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Old 11-22-2022, 08:57 PM   #1
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Water in the Bilge twice

Pumped out a couple hundred gallons last week and pumped out about 50 more today. Yes, I'm fixing the bilge pumps first as neither of them (2, fore and aft) work on automatic like they should.

So, apply the band aid first and then the cure.

The water in the bilge is crystal clear. Unlike the delta water under the boat. The bilge does not stink either which leads me to think that I've got a leaky tank or a split hose. Now leaning towards the split hose as I have 5 water tanks and none is over 200 gallons.

Damn. Got me a lotta work to do.

Thinking pex of course and will examine as much as I can next trip to the boat. Five water tanks and I only know where 4 of them are. More fun.

Post any insights you may have to assist my path por favor -
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Old 11-22-2022, 09:12 PM   #2
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Taste the water. Fresh or salt.
Rain water?
Fix the pumps !!!
This is how boats sink. Get a handle on it.
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Old 11-22-2022, 09:34 PM   #3
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My IG36 had an extra water tank in the bow (and another in the lazarette). Overflow went into the bilge, not overboard. The tank was full when a bilge pump kicked in. When full, some overflow would come from the tank when the boat was operating until the level dropped. Worth checking.
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Old 11-22-2022, 10:13 PM   #4
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Both pumps work, just not automatic. Aft (new Rule 2000 and USS switch) going in tomorrow. The fore pump woks too, but the rule switch does not. Another switch is ordered.

Not worried about sinking in covered berth. Yeah, some rain before the first pump, but nothing after to explain the second fill.

Yes the pumps will be serviced both working automatic of course. And not really worried about hull breach or something serious as the water is clean.
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Old 11-22-2022, 10:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceK View Post
My IG36 had an extra water tank in the bow (and another in the lazarette). Overflow went into the bilge, not overboard. The tank was full when a bilge pump kicked in. When full, some overflow would come from the tank when the boat was operating until the level dropped. Worth checking.
The mechanic noticed some water in the bilge (clean like it is now) after he filled all tanks at the dock in Alameda. That was like a half year ago. I didn't notice any water until now when I was down in the engine room a couple weeks ago and I saw it under the deck plates. I shut the water pump down when I leave so the leak is not from a pressurized line. And the water is crystal clear.

I have found 2 forward side by side just forward of the saloon below deck aft of the forward bilge pump, 1 starboard in the engine room and 1 engine room center low under the deck plate aft of the engine room bilge pump.

I'll know more after I get the deck plate off and replace the aft pump and switch.
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Old 11-23-2022, 03:20 AM   #6
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If your freshwater pump isn't cycling, the leak is likely between the tanks and there.

If I couldn't find the leak after a good crawl around or two, I'd fill each tank most of the way up, note the level on the gauges if you have them, and also drop a dowel down the fill and marl the level of each for a more precise and reliable measure. Then I'd see which if any tanks turned up low in a few days.

If they are all low, that would suggest a problem.after the manifold, control valves, or interconnect and up to the pump. If just a subset were low, that woukd limit the problem to between those tank(s) and the manifold, control valves, or interconnect.

If I had a suspect tank or two, but couldn't find the leak, I'd drain the suspect tank(s) one at a time, fill the rest, and confirm the results.

If the tank levels can't be measured well, e.g. bad or no gauges and no path for dowel, I'd use drinking water safe leak tracing dyes. Red and green are common colors, but one can also get blue and orange and UV florescent in liquid or tablet form. I'd die each tank a different color and see what color water turned up. I'd start put with low water levels to make the flush easy? But Rais it and add more dye if needed to exhibit the problem.

Valves for self-leveling or isolation might need to be closed to prevent the tanks from mixing with each other, and if the tanks are interconnected and there aren't isolation valves, they may need to be added, but that is a quick task.

