Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Colonic Irrigation saves the day!!

Jim at Calcutt Boats fixed our diesel leaks yesterday and now we have a shiny new lift pump. It amazes me how a piece of automotive machinery like that only costs 23 quid. I bet if it were a part for a modern car it would be several times the price.

What Jim failed to do though was to find the source of the water leaking into the engine bay bilge. He spent a long time spreadeagled across the engine and peering round the back of the calorifier but to no avail. I was a bit despondent when we finished and it being late in the day we moored up just above Calcutt top lock. Overnight I worried at the problem, fearful that if it were say a coolant leak which suddenly got worse we could suffer a breakdown in the middle of nowhere. Well this morning I decided that it need another look at and as we were still only yards from Calcutt Boats, I reported back and asked for further investigation.

Jim, still smiling and ever patient, returned to the task and spent another goodness knows how long squeezed between a running engine and the side of the boat. He tightened a couple of hose clips without much hope as it all seemed dry round there. Then he leaned over and gave the calorifier's pressure release valve a knock with a spanner and shouted "aaargh" as a jet of hot water shot up his bum which happened to be poised over the valve's overflow pipe end. Then it all became clear and explained why the swim inner wall near that point had had streaks of wet like condensation on it. The PRV had been sticking open a bit and spitting water onto the wall and dripping into the bilges. A new PRV (£12) was drawn from the stores and fitted. There was now a lot of water in the bilge as the calrofier had emptied itself in the process of removing the old valve. Jim brought out Calcutt's trusty mega bilge hoover and we were soon dry.

By now it was nearly noon and we needed to get as close to Crick as possible before dark because we have to be there for the BSS inspection on Thursday.

Kath had the car at Calcutt having rescued it from Cropredy yesterday, so she now had to run it back to Crick then get two buses back to Braunston to join me when I managed to get Herbie there. Kath shot off to Crick while I took Herbie down to Wigrams Turn and then left towards Braunston. Our good fortune continued in remarkable fashion as when I drew Herbie under Butcher's Bridge in Braunston two hours later, Kath was just walking down the path from the bus. Pefect timing. Braunston locks were kind to us and we reached Norton junction comfortably before dark which is where we are now. With some trepidation I lifted the deck board to peer in the engine bay fearing I might see a few more pints of water in the bilge and another load of spilled diesel under the engine, but I'm very happy to say there was practically none. Hooray!

Cause for a celebratory pint or two in the New Inn tonight don't you think?

Jim worked for us an hour and a half yesterday and probably over two hours this morning much of which was trying to find the source of leaks. We had a new lift pump and a new pressure relief valve. Total cost just over £150. I don't think that's a lot.


Halfie said...

Considerably less I'm sure than I'll be forking out to get my 45-year-old Volvo through its MOT. Glad it's sorted.

Paul and Elaine said...

Sometimes the relief valve can blow off because of a failing pressure switch on the fresh water pump, might be worth checking the pump pressure is correct as well.

Val Poore said...

And it sounds as if Jim is much more patient and conscientious than your average garage mechanic. Glad you got it fixed, Neil. I've got some catching up to do here, I see.