Friday, 16 October 2015

Losing Water

Ok, this time I'm not joking! We had planned to spend the weekend at the Black Country Living Museum but sadly it wasn't to be. Mr F had been on nights and on arriving back at the boat (just as I was getting up!) the water pump began pulsing every few seconds....Houston we have a problem! The water pump kicks in only when there is a draw for water so the fact that it was doing it of it's own volition meant only one thing - a leak. The fact it was doing it with such frequency meant a big leak. We switched off the pump on the control panel then set about tracing the source of the problem. Lifting the inspection hatch in the bathroom revealed a bilge fill of water and removal of the panel under the sink where he calorifier (hot water tank) lives saw the culprit sitting in a pool of wet stuff. The calorifier had sprung a leak and  put a dampener on our plans for the weekend.

The offending article

As we were due to have a weeks cycling holiday in Majorca the following week, this didn't leave us much time to get it sorted. We decided that we would try to get someone out to replace it. In the few phone calls we made it was soon apparent that no one really wanted to do it, especially not in our timescale. Mr F is pretty handy so he resolved to do it himself. We hopped in the car and went off to buy a replacement. This is where things began to get frustratingly complicated!

Firstly, the calorifier was a make that is not normally sold at most chandlers and had been custom made for the boat by a trade only supplier. Needing one in a hurry meant that we would have to buy another brand, all the fittings would be different, not in the same place and the pipework would need altering. A new calorifier was bought and although similar in capacity it was a different shape. We had measured the space available and although snug, it should fit. Schoolboy error number one. The measurements on the tank (website, label and info in the shop) were NOT the actual size of the calorifier when covered in the insulation. On returning to the boat after a two hour round trip we very quickly realised it WASN'T going to fit. It was late Saturday afternoon and nowhere would be open until Monday. At this point we abandoned all hope of getting the job done in the weekend.

Nappies are surprisingly effective for soaking up large mounts of water!

The next week was spent using water from a worktop water carrier and boiling kettles. Showers were taken and the gym and at parents houses. It's quite easy to get used to, if somewhat inconvenient. You have to be resourceful if you live on a boat. An online search and several phone calls finally lead us to a supplier of the same type of calorifier, although branded differently, with next day delivery. It arrived Thursday and we drafted in the troops (Dad O and family friend (and all round good guy) Mossy (AKA Scarlett Pimpermoss) and Mum O for moral support) to assist with proceedings the following Saturday. We needed to leave for the airport in the early hours of Sunday morning so although we didn't get it finished, we were a step closer.

The original pipework was functional but wouldn't have won any awards....

We returned from holiday and Mr F spent the afternoon completing the installation. To save us a trip down the canal to the water point we used the tap and hose from the pub cellar, filled the central heating system back up and we were back in business. Just in time for tea in the pub (Which was a good job as we didn't have any food in!).

Then the mixer tap stopped working. There's always something!

Hopefully normal service will be resumed and our next blog will be all about our journey down the newly opened Rufford Branch for our last outing before settling down at Crooke for the winter.

Tap update: The mixer tap in the bathroom is now fixed - a bit of tape must have found it's way into the calorifier and worked through to the tap, once removed the tap was back to full working order!

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