So about two weeks ago now we ordered a new stove.
The old stove was a Shipmate, and I’ll be darned if I can locate a model number on it. In any case, the inside was pretty rusty. The stove top worked but the oven didn’t work hardly at all.
Basically, the burner tube is a steel tube with holes, sealed at one end with a pipe fitting being fed from the gas line on the other. The insides of those parts are so rusted that the gas would barely come out of the tube. The thermocouple was fouled up pretty badly too.
I messed with it for a couple of weeks on and off, but stopped short of attempting to remove the rusted bolts and brackets for fear of breaking the inside of the oven, venting propane inside the cabin, and/or losing use of the stove top.
Eventually, I decided to do the prudent thing and order a brand new stove. We looked over several but settled for a Force 10, 3 burner stove with oven and broiler. I do like broiled fish. I like baked fish. I like raw fish. I just don’t like it immersed in oil very often…. but I digress.
Friday last week we rented a car and retrieved our new mattress and new stove (two trips to the Virginia Beach area to deliver the stuff back to the Norfolk marina area we’re currently stuck in (due to the accident a few weeks ago).
Yesterday, I removed the old stove and stored it topside in the cockpit until I can determine what to do with it. The new stove was sitting below in the way constantly for the past few days. So, I started measuring, moving, fiddling, doing this and that, eventually figuring out that the catalog dimensions didn’t match what we bought, nor the space we have to put the stove in.
The old stove was 20 inches across. The pivots on the gimbals were about 2 inches on either side, and almost an inch in diameter, with this massive brass bracket on each side. Wouldn’t work for the new stove.
New stove was 19 inches acr0ss with these little, tiny 1/2″ pins sticking out. When we did our measurements, we measured the front of the stove. The catalog took into account the extra inch for the little pins, thus we found ourselves with a 19″ stove in a 24″ slot.
So, problem mostly solved, except, as usual, I didn’t make all the measurements and after I added the blocks to hold the brackets. I “missed it by that much”. I needed another 1/2″ on the block extending to hold the gimbals. I also found that the stove is taller than the last one and I’m going to have to both raise the blocks, and move them forward in the space.
Ok, so I said “I’ll get that figured out soon, right now I need to make sure we can even connect the propane tanks”.
I pulled the old hose off the stove, and then realized an old steel pipe system was inside the stove, and attached was an elbow, and then an adaptor. Upon looking over the hose connection, and the adaptor I found the they were inverted flare fitting on the male adaptor and a female hose connection. And the threads were reversed. Wrong twist. Not American apparently.
So, I tried to rent a car yesterday morning. Which soon turned into afternoon waiting for them to get back to me. It didn’t happen. At 4:30 PM I called and simply said “Have a car for me at 0900 in the morning and I’ll get it then, pick me up.” (It is Enterprise, they are nice that way).
All was going relatively well with the stove in the evening, I was discovering it wasn’t going to mount right, etc. This morning at 0900 I called. They were “on the way” in 15 minutes. An HOUR later, I’m calling trying to find them.
They claimed the young lady was in the parking lot looking for me. I saw her pull up 5 minutes later and drive through the gate. She was not at the right marina apparently. So, now, it’s an hour later and I already know the day isn’t going to go well trying to find parts.
But we set up, hit Lowes and I dig through all the brass fittings and am not finding the right part. Next we headed Comet Plumbing, then Ray Johnson’s Fireplaces, then to West Marine. At West Marine I started realizing I has probably not explaining things correctly to the other folks because they were sending me all over Hell’s Half Acre. So, I bought a 2′ propane hose extension with 3.8″ male fittings so I could extend what I knew would be a short hose on the back of the stove.
West Marine sent us to Snyder’s RV up the road. The man there was about as unhelpful as one can get. He wouldn’t at first even look at the adaptors, I assume because he wanted the work of installing it or something, not sure, but sent me instead to a gas company, Amerigas.
The lady was somewhat incredulous for me even walking into the door to ask a stupid question. She send me 5 miles away to A&B Propane whom I called before driving over.
By this time I knew all the right connections, the terms, what I was trying to explain and said “I need x”.
He said, “Come over, I will get you set up.” I was sceptical.
True to his word, I walked in, he took one look at what I was doing and said, “One minute”. Walked back out with exactly what I needed. Then took the old adaptor, cleaned it up for me, showed me where to put my teflon tape, and where NOT to put Teflon tape.
He charged me $1.25 for the part, wished me luck and kicked me out the door.
So – the car was about 30 bucks, $5 for teflon tape, 20 bucks for the hose, and 10 bucks for gas. All to find a $1.25 part that I probably could have gotten at Lowe’s if the people there would have taken a second to listen to me instead of trying to rush off to do non-work.
Then it’s really my fault for ordering a stove. And not running all over creation trying to find parts for a stove as old as me almost. Or spending more money to have someone else install it.
Guess I got off pretty cheap.
Oh, here’s the stove.
Of course, it’s not properly mounted in the space, but it is sitting there fine and at least we can brew coffee in the morning and cook breakfast for the first time in a few days (between painting our quarters, the stoves being in the way and disconnected, we’ve had to eat out in the mornings if we ate anything at all).
Tomorrow I take back the rental car in the morning and come back over to the boat to start the rest of the stove installation.