Funny how things go; the other day I was just thinking that i was overdue for something to break down; we never go for a long stretch without something starting to smoke or otherwise self-immolate.
Sure enough, we got a double whammy the next day: Tracy broke the toilet and the propane shut-off solenoid went pffft and I couldn’t heat my lunch.
Funny how both problems had to do with food at either end of the alimentary tract.
I was not pleased at all about the toilet trouble as it’s an old bugger, and almost certainly would involve replacing it. those who follow this blog know that I’m not squeamish about getting my hands “dirty” and have pulled the thing apart before, but at $150.00 for a complete, new toilet means that it wouldn’t take much to convince me to toss the whole thing and slam a in new one.
Fortunately it was actually a minor repair and I had it working again in about ten minutes.
The solenoid was another thing all together as I had left my meter elsewhere and had to troubleshoot the system without it. Accordingly I blew a few fuses and had to do some digging as of course the fuse for it was buried and unlabeled (I hate DIY electricals!) I eventually deduced that the switch was okay (replaced last spring, which of course meant nothing), and that power was in fact getting to the device, although it wasn’t actuating.
It wasn’t that old as I had installed it about two years ago, but it’s location hanging off the stern means it is exposed to the elements and it’s really not designed for that. Because we live aboard, the little ten lb tanks that go inside the little lockers aft are just too small and we empty them too quick. Accordingly, I have our twenty lb tank hanging off the stern which is the safest, if hardest on the equipment.
These solenoid valves are not cheap at 60 bucks a pop, but are absolutely essential. What was cool was that I could buy a new digital multimeter for ten bucks. I could have tracked down the other one, but at that price why bother? besides, it’s nice to have a few of ‘em kicking around. Total waste of money buying one of those 12 tester lights when you can get a full meter for ten bucks. I think I paid well over $150.00 for my first DMM.
You can see where the shut-off valve is in this shot; totally exposed to the elements on the rail. It’s right after the tank, even before the pressure regulator. I guess the latter will be the next to go. I know it’s not ideal but there’s no place else where I’m willing to mount the tank and I’m leary about having the shut-off a long way from the tank as that would defeat the purpose of the thing.
The top valve is the old one.
Installing the valve. It’s very important that you use proper sealant on the fittings; do not use plumbing-type teflon as it will break down. Use only sealant that is certified for gas work.
The new valve is in place (and it’s still raining). You can see the sealant on the nipple threads. I mount it all just with zap straps as they are quick, simple, last a long time and I know the assembly will have to come off not that far down the road. A straightforward job, yet it still takes a few hours.
And now for something completely different. How’s this for a blow-your-mind vessel? I’m not sure I buy the bit of shipping being one of the most eco-friendly forms of transportation, as they burn the very worst crap available as fuel. That stuff so heavy it’s almost like burning road asphalt and it’s very foul with sulfur.
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