We are surrounded by water, but learning there are clearly some places where it shouldn't be.
Where Water Should Be:
In the ocean
On the deck after rain or morning dew
In your fresh water tanks
In your sink when you turn the faucet on
In your water bottle
Where Water Shouldn't Be:
Under your kitchen floorboards
In your bedroom
In your bilge (large amounts)
Under your sink
In diesel fuel (fingers crossed this won't happen)
As we continue to use Sweet Day, this list is becoming more defined, and also finding the lessons learned about leaks also surprisingly can be applied to a lot of things in life.
1. If you think water shouldn't be there, it probably shouldn't. (Trust your gut).
We had gone for a cruise around Tampa Bay and I had come downstairs to grab something and saw water pooling near the V-berth (bedroom). That definitely shouldn't be there I thought as I was pulling up floorboards frantically looking for the source (thank goodness our cushions still weren't in).
After looking down, looked up and while we closed our portholes, realized we never latched them and they swung open while we were underway. Whoops. Hopefully this is a mistake we only will make once. On the positive side, it pushed us to purchase a steam vac and clean the entire v-berth, which became clear was long overdue for a clean.
2. Small drips make large puddles. (Fix things sooner rather than later.)
We found a small fresh water leak near our pump in our engine room after we filled our tanks with water for the first time. It was a slow, small drip and had many projects already on the to do list, so became a "We will fix it, just not right now" issue. But a week later, when I stepped onto the floorboards of our galley (kitchen), I noticed they were a bit squishy and could see some water coming through. That small drip turned into a large puddle and seeped through into our floorboards. Leak is now fixed, and floorboards dry, and Bucket Head wet vac and fan have been purchased.
3. "Flex Tape is like fast food" (A quick fix usually causes more problems.)
We had a small leak under our kitchen sink (this also caused a larger amount of water to pool under our shelves, but equipped with our new Bucket Head wet vac, we sucked that water out fast and kept the leak at bay while we tried to fix it. See, we're learning!). I kept passing the Flex Tape in Home Depot and thought this seemed like the perfect solution--just wrap a piece of tape around it and bada bing, leak is gone. But no one (more knowledgable than us) was suggesting it as a solution. When I asked about tape our friends at Palmers Hardware/Plumbing, they laughed and said nope, it won't work. Flex Tape is like fast food, they said, might make you feel good at first but usually causes more problems later (or doesn't fix the problem). (I don't even think they carry it in their store). After many hours (an early attempt is below) and a few trips to the hardware store, we found the right o-rings and washers and bam, no more leak. (Fingers crossed). And instead of Flex Tape, we now have our own o-ring kit that we hopefully don't have to use too much in the future.
4. Palmers Hardware in St. Petersburg is amazing. (Great joy comes from helping others).
Palmers Hardware is a family owned and operated hardware store that has been around for 60+ years. The minute you walk in you can feel the history. At first glance it may seem like how could you find anything in this store, but after a second glance, realize every piece is clearly labeled and organized (a challenging feat considering all of the small and large parts you need for plumbing and everyday DIY needs).
They not only had the parts we needed for our Canadian plumbing systems (everything is metric), but Jim, Lisa, and staff spent the time to walk through how to fix our leaking problems. In addition to giving me a plumbing lesson every time I came in, Jim stayed open late for me one time and Lisa even drove to our boat one evening with parts after we gave up our car--HOW UNREAL AND GENEROUS IS THAT?!?
From Palmer's: "My father was right when he said that there is no greater joy than being able to help a customer accomplish something that they never would have been able to do without you."
Hopefully we spread some joy to our friends at Palmers, because we couldn't have fixed our leaks without them.