Saturday, 12 April 2014

Dolt….. Look for the simple things first!

Good news…. There is nothing wrong with the Victron inverter.  The fault was with the live-aboard boat engineer!

This morning the Kipor was connect to provide 240V shore power to the battery charger half of the Victron.

I then decided to charge the battery for the portable drill using one of the 240V outlets in Waiouru.  There was no electricity?  My initial reaction was this lack of power was a consequence of the faulty inverter.  Then I remembered this didn’t occur when we were on marina shore power!

The Victron remote panel appeared to be working correctly.

So what had changed?  We had swapped marina shore power for generator shore power.  Then I remembered immediately prior to departing from the mooring I’d extended an arm to the consumer unit in the compartment under the spare bed, felt around and turned off the calorifier immersion heater switch.

After removing everything off the bed I was able to examine the consumer unit.


Whilst I was away, the RCD had failed in the consumer unit and Jan had arranged for it to be replaced.  The new RCD wouldn’t fit in the original position so the engineer had relocated it.  I had reached under the bed and turned off the wrong switch.  Moreover the labelling for the switches hadn’t been amended when the engineer modified the consumer unit.

I’ve now re-labelled the switches to correctly reflect their function.  The immersion switch used to be on on the far right and it’s now the main switch.  So I had turned off the main switch.  But that doesn’t explain why the cheap multi-meter was only reading 60V output at the inverter.  It was this incorrect reading from the meter that had confused me.

Hi… it’s me the multi-meter here….. Don’t listen to this lying bastard.  A poor workman always blames his tools.  If he had half a brain he would have very quickly identified the fault!

Turning the main switch back on was the cheapest repair I’ve done in some time.

Jan had pointed out the small window in the Refleks stove was dirty after using it during winter.  I hate cleaning the Refleks stove because it has been cleverly manufactured with sharp edged stainless steel baffles that just love to cut and scratch your hand.

Dirty glass

In the past the glass has been cleaned using wire wool, but I couldn’t find any on board and Jan had disappeared for some retail therapy wandering the aisles at Tesco.  A wet sponge and elbow grease worked, although it resulted in more cuts than usual.  If you are going to be a bleeder you might as well shove your hand to the base of the stove and clean the residue from the firelighters and matches.

All done for another year!

Two different blog readers passed today.  In the morning nb Mister G passed and the steerer called out to Jan that he read the blog.  Sorry we didn’t get your name and thanks for persevering with the bad grama  grammer poor spelling!.

Daniel was BBQing dinner beside the side hatch when a couple stopped to chat.  This time it was blog reader Al and his partner Tina from nb Kathmandu.  They are refurbishing Kathmandu whilst living aboard.  We know how complicated that can be!  Nice of you to introduce yourselves Al & Tina!

During the day Daniel and I found time to walk into Rugby where we arranged for Jan spectacles to be repaired.   I was then well shorn and can now hold my head up when facing the world.  The last task for the day was to take the sack trolley to Tesco at Jan’s request and buy eight boxes of long life skim milk.  We couldn’t fit eight boxes into the shopping trolley and reduced the quantity to six boxes.  Jan almost had kittens when we arrived back at Waiouru.  She had assumed each box contained six 1 litre cartons as they usually do whereas these held 12 cartons.  So we now have 72 litres of milk aboard.  Actually one person who passed Daniel and me struggling back to the boat with the loaded sack trolley suggested it might be easier to buy a cow!


Mark T said...

To clean the glass try using damp newspaper with wood ash works well on my woodburner at home

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Mark,

You want me to buy a newspaper! There's no wood ash..... it's a diesel stove! :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a great blog. It's wonderful reading

David said...

Hi Tom

Why not try some cut resistant gloves for the reflex. They save me grief servicing the chainsaw.


Tom and Jan said...

Good idea David, except I can only just fit my right hand (the smaller of the two) through the hole in the stainless steel baffle plate. It wouldn't fit if I wore a glove! :-(