A few weeks ago I had to do a little emergency plumbing when an old hose came off of a T-piece and my water pump emptied my tanks into the bilge.I still heard the water pump come on occasionally, although it was less frequent. Dreading what I might find, I stuck my head into the hatch by the hot water heater once again and shone a flashlight into 2 or 3 inches of water that had collected again. The hose I had re-connected was still connected, but there hadn’t been enough slack in the hose for me to trim a fresh end last time. Once they’ve been in place for awhile, they don’t always like to conform to a new shape, so that could still be my leak. However, another branch of that T-piece was showing a few barbs suggesting that hose was about to come off and I suspected the hose clamp was more of a fashion accessory than a compression device at this point. It was time to move on to the next step of this project.
Please note that I am not a plumber, just a newish boat owner learning things as I go.
I took a trip to the marine store and came home with 15′ each of 1/2″ clear polyester reinforced PVC tubing for the cold water side and rubber heavy-duty water hose good for temperatures of up to 190 degrees F for the hot side, new 1/2″ T-pieces, and stainless steel hose clamps. The same access problems still existed from the last temporary repair and that needed to be addressed as well.
Again I stripped the contents and shelves from under the galley sink, and again I pushed my settee cushions out of the companionway door into the cockpit, pulled up the settee hatch and unbolted the hot water heater from the hatch that sat beneath it.
Since the lines were fed through holes that had been cut in the wall between the settee and the galley, I started by detaching the cold water line from the galley sink. I moved it back and forth to identify it from the other side, then pushed it through the hole to make room for the new hose. Once that was done and I was able to reach it from the hatch I gave myself ample length and attached it to a new T piece.
I then connected a new cold water hose to the hot water heater and attached it to the same T-piece so I could now reach the connection just by grabbing the hose on the heater. The same process was repeated on the hot water side of things, leaving plenty of extra hose for future changes or rearrangements. I left the old brass T-piece in place. The photo shows the old hoses (yellow and red) and the new (white and black).
Next I trimmed the ends of the hose coming from the water tanks and replaced the T-piece that connected that to the strainer. New hose also went from the strainer to the pump. I was about to replace the hose from the pump to the accumulator, and when I tried removing the old hose, the outlet arm of the accumulator came off instead! I was glad to have found that now rather later when it started to leak. I checked the specs on the Sureflo water pump I recently installed and it stated no accumulator was needed – so in the trash it went. Note from the photos the state of the old hoses.
Last but not least, I cut the hatch board that the hot water heater partially covered so that a portion was alway free to be moved without unbolting the heater.
After all that was completed I made a diagram of what had been replaced for future reference when I get ready to replace the hoses that lead to the head sink and shower. There will be a new set of access problems and even smaller spaces to work in, so I’m not looking forward to it, but I’m very happy to have this part done. When I finished, I had to pump out the bilge under the galley again, and I’m estimating there were probably 10 gallons or more based on the time it took the pump to empty it.