“Um… dad! The shower isn’t draining!”
So that’s an exciting thing to hear while your kid is taking a shower. And when water isn’t draining off the boat when it should, that can be just as bad as water getting onto the boat when it shouldn’t!
Different boats have different ways of getting gray water (water from drains and showers) off the boat. In the case of our kitchen sink and the master head, the sinks drain overboard directly. As in, there’s literally a hose running from the drain to the exterior of the boat. There’s not a lot that can go wrong in that case, unless the hose gets clogged… but that’s an easy fix. But in the case of the showers, the drains are below the waterline, meaning that the water from the drains need to be pumped up and out of the boat.
Oddly, we have two different kinds of pumps for the two showers. I have no idea why. The guest shower has a pump that is operated by a switch – you turn the water on and then turn on the switch, and the water constantly drains out. In the master shower, there’s a sump system. The water drains into a sealed container, and a float switch activates a pump that empties out that container. That works just fine… until it doesn’t. And in our case, the float and pump mechanism failed. Fortunately, it was just a matter of some sludge (gross) that built up in the sump, and after cleaning it and clearing it out with some vinegar, it was good as new!