Friday, February 14, 2014

Winter 2014 Projects: Update 12May

Since the major "make it my boat" projects were accomplished over the last couple winters, nothing huge is planned, just maintenance and refinements.  This page will be updated as projects are completed.

Domestic Water Supply

Under maintenance, the water lines are being replaced.  Last summer, Kelly noticed an off taste in the water.  Since the water lines appear to be OEM and the line from the tank to the pump had rotted at one point, it is probably a good time to replace the lines.

Going with PEX, commonly used in new house construction.  A couple reasons for the selection:  First, it is tougher than vinyl.  Second, it will not break should it freeze.  But, with any new tech, there are challenges:  (Update 12May) 3/4in supply line PEX did not fit the vinyl fittings exiting the water tank.  Also needed different fittings for the water pump.  All other fittings, faucets and hot water heater worked well with 1/2in PEX.

Water Tank

The supply water tank fitting was a big challenge, finding one that would work for 3/4in PEX and then installation.  Installation required the removal of the plexiglass tank top.  Once the top was removed, found the tank itself had a thin film of growth.  While cleaning it, I realized the tank must be cleaned more often, but removing and reinstalling 34 x 2in screws to pull the tank top, was not fun.  Something easier was required and the solution was a 9 1/4in Whale TCL-4 Watertight Locker Door (LD4002) installed while the tank top was off.

The hatch sticks up about 3/4in above the tank top.

With Hypervent under mattress pads, the hatch has very little impact under our feet.

Installation was straight forward requiring a jig saw, drill, 10x 1in #10-24 SS nuts and bolts along with aquarium quality silicon sealant.  Now, instead of having to deal with the 34 screws, I simply twist off the hatch cover. 

Water Lines

Update 12May:
The biggest challenge was removing the old waterlines.  The lines were zip tied to electrical lines under the sole.  I assume to make it easier during construction, certainly not easier for maintenance.  

Forward of the saloon, the project was difficult, especially feeding the lines to the faucet in the head as PEX in cool weather is stiff.  Some strong tugging was required to pull the old line out from under the head.  Feeding the new supply line was a breeze.

Aft of the saloon, the project was increasingly difficult.  Several waterline splits were located under the refrigerator, requiring removal of the fridge to access.  This space is tight, filled with electrical wiring, heater venting and the waterlines.  Heater venting was required dismantling.  However, no amount of tugging/pulling and swearing could budge the waterline crossing under the sole to the galley sink.  Ended up cutting a 3 3/4in access hole in the base of the locker under the sink to access the waterlines.  Found two zip ties within reach and cut those.  Then I was able to push the waterline from one end while pulling from the other and finally remove the old lines.  Two more zip ties came out with the removal.

The messenger did not work for the new waterlines to the galley.  Once again, the access hole came in handy as the line was feed through and then guided by hand through bulkhead holes.  Like the head faucet, the galley faucet fittings worked for the 1/2in PEX.

The Rundown:

3/4in PEX is now the main cold water supply line, running from the water tank, through the pump and down the port side to the engine compartment.  1/2in PEX branches off to the faucets and to the hot water heater.  1/2in PEX is the hot waterline.

Did a redesign whilst replacing, mostly simplifying and shortening lines.  For instance, OEM had the hot waterline out of the heater routed to two splits under the refrigerator.  One to the head and galley faucets.  But the second was to route water back, under the engine compartment (where the hot water heater is), to the aft/exterior shower.  This last split is now in the engine compartment, close to the water heater.

Also newly installed in the engine compartment is a hot water heater drain valve.  The water in the  heater tank cannot be removed via the boat's water pump.  Cold water from the water pump enters the bottom of the tank and hot water exits the top.  If the water pump is only pushing air (empty supply tank), the air bubbles through the tank and only air comes out the faucet, leaving water in the hot tank.  When the old supply waterline was removed, about two gallons drained out of the tank and into the bilge.  So, a drain valve is now installed.

Also installed a shut off valve at the supply water tank.  Should be able to clean the water pump strainer more easily.

Of a questioning note:  The OEM(?) domestic, potable hot waterlines were automotive heater hose (Goodyear, made in Brazil).  No wonder the hot water tasted of rubber.  WTF?

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