Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Loo update, and an engine service.....

There's just no stopping her!

After a successful effort in staving off the inevitable with the Suzuki, Jackie has been at it again! This time, fitting the new parts to the loo and then doing an RCR course on diesel engine servicing.....

First, the loo:

A conversation with Leesan decided that the solenoid was probably not the cause of the loo filling with too much water when flushing. More likely was a rise in pressure caused by the new pump Jackie fitted to replace the old, knackered one. (We also added another accumulator tank too, and this may also have been a contributing factor). Leesan reckoned that a restrictor valve between the pipe and tank would solve this, so one was duly bought, along with the non-return valve that prevents waste backing up in the bowl, a new air vent and some descaler for good measure. Good job too! The originals could have soaked for a week in descaler and been none the better. (We would have taken pictures, but such things are probably best left to the imagination.....). Lots of pipe cleaning ensued, and really stubborn deposits removed with 'One Shot' drain cleaner.

(N.B. 'One Shot' is lethal! It's a really powerful acid-based solvent that will eat rubber seals and most pipe adhesives.

It must be used sparingly, with caution, a long way from the boat and the river!

It must then be flushed down a mains drain with loads of water.)

It also eats clothes....

Having flushed the re-assembled loo and sorted out a couple of weeps, Jackie determined that, though better, it still wasn't quite right.

Some head-scratching ensued (hands were washed first....)

We reckon the loo is probably seriously scaled up inside. "Pippin" stood, unused, for at least six months before we bought her, and for another four with only occasional visits. This, plus a possible lack of preventative maintenance under the previous owner,(understandable, really: if the loo's working okay, regular de-scaling can look rather like money down the drain....), may well have done it.

Anyway, the system is now into it's third day of a good internal soak with LeeScale. Lets hope it does the trick....

Last year I did the RCR day-course on diesel engine servicing. It's really good! Pete, RCR's top engineer, comes to you with all required spares and service items and basically, teaches you how to service your engine.

I particularly like this approach as it is theory-light and heavy on the practicals of how to do your own boat's engine in the boat itself. The disadvantage of a classroom course is that even if your engine is the same as the one used , each installation is bound to cause potentially confusing differences.

Trouble was, after a year had elapsed, my hastily scribbled and oil-smudged notes made little sense...... My fault entirely, but as a result, I wasn't prepared to risk wrecking the engine by making a simple mistake.

Do the maths:
New Beta 50hp:- c.£5,500.
An RCR service plus one-to-one tuition:- £150.

So it was that Pete from RCR turned up on Sunday to teach Jackie how to do the engine service. A neighbour who has done the course too, but felt, like me, in need of revision, kept careful, clear and accurate notes (she's a teacher...) Pete was his usual brilliant self, Jackie really enjoyed learning, and the engine is now purring.

I made the tea and contemplated learning to knit.

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