We were preparing for bed the night before we left Undara Lodge bound for Cooktown when Margaret noticed the floor under the sink in the en suite of the caravan was all wet. After removing the bits and pieces stored in this spot it was apparent that we had a leak in one of the fittings from the hot water system.
On advice from friends we were carrying a pack of Aqua Kneed It and we thought this may be just the trick to seal the leak. A whole pack later and the leak was as strong as ever; tightening the fitting had the undesired result of opening the crack further and effectively rendering any patch up ineffective. We turned the water off, removed the Aqua Kneed It (as far as possible) and then removed the offending fitting entirely and let the hot water system dribble into a bucket all night.
I carry quite a few bits and pieces and a number of John Guest fittings as I have been caught needing these items previously but I didn’t have the fitting I needed and nothing I could use as a substitute. So the night was spent with all taps and pumps turned off and a bucket of water in the en suite for emergency use through the night.
Next morning we packed up heading for Cooktown with several towns in between where we hoped we might be able to purchase a replacement part. No go at Mount Garnet; better luck at Ravenshoe where a very helpful gentleman at the Mitre 10 store glued up the broken bit with Loctite and sold us a brass fitting which may get us out of trouble.
The next town was Atherton, a sizable community with lots of shops. We parked the car and van in a space near the CBD and visited the local Bunnings – no luck; tried the local electrical store – no luck; then the nearby Gas and Camping outlet – again no luck but a suggestion to try the new Reece outlet.
After lunch we drove to the Reece store and I was most relieved when I asked if they carried John Guest fittings and received a positive response. I bought three of the broken fittings (just in case) and a few other bits and pieces to hold in my spares kit. By this time the afternoon was getting on and we still had to fit the new items and hope they solved the problem so we decided to go only as far as Mareeba where we could camp at the Rodeo Grounds and have ablution facilities available if we couldn’t make the repair.
Once we had set up on site at Mareeba I got busy and fitted the new connection and replaced all the bits and pieces to the hot water system before I turned on any water. Halleluiah everything worked, we have no more leaks and the water is heating up – hot showers for us tonight.