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Mushroom removal


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Wonder if anyone could give me some advice please.

There is a mushroom where a solar panel is going (I won't bore anyone as to why it has to be ther, but it does) and not sure best way to deal with it.

First idea is to have those swivel brackets and have the panel, at its lowest, flat point, just above the mushroom. Worried that this might still be a bit high in low tunnels etc.

Next idea was to change mushroom for one of those lower UFO looking vents, although that may not be straightforward as the hole size is different (I'm told).

Final thought was to remove and overplate, in which case, I could fix the panels with a mounting that doesn't mean drilling holes in the roof.

Just don't know what to do for the best, so advice would be greatly appreciated

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If you dig around it you will be able to remove it in one piece and have it for breakfast.

 

Seriously, the flat UFO vents are not brilliant, they drip condensation. I would remove it and fit a plate over the hole using the same screw holes as  the mushroom vent.  A decent sealant will prevent any leaks and the solar panel will hide the patch.

Welding in a patch is more involved, insulation etc.

I would then insulate under the patch and fit something to the deck head inside to hide the hole, like a magazine rack or dummy light may be? ( a mirror if its in a bedroom?   I never suggested that )

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17 minutes ago, robtheplod said:

Check your ventilation is not impacted by the removal of this......

Good point. It was something that I thought about, but I've got more mushroom vents on the roof than you can shake a stick at so removing one needn't be a problem. I haven't done a final calculation yet, just wanted to see what my options were

40 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

If you dig around it you will be able to remove it in one piece and have it for breakfast.

 

Seriously, the flat UFO vents are not brilliant, they drip condensation. I would remove it and fit a plate over the hole using the same screw holes as  the mushroom vent.  A decent sealant will prevent any leaks and the solar panel will hide the patch.

Welding in a patch is more involved, insulation etc.

I would then insulate under the patch and fit something to the deck head inside to hide the hole, like a magazine rack or dummy light may be? ( a mirror if its in a bedroom?   I never suggested that )

🙂 I'm not how a magazine rack would be useful on the ceiling - maybe as a conversation piece ?

Thanks for the advice Tracy. I hadn't thought of using the same screw holes as for the vent. I assumed it would have to be welded.

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Thinking out loud here... if this will be covered by a solar panel then i imagine water wont get directly into it due to the curve of the roof?  could some sort of low collar go around the hole and leave it open?  That way you keep the ventilation?  Might be a silly idea but just a thought!

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We had the same issue as the only location for solar was over a mushroom and I wanted the panels as close to the roof as possible so the mushroom was changed to a low profile vent. I didn't do the job but I'm not aware the installer had any issues removing the mushroom and putting in the low profile vent.

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2 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

 Ventilation is only an advisory on BSC. Most boats are massively over ventilated anyway with loose fitted window glass and hatches.

 Wobbly windows don't count though, I did point this out to the BSS chap last time and he still gave me an advisory  ;)

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5 minutes ago, tree monkey said:

 Wobbly windows don't count though, I did point this out to the BSS chap last time and he still gave me an advisory  ;)

The guidance I got many years ago when the scheme started was that if you could measure a permanent gap directly to the outside it counted to the vent area.

If you take the average sliding hatch, the gaps around the front and back are probably sufficient for the high level ventilation area calculation!

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1 hour ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Seriously, the flat UFO vents are not brilliant, they drip condensation.

 

I have 4 UFO vents fitted, including 1 over the shower, there's never been any condensation drips from them, personally, I chose to fit them on the new build and find them very good.

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I had exactly this question when I fitted my second set of panels over the rear half of the roof, a few weeks ago. 

 

I did use these very, very expensive mounts, with the idea that I could tilt them more easily (whenever the boat was facing in a suitable compass direction): 

 

 

https://midsummerenergy.co.uk/buy/solar-panel-mounting/Narrowboat-Tilt-Mount

 

I saw the youtube video that explained how these mounts were high enough that the panels sat above the mushroom vents, so that would save me a few quid on buying UFO vents, and saved me the hassle of replacing them etc. I'm a terrible DIYer, and I didnt fancy the job of replacing the mushroom vents. 

 

But there was a twist. Because my panels were a metre wide, and my roof is quite curved, the mounts made the panels sit slightly lower than the ones in the youtube video (which were were about 80cm wide).

Just that slight difference in width meant the outer limbs of the mounts were at a lower point vertically, and when I finally got everything in place, the bottom of the panels was pressing down on the mushroom vents, causing the panel surface to bulge upward slightly. 

 

My typically crude workaround was to place four rubber doorstops underneath the limbs of the mounts, and sikaflex them down. Some form of protection for the roof had already crossed my mind, to be honest, because the bare aluminium looked like it could easily scratch the paint.

The rubber stops lifted the panels a few centimetres, and that was enough to get them just above the mushroom vents. 

