01 May 2018 | Town Basin Marina, Whangarei, NZ
Back on SCOOTS, life is getting back to normal for Eric and me. Normal, for us, means a steady supply of projects balanced with a good amount of play. We've been having our fair share of each.
The list of projects we arrived home with, in spite of our tackling several each day, hasn't shrunk much. This is because of what I call “trifectas”: the inevitable expansion of one job into at least three jobs. No matter how quick and simple a task seems to be before we begin it, we can almost always count on doing at least two extra tasks before we're done.
Tuesday's trifecta is a perfect example. I wanted to check the float switch in our shower sump, as it seemed not to be working properly (Job #1). This should've been (and actually was) a relatively simple task, involving the removal of several floor boards to give me access to the sump, running water into the sump, and watching the operation of the float switch. When I did this, I could see the problem, and fix it quickly and easily.
However. While I had the boards up and a sizeable area of the bilge exposed, I took a look around, to make sure that everything else was ship shape. Sadly, everything was not. The bracket holding the strainer for our fridge input line was coming loose (Job #2), and one of our new seacocks had a drip where the elbow connector attached to it at the top (Job #3).
Once we've seen these problems, and we know that they're there, lurking beneath the floor boards, we can't unsee them and hope they'll go away, as much as we'd like to. We might as well dive right in to take care of them. And so, putting aside the jobs we'd planned to do, we spent the rest of the afternoon, and most of the next morning, attending to Jobs #2 and #3.
Job #2 and Job #3, it turned out, were two aspects of a larger issue, this larger issue being that when we had the new seacock installed last year, the hose chosen to connect it to the strainer was the absolute minimum length that could be used to bridge the gap, thereby imposing a constraint that made servicing either the strainer or the seacock a royal pain. And here we were, needing to work on both.
So, rather than fixing both and leaving the larger issue unresolved, we decided to redo the whole shebang.
[The picture indicates the main players in the trifecta, though as it was taken midway through the process, the short, heinous piece of hose has already been discarded and isn't in the picture.]
To do this, we began by removing – and tossing unceremoniously into the trash – the heinous short piece of hose. Then we removed the bracket for the strainer, drilled new holes in the supporting piece, repositioned the bracket a few inches to port of where it had been, and remounted the strainer. We removed the seacock elbow connector, cleaned the old, failed sealant out of it, and wound it with about 14 inches of Loctite 55 Pipe Sealing Cord – a dental-floss-like alternative to teflon tape recommended by the seacock manufacturer, and which Eric finally found after visiting quite a few hardware, marine and sporting goods stores in Whangarei yesterday– before screwing it back into the seacock. We cut a new, much longer piece of hose, and attached its ends to the strainer and the seacock. Then we opened the seacock and watched for leaks.
No leaks! Hooray!
Then we quickly put the floorboards back in, before I discovered anything else we might want to fix.
To balance out our work trifecta, we also enjoyed a social trifecta yesterday: happy hour, dinner, and fun conversations with friends. Because balance is important.