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Leaving gates open


biggles47

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Sorry if this has been discussed before.

 

I got caught up by a single hander (due to queuing) who was having a rant about it being inconvenient when people close the gates behind them because he had more work to do when arriving.

 

I gave the usual reason about it helping to preserve water.

 

As he was following me I thought better of leaving the gates open as I left the current lock.

 

More seriously, if a log partially causes the top gates to leak badly, closing the bottom gates behind you may be the only way the pound is prevented from draining down overnight. As happened recently on the Oxford.

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Sorry if this has been discussed before.

 

I got caught up by a single hander (due to queuing) who was having a rant about it being inconvenient when people close the gates behind them because he had more work to do when arriving.

 

I gave the usual reason about it helping to preserve water.

 

As he was following me I thought better of leaving the gates open as I left the current lock.

 

More seriously, if a log partially causes the top gates to leak badly, closing the bottom gates behind you may be the only way the pound is prevented from draining down overnight. As happened recently on the Oxford.

 

Nearly as much as cassette vs pumpout. smile.png

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It's been discussed on here many times. Points raised for and against include:

 

For leaving open:

 

- Less work overall since it's 50/50 which way the next boat will be coming from.

- It's how they used to do it.

- It's a pain to close gates behind you when single handing.

 

For closing:

 

- It's the rules.

- Leaving open when everyone else closes is selfish.

- It causes pounds to drain through leaky gates.

- It's not 50/50 because changeover days at hire bases lead to lots of boats all heading the same way.

 

Countering this from the open people:

 

- CRT should fix the leaky gates.

- It would be selfish if we all left them open.

 

Countering back:

 

- Yes, but it's the RULES!

- If you want the rules to be changed, then campaign for that, until then, stop being so bloody selfish and lazy.

 

My position is that lots of locks do leak and closing both ends of a lock helps to protect the pound above. For example, leave open the bottom gates at the bottom Factory Lock at Tipton and you WILL drain the pound above.

 

Also, it is currently selfish and lazy if you leave gates open while almost everyone else closes them. This mean you get the 50/50 chance of the lock being in your favour, you almost never have to close a gate when it's not in your favour but then also never bother to shut a gate behind you. This means that you will average less work per lock by encumbering other boats with additional work. If you can't understand the maths behind this, then I can't really help you any further.

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Close 'em

 

I single hand quite a lot - I don't moan as a general rule (or if I do it's coz I'm tired and should stop cruising!)

 

Leaks are not always obvious, locks leak though walls and under cills as well as squirty gates, a drained pound is a pain, especially if it's a long one: far more of a pain than having to open gates for myself

 

Clearly, if a boat is in sight coming the other way it's courtesy to leave the gates open for them, also I sometimes LOOK like I've left a gate open because I'm going to walk back from the next lock.

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For example, leave open the bottom gates at the bottom Factory Lock at Tipton and you WILL drain the pound above.

 

 

 

 

Took me an hour and a lot of sweat to get through them locks last week, the first pound was empty and i had to drain both pounds above to get out the first lock, did send a tweet to CRT but i guess they either dont seem bothered or that many people moan about it they just ignore you...

 

Is the bottom gate lacking rubber strips as it leaks so fast?

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Sorry if this has been discussed before.

 

I got caught up by a single hander (due to queuing) who was having a rant about it being inconvenient when people close the gates behind them because he had more work to do when arriving.

 

I gave the usual reason about it helping to preserve water.

 

As he was following me I thought better of leaving the gates open as I left the current lock.

 

More seriously, if a log partially causes the top gates to leak badly, closing the bottom gates behind you may be the only way the pound is prevented from draining down overnight. As happened recently on the Oxford.

It's common sense to close gates after use & selfish not to. I think I would have left the gates open as requested by your ranting follower as he requested.

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I always close them, even when single handing, yes it a ball ache but rules be rules and for a good reason...

 

 

And that reason is?

 

Before you answer, there are signs on two locks at Wootton Rivers instructing boaters to leave the lock EMPTY and with lower paddles OPEN "to prevent draining of the pound".

 

I can't figure out how that would help but CRT know better than me. There are also locks in the Crofton flight bearing similar instructions but not giving a reason.

Edited by Mike the Boilerman
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And that reason is?

 

Before you answer, there are signs on two locks at Wootton Rivers instructing boaters to leave the lock EMPTY and with lower paddles OPEN "to prevent draining of the pound".

 

I can't figure out how that would help but CRT know better than me. There are also locks in the Crofton flight bearing similar instructions but not giving a reason.

 

It might prevent draining of the pound below as water can flow though the lock?wink.png

 

Last thing at night the paid locky empties the locks on the ladder at Devizes, leaving a bottom paddle open. He starts from the bottom. I saw a volocky do this of his own initiative starting from the top - the paid lockies comments were near unprintable...

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It might prevent draining of the pound below as water can flow though the lock?wink.png

 

Perhaps. This is not the same thing as 'saving water' I suppose, which the signs seem to suggest but don't actually say!

Also, it suggests leaks through the upper gates are necessary to keep the lower pound full, which seems odd.

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And that reason is?

