Hot-water heater bypass
Putting in a by-pass hose on the hot-water heater eliminates the need to put 6 gallons of pink stuff in the heater and makes winterizing the system a snap.
Nordic Tug uses Pex tubing by Flair-It. It’s available at Jamestown Distributors in Bristol, RI (see Links page). The most difficult parts of this project is getting one’s upper body in through the door under the sink (we removed the whole frame) and removing the Pex tubing from the existing fittings. You’ll need to apply heat to soften the tubing to get it off. In warm weather, a hair dryer will do; in the fall you’ll need to use a heat gun and a lot of caution. The only other tools you’ll need is something to cut the tubing straight (we borrowed expensive cutters) and a pair of channel pliers.
While you’re in the Pex tubing mood and squeezed into the tiny closet, you may as well install a cockpit shower and/or a water filter. Just cut the tubing at the appropriate places, fit the tubing ends over the new connectors you’ve purchased, screw the ends on, and you’re done. No mess, no leaks, great job.
There’s already a PVC channel running from under the sink aft to the lazarette and there’s room for 2 more tubes. The hard part is getting the guts to cut the hole in the cockpit. Harder yet is making sure the screw holes line up perfectly the first time around. Use the template provided with your shower kit.
This is the best thing we’ve installed. No matter where we cruise, we know we will always have good drinking water. We purchased a Smart Water GE filter from Home Depot for $65. That included one $30 filter element, one filter housing with bracket, hoses in and out, and a faucet for the sinktop. The only challenge was taking the Pex fittings and the GE filter fittings to the local plumbing supply to find adapters to make the connection. We put in a new $30 filter every spring which removes all bad taste and all kinds of bad things for the whole season. Water quality is excellent.
Ruth Jansson & Bette Conner
Annie B – NT 32-172