The heat was on (hey, that is also the title of a song by Glenn Frey!) while we were busy conquering the Abano pass with our camper. Engine temperature rose more than ever while were climbing to an altitude of 2800m along a 4×4 track, in low gearing. While we were enjoying a break at the pass, steam came from our water tap. Yes, we finally had a quooker. And shortly after that we we had a leaking kitchen faucet… One thing lead to the other of course.
Our drinking water system incorporates a hot water tank (or heat exchanger) that is heated by the engine coolant. Normally, our hot water supply reaches a temperature of about 85°C. But engine coolant can reach higher temperatures, up to 110°C or so without coming to a boil. That is possible because of additives in the coolant. Our drinking water of course does not contain additives, so the water inside the hot water tank started to boil.
Originally, I used a specific camper/caravan tap that has an electric switch inside, so when you move the lever to open the tap, it would be able to close the electric circuit in order to start a submersible pump. But we don’t use a submersible pump. Instead, we use a pressure pump and accumulator that keeps the water system always under pressure. Just like at home. There is a downside. If a leak occurs, this system “pumps” the entire water supply into the van. And so it happened that at the end of the day the drivers seat was not moist because of the heat, but because of the water from the dripping kitchen faucet, just behind the drivers seat. My guess was that the plastic housing finally gave up after a year of use.
Of course (?) we were not even near a somewhat bigger town, but 70km deep inside a unpaved-high-mountain-Caucasus area, also called Tusheti. A very nice area by the way.
We had to do without our pressurized water system for a few days and use the manual switch (luckily I included a switch…) to turn on the water pump when we needed water.
I was in not expecting to find a specific camper/caravan water tap easily in Georgia. And to be honest, I decided it would be better to use something more robust: a “real” kitchen faucet made of solid brass with a genuine chrome layer instead of plastic that starts to crack and with a chrome layer that peels of after one year of use. So, after driving back over the Abano pass, it took 70km to find tarmac under the wheels, and from there we drove another 40km to the nearest town of Telavi. There we found our replacement faucet.
I guess it is time to replace the viscous oil in the cooling fan clutch of the engine to keep the engine temperature as it should be. Or replace the entire clutch. Perhaps that will be another story, depending on availability here in Georgia.
How to install a normal faucet?
Well, it’s not too difficult. But it depends on the type of waterline you use I guess. In our van we use flexible hose, so I needed a way to connect the hose to the faucet. I used a faucet connector with a long pipe. I had to buy these separately. Next step was to cut off the long pipes. That was the part I needed: screwed into the faucet, it was possible to slide the hoses over the pipe and fix them. This was a tight fit because the pipes are really close together and the wall thickness of the hoses interfere. It took some fiddling and perseverance before I was happy with the connection.