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Old 12-11-2012
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Re: The ICW - Single Handed - Well, Almost!

Well, yesterday turned out to be another fun day in Paradise, a day that put an entirely new meaning to the work "Cruising."

I'm currently at the dock at Marathon City Marina, mainly to take advantage of having electricity, water, showers, etc..., which is not only for my personal comfort, but additionally, to protect my musical equipment, which is very expensive and subject to the elements. Electronics, all electronics, including marine, tend not to have a long life span when subjected to the harsh, marine environment. So, in this instance, air conditioning is a necessity. Plus, I also enjoy the comfort, especially while sleeping.

Yesterday afternoon, sometime about 4 p.m., the air conditioner/heat-pump began acting up. It was cutting out, then kicked back in, ran for about 20 seconds, then kicked out, leaving just the system's fan operating and circulating hot, humid air. By 5 p.m., the temperature in the cabin was 85 and becoming very damp. It took about an hour to determine that the raw-water pump was cutting out. The manual for the pump said there may be an obstruction - NOT! It suggested several other scenarios, none of which were correct.

Finally, I removed the pump, took it apart, connected it to 110-volts and it ran for about 20 seconds before the thermal cut-off switch shut it down. That was with no load whatsoever. I was getting ready to spend another restless night sleeping in the heat and humidity when an idea struck my tiny brain.

I had a backup saltwater washdown pump sitting in the locker, one that ran on 12-volts, and put out about 3-gallons per minute. I jury-rigged it into the air conditioning system, connected the hoses, then ran wires from the pump to a cigarette lighter plug in adapter extension cable that has an on/off switch. The rigging took about 2 hours. I fired up the system and wallah - I had air conditioning.

Finding a replacement pump on the internet was not easy. The original pump was no longer being made, repairs cost more than a new pump, and after 2 hours of searching I found a pump suitable for the job. It's a Jabsco that runs on 115-volts, which is what comes out of the AC controller box. Today, the outside temperature is 85 and humid - right now, in the cabin, it's 70 and dry. Life is good.

Cheers from Paradise,

Gary
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