Middle of the night, an unpleasant surprise: the head (toilet) has stopped working. Plunger jammed; will not go down. 2 am and David is taking apart the head, hoping to fix it before Michelle wakes up. This didn't do the job. Clearly, more is wrong....
First problem turned out to be most of the hoses totally clogged with calcium deposits. 1.5-inch diameter hose reduced to <0.25 inch! This even though we regularly flush vinegar through the system.
|hose filled with calcium buildup -- yuck!|
Although other cruisers suggested several flushes with muriatic acid should clear the hoses -- which David tried -- this was not good enough. The only solution was to open things up, pull out hoses and replace with new hose. This is not an easy job, and required removal of the large "vanity" in the bathroom.
|Vanity removed -- white hoses are the new replacements|
A few of the shorter pieces of hose were extra-flexible hose, needed to make several sharp turns. As this type of hose was not available here in La Paz, David elected to "ream out" these pieces, flush them, and re-use them.
Finally, after all the hoses were replaced or (mostly) cleaned out, the head (toilet) itself needed a rebuild. The primary problem was the "joker" valve, which was distorted and would not close properly. Fortunately, we had a full replacement for the pump unit.
|a used joker valve; ours looked way worse|
All put back together, everything worked as new. Free to pee again!
All in all, a smelly, messy and physically demanding job. (But a job that would have happened back home as well as here.) We will have to be more vigilant with our head maintenance.
Ahhhh... boat work in exotic places. We celebrated our restored head by going out for dinner.