 

Before you answer, there are signs on two locks at Wootton Rivers instructing boaters to leave the lock EMPTY and with lower paddles OPEN "to prevent draining of the pound".

 

I can't figure out how that would help but CRT know better than me. There are also locks in the Crofton flight bearing similar instructions but not giving a reason.

 

 

Sorry, should have said i always close unless instructed by a lockie, sign saying otherwise or a boat is waiting to come in, there is a sign on the minworth flight i seem to recall saying leave bottom paddles open as the pound is leaking into the house next to it.

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Perhaps. This is not the same thing as 'saving water' I suppose, which the signs seem to suggest but don't actually say!

Also, it suggests leaks through the upper gates are necessary to keep the lower pound full, which seems odd.

 

K&A Locks (on the Western side at least) weir over the ground paddles: this first fills the lock and then SHOULD weir over the bottom gates

 

but the top plank on the bottom gate is too high, so it floods the side of the lock instead....

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Why is it needed on the Llangollen canal as there is always water running down the by wash..?

 

The LLangollen aka "The Welsh Canal", is one of the few canals with a flow, being fed from the River Dee at Horseshoe Falls https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horseshoe_Falls_(Wales)

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Llangollen_Canal

 

I would imagine if the flow got too great a whopping great breach may happen, the lock gates acting as safety barriers.

A bit like this:

 

  • Llangollen%20Breach%20-%201960.jpg
Edited by Ray T
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If the single hander is following you, and you leave the gates open as you exit, then he has to close them before setting the lock for himself as he's going to be coming in at the other end. Leaving your exit gates open just gives him twice the work, every time, so I suggest he was an idiot.

As a singlehander myself, I do get annoyed when someone's left the wrong end gates open and I have to go and shut them before doing my usual amount of lock work, especially all the way up the T&M flight at six in the morning when no-one's coming the other way... but there again, it's good for my general fitness level.

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Why is it needed on the Llangollen canal as there is always water running down the by wash..?

 

It isn't, . . . no more than it's necessary anywhere else, UNLESS the gate or gates and/or paddles at the other end are leaking badly when they're closed.

 

British Waterways introduced this practice of closing up behind when leaving a lock many years ago after it became apparent that a substantial proportion of the increasing numbers of amateurs then beginning to boat around on the cut were too gormless to check for leaks on the gates behind them whilst the lock was levelling off. It was quite simply a way to reduce the chances of wasting water due to fouled gates or paddles that weren't all the way down because they had been wound down instead of being dropped.

 

It's very apparent that the real reasons for closing up behind a boat have been lost in the passage of time, . . . it is now normal practice on rivers too, even on the likes of the Soar and Trent where there are millions of gallons pouring over the nearby weir.

Edited by Tony Dunkley
  • Greenie 1
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And that reason is?

 

Before you answer, there are signs on two locks at Wootton Rivers instructing boaters to leave the lock EMPTY and with lower paddles OPEN "to prevent draining of the pound".

 

I can't figure out how that would help but CRT know better than me. There are also locks in the Crofton flight bearing similar instructions but not giving a reason.

 

For the many "leave empty" locks on the Grand Union between Tring summit and (roughly) Watford, CRT have been asked, and have committed to, proper signs that actually give the reasons for the instruction as well as the instruction.

 

Admittedly the roll-out has not gone as smoothly as promised, and many lock still have old style "laminated and stapled on" signs, (both official, and often unofficial), but South East Waterways continue to say the proper signs will be installed as soon as possible.

 

Obviously actually fixing the reasons why CRT believe it to be necessary in each case would be far preferable, but whilst repairs to some of the locks are in existing works programs, others are unlikely to get fixed in the near future. At least there should be an explanation why it is preferable the lock is left empty in these cases.

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It's very apparent that the real reasons for closing up behind a boat have been lost in the passage of time, . . . it is now normal practice on rivers too, even on the likes of the Soar and Trent where there are millions of gallons pouring over the nearby weir.

 

Last time we were on the River Lee, CRT staff made it clear that leaving gates open is normal practice, and that is what we should do. Except that at the electric locks you should leave all gates closed, which no doubt confuses people further.

 

Unless it has changed most locks on the Regents and Southernmost parts of the GU have signs that tell you to ensure all TOP gates and paddles are closed when leaving the lock. If you take those signs as written, then it would seem to exonerate you from shutting bottom gates after use, even though that goes against the usual guidelines,

 

CRT do themselves no favours in the way they communicate these variations. Many of the "leave empty" locks between Cow Roast and Watford(-ish) still have the standard signs asking you to ensure all paddles and gates are closed, alongside the specific ones telling you to leave the lock with a bottom paddle drawn.

 

Those of us talking to CRT about navigation matters do keep pointing these things out, but changes only seem to happen very slowly!

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On some locks the top gates might seal better when the lock is empty. The full hydrostatic pressure is forcing the gates together.

 

In practice, top gates do generally leak less than bottom gates, but that's mainly down to them being smaller and lighter, and distorting less.

The hydrostatic pressure on bottom gates is far greater than at the top end, . . . . there's the the rise/fall of the lock plus the depth over the cill adding up to the head of water against the bottom gates, . . . at the top end there's only the depth over the cill.

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