Thursday, December 30, 2010

My plumbing is defective

Allow me to explain.

Your water comes from a faucet.  Mine comes from a tank in my boat, which is delivered to our faucet by a small electric driven pump.

That pump was not operating properly and Kerry was unhappy with the performance of my water system.

So I promised her I'd do something about my defective water system soon.  Today seemed like the day.  I set out to clear a space under the port side lazarette, where the little water pump lives.  This meant hauling a bunch of stuff out into the cockpit (I didn't mean that pun -- sue me), and climbing down into this space...

This is the area under the lazarette when it is empty of stuff.  This is where I'd have to squeeze my ass, arms, legs, and tools into to get to the little pump and remove it.

Now, today was freezing, literally, but it was nice to climb down into the space.  At least I was warm.

When I got down there I assessed the situation.  This meant looking over the stellar wiring job (this is the first negative thing I have said about the previous owner at this point) that awaited me on this job.

"Wire nuts? Wire nuts on a fucking boat?" I said out loud.

Yeah, wire nuts, and butt slices, all corroded, that pulled out in my hands.  The pump you see here is the bildge pump.  It's what keeps my home from sinking should the basement (bilge) develop a leak.  In sorting out the wires, I pulled the corroded connections for the bilge pump loose from the multiple butt splices (sometimes two or three per wire run) and the male/female spade (no shit) connectors.

So I had to rebuild the wire connections on the bilge pump too.

But the little water pump wasn't that hard to pull out, if you count being crouched in the space, arms bent up, then down, trying to get at the mounting screws.  Finally it was out.

That's it, one defective water pump and one soaked crotch (see photo above). After changing my pants and hanging my soaked ones up to dry, we headed for Fisheries Supply to get a new pump.  After figuring out they had the right one and finding a strainer recommended by the manufacturer, I headed for the electrical aisle.

Yes, I got butt splices.  I also got diaelectric grease for the insides of the splices, to prevent the very corrosion I discovered at the start of the job.

Returning to Brigadoon, armed with new pump, strainer, splices and a sandwich, I got to work.  Kerry was very patient as I, buried in the lazarette up to my shoulders, called multiple times for help; get this tool, hand me that, etc.

It took more time figuring out how to de-splice, de-spade, clean up the wiring than actually doing it.  However, once started, I removed about eight connections (opportunities for failure and corrosion) and replaced them with exactly two.  The new pump was in.  Now to flush the system and proclaim victory.

Not yet...

The damn system finally flushed the air out of the sink in the head but the galley faucet would not flow.  It was very frustrating.  Finally after staring at it for a while, I unscrewed the aerator from the faucet and -- sploosh! -- water everywhere.  The damn aerator was clogged with a teeny piece of debris.  Now the thing worked.  The pump happily chugged along, shutting down when I closed the faucet.  Success!

Except the quick release fittings on the pump leak a little.  I took care of that with a quick trip to the hardware store for various sized "O" rings.  I'll soak my crotch again when I install them tomorrow.

Your water comes from a faucet.  Mine comes from two stainless steel tanks buried under the cabin sole of Brigadoon.

Wait until you hear about where my electricity comes from.

1 comment:

  1. Hard but good work at the end. I hope you'll not find any more wire nuts hidden down in Brigadoon.