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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Domestic Water Distribution: Forward End

Somehow, I always imagine a space as being bigger than it really is. I am sure there is some psychological term for this. Maybe it is optimism, but that term most certainly does not fit the rest of me.

I have had this space underneath the floor of the forward salon designated for pluming of the domestic water system. That includes: water tank feeds, pumps, filters, strainers, tubing, and distribution valves. The final distribution valves have been waiting on a special order from SeaTech, maker of these handy and inexpensive 'slip on' hose and fittings (no hose clamps or barbs!). One of the special order items was a custom built manifold to distribute three hot and three cold destinations. Now, their catalog does not give dimensions, so I guesstimated the size of this thing and carefully planned the placement and any extra parts I needed (tees, elbows, etc). Of course, when I had the manifold in hand, I discovered it to be too big.
Top: manifold. Center background: tank valves. Bottom foreground: pump strainer.
The first step in finding a solution to this sort of problem is, again, to stare at the space for about an hour (reggae music on the iPod seems to help). The solution is constrained by two requirements: accessibility, size of access door. The the original design sought to make all this stuff accessible through one trap door in the floor. Water filter access is particularly important as they may be changed frequently. The filters are bulky requiring plenty of wiggle room to unscrew and remove the cartridge bowls. The original plan had things laid out horizontally. In order to get everything to fit, the final plan has things placed vertically. In the end, this is a better solution as the valve assembly could be made more compact. The final plan did not require any extra fittings! 
Bottom left: one of the water filters (red button).
This valve assembly controls water for the forward end of the boat. Later, a similar but smaller assembly will be installed in the engine room to serve the other end. There are primary large tubing (22mm) for hot and cold water running between this space and the engine room. As of yet, we do not have a hot water source, so for now the cold water main line makes a u-turn into the hot water main line.
The whole enchilada
As there are no plumbing fixtures installed, the tube ends were capped with stopper fittings. After everything was fitted, the pump was connected and power applied for a pressure test. There were a few leaks where fittings were not fully seated around the tubing. All easy fixes. I had hopes that some day, this space may hold a modular water maker, but, I am pretty sure there is no more room. Oh well.


Still to come: aft end fresh water distribution, and raw (sea) water distribution
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