ESV 1 Peter 3:19-20 "in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formally did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared,..".
There is another question on this site concerning these verses which asks: "Who did Jesus preach to in 1 Peter 3:19-20?" It has 4 answers which explore several theories but nowhere in them can I find some analysis of the word "when".
The word "when" links events e.g. The boy ran[A] when it was cold[B].
In 1 Peter 3:19-20 the "B" is surely: "when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared".
What is the "A"?
If Bert says,"I told Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, that he was good at cricket", do we know if he was Prime Minister when Bert said this? No. Bert put in "Prime Minister" to identify him from Boris Johnson the landlord of the local pub.
If the "spirits in prison" is a way of identifying who heard the proclaiming then it is not a description of where the proclaiming took place.
Could not the people who heard the proclaiming and who disobeyed it reasonably have done so "when" the ark was being prepared? i.e. The people who heard the proclaiming, disobeyed, [did not act on it], and later they died and their spirits went to prison/hell.
It appears to me that any explanation of 1 Peter 3:19-20 has to make the proclaiming, disobedience and preparing of the ark relate to each other as the word "when" tells us that they happened at the same time.
What other considerations are there which should change this view?