Tiny House Photo

Tiny House Photo

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"O" is for O-ring

Being a bit picky about the water I drink, I use 2 water filters on the water coming into my tiny house. One to remove larger particles and one to remove odors and bacteria etc. I had noticed in the recent weeks that the water wasn't looking as clear, so I purchased new filters and decided to install them over the weekend.

The weekend was here and my daughter came over to visit. Thinking I may need her muscles I asked for her help to change out the filters. I turned on the water faucet to release the pressure, grabbed the new filters and the "loosen the canister thing-a-ma-jig" and headed for the water hookup. My specially purchased "RV reinforced drinking water hose" had a large bulge in it! Yikes, this is a problem.

Here on the ranch the water is gravity fed down a mountain side to the campground area. The water pressure can often exceed 100 psi. Which to this city gal meant "wow, what great water pressure I have"!  ha ha.. What it really means is you will need to add a pressure regulator to decrease the water pressure to an acceptable amount like 40-45 psi. I had purchased one of these prior to receiving my tiny house but had been advised that it was not needed.

Back to changing out the filters. I turned off the water at the hookup. Then using the "loosen the canister thing-a-ma-jig" my daughter removed the outer canisters. By the way "righty tighty - lefty loosey" did not apply unless you were standing on your head! Then I dumped out the old icky filters, rinsed the canisters, placed new filters in and handed the canisters back to my daughter to screw into place. Simple, no problem...until I turned the water back on. One canister had a huge gusher of a leak. Try as we did, we just couldn't get it to stop. Finally, I asked one of my neighbors for a hand. He also tried unsucessfully to stop the flood. This went on for perhaps 20 minutes with my neighbor sweetly telling me SEVERAL TIMES that "usually there is a O-ring to provide a tight seal". By this time there were 6 of us and 1 dog gathered around scratching our heads trying to figure out why I had such a huge leak. Suddenly my neighbor noticed the O-ring lying in the dirt just inches from my feet! Life is so simple when you have an O-ring. For those that don't know, an O-ring is a black rubber gasket.

Now that the filters are in place and nothing is leaking I move on to the pressure regulator which I had stored in my shed. I screwed it in place and planned on replacing my bulging hose the next weekend when I could get to the RV store (about an 1 1/2 hours away). After all, I did have the reducer on so the pressure was a lot lower, right?

Not right. Two days later while at work I received a call from one of the rangers that my hose burst and water was flooding the street. They turned off the hose but I would need to get a new one. He informed me that the campground general store did carry a hose but the store closes at 4:00. He kindly offered to pick it up for me and I could pay him back when I got home. All the way home I was thinking about having to climb under the trailer in the mud to remove the old hose and replace with a new one. Initially I had a leak at that connection and had to borrow a large wrench to tighten it enough to stop the leak. I was hoping that this ranger had a large wrench I could borrow.

I got home to find that the ranger not only purchased the new hose but attached it! And no leaks! I was so happy. Life is good at the ranch.  :)

Lessons learned: O-rings and neighbors are important. And rangers save the day!

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