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Friday, January 23, 2009

Update on Head Plumbing

The design for the head systems has now moved from two "independent" head systems to a more "centralized" head system with two toilets. See the "Head Plumbing" drawing link on the sidebar. A centralized system has some distinct advantages with few drawbacks compared to the independent approach.
  • cheaper - centralized system shares some common components that would otherwise be multiplied with the independent system (cost savings estimated to be about $1000)
  • saves space - fewer components means more space for other stuff
  • more "efficient" layout - in the centralized system, the components can be placed in those "hard-to-reach" areas, under the main salon, that are unlikely to be accessed in "normal ship operation". This may make access to components difficult for repairs, but, hopefully repairs will not be a regular event (knock on fiberglass).
The only real drawback is difficulty in running sanitary plumbing through the boat. Also, one might expect the redundancy of two independent systems to be better. But in the centralized system, the critical redundant piece is the vacuum generator, of which we need two anyway. Components after the vacuum generators (holding tank, discharge pump with manual backup) are less critical (not much can go wrong). When I originally considered this some time ago, I thought it would be too difficult to install a centralized system. But, now having got my "VacuFlush training" (aren't I special) and with the boat interior being further built out, installation of such a system should not be that difficult. Note, the Electro-Scan is still planned as an option. There are a few installation questions I intend to hit the manufacturer with at the Seattle Boat Show. Update: Got a look at Vacu-Flush stuff at the boat show. The 706 compact toilet is way too, um, compact. Changing to the 5006 toilet. Add $140.

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