describes C34 owners' Ice Box & Galley Drain upgrade projects.
Please contribute yours!
Subj: PROJECT or FAQ Input - Ice Box &
We have written in the past to the List and Mainsheet about
connecting the galley sink drain to the existing ice box drain line
which runs to the foot pump under the galley sink. Older boats have
a foot pump under the galley which was originally ONLY connected to
the ice box drain. The galley sinks drained, VERY slowly, directly
to the through hull. Many owners have improved on the basic galley
drain problem. This is a description of the basic
"untouched" galley drain piping with a foot-pumped
Click on picture to enlarge
The previous owner of our 1986 boat had made a new "T"
connection into the ice box drain line to the foot pump with the
galley sink drain. This originally made a lot of sense to us when we
first bought the boat two and a half years ago: the galley sinks
never did originally drain very well by gravity, so whatever help we
could get from the foot pump was very welcome, and using the foot
pump that was ONLY dedicated to the ice box drain by connecting the
galley sink line to the foot pump made draining the galley sink a
Recently, we experienced a back drain of galley sink water INTO the
fridge. This became a major cleanup project. This necessitated a
rethinking of the connections.
We discovered that the end cap from the ice box drain pipe to the
drain line was not tight, which had allowed the water from the sink
to rise up into the ice box. This was a relatively easy fix. By
tightening the plastic lock nut of the through fitting against the
wall of the inside of the bottom of the box with a 15/16" box
end wrench and a parallel clamp on the end cap (which also required
standing on our heads to get down that far down into the ice box),
we stopped the backup.
Tightening the end cap of this line was an easy first, and simple,
But what could we do to improve the arrangement?
We noted that there wasn't a shut off valve between the galley sink
line and the ice box line. It was only an open "T"
connection. A valve could be installed to keep the "cold"
in the ice box, and with the removal of the end cap on the drain
line inside the box, this new valve would avoid water backing up
into the bottom of the ice box from the galley sink drain; in the
valve-closed position only the galley would be drained by the foot
pump; when the new valve was opened, we could also drain any water
from the bottom of the ice box.
We replumbed the connections between the ice box drain and the
galley drain to the foot pump with about $11 of plastic plumbing
parts from a hardware store. Mixing 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch fittings,
we fabricated a brand new connection assembly. The most challenging
part was to find a 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch adapter. The only available
one was a 1/2 x 3/4 brass bell fitting, but that was needed because
of our existing fittings. It could easily be done all in plastic.
The brass does, however, lend a "bit o' class" to an
otherwise dreary part of the yacht!
If you have an older boat, or haven't used Al Watson's new galley
sink drain idea, or if you only use your "ice box" as a
fridge (as we do with our Adler-Barbour), this could work for you.
If you use your ice box for "real" ice, it will also work,
and may be a lot more useful -- you'll have more water in the bottom
of your box from melted ice that you will need to remove.
Somehow, somewhere, wet stuff WILL get into the bottom of your
"ice box": either condensation from your cooling coil, or
from real ICE which tends to melt, even in Alaska, I hear.
The installation of the shut off valve and the fittings is
relatively easy. If you remove the two drawers, and open the lower
door, there is room to maneuver with tools. The hardest part is
finding the parts: our local hardware store was a better, and less
expensive, source than a marine store. The plastic ball valves are
very helpful. They are available in many sizes, and for our boats
3/4 inch and 1/2 inch sizes are just right.
We lubricated the inside of the ball valve before we installed it
in the piping assembly to assure that the valve worked easily.
Pictures to follow.
Best regards, Stu & Cory Jackson, "Aquavite",
Important: The opinions expressed here are those of the
individual contributors to this page, and not those of the Catalina
34 National Association or Catalina Yachts, Inc. Additionally, this
material has not been reviewed by Catalina Yachts, Inc. for
technical accuracy. This page's maintainer cannot guarantee the
accuracy of this information or the desirability of suggested
modifications or upgrades. Please obtain assistance from a competent
marine mechanic or boatyard prior to making any significant
modifications to your vessel.