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Old 02-17-2020, 05:29 AM   #1
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Sea Ranger 46 by King Yachts, water tank issues

I recently purchased a 1990 Sea Ranger 46 aft cabin (King Yachts version) and working through the usual sorting out issues you would find on a 30 year old boat.
The water tanks, one 800 litre under the aft cabin berth and a 700 litre running between and under the engines (3208 NA Cats) are coughing and spluttering through sink fawcets when the tanks are 2/3's full, but once refilled again, flow properly?!
The aft tank sits higher than the engine room tank, both the discharge pipes join at a T fitting and then into the pump.
The boat has only been used lightly and in calm waters for the last 23 years by the PO, last weekend we had her rolling in a beam/quartering sea and noticed the fresh water flushing toilet had dirty water coming through the system.
Could this mean a sediment blockage somewhere?
Anybody else encountered this problem before?

Cheers SB
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:26 AM   #2
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I hope you have drains on the bottom of your FW tanks. If so, Iran and flush them repeatedly....
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:59 AM   #3
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SB
As Dan says, flush the tanks and you likely want to treat the water system with bleach. What material are the tanks? What is the pump and pressure tank setup? Sounds like you're sucking air somewhere

Also, before the T connection are their isolating valves so you can draw from either or both? If so this provides the opportunity to assess each tanks "health" or balance for trim.

BTW it is nice to have that water volume.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:21 AM   #4
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Any galvanized fitting in the system is rusting inside.


See if you can find them and R&R.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:24 AM   #5
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Any galvanized fitting in the system is rusting inside.


See if you can find them and R&R.
Bronze fittings or some sort of plastic material.... unless you live in California.... Seems everything can give you cancer. SHRUG.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:48 AM   #6
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Yeah, the little bit of lead that makes a brass/bronze alloy easier to cast has caused some sort of conniption in certain places.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:57 AM   #7
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Check your vents. The screens could be plugged or the hoses kinked. When the FW pump starts gurgling, open the fill cap to vent.
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:01 AM   #8
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It seems like you're sucking air from the tank siting between the engines. It's most probably a top mounted pickup tube. Sometimes they rust and develop pin holes along the pickup tube. As long as the level is over the hole, it works fine. When it gets lower than the hole, you start picking up air. I suspected that in my water tank and went in with a snake camera. Turned out to be something else in my case but it's frequent if the tube is made of steel. Other possibility is that your pump is just not strong enough to pull that far from the tank. When it's full, it's easier for the pump to pull water. That was my case. Hope it helps. You should have a valve to switch from one tank to the other. Otherwise, when one is empty, you will start sucking air...
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:32 AM   #9
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Bronze fittings or some sort of plastic material.... unless you live in California.... Seems everything can give you cancer. SHRUG.
Live to be 100 years old and prove California wrong.

I remember when tooth paste tubes were made of a soft lead alloy.
They just quietly disappeared without the benefit of the lawyers.
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Old 02-17-2020, 03:32 PM   #10
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Thanks for the quick responses so far, appreciate the comments. I live three hours from the boat, just here for the day and thought I'd put the question out there.
The tanks are SS, both have inspection hatches, shutoff valves and sight tubes. The pump is a Shurflo 3 GPM. The aft tank fills from the stb deck and the lower ER tank fills from the port side deck.
The PO only filled the aft tank for some reason, and again, just short period cruising, never testing or thinking about the entire system, in fact he didn't realise there was a lower, ER tank?
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:55 PM   #11
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It seems like you're sucking air........... You should have a valve to switch from one tank to the other. Otherwise, when one is empty, you will start sucking air...
It looks as though you are onto it Richard, after lifting off the aft cab bed etc, shut off the tank valve, it's flowing fine from the ER tank (btw just measured it and it's only 400 litres, although marketed as 700 ).
Not sure where to go from here, all the plumbing of course is either under the aft bed or under ER sole, I'll have to look into some kind of a remote control valve to regulate flow from either tank.
In the mean time giving the tanks a good flush, thanks again for all the contributions, I appreciate the support.
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:23 PM   #12
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Water tanks generally should drain from the bottom, so sucking air really shouldn't be an issue. To me it sounds like your pump is getting lazy. If it was sucking air it probably would never shut off.

