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Remember this post? Well, what if the object in question is only a little bit broken? What do you do then?

After seeing that the tiny leak from our watermaker has been getting progressively worse, I decided yesterday to tackle the job of replacing the seals in the pump, a project I could at least attempt as we have been carrying a replacement seal kit with us since we cruised the Bahamas. The instructions that came with the kit said that the seals could be swapped in one hour but that if this was your first time attempting the job, to allow 3 hours to complete it. As it turned out, I was pretty much on the money with the 3-hour estimate, the first time that is. Unfortunately, after being unable to get the unit to function properly after reassembling it, a 2nd and 3rd disassembly was to follow, along with countless other troubleshooting steps. Sadly, the 1-3 hours that the instructions talked about turned into an all-day affair and when 5:00 came and went, still without it working properly, I decided to call it a day.

At least a portion of last evening was dedicated to further reading on the subject and this morning, armed with no more information but at least a bit more energy, we resumed the troubleshooting process. Another disassembly was to follow, and extra attention was paid to the “Poppet Valves,” apparently notorious for causing the problems we were experiencing. I even went so far as to re-install the old Poppet Valves back into the pump, thinking that perhaps the new ones supplied with the replacement kit were perhaps manufactured out of proper tolerance.

Further inspection of the pump led me to find that the new Wiper Block Seal that I installed, a tiny 10 cent rubber part (it should cost 10 cents but it probably sells for 30 dollars or more) was distorted. It is entirely possible that this is the root of our difficulties. No problem… I’ll just replace it with the old one that I took out. Problem… although I saved all the old bits and seals, that was the only piece that was damaged during the disassembly. Do you think anyone on the island of Grenada has such a part? Rebecca is on the job, out right now with our friend Kirk, trying to track one down although, to be honest, I don’t have high hopes of her succeeding. This is a unique problem because without that seal, the pump will not work and in the tropics, watermakers need to be treated with a preservative if they’re not going to be used every 3 or so days, a task which requires the pump! This means that we’re working with a pretty short deadline to get it fixed. Ahh, the joys of cruising.

By the way, before anyone posts on here saying that any day working on fixing a watermaker in the tropics is better than working in an office, I’m going on record to say that is BS cruiser propaganda. I spent all day yesterday with my head in a hole, in a rocking boat, getting sweaty and dirty, smashing my fingers on hard objects and tools. Not that I want to go back there but without a doubt, my office back on land was considerably more comfortable than that!