Monday, May 13, 2013

Plumbing Project Continued (Joining it all together)

In the last post we talked about the new plumbing project that we were undertaking but could only take that project so far until the engine room was ready to connect it all together.

Part of the work that was going on in the engine room (and in a different post detailing that project) was to install holding tanks for waste water.  To do this, the old floors and platforms that had some rot in them had to be replaced.  A new floor was built, frame for the tanks, tanks installed and a new subfloor on top of those was created providing a new platform to mount the batteries, pumps hot water, heater, etc.

Early on during this project we wanted to make sure we had a way to filter water for use in our boat.  We have seen other boats that would put a canister style filter in the galley on the main sink cold water supply to ensure drinking and cooking water is filtered.

We decided to to create a 2 stage filter that will filter all water whether it has come in from a dockside pressure line or water from either of our two water holding tanks on board.  (We store 115 gallons of potable water on board in 2 tanks)  Because there may be times that we take rain water into the tanks, we wanted to be sure that we can filter it completely.    The first stage filter is a 5 micron sediment filter and the second stage is a 2 micron carbon block filter.  This not only filters the water from impurities, but the carbon block will remove any bleach that we may add to the tanks to purify any suspect water we may take in.

With the engine room complete enough to get back in there, we have been able to put the fresh water pressure pump in, the hot water heater, and start to combine all of the water lines that are replacing all of the old PVC flexible hosing that was starting to break down.

The picture on the right shows a small shelf I installed to mount the new fresh water pump to.  This pump is a variable speed pump that eliminates the need for an accumulator tank.  Above the shelf there is a wooden plate mounted over the soundproofing material (1-1.5" thick soundproofing covers all walls in the engine room)  This wooden panel will be the place to mount the manifolds to distribute the lines to the different portions of the boat.

I was able to find these extendable diffuser connections.  Basically it looks like a tee with PEX connectors on 2 sides and the 3rd side fits into one of the other tees.  The more you push together the more connection points there are, and it would be real easy to add an additional port for a future expansion.

One of the things we liked about PEX was that all lines can be color coded making the designation between hot and cold obvious.  In the picture on the left, I had connected cold water supplies to both the Galley/Front Head and also the Rear Head.  On the left side the hot water connections are made to also go to the Galley/Front Head and also the Rear Head.

I started with these lines mainly because when we ran the pex, I had left quite a bit of extra in the engine room and it was rather cluttered with every one of those lines having an additional 4-5 feet of line in the way.  I knew I bought more than I needed so I was ok wasting a bit to make sure we had plenty in there until we knew exactly where we were mounting it all.

You can see a bit of the finished connection points in the photo to the right.

Before this project there were flexible hoses and hose clamps and tees all over the place and it looked like a real mess.  I am glad to see this organized like it is in the picture on the right. Now with that said, I can tell you that as I have been planning and imaging this project, I had envisioned all of these really straight lines all mounted flush right up along each bulkhead and corner.  That would have been great, but as it was I think we spent about $250 on tees and 90 degree connections.  If we had done this the way I envisioned we could have easily tripled that, so I am satisfied with this and it looks MUCH better than before.

I also started to remove the connections from the old hot water heater and noticed that it had a horrible oder in the water inside the tank.  It smelled like sulfur and we had noticed this prior to starting this project as well.  In the end, we decided that if we were going to look at replacing the hot water heater now was the time.  We considered an on-demand style but after doing the calculations quickly realized that even the smallest load required would be 20amps at 120 volts.  This would translate to no less than 2400 amp hours and more than I would be able to supply with the current inverter and I like the idea of being able to make hot water in a bind by running the engine for 10 minutes or so.  We have mounted the hot water heater and ran the cold and hot water lines to this location.  This model does come with the ability to circulate the engine coolant water through the hot water heater to generate hot water without electricity, but sadly the hot water lines from the engine won't reach this new location for the hot water heater so will need to be replaced with longer ones.


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