EXCESS WATER has also caused problems on Britain's only other canal boat lift, at Anderton Cheshire, where leaking caisson seals forced its closure just days after completion of a £7M refurbishment contract.
The 127 year old, twin caisson boat lift had lain abandoned for two decades until engineers restored its original hydraulic lift mechanism - unused for 94 years.
Its role is to transfer canal barges between the Trent & Mersey Canal and the river Weaver 15m beneath (NCE 14 February).
When the lift reopened at Easter, distortions in a movable 1.2m wide trough shaped steel section, called a 'hanging wedge' and linking the lower caisson with the Weaver, caused seals to leak, flooding the dry well beneath.
'Well pumps could not cope with the water so we decided to close the lift and realign the seals, ' said British Waterways senior project engineer Tim Brownrigg.
'The hanging wedge could easily have been modernised but it was important to retain this listed ancient monument in its original condition.'
The boat lift is expected to reopen later this week.