Gas and Electricity

We had another working weekend on the boat this last weekend and we were tackling two pretty big projects:

1) Replacing the gas cooker
2) Replacing the fridge.

We had found a very good LPG cooker on line which has flame failure devices on all burners and an electric ignition driven from a battery. Its an Electrolux and has four burners with a tiny little “simmer” one and a rather large burner and two nice sized ones. Its not a “boat” cooker but it meets ALL the requirements of the BSS and we did find that the “Official” recommendations for the ventilation for fitting it in a house/flat are less stringent than the BSS for fitting it in a boat. For example they assume that if you don’t have a lot of fixed ventilation then you’ll simply open a window. Whereas the BSS just assumes that you are so stupid that you’ll suffocate to death before opening the window!

The fridge is an under counter fitted style one which we got hold of second hand. Its made by Whirlpool and is supposedly an A rated fridge.We’d taken the fridge up previous to do some tests and we were happy that it would work so we were going to fit it.

The proposed plan of action was:

1) Remove old gas fridge
2) Remove front of cupboard round old fridge space
3) Put new fridge into space and fix it in place
4) Remove old gas cooker
5) Move boat off mooring to unload old cooker and fridge and to load new cooker. We have to move the boat because the jetty isn’t as long as the boat and due to a design mistake when the boat was being fitted out you can’t get large objects through a dog leg round the bathroom. So anything big has to go in and out through the front door, so we needed to move the boat.
6) Install new cooker
7) Replace T in gas line where the fridge was tapped off it with a through connector.

It sounds simple but it all went wrong at stage 2 as the gas line to the old fridge went through a wooden partition that we needed to remove to put the new fridge in. So we had to turn the gas off and remove the gas line to the fridge. It was at this point that we found that the through connector was shorter than the T piece which meant we would have to move the whole gas line from the cooker backwards.

So we started doing work in parallel. I worked on the fridge and Nick removed all the clips that hold the gas line in place so we could move it back. We checked the new cooker and found that we would need a fitting that we didn’t have so we drove down to Norbury junction and picked up the fitting and grabbed a coffee as it was going to be quite a while before we could have another warm drink on the boat.

The new cooker has two gas feeds, one at either side of the cooker and in the instructions it recommends that the flexi pipe to the cooker does not cross the back of it. This was actually good news as it meant we could move the gas line backwards, giving us the spare we needed to take out the T junction and it also moved the stop valve and the bubble test point into a much more accessible position.

So now with both the old appliances disconnected we moved the boat over onto the public moorings on the other side of the canal and Nick walked along the path to the town centre (marked as Disabled friendly and thus ideal for running a sack trolley, with a cooker on it, along) and I went back to the mooring, collected the car and drove back to meet him.

We brought the new cooker to the boat and then took the old cooker and fridge to the car and then I drove the car back to the moorings.

We now had everything ready to go and apart from having to cut some of the old work surface away behind the cooker slot as the new cooker is deeper than the old one, everything went pretty well, apart from a few gas leaks but we sorted those out pretty quickly.

There is still some tidying up work to be done, in that we need new splash backs round the cooker and the fridge needs some trim putting round it but those are things we can do in the evenings if we want.

New Mains powered fridge
New Mains powered fridge
New Cooker in place
New Cooker in place

Its going to take a little getting used to the new cooker and the flame failure devices but it boils a kettle really quickly on the big burner and we’re going to have to play a bit with the fridge as it had semi frozen the sausages by Sunday morning.

We’re going to have to spend a bit of time playing with the fridge and how we use it. Its going to be running off the inverter which is not a problem during the day when the engine is running but its how much power it will take in the evenings when the engine is off that is the big concern. We’re going to get a thermometer with an alarm on it so we can monitor how quickly the fridge warms up when the power is off, and if we need to buy a second battery for the domestic power then we have to buy one, its not a problem as we have space for a second one.

On Sunday we did a general tidy up and then found the bilge pump had died so we’ve had to drop in a temporary replacement.

So things are progressing

More painting

The Shroppie seems to have been plagued with closures this year and Wheaton Aston Lock No 2 seems to have now fallen to bits and could well need some major work on its gates.

So maybe its a good thing that Nick and I are only going up this weekend to do some more painting and to basically leave the boat in some sort of habital state. At the moment the front and back cabins are full of all the stuff from the front cabin and bits of stuff left over when we replaced the floor in the back cabin and the bathroom.

We’re also, weather permitting, replacing the battery master switch which after 20 odd years of service is basically failing rapidly… last time we were there it actually went awol under the battery charger which then got a bit warm running everything!

We’re also planning to fix the leak round the central roof ring which is letting water into the roof and has made a mess of the walls in the middle cabin.

Of course we’re going to be drinking a bit too so we’ll probably be in The Talbot or the Red Lion (probably the Red Lion on Friday and the Talbot on Saturday)

Working Weekend

We had a very productive weekend working on the boat.

The floor in the back cabin had become a bit bendy. Its a plywood floor and is 22 years old and its got damp over the years and had a lot of people walking over it.

So we lifted the boards. Basically they had delaminated and had a touch of rot on them. But the main cross bearers were solid.

Rather than replace the board with more ply we replaced it with a set of tongue and grooved pine floorboards.

We also replaced the floor in part of the bathroom and built a new false floor (which was made of chipboard!) so you no longer fall over in the toilet!

The rest of the work was done at the front. The lining of Mintball is 22 years old now and its sprung out of shape in a few places. So we spent the rest of the time fixing the lining back to the roof and putting back the trim and pinning that in place and filling in the various gaps that were left.

We then started repainting the roof and its looking a lot better than it did before :

Repinned and filled
Repinned and filled

There are still a couple of weekends of work to be carried out on the boat and we’ve put together a Work List

Back at “Home”

Well the BSS work was finally complete (See Steve’s Blog for more info ) so today we headed up to Norbury Junction to pick up the boat and return it to its moorings at Market Drayton .It was nice to see some sun and to be back on the canals. There was a moderate amount of traffic but not what you’d expect for this time of year. Most of the traffic seemed to be heading to the Wharf Tavern at Goldstone Bridge No 55 and if we hadn’t had plans to be elsewhere we might have joined them.Even Tyrley locks were quiet and we arrived in Market Drayton about 4 hours after we left Norbury.The boat now has new gas lockers and a new alternator setup which hopefully wont eat belts every few weeks. Apart from a minor incident involving an insecure weedhatch (I really must ask Simon at Norbury about that) it was a very pleasant day out and made a change from live in Cheltenham

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