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Old 04-08-2011, 17:08   #1
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Freshwater Pressurising Pump Sends Water Down Pipe into Bilge

I wonder if anyone has any ideas that might help me to trace the cause of a significant amount of freshwater ending up in the bilge of our Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 32.2 (2001).

Having dried the bilge out very thoroughly, I switched the freshwater pressurising pump on to see how much water was in the tank (the gauge is powered from the same switch as the pump). Without actually running any water I noticed new puddles of water filling the bilge compartments, starting with the one in the centre of the boat. On closer inspection I saw that it was flowing in from the end of a pipe designed to deliver water to the bilge from somewhere.

I traced it back, halfway back towards the stern it tees off to the bottom of the fridge for cleaning and draining the fridge. The main pipe carries on back through the bottom port side of the engine compartment where it gradually disappears into the hull paint/fiberglass. I guess it's heading for the plastic water tank (140 litre) but can't see where it goes.

What would the purpose of the pipe be, the tank was only a quarter full so presumably not an overflow? Is the pump normally attached to the tank, or in it, or separate? Any help appreciated as we haven't had the boat that long and I'm still getting to grips with the plumbing side of things.

Many thanks for any replies, ideas, etc

Gary, Bournemouth
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Old 04-08-2011, 17:14   #2
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Re: Freshwater pressurising pump sends water down pipe into bilge!

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Gary.

The pipe could be on the outlet side of the pressure water pump, connected by a wye valve. If so, it's intended to bleed air pout of the fresh water system, and may have been left open.
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Old 04-08-2011, 18:06   #3
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Re: Freshwater Pressurising Pump Sends Water Down Pipe into Bilge !

Thanks for the welcome and prompt response Gord.

So if it's a valve that's not shutting properly, I wonder if it's the valve that's faulty or the pressure that's too high for some reason. I assume there is a pressure switch in the system somewhere that controls the pump - which do you think might be most likely to be the culprit or should I just replace the cheapest first and see if that fixes it?

I have noticed that when the water system is switched on, the pump does cut in for a few seconds about every half a minute to 'top up' the pressure. That makes sense now if it's continuously seaping past a valve. Better than actually having a leak I guess. Just need to locate the items in question - hopefully the designers/sitters were thoughtful enough not to have sealed them in. :-)
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Old 04-08-2011, 18:37   #4
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I wonder about the hot water heater pressure valve? This sounds like a dump line that's carrying the water. If the refer compensate is plumbed in might they have plumbed the pressure release for the hot water tank in. Worth checking. I like fords thought too.
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Old 04-08-2011, 18:46   #5
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Re: Freshwater Pressurising Pump Sends Water Down Pipe into Bilge

You say it tees off and goes to the fridge. That sounds like a condensation drain line. Could it continue back to another fridge or an air conditioner? Maybe the water you see is just condensation. The pump could be cycling on because the valves in the pump need replacing.
My best guess is that the two things are unrelated. The water you see is condensation and your pump needs a rebuild. Of course I could be wrong and you have a leak in the pressure side of your water system. I see as I was typing this that Sabray came up with a good idea as well. The pipe sounds like some sort of drain line. If the hot water heater releif valve was popping open, it would cause the pump to cycle as well.
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Old 04-08-2011, 19:00   #6
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Re: Freshwater Pressurising Pump Sends Water Down Pipe into Bilge

I don't have a guess where it would be leaking but try this.
You will need to drain the water from your pipes. Attach a air hose to the water system and pressurize it to 30PSI or so.
The problem with trying to trace water leaks is you can't hear them, you can only see them.
By using air pressure you should be able to hear where the leak, in a quiet environment.
Works every time you can't seem to localize a leak.
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Old 07-08-2011, 14:47   #7
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Thank you to everyone who has come up with ideas - I've had another look and no more water has found its way into the bilge despite topping the tank up with fresheater so it's definitely only when the pressure pump is on (with or without the water heater on). The tank, and hopefully the pump and valve(s) too, are under the bed base in the aft double cabin which is all screwed down. As soon as I've got time to have it all up I'll investigate further and post what I find but at least I'm more confident now that I know what sort of thing I'm looking out for.
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Old 24-08-2011, 13:59   #8
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OK, having had half the boat to bits, I've now ascertained that actually there may be a leak somewhere when the system is pressurised - the tank is fine and the reason the water finds its way down into the bilge by pipe is that there is a pipe embedded in the hull's GRP that takes water from the very back compartments of the aft cabin down to the bilge pump compartment in the saloon. The leaking water runs from behind the stern's bulkhead which it looks like you can just about get into from inside the hold if you remove a couple of panels and possibly the fuel tank (job for this weekend!), will post how it goes but I feel I'm close to finding the cause.
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:00   #9
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Ok - problem solved! After all that, it turned out to be the manual push button switch on the swim platform shower. Presumably through old age and lack of use, the button had become sticky and hadn't switched off properly. Therefore, as soon as the water pressure system was on the shower was running inside its storage hole and the water was running down inside the stern bulkhead, across to the otherwise of the boat and in under the cabin floor via the exhaust and wiring entry point and from there into the escape pipe that takes water from these rear most compartments to the bilge.

I took the attachment off, took it home and after taking it apart soaked it all in vinegar. After rinsing and drying I drenched all the moving parts in silicone spray and put it back together - it now looks and works much better. I made sure it was completely off and not dripping before carefully feeding it back into its hole above the swim platform and hey presto, no more freshwater in the bilge and the system now holds pressure for days, even with the pump switched off.

Thanks for all your suggestions, I got there in the end and was glad it was such a simple fix eventually. Hopefully this post might save someone else a lot of time if they have the same problem.

Gary
Bournemouth
UK
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:54   #10
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Re: Freshwater Pressurising Pump Sends Water Down Pipe into Bilge

Excellent...thanks for taking the time to keep us up dated Gary.
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Old 27-01-2012, 17:54   #11
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Re: Freshwater Pressurising Pump Sends Water Down Pipe into Bilge

A good lesson
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