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Old 08-16-2016, 09:56 AM   #61
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1) I had a water hose come loose on my boat and dump the contents of the tank into the bilge. Apparently the PO or someone didn't assemble the fitting correctly. Hooked to city water and unattended, this would probably have sunk the boat.


2) A boat at my marina either sank or almost sank because of being left connected to city water and a plumbing failure. This was before I was there so details are sketchy.


We can all make our choices based on information provided to us. It would be wrong to say that there is no or minimal risk leaving a boat unattended and connected to city water. We take in all the information and make our choice based on the perceived risk.
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Old 08-16-2016, 10:51 AM   #62
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[QUOTE=WesK;470318]1) I had a water hose come loose on my boat and dump the contents of the tank into the bilge. Apparently the PO or someone didn't assemble the fitting correctly. Hooked to city water and unattended, this would probably have sunk the boat.

The tank and its plumbing are on the suction side of the pump. The most pressure they will see is the head pressure at the height of the deck fill, perhaps 5-6 pi. The city water pressure is not hooked to the tank. It Ts in on the pressure side of the water pump. In this failure city water would not have flooded the boat.
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Old 08-16-2016, 10:56 AM   #63
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2) A boat at my marina either sank or almost sank because of being left connected to city water and a plumbing failure. This was before I was there so details are sketchy.

It seems to be easy to "hear" of theses failures. It is quite another thing to document them. USCG, Boat US an ABYC files do not seem to indicate that these failures are particularly frequent and they seem to be hard to document.
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:03 AM   #64
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But don't allow pesky things like facts or reality to get in the way of perfectly good internet folklore.
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:08 AM   #65
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We can all make our choices based on information provided to us. It would be wrong to say that there is no or minimal risk leaving a boat unattended and connected to city water.

This is a key point in the discussion. If you are a live aboard, as we are, then you are NOT leaving your boat UNATTENDED. I don't think anyone here is advocating leaving the city water on when the boat is left unattended for days or weeks at a time. However, if I go out to dinner or out to the store, or take the dog for a walk, I don't always turn off the city water. I have tested the system and proven that the primary bilge pump can manage the flow of a failed 5/8" hose in the city water line. I have a larger capacity back up pump and with 950 ah battery bank, the bilge pump found run about 200 hours straight. As others have said, if this is too great a risk for you, then don't tie into city water. But there are a number of us here who can demonstrate that the risk is minimal.
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:47 AM   #66
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[QUOTE=tadhana;470333]
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Originally Posted by WesK View Post
1) I had a water hose come loose on my boat and dump the contents of the tank into the bilge. Apparently the PO or someone didn't assemble the fitting correctly. Hooked to city water and unattended, this would probably have sunk the boat.

The tank and its plumbing are on the suction side of the pump. The most pressure they will see is the head pressure at the height of the deck fill, perhaps 5-6 pi. The city water pressure is not hooked to the tank. It Ts in on the pressure side of the water pump. In this failure city water would not have flooded the boat.
I understand boat plumbing pretty well. A break or defective fitting could still sink the boat. It depends where in the plumbing it happens.

Most boat plumbing systems are not as robust as residential or commercial systems. In many cases, they are designed for 40 PSI, not the 100+PSI often found in city water systems. Also, boats are subject to a lot more vibration than land based systems.

Most important though, is that when a land based plumbing system fails, the building won't be in danger of sinking. There may be serious damage but the building won't sink.

This actually happened to a neighbor. A pipe broke in his house and did several thousand dollars worth of damage to his home. It didn't sink though.
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:52 AM   #67
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But don't allow pesky things like facts or reality to get in the way of perfectly good internet folklore.
True. The Internet provides a lot of good information and just as much bad information.

The smart thing to do is process what one reads on the Internet to determine what is correct and what is incorrect. Sometimes we can figure it out ourselves and sometimes we need to use other resources.

In this case, we weigh the benefits of leaving the city water connection on against the risks. Sometimes we might read about a risk we hadn't thought about.

In the end, we make our decision and live with the consequences.
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Old 08-16-2016, 12:01 PM   #68
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I have a pressure gauge on my water system...heck at marinas you are lucky to get 50 Psi most of the time...but I only hook up maybe 50 places between NJ and FL a year.

I always hook up...the 6 to 10 failures I have had have never come close to sinkIng the boat.....maybe lucky, maybe smart or truthful.

Heck if you don't trust your system or methods, use your tanks.

But don't try to convince new boaters it is the only safe way, many have proven otherwise.

Just MANAGE THE RISKS..... of course that may need "if you can".......
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Old 08-16-2016, 12:11 PM   #69
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2)It seems to be easy to "hear" of theses failures. It is quite another thing to document them. USCG, Boat US an ABYC files do not seem to indicate that these failures are particularly frequent and they seem to be hard to document.
As with most incidents, if the fire department, coast guard, or insurance company don't need to be called, there likely isn't going to be a record of it. Don't know the ratio of sinkings to near misses from these failures. Like most boat floodings at docks, I'm sure the vast majority are caught in time and undocumented. Not the sort of thing the marina wants to divulge, especially to their insurance company.

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We can all make our choices based on information provided to us. It would be wrong to say that there is no or minimal risk leaving a boat unattended and connected to city water.

As others have said, if this is too great a risk for you, then don't tie into city water. But there are a number of us here who can demonstrate that the risk is minimal.
Personally, I have no problem with you connecting to city water. You clearly have thought it through and verified your boat's ability to survive a plumbing failure. Welcome to the top 10%. Most of this discussion is directed at the other 90% that never considered the consequences and haven't a clue about their bilge pump capacity.