 

As long as your panels arent too  wide (and I presume you'll still want to walk along the roof in locks etc?), then lifting them by that much wont be an issue in tunnels. I think the more tricky thing might be finding something to provide the lift you need.

 

I'm no engineer, but if you're using bolts to hold down a mount at each corner of the panel, you cant really add in some layers of rubber/wood or whatever without making the bolts more vulnerable to lateral movement. That said, with a mount at each corner, and if the panels aren't too large and heavy, maybe you could get away with using longer bolts, and inserting wooden blocks as spacers, to raise the panels? Bit of a long shot, maybe?

 

On the whole though, if I hadnt got these mounts I have now (which sit a bit higher anyway), I'd probably bite the bullet and just get UFO vents. 

 

 

Edited by Tony1
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3 minutes ago, Kendorr said:

 

I have 4 UFO vents fitted, including 1 over the shower, there's never been any condensation drips from them, personally, I chose to fit them on the new build and find them very good.

 

I have had several boats with 'flying saucer vents' (including sea-going boats) and have never had any condensation or leaks, but they have a bad name with some on the forum - maybe they are not 'traditional enough'.

 

 

IMG_20140428_124250.jpg

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1 hour ago, Tracy D'arth said:

 Ventilation is only an advisory on BSC. Most boats are massively over ventilated anyway with loose fitted window glass and hatches.

 

Indeed. On our second shareboat an examiner decided that we didn't have enough ventilation and wanted a large grille fitting in the back door.

 

I was onboard at the time and pointed out the large gaps around the hatches etc.

 

"You can't include those gaps in the calculations, they're fortuitous" he said.

 

"So how does the air know not to go through those gaps then?" I asked. 

 

I never got a reply, he stormed off and tried the same trick again on the next co-owner, who unfortunately agreed to having a grille fitted, despite no other similar shareboat, many of which had been through 2 or more BSC examinations having them.

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3 minutes ago, cuthound said:

 

Indeed. On our second shareboat an examiner decided that we didn't have enough ventilation and wanted a large grille fitting in the back door.

 

I was onboard at the time and pointed out the large gaps around the hatches etc.

 

"You can't include those gaps in the calculations, they're fortuitous" he said.

 

"So how does the air know not to go through those gaps then?" I asked. 

 

I never got a reply, he stormed off and tried the same trick again on the next co-owner, who unfortunately agreed to having a grille fitted, despite no other similar shareboat, many of which had been through 2 or more BSC examinations having them.

 

It's a shame there isn't an unofficial list of all the jobsworths and pillocks who are known to frequently pick on minor or even silly issues. 

 

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13 minutes ago, cuthound said:

 

Indeed. On our second shareboat an examiner decided that we didn't have enough ventilation and wanted a large grille fitting in the back door.

 

I was onboard at the time and pointed out the large gaps around the hatches etc.

 

"You can't include those gaps in the calculations, they're fortuitous" he said.

 

"So how does the air know not to go through those gaps then?" I asked. 

 

I never got a reply, he stormed off and tried the same trick again on the next co-owner, who unfortunately agreed to having a grille fitted, despite no other similar shareboat, many of which had been through 2 or more BSC examinations having them.

They are fortuitous but they are permanent, measurable, incapable of being blocked ( unless by an obsessive ) and are to the outside, just the same as any purpose provided vent.

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5 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

They are fortuitous but they are permanent, measurable, incapable of being blocked ( unless by an obsessive ) and are to the outside, just the same as any purpose provided vent.

 

Indeed, the massive grille in the back door was regularly blocked, because if you didn't and the wind was in the wrong direction, the grille caused a howling gale to enter the boat.

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Solar panels are not all the same size😱

I found two panels of the wattage that I wanted that were a "non standard" size and fitted between the three mushrooms and pole and plank rack. There is a gap between the panels to allow for the middle mushroom.😯

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1 hour ago, Tony1 said:

 

 

 

I have no idea why it is quoting Tony1 but with no content - I must have pressed something.

Anyway, thanks all for the input. Actually, to reply to your post Tony1, that is interesting about the panels being above the mushrooms not being a problem in bridges / tunnels.

I think if I am going to use a mount that needs holes in the roof, then I will go with something simpler and keep the mushroom.

Ideally, I would not make holes and get rid of the mushroom, but not sure if I'm just making another problem further down the road. In which case, some sort of corner mount I can Sikaflex down or possibly magnets ?

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3 hours ago, Rick Savery said:

Next idea was to change mushroom for one of those lower UFO looking vents, although that may not be straightforward as the hole size is different (I'm told).

I changed my UFO vents for mushrooms, and the hole was the same size (4 inches/100 mm).

The problem I had with the UFOs was that the interiors were full of green growth, and there was no way to take them apart and clean them - the outer cover was pop riveted to the roof. Not only did they leak, but the roof under the cover was horribly rusty.

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