Let the plumbing begin! (shower relocation)

After the first season there were a few things that I wanted to change with the plumbing. I would like to think plumbing fixtures have progressed  since the boat was built 15years ago, and besides, Hunter didn’t really go all out on the fixtures in the first place. The changes may see mostly aesthetic but are more practical in nature. For example a single handle kitchen faucet makes mixing and adjusting water flow much easier, leading to less water use and waste. The spare hole makes a great soap dispenser location. (kitchen photo here) Boat plumbing would be much easier if I could send my 2-year old under the cupboards with a wrench. It was impossible to get a wrench onto the faucet nuts so I had to take the double sink out. The upside is I discovered the ice cube trays way under there -yes, we can make ICE! The bathroom faucet, while perfectly functional, is dated ugly and the shower diverter only sent about 80% of the water to the shower, the rest running down the drain. I didn’t like the shower hose traipsing across the counter and over the toilet.

20140417_160613-2I replaced the single faucet with a single post model, and the vacant hot hole got a dedicated shower control. The spacing is a bit tight between the hot knob and the shower mixer, but I wasn’t about to mess with the Corian counter top and hot water is seldom used on the boat anyway so I don’t think it will be an issue. Adding an extra set of taps and shower take off required a whole whack more plumbing under the sink, this changed a simple pipe-faucet installation, to a complicated mess of adapters, elbows and small bits of pipe. The shower hose is now concealed inside the liner with just the shower head poking out.  This is an improvement on many levels. The shower head is higher, hose out of the way and on a dedicated tap. The new location and plumbing set up shouldn’t drip onto the toilet (ending suspicions of who peed on the seat). The hose is out of the way, making the space above the toilet a little more useful and the room looking tidy and uncluttered.

I routed the waterline under the sink, behind the toilet and out into the wet locker. I drilled a hole in the top corner of the wet locker into the liner and this is where the hose line makes its final journey to the exit hole I drilled. The hardest part was getting the hose from hole to hole – I finally used a steel snake (as pictured). The hose fitting has enough friction when pushed in that the shower head doesn’t point at the floor and can be pointed up and out of the way. I used a cheap brass adapter to attach the hose to the shower head but it was too long by an inch and the brass really bugged me. I turned off the excess threads from the adapter using my mini-lathe, split the adapter, trimmed it again and brazed it back together so the adapter disappears, it also brings the  shower-head closer to the wall.

I am really looking forward to enjoying a hot shower on the boat this summer. The first time I had one last summer I felt like a king, now perhaps, I’ll feel like a Sultan .

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