Friday, August 15, 2014
Time to spare?
There used to be a saying amongst recreational pilots: "Time to spare? Go by air." Maybe that's still a saying? Flying was a previous decade (I will do a post soon about "decades").
Our saying these days: if you have spare time on your hands, buy an RV or a boat - there is always something that needs attention. ;-) I try to check things regularly on both the boat and RV; even things that you don't use everyday. Wild Blue has two bilge pumps. One is near the stern, as you'd expect. The other is just inside the cabin. I call the cabin pump the "Oh, shit!" bilge pump. There would have to be a LOT of water in the boat for it to get to the level of that pump. There has never been a need for that pump on our boat. Still, I make a point of checking the pump now and then. That is the original bilge pump (the other has been replaced a time or two). Today, it decided to retire.
My first thought: maybe it is the switch or a fuse. No, nothing that easy. I tested the pump with direct 12 volt... it is dead. I checked the Rule (the manufacturer) website, and (of course) they have discontinued that particular pump. To get the same gallons per hour (1,100), you have to go with a bigger pump. Since it has never had to pump a single gallon, I considered a smaller output pump. Nothing has the same "footprint" as the old one, so I went with the same GPH. And only twice the price of the old one. But, it is 50% bigger. No, it doesn't pump any more or faster, it just takes up more space. If you have ever worked on a boat, you know they are designed to be worked on by evolutionary beings who weigh 90 pounds, but have arms longer than an ape; skinny hands with fingers that are 10 to 12" long. Magnetic finger tips to keep from dropping screws and fasteners.
I don't fit that profile. Fortunately, this pump is reasonably accessable...
The wiring was pretty straightforward, but I had to seal holes where the old base was and mount the new "improved" (larger) base. The epoxy/sealant in my tool kit had turned solid months ago... another trip to our favorite store in Friday Harbor: Ace Hardware. They have the smaller tube - 1/10th the size of the big tube, for only 5% less money. I'm kidding, of course - it is around 4.3% less. Must be the packaging.
I had all the butt connectors (yes, that is what they are called) I needed for the wiring in my tool kit. One in a row! I wired the new pump and tested it before mounting the base... yep, it works. With the small tube of sealant, I was able to put it where it needed to go without getting any sealant in my hair, on the carpet, or on my underwear (I have no idea how it gets there - really, I wasn't scratching anything the last time I used 5200). Checked out the pump when it was all done... and it still works.
Hope there is never a need for it.