First off I would totally drain the tanks, rinse and drain again. I add about a half cup of unscented bleach per 150 gallons or so. Add the bleach after you fill the tanks halfway. (Undiluted Bleach will eat holes in unprotected stainless)

Spitting and coughing is probably the pump.

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Old 02-17-2020, 11:19 PM   #13
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...The tanks are SS, both have inspection hatches, shutoff valves and sight tubes. The pump is a Shurflo 3 GPM. The aft tank fills from the stb deck and the lower ER tank fills from the port side deck.
The PO only filled the aft tank for some reason, and again, just short period cruising, never testing or thinking about the entire system, in fact he didn't realise there was a lower, ER tank?
Hi SB, you are now using the tank the PO didn`t use/know of. Was the ? larger aft one he used functioning ok, or was it only seen/checked when full? If both work ok individually, why not together?
Our boat has 4 tanks, one each side, one fwd one aft. All valves left open I can pretty much fill all 4 (total 1000L) from one. Though the manual does says to turn off empty ones.
S/steel tanks etc in a 30yo boat is impressive, speaks well of the build quality.
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Old 02-18-2020, 05:37 AM   #14
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Hi SB, you are now using the tank the PO didn`t use/know of. Was the ? larger aft one he used functioning ok, or was it only seen/checked when full? If both work ok individually, why not together?
Our boat has 4 tanks, one each side, one fwd one aft. All valves left open I can pretty much fill all 4 (total 1000L) from one. Though the manual does says to turn off empty ones.
S/steel tanks etc in a 30yo boat is impressive, speaks well of the build quality.
Not sure why they don't work together yet Bruce, more trial and error to work out the many systems. Some folks have suggested the pump may not be up to it, I've been running it continuously to flush the tanks today, but gave up in case it fails? I'll buy a spare one as back up.

If there a thread explaining how to post pics, I could put some up.
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Old 02-18-2020, 05:59 AM   #15
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Not sure why they don't work together yet Bruce, more trial and error to work out the many systems. Some folks have suggested the pump may not be up to it, I've been running it continuously to flush the tanks today, but gave up in case it fails? I'll buy a spare one as back up.

If there a thread explaining how to post pics, I could put some up.
Do the tanks feed the pump from top or bottom outlets? Are there not tank bottom plugs or drains so you don't need to run the pump to empty tanks?
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Old 02-18-2020, 02:19 PM   #16
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Do the tanks feed the pump from top or bottom outlets? Are there not tank bottom plugs or drains so you don't need to run the pump to empty tanks?
Good point sc, they do both feed from and also have seperate drains from the bottom, so will drain off rather than pump out next time Iím down in a few days. I wanted the bleach solution to also flush the lines to the various fawcets around the boat as well.

They say every day is a school day, itís such a great help having the knowledge to draw on from the TF community, cheers
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Old 02-18-2020, 03:57 PM   #17
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Good point sc, they do both feed from and also have seperate drains from the bottom, so will drain off rather than pump out next time Iím down in a few days. I wanted the bleach solution to also flush the lines to the various fawcets around the boat as well.

They say every day is a school day, itís such a great help having the knowledge to draw on from the TF community, cheers
No bleach.... Get some hydrogen peroxide "bleach like stuff" from the grocery store.
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Old 02-18-2020, 04:51 PM   #18
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No bleach.... Get some hydrogen peroxide "bleach like stuff" from the grocery store.
Why not bleach? Cl systems seem the norm for water treatment.
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Old 02-18-2020, 04:53 PM   #19
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Peroxide has less risk of damaging metal components in the system, as it's less corrosive.
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Old 02-18-2020, 06:19 PM   #20
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Spitting and coughing doesn't sound like a pump problem. Sounds like it is getting air. if the pump has a leak in the housing it could a pump problem, although you said it runs fine with one tank isolated. Concentrate on the tank and lines that the problem shows up with. If the the lines are allowing it to suck air when running, they will most likely be leaking water when off. If a visual inspection of the lines is not possible, then maybe try a temporary line. This will be the lines between the pump and tank. Also, check the valves, often valves will leak at the packing when open but not when closed, or vice versa. If the tank has a dip tube from the top then the dip tube is suspect, especially if it starts coughing and spitting when 2/3 full.
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