To see as much of the world as we can,
Using the smallest carbon footprint we can,
Spending the least amount of money we can,
Making as many friends we can.

Team Red Cruising

Faucet and Propane Regulator

Plumbing — water, sewer, propane — is all pretty simple. Until it leaks. Then it's a right pain in the ass. Leaks can be difficult to diagnose. It's not always a good idea to tighten things down harder. Sometimes over-tightening breaks something else.

Neither CA nor I grew up with propane. Not a grill. Not a camp in the woods. Nothing. We didn't even know what the injected smell was supposed to smell like.

Years ago, our propane line — from tank to regulator — failed. And drained the tank. That's not supposed to happen, but the tank was old and there didn't seem to be a proper Excess Flow Valve. We had no clue until the cooker didn't work.

propane regulator
Propane Regulator

We had a crazy amount of help from a random sailor in St. Mary's, Georgia.

The solenoid failed a year and some later. I had a boatyard guy replace it.

I've been terrified of the propane system. We've had a few times when the gas simply would not flow. Generally, it was cold. And maybe turning the gas on too quickly tripped the EFV. Or maybe. The regulator was ancient.

Either way, I didn't want to touch it.

I bought a new regulator. And then the old one started working again. So. The replacement sat in a drawer.

Last weekend, the old one didn't work. I got some yellow teflon tape, and replaced the regulator. It was easier than I thought it would be. There are only two fittings, and they turned nicely.

Turn the gas on, note the pressure. Turn the gas off. Come back in three minutes. Same pressure? System is good. Loss of pressure? You have a leak.

The picture sort-of shows the new regulator on the left. One of the tanks on the top. And on the bottom? A gallon iced-tea jug we use for things like oil changes or bilge water. Just a jug. In between the propane cans.


New faucet
Shiny new faucet and sprayer

The old galley sink faucet dripped. And in the right combination of faucet position and spigot position, it leaked all over the counter-top. CA suggested we get a new core for the mixer. It was a conventional Delta-brand faucet. Easy to do.

Steve Assembling the Faucet
Steve Assembling the Faucet

Until I stripped out the hex nut holding the handle on. Then it suddenly became impossible to do.

Rather than simply replace the core, we're going to replace the whole thing.

This is the replacement: a "Classic" 13900LF-SS, It needs a hair over 2 ½″ of space.

On the right, you can see a sprayer. CA insisted. The new-fangled sprayers hanging from the spigots are fun, but, complicated. This is simpler.

This only has two connections. But it leaked.

And leaked.

And leaked.

Here's me, watching it leak.

I spent — I don't know — two hours fussing around with one thing.

One thing.

The hot-water connection.

It leaked.

And leaked.

And leaked.

I had to research Qest/Quicktite and Zurn fittings for Polybutyl (PB) pipe. We're talking a nut wrapped around a grip-ring and a cone. The leak was not from the connection to the faucet via a nice ½" brass fitting. The leak was inside the nut, where it ran down the PB pipe.

The solution?

Steve with Tools
Steve, hoping it stopped dripping this time

Trim about ½″ off the end of the PB pipe. Push on the grip-ring and the cone over the new, clean, pipe.

Much nicer.

I realized it would be nicer because I couldn't move the cone once I pushed it on. It had dropped off the pipe before. But cutting away that last ½″ changed everything.

The nut threaded on easier, too. Not sure why, but I think it was snugging up against the brass fitting more cleanly.

Turn on the pump and apply pressure. (Again. This has to be the 12th time today.)

No Leaks.

So. That's two good deeds: propane and water.

We can live much more comfortably with working cooking gas and water.

Next: Hawsepipe.