Plumbing decisions and progress

So we now have some of the key parts for our, all new plumbing. As we are not very confident in this area we are buying things gradually so that we can can get the installation fully planned without buying anything unnecessary.

The galley sinks have arrived. Made of a granite resin, they will be mounted underneath our worktop (makes it easy to create chopping boards to give as much usable worktop as possible). I’ll be using the router to create some drainage channels into the left 1/2 bowl sink. Now that these have arrived I can order the holding tank to go below them with the right sized fittings for the drain.

Then we have progress on the supply side.

The red “bottle” is an accumulator tank. It is a pressure vessel that goes between the pump and everything else. It stops the pump (middle bottom) from needing to respond instantly to any tap opening. So if you fill a glass of water in the night the pump won’t need to come on and disturb anyone. By reducing the number of times the pump needs to come on you get more responsive taps and less wear on the pump.

On the bottom right is a carbon filter for drinking water. I’m a little undecided about this at the moment. I think it will go on the pressured cold water supply to the galley sink. However, I’m wondering if we should have one on the manual backup pump too. Maybe I’ll make it so that it could be swapped to that tap if we have a power failure.

At the top of the picture is the hot water heater and tank. After a lot of thought we have gone for a mains electric heater. So it will run from the inverters. We won’t be getting “free” hot water from running the main diesel engine. That is for several reasons.

  • we want to remove temptations/excuses for running the engine
  • long term we want an electric motor which won’t have the side effect of producing hot water
  • we don’t want it positioned close to the engine because that made the old one so inaccessible, and we need the space for our batteries.

We chose mains electric with a small 6 litre tank over 12 volt because it can heat the water much faster (850 watt element instead of between 100 and 200 watt). So a small tank that you heat just when needed (and when you have enough battery power) seems more effective.

The most important use will be for showers although we will run hot water to the galley and basins (after all shaving is much nicer with hot water). We would expect to put it on whenever the batteries are getting fully charged from solar and rely on the insulation to keep it warm until needed. This way we can avoid wasting solar power when the batteries are full (in the winter the excess energy is likely to go to space heating rather than hot water). The hot water tank has a temperature control so we can tune the water temperature to the renewable energy available.

We are going to put all these under the end of the U shaped saloon seating near the galley. This way they are easily accessible and have short, simple hose routes to both galley and forward heads.

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