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Old 08-16-2016, 12:46 PM   #70
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As with most incidents, if the fire department, coast guard, or insurance company don't need to be called, there likely isn't going to be a record of it. Don't know the ratio of sinkings to near misses from these failures. Like most boat floodings at docks, I'm sure the vast majority are caught in time and undocumented. Not the sort of thing the marina wants to divulge, especially to their insurance company.



Personally, I have no problem with you connecting to city water. You clearly have thought it through and verified your boat's ability to survive a plumbing failure. Welcome to the top 10%. Most of this discussion is directed at the other 90% that never considered the consequences and haven't a clue about their bilge pump capacity.

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Old 08-17-2016, 05:37 AM   #71
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Just curious...
For those that never use shore water hook up...
Do you also ALWAYS close sea cocks when, off the boat, sleeping, not running main, not running gen and not using raw water?
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Old 08-17-2016, 06:04 AM   #72
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Just curious...
For those that never use shore water hook up...
Do you also ALWAYS close sea cocks when, off the boat, sleeping, not running main, not running gen and not using raw water?
Never close the seacock except to exercise it. Went through my entire raw water system when refitting the boat. Replaced everything except the internal strainer. Have complete confidence in all of it and have bilge pumps enough to handle any failure. My domestic water is sound and has no leaks, presently. However, the number of connections and the quality (or lack there of) of the components is what keeps me from hooking it to an endless source of high pressure water. IMO, domestic water systems on boats will eventually leak (I've had 3 already), it's just a question of when. That's why I choose to limit the supply of water.

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Old 08-17-2016, 07:56 AM   #73
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We cruise full time and if we are in a marina more than a day or two we hook up to city water. We also close every seacock if it is not in use. So right now we are in a marina in Cambridge MD. We are hooked to dock water. Two open seacocks for two AC systems everything else is closed. So when we bike to the grocery store we leave the AC running but turn off the city water. My dad had a boatyard, I had a boatyard and marina. In 55 years in the industry I have seen and raised several sunken boats. I have not yet seen city water hook up sink a boat. Nor I have ever seen a boat that sank with all of its seacocks closed.
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Old 08-17-2016, 08:25 AM   #74
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Sure you can sink a boat by leaving a seacock open while the boat is unattended.


Sure you can sink a boat by leaving a city water turned on while the boat is unattended.


Sure your boat can catch fire with shore power on while unattended.


Sure.....there are a million ways to kill or hurt yourself while boating, or sink your boat while boating.


Manage risks....the process of operational risk management is designed to allow you to do something that you want to do....while managing risks.


Easy, don't use city water if you don't want to. If you do, see what risks exist, impose safeguards and backups and reevaluate. If the risk is low enough in your mind, do it....it things change, reevaluate, if never comfy...don't do it.


Really no big deal...until your are the guy that has to fill the tanks in the heat, storm or middle of something really fun. Then necessity become the mother of invention... probably why someone invented a city water inlet with a screen, pressure reducer and backflow preventer in it for under $50. Another $10 buys the plumbing that in a 1 second swipe allows me to turn city water on and off right at my gangway.


But that's just my 365 liveaboard cut on it.
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Old 08-17-2016, 09:15 AM   #75
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".until your are the guy that has to fill the tanks in the heat, storm or middle of something really fun."

When a tank runs dry , some folks simply switch tanks.

PPPPP
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Old 08-17-2016, 09:51 AM   #76
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".until your are the guy that has to fill the tanks in the heat, storm or middle of something really fun."

When a tank runs dry , some folks simply switch tanks.

PPPPP
We live aboard. I have 3 tanks of 100 gallons each. When I open the last full tank, I fill the other 2 at my convenience. It's not a hassle at all. Keeps the tanks fresh and clean as well.
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Old 08-17-2016, 10:38 AM   #77
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Timing, I saw this discussion last evening, woke this morning to a steamy cabin, one of the sink faucets connections decided to let go. The freshly filled 200+ gallon onboard water storage tank was close to empty. My 1987 rubber washers have apparently decided time is up, its time to change all. 3 Sinks and 3 showers the swim deck shower is going to be fun..... I see pipes heading that way and water comes out so bet it's connected in some very hidden secret place... I am a live aboard and use only tank water. I learned years ago if the tank is used and maintained the water is good. If I was never to leave the dock I would consider using City water But I like to cruise.
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Old 08-17-2016, 10:53 AM   #78
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".until your are the guy that has to fill the tanks in the heat, storm or middle of something really fun."

When a tank runs dry , some folks simply switch tanks.

PPPPP
for some boats without re-plumbing....it isn't necessarily easy....


and thus why for now, I run city water much of the time.
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Old 09-17-2016, 08:21 PM   #79
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I have decided not to use dock side water for several reasons:

-As others have mentioned, drawing from the boat's tank keeps the water "turned over" and fresh
-My boat has an excellent on-board treatment system (charcoal and UV filters). It tastes better than the dock water.
-There's one less thing to connect/disconnect when docking.
-There's one less possible cause of sinking, no matter how remote the possibility.
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Old 09-18-2016, 04:11 AM   #80
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We fill the tanks , bur there is a simple soluton for folks that want "city water".

A QUALITY pressure reducing unit .

This is NOT marine and nor RV. A $100 investment, rebuildable.

Purchase it at the plumbing supply house and install it outside near the dock supply.

Your potable water hose to the boat will thank you as will the internal fittings.

As most pressure regulators can supply a great flow (rather than the pressure rise and fall of the usual 12v pump) a fairly low setting will usually do just fine.

But its still a risk,to depart with the water on.

As most bilges do not suffer from being washed , simply allowing the FW inlet to run free and observing weather the boats bilge pump system is adequate might be an interesting experiment.
Spot on this the right solution. And to further clarify a flow restrictor does not reduce pressure when there is no flow, it only restricts the flow you can get.
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