Plumbing Modification

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Replumbing of the Fresh Water Supply System, Pump - Shut off valves - Hoses

by Capt Al Watson, Kindred Spirit #55

FRESH WATER boat had this ugly dirty ????? Board (loose at hull) mounted under the draw unit, right of sink. On it was mounted the foot pump for the ice box, water pump, two shut off valves for the two water tanks and hoses going who knows where.....What a messssss! All this was blocking access to both through hull shut offs.

We decided to discard the foot pump for the fridge and run a 1/2 inch hose directly from the rig to a gallon bottle in the bilge. The extra through hull is now being used for the salt-water foot pump.

Trying to follow all the hoses, I started to mark what went where to remove...gave up, just cut all hoses and remove everything board and all. (Wow, what a nice space for pans or as the summer went on, we used it for two gallons of store bought drinking water and a gallon of bleach.) Took it all to my basement and tried to make sense of it all. Decided to go to the drawing board and sketch out the new plan. (A napkin at the dinner table worked well). Simple enough...One line from the starboard water tank, one line from the front (rear on yours?) water tank, two shut off valves, one screen filter, pump, cold line to hot water heater, galley and head sinks. That's it. No need to worry about hot water at this point as it comes directly from the hot water heater.

As others have mentioned, make a manifold or use T's, well much easier to draw than put in words but lets give it a shot. Connect both shut off valves with a T between them and 90 elbows pointing down to the outer ends of the shut offs. I did the T with 1/2 inch hose and clamps...solid plastic connections would be fine. Connect the filter to the lower end of the T, hanging just below the shut offs. Mount all this on the back of a small piece of 1/2 inch plywood. Mount them with large 2 1/2 inch plastic pipe clamps on each shut off. Time to install the unit on the boat. I decided to mount this valve unit so the turning shut off valve handles show just below the sole floor in the bilge, two bays rear of the mast. I drilled mounting screws through the lip that holds the floor hatch and kept only the valve handles showing. (This is where I turn the water tanks on and off). Each tank goes to one 90-deg elbow of the shut offs.

The water pump I mounted on a piece of wood screwed to the side of a shelf that was mounted under the draw below the sink. The input side of the water pump is then hosed to the filter on the shutoffs. The output side of the pump I neatly ran to a manifold that is made of many plastic Tee's screwed together with the top of each tee going to each cold water outlet and one to the hot water heater inlet.

The hot water was plumbed as before, from the heater to the galley and T to the head sink. I also added a garden hose with spray in the cockpit rear locker.

In the head I cut into the cold water line to the faucet and added a T with a shut off and a garden hose screw on connection. To this, I ran a 50-foot garden hose over the fuel tank to the aft storage locker. Now when we tie up with other boats, I am the swim salt-water rinse off man. This hose also lets me wash down the boat at anchor. Sometimes I think our friends want us to tie up only so they can shower with our hose. Amazing how many boats a 50-foot hose can stretch across. Before coiling and dropping back into the locker we run it forward to rinse off the anchor. Leaving the hose on deck gives use a quick hot solar shower if the sun is out. When closing the rear storage hatch with the hose out, we move the hose to the center hump where the emergency tiller is and the hatch will shut.


By Bob Kuba, Quiet Island #1291 (1994)

Following Al's directions, I moved my fresh water manifold to this more convienent location. Here are the results.

New location for water manifold
New location for water pump
New location for water pump