Saturday, January 12, 2013

We CAN'T Be Out Of Water Again!

Yoga mats make great engine covers for projects!

Is that the water pump again?  No way we're out of water already!  Since we began living on the boat full time, we seem to be using just under our full carrying capacity each week.  We have four fresh water tanks totaling about 125 gallons.  While we are living in the marina, I don't even TRY to conserve, although I should be "practicing" for when we leave.  While not conserving, I'm certainly not wasteful.  There are no long luxurious showers or bathtubs full of water.  Just the sound of the water pump going is annoying enough to remind me to turn off the water when I'm brushing my teeth.

But… it seemed that we used all of our water up pretty fast last time we filled the tanks… and that was on Sunday night.  It's only Thursday and we're low again.  I KNEW I had been hearing the pump go way too often, and the bilge pump is running now…  There is only one explanations for this and I think Bruce and I have both been ignoring it.  We've got a leak. This is the very reason we wanted to spend some time on the boat before leaving.  It's better to find these things now and get them fixed than to wait for a less convenient time and place.

I'll be calling the Chiropractor on Monday
When we bought the boat, there was an issue with a leaking T- fitting which, unfortunately we now know wasn't fixed the first time.  I guess we were lucky that we could find it at all and we shouldn't complain that it was tucked away up under the bathtub.  This means someone has to crawl into the engine room upside down whilst pretzeling around the engine and various other mechanical paraphernalia, risking life and vertebral subluxation in the process.  This time we were going to fix this baby right!

We spent the morning tracking down the hoses to determine what goes where.  Bruce formulated a plan in which we would add a stretch of hose so that instead of being under the tub floor, the crossroads could be attached to the engine room wall, making future fixes so much easier.  We had a moment of panic when he had cut a hose and it wouldn't pull through as we thought it should.  Half an hour later we had it all worked out and were making a list of goodies we would need at the hardware store.

Tub Drain... not how we would have done it...
"What the h*%#l is THAT!"  I hear from the bowels of the boat.  This makes me nervous…  I look down to where Bruce is shining his light and see a hose going nowhere right underneath our bathtub drain. 

How it's supposed to look???
 Upon closer inspection, it seems that this was a spectacular botch job which is probably the kind of "fix" we would expect to do while under way from say, the East Coast of the US to Europe! (Route taken by the previous boat owner)  I guess the fitting came loose so with no proper tools and parts, the previous owner poked some kind of putty around it and never looked back!  

Now our little half hour job that turned into a whole day job, was now a full fledged two day job!  Well, we get to the hardware store and back with all of our parts and go to work getting the water leak fixed.  Bruce got to the third fitting of the T and it went on WAY too easily!  Inspecting it further, he found it to be cracked… which explains why it leaked in the first place.  Back to the hardware store for another part, do the last few steps over again and it's time to test the newly spliced hoses…  Water pressure on!  OMG water is pouring out of the free hose under the galley sink!  Oops!  We forgot we had disconnected it to pull the hose through at the other end.  Feeling stupid now, we finish the job adding a length of hose and voila!  QED!

Lessons learned:  Do it right the first time if at all possible; There must be a reason if theres a problem; and Listen to the boat when she's trying to tell you something…  Oh, and that tub drain fix… still pending..

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