Saturday, August 3, 2019

Drip... Drip...


"What was that," Jane asked.
"I think the water pump just ran," I said.  "It was probably just on the verge, and a little leak back caused it to cycle," I said, hopefully.

15 minutes later...  Brrrrrp...

"OK, no one is using water and the pump just cycled twice.  Either we have a leak somewhere, or the pump is failing."

Hoping for the best case scenario (meaning I would not have to replace the pump...), I started at the bow and checked for water running aft in the bilge.  I didn't find any until I got to the last floor panel.  Yup, there it was:  drip, drip, drip.

Great!  It's not the pump!

But where was it coming from?  Best bet: a cracked fitting.  But where?  I could sort of see the general area where it was coming from, but serious boat surgery would be required to access that area.

Now those of you that don't own boats might be surprised to hear that there are quite a few places on boats that are either inaccessible or nearly so.  Boats are more like modern cars than those from the 50's and 60's.

So.  I began unloading and disassembling the flooring in the cabinet opposite the refer.

Getting access to the area...
I have been in this area before, but not as fully as this job was going to require.  Yes, I could now see the water actually dripping.  But the source was still hidden up inside that rectangular opening down at the bottom of the area, where the gray water lines are going. 

Deep dark hole...

I stuck my phone down in there and took a blind picture - yup!  Got it!  I even caught a falling drop of water in the air!  See how the left hand fitting is cracked?  That's where the water was coming from.  The fitting on the bottom of the tee is cracked too, but strangely not yet leaking.  Both of them need to be changed.  (The fitting on the right had already been replaced - it had a price written on it.)

I should point out that this space is at the aft end of the engine, and that when I finally got up the courage to dive into the job, standing on the engine mounting bunks, my shoulders were about level with the floor in front of the refer.  Deep.  And narrow - only a little wider than my shoulders.  And filled with hard things that hurt when bumping or kneeling on them.  In the end, I ended up kneeling on the engine bunks, straddling the shaft, and putting my legs back (fwd, actually) alongside the engine to get low enough to work in the opening.  Barely.

Once in position, and with good planning having the correct tools at hand, the job didn't take too long.  The hardest part was tolerating the pain in my shins and knees, knowing that it would all be over soon.  Voluntary bruising, the price to be paid.

These are the bad guys
When it was all done, I awarded myself with a beer in the cockpit, while waiting for the pump to cycle.  Hours later, it still hasn't.

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