From the peanut gallery...
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Old 11-23-2022, 10:05 AM   #7
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A piece of blue paper towel beneath the fittings on each tank and more below any low points on the tanks and elsewhere on the plumbing could tell you a lot.
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Old 11-23-2022, 02:12 PM   #8
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If all else fails to find a potable water leak, you might have to reconsider the possibility that it's coming in from outside somewhere. I suspect that any sediment would settle out, and it would look as clear as potable water. I'm not a big brown water guy myself, so maybe someone will prove me wrong. But I know even with our very turbid sea water, any that makes it into the bilge looks clear.
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Old 11-23-2022, 02:34 PM   #9
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Going back today to install the new Rule 2000 and USS switch. That will give me 1 good working auto pump. Another switch ordered for the forward pump. The boat is docked in the CA Delta where the water is always brown.
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Old 11-23-2022, 08:31 PM   #10
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New pump and switch installed and verified. Runs in automatic when triggered and not otherwise. Indicator lights when powered. Pump runs in manual. Left with bilge control on auto.

One down, one to go.

Pumped a little more water today, clear like last time. Water in forward half only, engine room bilge dry. The first time (when I had a lot of water) it was visible in the engine room but the forward pump pumped it dry. I like the dye suggestion, pour a bottle of food coloring into the tanks, one at a time, and check. But I don't know how many tank valves are open, so maybe have to close them off and open 1 at a time. Could be a tank leak but with many valves open, which one?

Ah boats! But at least it's not going to sink -
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Old 11-24-2022, 08:08 AM   #11
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I’d loose my mind if my bilge had 100 gallons of water in it,lol probably have the boat hauled out,sounds like on of the water tanks or lines have a leak
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Old 11-24-2022, 10:23 AM   #12
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One thing I watch is the waterline showing at the transom. My exhaust openings are within 1/8" of the water when the water tanks are full. When empty, the exhaust openings are 4" above the water. Whether fuel is full or empty will affect that height, but as fuel tanks are amidships and water are aft, that has a much lesser effect. Thus, if your tanks were full at the beginning of this saga, you would now see whether the weight of that 100 or more gallons had shifted from aft to midships. Also that would show whether you are actually sinking.
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Old 11-24-2022, 10:25 AM   #13
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I heard someone a while back put a different color of food coloring in each of his tanks to see which one was the culprit. Maybe worth a shot...
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Old 11-26-2022, 09:11 AM   #14
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A few years ago I was startled to see my bilge pump light come on at the helm. I immediately checked below and noticed that the bilge, which is normally bone-dry, had a fair amount of water in it that the bilge pump was dutifully pumping out. I was very distressed until I noticed that my fresh water gauge showed nearly empty.

The ensuing investigation revealed that a guest had failed to completely shut off the Whale Twist deck shower before putting it back into its socket. While I doubt very much this has anything directly to do with the original post, I decided to write this on the chance that somebody in the future researching "water in the bilge" on TF might find my experience useful.
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Old 11-26-2022, 09:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
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New pump and switch installed and verified. Runs in automatic when triggered and not otherwise. Indicator lights when powered.
You might want to add a cycle counter.
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Old 11-26-2022, 09:39 AM   #16
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I heard someone a while back put a different color of food coloring in each of his tanks to see which one was the culprit. Maybe worth a shot...

Very clever idea! Thanks for posting this!
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Old 11-27-2022, 12:09 AM   #17
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Very clever idea! Thanks for posting this!
Note that food coloring stains. The dyes that are sold for this purpose don't.

Having said that...I still wouldn't wear the good clothes. With my luck, it'll stain whatever you are wearingn weeks later when you are wearing white and touch some residue while checking the oil!
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Old 11-27-2022, 12:12 AM   #18
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I like the dye suggestion, pour a bottle of food coloring into the tanks, one at a time, and check. But I don't know how many tank valves are open, so maybe have to close them off and open 1 at a time. Could be a tank leak but with many valves open, which one?
Use a different color dye in each tank. Is still do them one at a time tocmakensure that yellow and blue doesn't make green, etc.

I like the dyes designed for this purpose because they do not stain the human or the boat.
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Old 11-27-2022, 03:20 AM   #19
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Good to know. I haven't been to the boat since I replaced the engine room pump and switch, I'll do that monday. The other switch should arrive tuesday. There are 2 big water tanks right where the pump is located so I'll give them the thump test when I go down there. Not looking forward to that, the forward below deck is a lot tighter than the engine room.

I like the cycle counter idea, thanks!
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Old 11-27-2022, 12:47 PM   #20
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You might want to add a cycle counter.
Sounds like a great idea! When I'm looking for such a device on Google, I can only find counters for bicycles... What device to you use please?
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