Wednesday, 3 February 2010

All in a day's work

Today the electrician came to try and sort out our electrics. Funny how just like when you visit the doctor with a disease you're sure you have, it all seems fine when they examine you and sure enough the electrics were behaving! Still the very nice man carried out lots of checks and found a couple of problems that were easy enough to fix, then noticed that the boiler had a blank valve that was leaking so he found a washer in his van that fitted and sorted that out with some wax stuff usually used on steam engines, a very nice and informative man.

There is a problem with the inverter though, and he is intrigued by it for he is the Superman of the waterways and seems to fix every boat around. The coal boats happened to be passing and they were shouting over asking him for a new head gasket, 'those types of boats are not actually using them' he says, then I'm lost in the jargon and carry on back up to sit with the van so he doesn't get a ticket, nowhere to park round here. I'm not complaining, even though it's cold for I have a good Agatha Christie in my bag that I'm devouring!

So he comes back up the steps to get some more tools from the van and thinks that the batteries are all fine, he's tested them and it's just the inverter is unable to cope with more than 16amps, which isn't very much, and we can't just run from the mains electricity from the shoreline for then the batteries won't charge. He says he's seen it on three widebeam boats already this year, all brand new and yet only set up for cruising with nothing much running. Not really the words we want to hear and I wonder if we can't just run another line from the mains with an extension lead adapted on the end so we can run more electric through without overloading the battery converter, he says that would work, but unfortunately didn't have any of the connections in his van, but he was sure Jam would be able to sort that out. I'm going to monitor the output and write down what we're using so we can work out when it overloads and take it from there, he's keen to know why this is happening, it's not a great solution and we just have to be frugal with the electric, but it's quite frustrating for I only had the boat lights (that run off the 12V battery)and the computer and nothing else on and it cut out.

So our lovely engineer was quite frustrated at not being able to sort the problem out, and had to head off to rescue a narrowboat that had sunk in the Maida Vale area, he tried his best, and we'll have to get him out to fix the electrics on the narrowboat, meanwhile I'd better get on with the cleaning of it for the landlady's daughter is coming to stay on it at the weekend!

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