Originally Posted by Minggat
Thanks for the chuckle. I thought we were on the joke thread for a moment,
Removing a threaded plug- intended to be less than 30 seconds.
Now turned into a 1-2 day ordeal. 2-3 trips to get what you need and the $$ to reach the resolve. I'm laughing on the outside, but crying on the inside. And it's not even my project.
Well here's my tale of woe, involving my water tank. Started overhauling the plumbing
in my 25 year old boat. Was installing a new pump and looked at the hoses and realized they were original and coated with grunge so decided to replace all the hoses as well. Got to the tank which has a fitting glassed into the top with hose barbs inside and out. Could reach the inside hose barb through the 6" inspection plate and by the Braille system was able to remove the hose clamp and, with a little verbal persuasion and ripped the old, hardened hose off the barb. "Ah" says I, "that wasn't too hard. Almost done." Then I pulled on the end of the hose and it wouldn't come out of the tank. "#%&!!!" says I, "how come?"
So dropped a light in the 6" hole and peered in to see the hose was run under small loops of fiberglass
attached to the bottom of the tank with a fitting on the far end that would not go through the last loop (later determined to be a check valve). The last loop was about 6' down and back from the hole and about 3" from the wall of the tank. So I couldn't reach the loop and couldn't push the hose through the other way.
Next step, and always the first idea for a manly sailor type, try brute force! The hose was slick and slimy (which is why I wanted it out in the first place) so with my arm in the 6" hole, I wrapped a towel around the hose to get traction and pulled......... and pulled and jerked and wiggled and yanked and pulled. No joy.
Next step, bruter force (yes I made up that word). Obviously I am not pulling hard enough laying on the cabin sole
with my arm in a hole so let's get a better grip on the problem. So tied a rolling hitch around the hose (one handed by touch through the hole inside the tank, which took a bit of doing and a little more verbal persuasion), led the rope
out the inspection hole, grabbed with both hands and pulled..... and pulled and jerked and wiggled and, well you get the point. Still no joy. I had another polite discussion with the hose, the rope
and a few comments about boat maintenance
in general and plumbing
specifically. By this time I had wasted most of the day so called it quits.
Since force wasn't working then the obvious answer is........... even more force!!
So next plan. Rigged a block in the cabin
and ran the line from the hose around the block, back up through the companionway
, around another block and to the sheet winch
. Now I've got some real pull. So started cranking on the winch
and pulled......... and pulled and, well you know the rest. I am marveling at the strength of this system. May be some interest in the military for something like this.
By now I've wasted another half day. So stopped for lunch and brainstorming. The obvious conclusion, I'm applying force in the wrong way. Time to go to the root of the problem and apply force directly to the little loops holding the hose in. There are two loops that appear to be a little archway of fiberglass
, glassed on the bottom of the tank, both out of reach. So go home and get a 4' crow bar. That will certainly do the trick.
Back to the boat, feed the crow bar through the hole, lay down on the sole and by feel try to find the first loop. I can kind of guide the crow bar along the hose and feel it clink when it reaches the loop. Back up and slam the crow bar towards the loop and miss which almost wrenches my shoulder out of joint. Try again and feels like a glancing blow. I keep this up for about 45 minutes, scoring an occasional direct blow but the loop isn't budging. Rest a bit, try again. By now I'm getting the technique down and I'm hitting the loop about 50% of the time. Go at it off and on for another hour or so but it's like pounding on hardened steel with a piece of foam rubber. That little loop hasn't moved. I really need to notify the army about this stuff. Could find use in reinforcing armored vehicles. Time for another plan. By now I've wasted most of another day.
Day 3. What if I can get the tip of the crowbar under the loop and use some leverage? Even more force so that's got to work. Try that for an hour or so but just no room for the tip of the crowbar so just beat on it a little more. I know it's not doing anything but it does make me feel better.
Next idea, maybe I can get the hose out from under the first loop to get a better pull on the second loop. Manage to hook the crowbar under the hose between the two loops and start pulling again. You can guess how that went. Tied a rolling hitch on the crowbar to get a good pull, got two of us on the rope and JOY!!, we got........ half a hose. It snapped between the two loops leaving the end stuck under the last loop and out of reach so can no longer get a line on the last piece of hose. Give up, go home and try again the next weekend.
By now I'm running out of ideas so focus on other projects that actually yield some results for my efforts but when I get bored occasionally take the crowbar and whack the back loop a few times. Occasionally bring some new tool from home that I poke into the hole to see if I can remove the last piece of hose. Even got a tree pruning saw to try to cut the loop but wouldn't fit in the hole. Managed to lasso the the check valve and tried to pull the hose out backwards but still not enough clearance between the loop and the back wall of the tank. By now I've spent another 8-10 hours messing with the last half of the hose.
And then, one day a few weeks later, while wandering through the garden section at Home Depot I see a small limb pruner on an extendable pole with an articulating head
. I stop, look, think and it's like the monkeys in 2001 looking at the monolith. I see lights and hear celestial music
. I purchase
the magical tool and immediately drive to the boat. I tilted the head
and angled the tool to fit through the hole into the tank with 1/2" clearance. By now I know every inch of the tank by touch so within seconds I reach behind the loop and just in front of the check valve, cut the hose, catch the last piece of the hose with the pruner and pull it out followed by the check valve that was still tied to the lasso.
With the offending hose removed it was just a matter of 10-15 minutes to install the new hose, slide the bottom end under the loop (without the $#!$ check valve) and clamp it to the hose barb.
I estimate I spent a cumulative total of at least 40-50 hours just to remove a 6' piece of hose from my water tank. If I ever meet the
misguided soul at Pearson
that put it in I will very politely explain what trouble he or she caused me before I......