No, not computer or mobile phone jargon, but High-Speed Poo & Pee Pumping. That is, as opposed to the relatively slow process of manually pumping the stuff from BELLE’s waste tank into plastic containers and then barrowing these containers to the nearby Elsan. Those that live in a house who depend upon the stuff being efficiently whisked away on demand via a hole in the floor need read no further. Those interested in boater’s toilet talk should read on.
There has been a lot of manual pumping and barrowing going on hereabouts for the last 6 weeks or so whilst the canal has been frozen over. I shall admit to you that having to cope with all this barrowing has given me an incentive to advance my motor driven waste pump project some more. Sadly, the motor driven pump and sundries (pipes, fittings and wiring, etc.) that I purchased for waste tank emptying about a year ago have sat around doing nothing other than collecting dust.
My plan was to have a tubular frame fabricated for this pump, the idea being that this frame would also carry the associated motor start / stop unit. This frame was a nice touch, but arguably not really essential. Getting around to sorting out this frame however (in conjunction with us being able to get to the nearby marinas for pump-outs with ease for most of the time) delayed things.
No more delay though. I am pleased to report that, whilst the fabricated frame idea has been ditched for a while, the motor driven pump and start / stop unit have been wired together and all of the hoses and connectors have been configured and they are all now earning their keep by performing some HSPPP.
It’s a simple arrangement that is easy and quick to to set up whilst moored alongside an Elsan (or some other suitable facility) and it takes about 4 minutes to empty the tank from full (about 340 litres in our case), followed by about 10 minutes worth of rinsing out. If the canal is frozen this arrangement could still be used to pump waste into plastic containers instead of using the manual pump, thus reducing the manual graft a bit, but there would still be the barrowing to cope with. Of course, this also represents an opportunity for us to save ourselves typically around £15-£20 a time for a pump-out at a marina. It is not going to take long before the pump, start / stop unit and the wiring and piping etc. have paid for themselves (about 2 years I reckon).
You have probably gathered from this photograph that our pump is heavy duty and a far cry from the stuff usually on offer at the chandlers. It is actually a Jabsco pump but that is where the similarities end. As well as the aggressive liquids involved, this pump is suitable for managing the the soft-solids (don’t you just love that term) of the size and consistency produced by a macerator toilet. The motor is 230v ac with a FLC of 4.2 amps. You could wire the motor so that the start is DOL (risky). In our case, connecting the motor via the start-stop unit will limit the motor start-up current and in so doing lessen the risk of blowing BELLE’s 230v ac system asunder. The pump inlet is connected to the waste tank outlet via 1.5″ bore flexible plastic hose (sanitary grade) using several domestic waste fittings, whilst the outlet is connected to approximately 10 metres of 1.5″ bore ‘lay-flat’ plastic hose (which reduces the stowage space requirements significantly). If you want to know any more tekkie stuff, drop me an email.
Had we known then what we now know, we would have probably had a motor driven pump like this one integrated into BELLE’s waste system when she was built. It is of course possible to retro-fit and there is just about enough space under the floor and in the engine bay in BELLE’s stern to accommodate this pump. Connecting to the nearby waste tank could be tricky and would probably require some hacking and carving. If I ever get around to doing this, I shall let you know. Don’t hold your breath though, because there are too many other things higher up the list at present, including some more relaxation!