A cold spell is coming so off I went to ensure the boat’s plumbing will not be not damaged by the water freezing in the pipes and equipment. All it takes is to drain down the domestic plumbing. You know the sort of thing, open a drain valve and open a tap and let the water run out. Except of course the drain valve is at floor level of the boat and the floor of the boat is below the water line outside. Water does not drain up hill.
That is where my modification comes in, I put in a tee piece and air vent before the pump so I can pump the water uphill to a sink and let it run out. Well that was the first modification. Valves and tee pieces are fun inventions I think, the meccano set or lego set for the amateur plumber.
The other winter I decided that it would be useful to have a gas water heater for when the water tank had been drained. The water tank had a valve each side of it, so by adding a couple of tee pieces and a couple more valves I could switch over to the gas heater without refilling the tank.
After a while I realised that if I had been using the tank, but it was tepid I could run water from the tank through the gas heater to get it hot enough for a shower. That needed a couple more tee pieces and a valve or two, my third modification.
Last winter it took ages to empty the tank ready for winter using a drill pump, but I got this idea that if I created a loop using hose pipe, from the bottom of the tank to the inlet of the domestic pump I could pump the tank dry in no time. But I had to add another valve.
So there we have it, the only thing I had to do when I got to the boat was to connect the hose and find the coded instructions which I now need to tell me which valves to turn to get the combination that I currently need. With valves A to G in the wardrobe and three others elsewhere I can easily drain the system, flood the floor or blow up the tank depending on whether or not I get it right.
This is the last month that I am keeping the boat in Apsley Marina. It has been OK for the last 7 years but I have not really got the value out of it. One of the things that the marina has, and it is outside the security fence, is an elsan disposal room. As an aside, the “security” fence is one of those low chain fences that you can either step over in the daylight or trip over into the canal at night.
Anyway the elsan point is in its own room which I have used quite a few times. I nearly always forgot to take my CRT key to open it, taking instead only the marina “security” gate key. Over the years I have remembered at last. At least once out on the canal I would still be able to use the elsan point, many boaters do because the nearest other one is a hour away by boat.
This week I went to use the point for the last time and I remembered to take the CRT key.
This week the lock has been changed to take a marina key. A key that I will have to give back when I leave the marina.
How is that for Murphey’s law?