Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dos Victorias!

For months I have been searching for a source of an intermittent water leak in the water bay. For a long time I thought it was coming from a gate valve that controls the flow of water into my 160 gallon fresh water tank when I am filling it, and initially it was.  I fixed that leak by tightening up the valve assembly that had loosened up over 33 years, and 154,000 miles.  I placed a large sponge under it to check for dampness periodically to be sure I had fixed it, and for months it remained dry, then a few weeks ago I began to find the sponge damp, and sometimes saturated with water.  I would recheck the gate valve and it was evidence of any water coming out of it so I was baffled.

Then, a couple of days ago I noticed some dampness underneath my pressure regulator......when we are hooked up to 'city water' it keeps the coach pressure a constant 50 PSI regardless of how high the 'city water' PSI may be.....suddenly it was now leaking, but it was NOT the source of the other leak, so now I had two leaks.  At first, like I almost always do, I assumed the regulator was going bad, and that was certainly possible as it was 33 years old.  I began researching its replacement cost, and while it was not very high (about $100) I could no longer find that particular Watts Regulator being manufactured anymore.  Next I began it investigate rebuild kits, and could not find one for that discontinued model.  

Watts T-56 pressure regulator

Upon further examination of the leaking regulator I discovered the leak was at the very top where you can see the blue tag and threaded bolt that you can adjust to change the interior water pressure.  What I did, and what worked was turn off the 'city water', turn off the gate valve to the left of the regulator and then unscrewed the threaded bolt out of the regulator.  Then I wrapped the upper threads (near the head) with teflon tape, and screwed it back in......voila (wah lah) more leak!  One down one to go......

TLE had just taken a long shower before I turned off the water to put teflon tape on the threaded pressure adjustment bolt.  As I looked up from the regulator after determining it was no longer leaking I saw a drip of water coming from the bottom of the shower drain pipe.  At first I thought the leak was coming from the elbow fitting, but then looked higher to see water coming down the length of the pipe from the shower itself.  I figured the water was leaking around the shower drain flange, so went inside to closely examine the flange, and found some of the plumbers putty had come out and the water was getting under the lip of the flange, and, sure enough, that was it.  I got a putty knife, and dug out the old putty, then got out my marine grade clear caulk and re-caulked around the flange, let it dry for 4 hours, then tested it by running the more leak!  Now I know why the leak was!  And to think  I fixed two leaks before lunch time without having to visit the hardware store, or spend any money......a great way to begin 5th Saturday!

Taken by my lighthouse host friend Angie near the end of our Friday shift.

We had the 'bottom shift' (1230 hours to 1530 hours) so we were off in the VW to drive over to the windy, foggy Cape by 1220.  While it was only slightly overcast at the Lighthouse Host sites, it was totally socked in with fog at the lighthouse with winds running into the high teens, low twenties all afternoon.  I spent my time with TLE in the ground floor 'workroom' of the lighthouse talking about the Fresnel 2nd order lens, and we had a pretty steady flow of visitors so the 3 hour shift passed quickly.  I did learn the reason from several of our visitors for the heavy fog these past 4, or 5 has been over 100 degrees along the I-5 corridor, and when it gets that hot we get a lot of fog and very cool temperatures on the coast.  Many of our Friday visitors were there to escape the triple digit heat in Medford, and Grants Pass.

At 1530 hours we locked up the lighthouse and were back to our coach before 1600 slipping into comfortable clothing and getting warm once again.  TLE cooked up a batch of popcorn in our new 'Whirly' popcorn maker that she bought on Amazon a few weeks ago.....I love that popcorn maker!  I wanted to get one of those hot air popcorn makers, but TLE, being the wise woman she is, said it made more sense to buy this stove top one so we could make popcorn even when we were boondocking.  Since we removed our microwave a few years ago I have missed two things.....being able to reheat my coffee, and making popcorn in 3 minutes.  Well, this new popcorn maker also makes popcorn in 3 minutes!

The 'Whirly'!

Another nice day in Cape Blanco.......thanks for stopping by!


  1. Clarke, you didn't repair the pressure regulator, there should not be water in the portion of the valve under the screw, only the bolt pressing on a spring that in turn presses on a diaphram that contains the water. Most likely your problem is a hole in that diaphram, letting water into that portion. Any regulator with the correct pipe size, flow and pressure will work. You might want to specify it for potable water. I tried to send you an image of a pressure regulator but did not have any luck. Good luck on your repair.

    Tom Turner

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  3. Finally woke up and pasted the following link.
    The water comes in on the right side of the valve and when the water pressure is less that the spring pressure acting on the valve stem in the center, the spring pushes the valve stem down allowing water to flow. as the presssure on the outlet side of the valve increases it pushes up on the diaphram, raising the valve stem cutting off the flow of water, the pressure is set by adjusting the spring tension acting on the diaphram and valve stem. If water is allowed to flow to both sides of the diaphram the pressure will not counteract the spring pressure and the spring will push the valve stem open rather than controlling the pressure. HTH


  4. I agree, I just stopped the leak. I do plan to replace it. Thank you for the info.


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