Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Getting into hot water

Since I unblocked the chimney and got Warrior's back cabin stove working, the back boiler has been gurgling away very efficiently heating water which, unfortunately, we can't use, because we presently have no 12v to power the pump (and until just before we left last time the taps weren't connected up either). Our only current source of hot water is the good old kettle.

I recall a few years back one of those competitive exchanges of correspondence in the Guardian which culminated in a claim from a woman (I think maybe she'd been a Wren or something similar) that she and her colleagues, during the war, had managed to perform their daily ablutions with only a tin mug of hot water, starting with their teeth and finishing with their feet. I'm not quite in that league - I have to wash my hair! - but I can cope with three or four pints. And while they may be environmentally unsound, and, from the experience of a neighbour in Huddersfield, fatal to electric toilets (now there's a concept that fills me with unease), wet wipes are an undeniable boon in the absence of running water.

Still, not long now before it's running round Warrior's pipes and out of the taps again. It still has to be heated up though, and the calorifier - which is heated from the engine or the back boiler - isn't very large. One Baz-size shower and it's gone. Then I really miss Andante's Paloma. I'd love to have one on Warrior, but apart from the small fact that there's nowhere to put one, it's impossible to get one fitted anyway. It's not because of the Boat Safety Scheme, although everyone told us at first that it was. Although the BSS has a blanket edict against non-roomsealed appliances (except, grudgingly, cookers), there is, in the small print, an exception for instantaneous gas water heaters, because of their 'good safety record'. Hooray, we thought, on discovering this. But no go; only a CORGI registered installer can fit one, and they won't because they're forbidden by the CORGI regulations. So I can cook a four course Sunday lunch with my non-roomsealed, un-flued, oven, grill and four burner stove running for three hours, but I can't wash up afterwards with a flued burner running for a few minutes.

We waited with bated breath for the room sealed versions which came into the shops earlier this year, but their big stumbling block is that they need a constant 230v power supply. So forget it. We'll carry on with the solid fuel stove and the kettle on the gas cooker; neither dangerous, but neither safer than a Paloma. Good intentions; perverse consequences.


JT said...

Wow! - another beer-drinking, atheist, liberal, guardian-reading politics-lecturering, environmentalist who lives on a boat (ok the first one's not so unusual!).

I've got a nice shower in the winter (linked to a wood-burner/back-boiler under the bow and nice thick copper pipes running all along inside) but in the summer I have to use BW shower facilities etc...so I've been wondering about paloma heating and the like, so ....still wondering...all the best.

S said...

Wow! Another ... etc. Nice to hear from you. Will keep our eyes open for you on the Shroppie and say hi. We're currently at Stretton Aqueduct, home mooring at Hargrave, but plan a long round trip via Atherstone and St Ives before returning there ... though we might have to go back inbetween in the summer. I did wonder about setting up a shower just using a small header tank which could be filled manually from cold supply and kettle ...