Saturday, December 20, 2014

Fitting frustration and under the weather

I guess I jinxed us by saying we were getting over our "disease", Jan has steadily gotten worse and I am sort of skating by with only a bit of discomfort, but not at 100%.  I guess we got complacent as neither one of us has had a cold in over 2 years!  Better be well by Christmas!

The Aqua-Hot swap is mostly on track.  It was shipped to a freight dock in Fort Myers right on time, thank you UPS, and we picked it up on Friday morning.  A very heavy unit on a pallet.  In the meantime I have been trying to get all the fittings and pieces and parts that we will need to make the swap, and we have been having horrible luck!  We have been to all the box stores, 6 plumbing supply stores in Sarasota, 2 in Fort Myers, 3 hardware stores, 2 pump supply stores, been on the phone to tons more, and scoured the internet for what we thought were simple brass barb fittings to connect 3/4" heater hose to the plumbing lines in the coach.  We had scored a big zero up until today.  We found one of the specific brass fittings we need on Amazon, and they were just delivered an hour ago, and best of all they look correct.  We have picked up bags and bags of fittings that we thought we could jury rig together, but looks like most of it will go back, but late today I finally hit pay dirt and found the elusive fittings at NAPA, albeit in plastic.  So on we go.

The swap will be done in several steps.  First we have to disconnect all the hoses and pipes going into the old unit, and plug the lines so nothing leaks; 6  antifreeze connections for the heating zones, the engine preheat loop also filled with antifreeze, the domestic hot water in and out, and the diesel fuel lines in and out.  Then we need to drain the 16 gallons of antifreeze from the unit, disconnect the wiring harness and control boards, remove the 120 volt AC connection to the electric element, remove the exhaust which could be a bear, and then try to pull the old unit out.

Then we have to clean up the area, modify the mounting tray the new one will sit in, and install that in the bay.  Attach as many new fittings to the new Aqua-Hot as possible while it is very accessible on the picnic table, then slide all 200 pounds of the new unit into position, hook up all the new fittings and connections, reattach the 120 volt AC, mount a new expansion tank, remount the control board and panel, install a new exhaust pipe, refill the new unit with 16 gallons of new antifreeze, hope for no leaks, and fire it up.

So we have our work cut out for us.  I will do a writeup of the procedure and include pictures of our swap.  But in the meantime, we are enjoying the weather, the warm is back!
Sunset at the South Jetty in Venice

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