask. So I dig out manual for Maceration toilet system. I need to study in great detail the inner workings. So I sit down with cup of tea and peruse the destructions in fine detail. This is going to be a 'big jobbie' so to speak.

Then it was time to make another cup of tea. Shit, the kettle is empty, so I decide to fill it up. However, no water issued from the tap? So, I check that the water pump is switched on, check. Reset water pump circuit trip, check. I get the multimeter and check for 12v at the pump - nothing, zilch, nada, Shit! It was at this point - that my systematic test went slightly awry. So I dig out spare pump and exchange with current one. Back to control panel, check power available at terminal. Nothing, zilch, nada, the laws of physics says - 'diagnosis does not compute.' I pull off the spade connection, then check again! Now 12v is available. I put back the spade connector, the pump starts running, then stops again, but to soon. Shit!

I note, the wire for the water pump is heavy gauge, but the spade connector is for a smaller gauge of wire. So I peel back the shrink wrap. To reveal that the crimp connector is not even crimped. The shrink wrap had been holding the connection together! First day apprentice stuff! So I get the proper sized spade end crimp from electrical spares box, crimp new joint. Note, to myself that the wire to maceration system is heavy gauge as well. But like the water pump is connected with small gauge crimp. I peel back the shrink wrap, crimp is not crimped. So I fit another spade end crimp. I check maceration ready light - still extinguished, still no power. Shit!

Time to make the much needed second cup of tea. I turn on the water pump, fill the kettle, put it on the stove, when the pump stops running. At that instant, the toilet triggers and water flushes. The leisurely bather disappears down the dark tunnel. there is the usual, suck, whir and woosh, then bowl refills with clean water. The ready lights are on and all is well in my world. So I do the usual man thing and press button again, suck, whir and woosh, then bowl refills with clean water. Puzzled, how the water supply can control the maceration system, I visually check the water pipework - I discover a water pressure sensor with the supply to Maceration system passing through. Device is not shown on circuit diagram. Shit!

I begin to muse to myself, that if I had not stopped for a cup of tea or if the kettle had contained more water I might have been days finding the real problem. A badly made electrical connection on the water pump, was turning off the maceration system. So it would seem that there is a lot of sense in the English way of pausing to reflect on an issue - over a cup of tea!

So now, I am full of the joys of spring - there is a skip in my step and all is well in my tiny little cocoon of a world. However, I fully expect that some other little shit job will be along to spoil the day.

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