Light up your loo
Rob Farrendon on how to fit a loo-cassette-locker service light and switch for under a fiver
I like to do the toilet-emptying run in the late afternoon/early evening. For me, knowing the cassette is not going to be full first thing in the morning is important, we are on holiday (I love getting back into bed with a cuppa to watch the news on breakfast TV) and, of course, in the dark winter months, this often means trying to hold a torch and pour in fresh chemical at the same time.
The thing is, messing around at twilight with a full cassette could be a messy business, so I decided to fit a service light in the locker.
I had a pair of Cob 12V day-running lights in the garage, I bought them purely because they were so cheap, just £1.97 the pair, and I knew they would come in handy one day. A switch that activates when the hatch is opened seemed like it would possibly foul or hinder the removal of the cassette, so I decided on a large, easy-to-find switch with a flat bottom, that I could simply stick to the side wall. A foot-operated switch I found on eBay for £2.19 fitted the bill perfectly – though how I was going to get my foot in there I wasn't entirely sure!
The Cob lights come supplied with their own double-sided adhesive pads for fixing and I used number plate sticky tape to securely fix the switch to the side wall of the locker. This stuff has certainly proved to be good for fixing things in the past, so I was optimistic!
Next, I used snap-lock splice connectors to link the switch into the power supply for the flush tank pump. However, I decided to take the female spades out of the connection plug. They have a little barb that needs to be depressed using a small clockmaker's screwdriver. You simply pull them from the plastic plug. I then managed to open the crimp, feed the switch wires alongside the supply wires and re-crimp together.
The single Cob light is rated at 6 watts, which I calculate at 0.5 amps, so this should not cause any issues for the additional loading of the circuit. I certainly hope that the flush and light would not be operating at the same time!
My new lights work well when emptying at dusk or in the dark, leave the light on while you are away on your errand and there is another benefit to be had. If someone doesn't know what you are up to and decides they need to use the facilities, they will enter the bathroom, lift the toilet lid and lo and behold, they will see the angelic halo of light emanating from below. Hallelujah! No more accidental puddles to mop up.