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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

4/27/2011 - New water filter

The morning was very calm so it seemed like a good time to tackle the water filter project. What the project consisted of was removing the old filter between our water tank and our faucets. It's proven impossible to find replacement filter elements in La Paz, so once we ran out of the spares we brought, I had to come up with something else. The filter is simply a particulate filter to trap scale and such the sloughs off the inside of our tank. The old, small filters were plugging up fairly often and, not being pleated paper (or fiberglass or whatever), were very hard to clean.

While we were still in La Paz I bought a new filter housing which uses the standard long pleated filters that can be found virtually everywhere. Seems like it should be pretty much child's play to replace one filter unit with the other. Like, what, maybe a 20 minute job? Uh-huh.

In the first place, the new filter housing, being taller than the old one, won't fit where the old one did. Instead of being mounted under my seat, adjacent to the tank, I had to find room somewhere under the kitchen sink. Okay, no biggie. It took about 45 minutes to remove the old housing and replumb the hoses under my seat. It cleared the space up a little, though, so that was nice.

Next, besides installing the filter under the sink, I decided to plumb in a 3-way valve so that filtered water could be sent either to the foot pump for use at the sink, or to the inlet of the watermaker for flushing the membrane following a watermaking run. This is how you're supposed to do it but, until now, I just filled a bucket and then sucked water out of the bucket for flushing. A bit of a PITA to say the least.

The whole project was really not that big of a deal. The worst part was that, not having a hardware store nearby (or any store for that matter), I had to make do with what I had on board as far as plumbing fittings and hose went. Consequently, the job isn't perfect but it seems to be working. Now that it's installed, I can refine it when we're once again in the land of ferreterias.

We plan to spend one more day here at Ensenada Grande and then head north on Friday morning for San Evaristo. There's supposed to be a 2-3 day norther coming in this weekend and San Evaristo looks like the best bet for protection as we amble north.

Side note: I thought I was losing my mind. I'd go out in the cockpit and the GPS would be on. I distinctly remembered turning it off. This has happened several times over the last few weeks. Finally figured it out. When I send out e-mail via the SSB radio, the transmission somehow turns the GPS on. I watched it do it today. Don't know if it's just on one frequency or several.

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