Keeping Busy

Life on the boat presents us with a never-ending supply of small but essential jobs.  We have to keep an eye on the levels of everything from water to Watt-hours and diesel to dish-washing liquid.  Planning our travels so that we don’t get caught out provides quite a lot of entertainment for me.  I was concerned that back in Edinburgh I’d struggle to find things to fill my days.

Once we were back in our own flat, there were a number of projects that kept me entertained on days when I wasn’t out cycling.  The most protracted of these was resolving the plumbing problem in the bathroom.  Following some excellent advice (thanks Roland!) I had attacked the wall in the kitchen rather than ripping off the tiles in the bathroom.

Pipe Work in Kitchen Wall
Pipes Ready for Shower Valve

I haven’t done a lot with push-fit plumbing before, but I am impressed by how simple it is to cut, join and rejoin pipes.  As the project progressed I found I had always missed some vital item or another.  I cycled many (enjoyable) extra miles to various DIY shops (other DIY shops were used too) to keep the project running,

Bike Laden with Plumbing Kit
How to Carry a 3 Metre Pipe by Bike

The trouble was, I couldn’t get the valve in place without the cold supply leaking.  I eventually realised that the leak was not with plastic fittings.  The connector that screws in to the valve is brass, and the drip I got repeatedly was from this thread.  The web provided me with a number of techniques which should solve it, but none did.  Rather belatedly I noticed a ragged edged inside the recalcitrant coupling.

Faulty Shower Valve Inlet
Shower Valve Inlet with Suspicious Thread

I got in touch with the supplier.  They asked me a few questions but quickly agreed to send me a replacement.  I was pleased with that, but annoyed that I would now have to wait to finish the project.  To my amazement, the replacement valve was delivered late on Saturday afternoon.  I fitted the couplings straight away and left the sealant to dry – the tube says it dries fast, but that can be “up to 24 hours” depending on the conditions.  I decided to wait a day to be on the safe side.  

Trimmed Hedge
Bike Shed Camouflage Trimmed

So this morning I decided to get out a different power tool to occupy myself.  The bush that disguises our front garden bike “palace” needed a trim.  In the afternoon we went for a short walk, the air temperature didn’t make a long stroll very inviting.

When we got back I decided to fit the shower valve. Putting it in place takes only a few minutes – I was relieved and delighted to find that there were no drips!  I spent a little longer putting the kitchen unit back in place.  It’s now hard to tell that it was ever moved.  The valve in the bathroom also looks great.

I’m pleased to have restored both the kitchen and bathroom to a decent state before I go in to hospital tomorrow.  Here’s hoping it’s a good omen.

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