Sunday, February 07, 2016

Project Pancho nears it’s conclusion…

There’s been a lot of head-scratching the last week or so, working out how to install the new composting loo in our somewhat spatially challenged bathroom. It’s not just the new loo; there’s a new vanity unit going in, and I wanted to make sure that all the associated pipework was hidden.

Blank canvas, wash basin and cassette loo removed.
The marks on the wall indicate where the wash basin used to sit, with the waste going straight through the hull side alongside that from the shower. Things get a little complicated ‘cause I’m swapping the loo and basin positions over…

But the first, and most worrisome job was to drill a 76mm hole in the roof for the vent from the loo. I always follow the old rule, “measure twice, cut once”, but in this case it was measure several times from different datum points (windows, roof vents etc) then measure again! In the event, my first exploratory 6mm hole was about an inch out, but still within the area to be removed.

And there it is, through steel, spray foam and deckhead lining.

One useful trick I’ve picked up on the way is how to deal with the steel swarf. If you don’t clean it all up it rusts very quickly and stains the paint. You wrap a cloth around a magnet, hoover up all the swarf, then unwrap the magnet away from the area. Neat, eh.

Roof vent fitted, there’s a fly screen inside.

The 75mm pipe runs inside the wardrobe on the opposite side of the bathroom bulkhead.
Apart from the roof the pipe has to go through two shelves and the bathroom bulkhead to mate up with the loo.

Rather than tile I chose to use wall board. Dead easy, high gloss white and cut-able by Stanley knife.IMG_8385
There’s new cushion flooring gone down too.

The vent comes through the wall, and the pipes for the basin now come up through the floor. I cut out a narrow hatch along the wall, removed the brick ballast and routed the pipes through the void. They’re well wrapped in insulation.

Removing the bricks has actually helped the boat’s trim. We were always a little right side heavy before. The waste pipes are now boxed in.

I think one of the reasons that this model, rather than the Airhead or Nature’s Head, is not so popular with boaters is the remote urine handling. (Not literally…) The other two use a tank integral to the unit, this design is more suited to land-based applications where the pee can go to a soakaway, drain or into Separett’s Ejectortank which dilutes it with water for use as a fertiliser. The outlet from the urine “funnel” is at the back, but only around 170mm up from the floor, which makes sourcing a decent sized catch tank with a small footprint almost impossible. My solution was to cut another hatch, this time removable, discard the ballast (we’ll be leaning the other way at this rate!) and sit a container on the base plate. The drain pipe goes into it through the hatch cover.
The container is a plastic storage box, and realistically will hold no more than 3½ litres. I hope that’s enough for 24 hours for two people. If not I have a cunning plan…

Meet Pancho, in position and almost ready for commissioning…
Why Pancho, I hear you ask… Well, it’s a Separett Villa 9010. Hokay? Winking smile

For ventilation there’s a fan drawing air across the solids tank and up the vent pipe. I wasn’t sure how quiet it would be, so installed a switch, just visible on the panel alongside the loo, so it could be turned off at night when we’re in bed. In the event it’s so quiet you can hardly hear it even when you’re sat in situ…

We’re still waiting for the vanity unit to be delivered, hopefully that should be with us Wednesday. Then we’re back in business.

Anyone want a used but functional Thetford C100 cassette loo?

We did move down from the top of Dobson’s Locks on Friday, in dire need of diesel and solid fuel. This time our transit of the mechanised swing bridge went smoothly…
We filled up at Apperley Bridge Marina then were blown across the canal to where we moored. We’ll be here for a few days.

There’s still no chance of getting south of Leeds, I think there’s still remedial work to be completed on the Aire and Calder, and anyway the River Aire rises to above safe navigable levels if someone so much as spits into it.
It seems more and more likely that we’ll be heading east on the L&L as soon as the bridge refurbishment in Shipley is finished.

Locks 2, miles ½   


KevinTOO said...

Sitting pretty now then ? LOL
That'll be of great relief to you both ! ;)

ditchcrawler said...

I produce 2.5 lt of liquid in 24 hours.

Tom and Jan said...

The story isn't complete until we see the photos of it in use! :-)

Carol said...

Pancho looks good Geoff, will await your opinion after it’s had some use. Love to you both. x

Sue said...

Blimey Geoff what a wonderful job you are doing. Looks excellent!

I was wondering though.... Old loo out then work to put new one in.. Did you both manage to cross your legs for that long? Teehee!! :D

Steve and Angela said...

A stressful job cutting the hole in the roof. Glad we had ours fitted for us. As it replaced a pump out that came out of the roof, there was already a hole and routing for pipework in place. It just had to be made bigger.
The Airhead tank is 8 litres and lasts us a couple of days, so you will probably be just about OK daily. You only forget to empty it once ! We ended up with a puddle at our feet. Would yours back up the pipe or overflow out of sight ?

NB Muleless said...

Lovely job Geoff! Wouldn't work for us - we would need nearer 2gallons! Ha ha!