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Project Log:  Saturday, April 5, 2014

First on my agenda was to finish up the plumbing related to the waste treatment system.  Armed with a new vented loop (siphon break), I worked in the wide-open, yet awkward, space just outboard of the tank to install the loop and final hose connections thereunto.  Reaching through the opening and beneath the platform to the bulkhead beyond was just a twisting combination that human arms were not quite meant to easily make, and I couldn't see/reach well enough to get a screw in the far outboard side of the vented loop.  Otherwise, the installation was straightforward, thanks to the nice hose that actually had a bend radius, and actually fit the barbs.  The top of the vented loop was close to the underside of the v-berth platform, which was above the waterline.


That completed the plumbing work, so I turned next to the electrical side of the system, beginning with the main control box.  Two supplied wiring harnesses needed to be connected to this box to operate the system, and after a few reads through the instructions and wiring schematics, it turned out to be straightforward.

I mounted the box on the bulkhead just forward of the tank, where it was easily accessible, protected, and well within the 24" reach of the wiring harnesses.  I connected the wires in their appropriate places, as directed, and secured the harnesses with a few wire clamps.  One wiring harness led to the treatment plant, the other to the tank's macerator pump and high/low switch relay, which ultimately determined when effluent would move from the tank to the treatment plant and then overboard.




An LCD display, where overall functions could be programmed, as well as a control panel were included, and needed to be connected to the control box with network cables.  Only the small round control panel needed to be accessible from the head itself, so to limit water exposure I chose to install the LCD programming display across the way in the hanging locker, where it was easily accessible for programming, but otherwise out of the way.  Before mounting the box, I measured out for a couple future shelf locations, so I could place the box appropriately between them. 

I led the network cable down the inside of the locker to a point beneath the v-berth platform, then into the forward compartment, where I ultimately connected the other end to the control box.


In the head, in a sheltered, out-of-the-way area, I installed the small control panel, and led its own cable to the control box forward.  I applied sealant beneath the control panel.


The treatment plant worked using electricity and salt water somehow--I neither knew nor cared exactly how--and would use significant amounts of power during short-duration treatment cycles.  During my bulk wiring phase some time back, along with various other wires I'd led a normal 14/2 conductor forward for the sanitation system, apparently thinking mainly of power to the macerator pump, not the high-amperage draw required for the treatment plant; it never crossed my mind that I might need larger cables, mainly since the treatment plant, at that time, was simply a vague future concept rather than an immediate reality, and I thought I was planning appropriately ahead. 

So in the event, I found myself now without the proper conductors to operate the treatment plant.  The specifications called for at least 6AWG cable for the distance I had to run.  Fortunately, I happened to have a supply of 4AWG cable on hand that I'd erroneously ordered for another job a while back, and this larger size would easily suit the amperage-carrying requirements of the system.

Getting the new cables up to the bow was the hard part.  I gave this a lot of thought.  The starboard side, where I'd led most of the forward-leading cables earlier, was too long and too convoluted a run for these big cables, and even if I could have run them easily that way, I couldn't face the prospect of it.  I didn't want to lead them through the bilge, though that offered the most direct route.  So ultimately, I ended up running the two new cables (+/-) through the upper port lockers, where I'd run other wires earlier.  This had the advantage of being easily accessible, relatively straightforward, and close to the console and electrical service.

I led the cables through these spaces, from the port tankage utility space in the pilothouse, above the dinette, through the locker outboard of the head, and finally into the utility space below the v-berth, providing chafe protection at each bulkhead, divider, or obstruction along the way.


Once I had the cables snaked through the boat, I made up the connections required at the sanitation system, to the control box and the system ground.


Then, working my way aft, I secured the cables and removed slack, through one locker after another, and slid the chafe-protecting lengths of hose (which I'd threaded onto the cables as I'd led them forward) into their final positions as needed.


Finally, I led the two cables into the wiring compartment in the console, and made up the ends.  I needed to get a larger circuit breaker for the panel, so for the moment I left the red cable unattached, but made up the yellow cable to one of the negative distribution busses nearby.

Finally, I had time for a fourth coat of gloss varnish on the head door (back side).


Total Time Today:  5.75 hours

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