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Old 01-15-2018, 10:18 AM   #1
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dock water hose connection

Hi to all,
We have a place to connect a water hose to the boat to utilize the water at the dock. We have the right hose that we use to fill our tanks but would like to connect so we have continuous water while we are at the dock.
Is there any caveat that we should be aware of?
Should the water pump be shut off because of the city water pressure?
etc. etc.

Thanks
Gordo
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Old 01-15-2018, 10:27 AM   #2
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The water pump does not need to be off, it will see the pressure from the hose and not turn on. Be careful with connecting to shore water. If you have a hose come off inside the boat, it will flow a lot of water into the bilge. Can your bilge pumps keep up? I would never leave the boat unattended with shore water hooked up. We have an RV that we always hooked up to shore water. A hose came off and the water ran until we returned to the RV. The good news is that you canít sink an RV, it just ran out onto the ground. We have a shore water connection on our boat, but we just fill the tanks and use the pump to supply water. It helps to keep the water in the tanks fresh as it gets used regularly.
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:36 AM   #3
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There are two types of shore water connections--those that keep the tank topped off and those that are connected to the plumbing AFTER the water pump. Most shore water pressure is too high for marine (and also RV) fresh water plumbing...it can blow a connection off. So you'll need a pressure reducer valve. Get some knowledgeable advice about where and how to install it before just plugging the water hose into the boat. Just be aware that there are only two kinds of pressure reducer valves--those that have failed and those that will. So NEVER leave the water on when away from the boat, even for an hour or two and never go to bed with it on. A sailboat owner I knew just went for a Sunday morning run with his dog...came back to a foot of water in his cabin. Another hour would have sunk his boat in its slip. And I've known more than one person who had to get up in the middle of the night and stepped out of his v-berth into calf deep water.

To repeat: get some knowledgeable advice before connecting it!
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:36 AM   #4
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Either make it idiot proof to turn off at the dock, or but a gallon limiter/ regulator (lawn sprinkler type) and out it in line.

You can dial in 200 gallons say...that will last for days but not sink your boat if something onboard goes wrong.

There are a lot of "never dos" expressed by some.... as there are the rare occasions of catastrophes...but mamy of us have run city water for decades even as liveaboards with isdues but never catastrophes.

I turn the pump off as sometimes city water isnt as high as my pump setting....plus really no need for it to be on unless the pressure drops so low you want your onboard system to pony up pressure.
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
The water pump does not need to be off, it will see the pressure from the hose and not turn on. Be careful with connecting to shore water. If you have a hose come off inside the boat, it will flow a lot of water into the bilge. Can your bilge pumps keep up? I would never leave the boat unattended with shore water hooked up. We have an RV that we always hooked up to shore water. A hose came off and the water ran until we returned to the RV. The good news is that you canít sink an RV, it just ran out onto the ground. We have a shore water connection on our boat, but we just fill the tanks and use the pump to supply water. It helps to keep the water in the tanks fresh as it gets used regularly.
+1 This occured to me. A fitting popped out and water started to flow in the ER. Fortunately we were aboard and my wife heard the sound of the flowing water so no damage.
Lesson learned: never keep the city water opened when you are away and even more, disconnect the hose so you do not risk your boat if a folk open the valve on the dock.
In fact I even found out that we almost never connect to the dock and almost always use water from the tank so it cycles more and is always fresh.

L
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:45 AM   #6
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Either make it idiot proof to turn off at the dock, or but a gallon limiter/ regulator (lawn sprinkler type) and out it in line.

You can dial in 200 gallons say...that will last for days but not sink your boat if something onboard goes wrong.
That limiter is a great idea!
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Old 01-15-2018, 06:09 PM   #7
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like most ideas on this forum, I wasnt the originator....but hapoy to pass it along.

be aware though, they seem to be plastic and very intolerant of any freezing weather.....

but after awhile, if you have a hose out in freezing weather with water in it and you plan on moving the next day...its like trying to coil rebar.

so freezing weather gets a pass and I just use tanks ....and if I need the hose, I store it in the shower overnight.
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Old 01-15-2018, 06:33 PM   #8
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While I don't ever hook to city water for the previously mentioned reason, if you choose to, you can incorporate a flow restricter before the connection to the boat. Simply, it reduces the hose diameter from 1/2" or greater down to a much smaller size. There's nothing to fail as it's only a hole through a pipe fitting. The same thing can be accomplished by plumbing a gate valve after the dock hose. Once you have it adjusted to the minimum required flow, just remove the hand wheel. The idea is to limit the flow to about 3 gallons per minute.

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Old 01-15-2018, 06:53 PM   #9
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Hi to all,
We have a place to connect a water hose to the boat to utilize the water at the dock. We have the right hose that we use to fill our tanks but would like to connect so we have continuous water while we are at the dock.
Is there any caveat that we should be aware of?
Should the water pump be shut off because of the city water pressure?
etc. etc.

Thanks
Gordo
I have seen 3 boats sunk using city water
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Old 01-15-2018, 07:01 PM   #10
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While I don't ever hook to city water for the previously mentioned reason, if you choose to, you can incorporate a flow restricter before the connection to the boat. Simply, it reduces the hose diameter from 1/2" or greater down to a much smaller size. There's nothing to fail as it's only a hole through a pipe fitting. The same thing can be accomplished by plumbing a gate valve after the dock hose. Once you have it adjusted to the minimum required flow, just remove the hand wheel. The idea is to limit the flow to about 3 gallons per minute.

