We're almost done with the heater!
27 April 2012 | Vuda Point Marina, Fiji
Sunny and warm.
We're almost there. We're about 90% finished with the installation of the new water heater. Well, that's the installation, not putting back the floor above it. That's another task once it's in and no leaks can be seen. One other thing we did was change out several of the hoses that carry "fresh" water around the boat. When we took them off, there was a slimy orange coating inside the hose. They had to go. We got a length of hose from Aeolus to help as we had little for the project. With their help, we got new hose installed. We hooked up the cold water in(with a "T" fitting) and the hot water out with a 90 degree fitting. I applied lots of teflon tape and tightened them up as far as I could. We connected the freshwater pump to the water lines and we were set to go. We opened the faucets around the boat so the water would go into the hot water tank as well as through the lines to come out the cold water faucets. All went fine with lots of air coming out of the hot water faucets and water out of the cold(no tank needed filling for it to run). We watched the air as it went up the water lines to the faucet from the tank(benefit of having the floor off). Once water came, we turned off the faucet and the water pump shut itself off when it reached it set pressure. We had water back in the boat. Now to back up a bit, once we had all the fittings attached, we needed to fill the water tanks as we had pretty much emptied them. I hooked up the hose to the faucet on shore and connected the other end to our two filters(can't be to careful what you put in your tanks). I turned on the water and it started gushing out of the filters and into the tanks. Suddenly, it stopped after about two minutes. The marina had chosen that particular time to shut off the water in the marina!! As it turns out, one of the other boaters had jumped off their boat and collided with the hose bib on the short dock that comes out from the concrete wharf and snapped off the bib. Water was going everywhere. The marina folks started their repairs and got them done about 30 minutes later. It took a while but we got the tanks all filled.
A couple of minutes later after the tanks were filled and the system pressurized, we inspected the fittings. We found the one on the top of the tank that is for hot water was dripping. Not good as that was why we had ripped out the old heater. This morning, I depressurized the system and stripped off the old(really new)connectors. Apart they came and I put more teflon tape around all the screws on the fitting and added a bead of Plumbers Putty(really old school stuff) and screwed the fittings back together. Success, no more leaks. Then we noticed that the bottom "T" that carries cold water to the heater and continues to the rest of the system was also leaking. Every joint I'd made was leaking. How's that for a "professional"? Since we needed to get to town to get replacement fitting and some new hose, we just left it alone and headed in on the bus.
While in town, we exchanged some hose for the engine water that heats the water(too long a story for here) and got some new brass fittings as there is one pipe off the heater that is brass and you should never mount dissimilar metals together. It sets off some kind of reaction that corrupts both metals.
When I woke up this morning, I was feeling a bit off my game. As the day passed, my fever started to climb(about 102 now) and the muscles in my body told me I was ill. Boy, what great timing! Right in the middle one of the biggest projects we have done on Zephyr and I catch a cold. So once home, I started in on meds to try and bring the fever down and make the muscles stop hurting. Guess we will see how that goes. Hopefully, I'll be well enough to swap out the fitting on the heater tomorrow before my body heads south again. I"ll let you know.
One other thing we did was cut off the plug that was supplied with the heater and hard wire it to the old wires that ran the old heater. With the switch on, the water is getting nice and hot. We'll see how hot it is in a few hours. Then I'll have to turn if off so I can swap out the fittings as when the hose is removed, all the water inside will come pouring out of the heater and down into the bilge to be sucked out by one of our pumps. Gee, sure is fun fixing boats in exotic locations. Sure glad we got the air conditioner early in our stay. At least the inside of the boat is comfortable.
Stay tuned, the saga continues.