Monday, August 03, 2009

Oh 'eck, that water should be IN the tank...

We had a chillin’ day on Saturday, just relaxing and doing nothing in particular. Yesterday, after my morning run and Meg’s walk I was sat with a cup of coffee when I noticed a damp patch on the floor near the front step.
The floor under the step was wet with water leaking from the pump or associated pipework. We pulled pins and set off for Sileby Lock, so I could get to Sileby Mill Boatyard for any bits needed. Dad and Ann were coming to see us with a package of mail as well, and here would be as good as anywhere.

The water had soaked into the bottom edges of the cabinet work either side of the step, so I stripped out as much as was practical. The leak was actually from the pump body itself, on the inlet side so at least it wasn’t under pressure. There would have been a lot more water around if it had been!

Oh dear!

I sat the pump in a tray to catch drips, while tidying up as much as possible. But we’ve got books and jigsaws, DVDs and videos scattered all over the boat, the contents of the front cupboards. Luckily they were built with false floors, so nothing was water damaged.

After Dad and Ann had gone (new licenses now displayed, and a new phone to play with), I went across to the boatyard and managed to get a like for like replacement for the pump. I thought I’d have to order one, or modify the pipework to suit a different design. The price wasn’t bad, either.
So it was old one out and new one in, without any problems.
It was a warm sunny day, which meant I could get the damp panels out on the roof to start drying off, and with the doors open at either end of the boat the floor started to dry as well.

This morning I decided to repipe the pump, using a length of flexible hose either side as it should have been done in the first place. I also fitted a screw terminal block for the wiring connections, so it’ll be easier to swap next time! It’s actually a lot quieter now as well, the hose absorbing vibration from the pump far better than the Hep20 pipe. Finally the boatyard were able to supply a reseal kit for the old pump, so I can fix it up and keep it as a spare.

I’m also going to take the opportunity to modify the front steps to give more storage space and access to the unused space above the water tank.

We moved off from Sileby at around 11:00, taking advantage of the lock left with gates open (and paddles up!) by a day boat. Through Mountsorrel Lock where the crew of one of the Peter Le Marchant boats emptied the lock for us, and down to Barrow Boating to fill with water, empty the loos and get rid of the rubbish.

Out of Mountsorrel, Symphony waiting to go up.
Someone likes gardening....

Hydrobikes from Barrow Boating

The river levels have been dropping steadily over the last 48 hours. Leaving Sileby the water was on amber, at Pillings Flood Lock it was on green, but the lock was still in use with a fall of 3 or 4 inches. At normal water levels the lock is open at both ends, it’s closed to protect the 4 mile long artificial cut around Loughborough.

Pillings Flood Lock, protecting against high river levels.
We pulled over just past Millers Bridge, on the good moorings there, around 2 o’clock. Another sunny day has meant that I’ve been able to have the woodwork on the roof again. It’s just about dried out now.

Millers Bridge Moorings
I wanted to make sure that none of the leaked water has finished up in the bilge, so moved a bookcase, lifted the laminate and cut an access hatch through the marine ply floor. I had to remove a few engineering bricks (ballast) to get to the baseplate, but was relieved to see that it is completely dry. So it looks like the leak was confined to the woodwork and floor. Could have been a lot worse….

Just down the towpath is NB Wilvar. We met a couple of years ago on the Llangollen, and haven’t seen each other since. So I went and had a natter. They’ve been up on the Lacaster Canal and really enjoyed it. A canal we’ve got to get to at some point.

We’re meeting sister Kay in town tomorrow, at the new moorings in the basin.

Since Friday – Locks 6, miles 7

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