Ted
Yes but.......! Many older boats and maybe newer ones have plumbing that will not accept high pressure. A flow restrictor can reduce pressure while there is flow but when flow stops, the pressure will soar to that of the supply.
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Old 01-15-2018, 07:05 PM   #11
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Old 01-15-2018, 07:29 PM   #12
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You need to understand how YOUR boat is actually plumbed. A lot of advice was forwarded here based on how OTHER people's boats are plumbed. On my old Hatteras, there were OEM pressure reducers on the shorewater feed (adjustable) plumbed in line already. There was a check valve on the pump branch that prevented back feeding the pump (and the pressure switch as well). The tank was fed by a completely different intake and the tank outlet also had a check valve to prevent water from the pump side to back feed into it.. so that was MY boat's plumbing.
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Old 01-15-2018, 07:32 PM   #13
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Old 01-15-2018, 07:45 PM   #14
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I don't like hooking city water directly to the boat. If you are very good about truning it off every time you leave the boat, great. I find it way to easy to forget something like that. I find it much easier to hook the water hose to a 12v sprinkler valve and then to the tank fill hose. You can either use a timer to run the valve or if you have a Gobius tank monitor or a Tank Watch then you can use those to auto fill the tank. I also reduce the garden hose down to 1/4" so that if all else fails the water is coming in slower than my bildge pump can pump. The sprinkler valve should also be mounted outside the boat for safty.
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Old 01-15-2018, 07:54 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
While I don't ever hook to city water for the previously mentioned reason, if you choose to, you can incorporate a flow restricter before the connection to the boat. Simply, it reduces the hose diameter from 1/2" or greater down to a much smaller size. There's nothing to fail as it's only a hole through a pipe fitting. The same thing can be accomplished by plumbing a gate valve after the dock hose. Once you have it adjusted to the minimum required flow, just remove the hand wheel. The idea is to limit the flow to about 3 gallons per minute.

Ted
Yes, you can throttle the flow, but a gate valve is the wrong valve for that. Use a ball valve, or simply fit an orifice in line. The better and more reliable method is to use a pressure reducing valve in line. It will maintain the pressure to whatever it's set to, regardless of volume, and it won't (well, shouldn't) bleed pressure when there's no flow. Even with a PRV, there's still a potential for failure, so the advice from others to NEVER leave a connection charged that can put a virtually unlimited amount of water into the boat is spot on. Stuff breaks, and always in a sequence that Murphy rides herd on. That's why I opt not to make a connection to dockside water other than a hose into the tank.
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Old 01-15-2018, 08:12 PM   #16
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Yes, you can throttle the flow, but a gate valve is the wrong valve for that. Use a ball valve, or simply fit an orifice in line. The better and more reliable method is to use a pressure reducing valve in line. It will maintain the pressure to whatever it's set to, regardless of volume, and it won't (well, shouldn't) bleed pressure when there's no flow. Even with a PRV, there's still a potential for failure, so the advice from others to NEVER leave a connection charged that can put a virtually unlimited amount of water into the boat is spot on. Stuff breaks, and always in a sequence that Murphy rides herd on. That's why I opt not to make a connection to dockside water other than a hose into the tank.
As I mentioned at the beginning of my post the preferred method was a flow restricter (orifice), no moving parts. This has nothing to do with pressure, only put a maximum limit on flow rate in case of a plumbing failure. A ball valve would be a poor choice here as it's to course an adjustment. Ideally a needle valve would be the best choice for controlling flow.

And as mentioned in my first post, I would never hook city water to my boat.

Ted
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Old 01-15-2018, 08:17 PM   #17
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Yes but.......! Many older boats and maybe newer ones have plumbing that will not accept high pressure. A flow restrictor can reduce pressure while there is flow but when flow stops, the pressure will soar to that of the supply.
Thought I made it pretty clear in the first sentence that I don't hook to city water for the already mentioned reason (elevated water pressure). My post was about absolute flow restriction.

Ted
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Old 01-15-2018, 08:34 PM   #18
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Thought I made it pretty clear in the first sentence that I don't hook to city water for the already mentioned reason (elevated water pressure). My post was about absolute flow restriction.

Ted
YES, and many who read your post may not have an understanding of why failures occur in a boat’s interior plumbing system. Most are related to excessive pressure and if your suggestion is followed by someone whose boat lacks a pressure reducer it can be an invitation to trouble. I find it to be poor advise to offer flow restricting suggestions to others while you yourself refrain from directly connecting to city water.

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Old 01-15-2018, 08:42 PM   #19
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why is it bad advice?

if you going to do something with risk, minimizing the effect isnt bad advice...

I use city water all the time, have never seen or heard of a boat sinking from it after 12 years living aboard, 14 in the salvage business and 23 in the USCG.

Seems like many risks on a boat....., know your systems, maintain them, minimize any risks and get over the constant worring proliferated on TF.
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Old 01-15-2018, 10:10 PM   #20
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Sure, I maybe was overly cautious in my response to Diver but the reason for my caution was in not knowing if ALL boats have pressure reducers at their fresh water connections. For boats with reducers there is nothing wrong with Diver’s post although I do believe that he should have made reference to one.

I use dock water most of the time. I went through 3 pressure reducers from West Marine, all failed. I designed and installed my own including reverse flow protection. I trust nothing to chance and when we are away the water is shut off.
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