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Old 11-06-2010, 07:49   #1
VVD
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Help! Two Problems with My Water System

I own a Caliber 47 with two water tanks which lead to strainers and then to a T where we can choose which tank to use and then onward to my water pump and accumulator tank etc. Problem number #1: one of my water tanks (forward water tank) is sucking in so much air no water is coming out (water tanks are full). Is there a leaking valve outside the tank or a problem with the footvalve? How do I check where this air is being sucked in? I have tightened and checked all fittings around the strainers and T.

Problem #2: when I run the pump on tank #2 pressure is good no air at all but after I shut down the faucet the pump stops promptly only to do a quick periodic boost for the rest of the time. This might indicate a small leak and yes I think the bilge pump has come on as well once in a while.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated! Thanks Vincent
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:19   #2
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Further to my first message I have now the same problem with Tank number two, lots of air and a brown sludge in the strainer. I am beginning to suspect that my tanks are contaminated with a growth and some of it might have gotten into the water pump. Could that be true. Is is blowing air back because it is blocked? If so what next?
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:46   #3
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If you are at a marina where you can refill the water easily I would put a cup of bleach in each tank. That will take care of any growth.

When you say "sucking in so much air" where are you hearing the air suck?


Have you just bought the boat or has it been unused for a while?
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:57   #4
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Hi Mark Thank you. Bleach is a good idea but I have to double check if I do npot have stainless steel water tanks. I think they are fiberglass.
I have owned the boat and it is just coming out of winter storage, I never had a brown sludge in the tanks.
I do not hear a sucking sound but see a lot of air coming into the strainer which is located before the pump
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:33   #5
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For the air before the pump, you will need to check all connections from the pump to the tank - including the gasket on the strainer. Also pull out the tank fitting and check to see if there is a leak or hole in the pickup tube or its connection to the fitting.

For the leak after the pump, you will need to check all the fittings from the pump to everything after the pump. Hot water tank fittings or the relief valve are prone to leak after winter layups.

An acute dose of chlorine in a stainless or aluminum tank will not be a problem. It is chronic chlorine that does damage. So treat and remove is OK, but don't regularly treat or keep chlorine in it.

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Old 12-06-2010, 07:06   #6
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are you sure that your's tanks are properly vented( air can come in to replace water that you wish to remove from tank), check the vent line for shut valves or kink or obstruction.
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Old 13-06-2010, 05:39   #7
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One other thing regarding the pump running periodically after the faucets are shut: sometimes air is trapped in the hot water tank when it is refilled after a layup. Crack the relief valve and see if you can burp some air out of it. Or crack the hot water outlet line and see if it will burp.

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Old 13-06-2010, 06:46   #8
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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
sometimes air is trapped in the hot water tank when it is refilled after a layup.
We have a deck shower we never use (who the hell does and why?) so the valve is always off at the water distrbution point (is that what its called?). There is about 6 inches of pipe to the valve and I think it was filled with air. Blead that and fixed pump run on, well, mostly anyway.

Gee boats can be tricky!

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Old 13-06-2010, 07:52   #9
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On my boat the water pump in the galley will suck air through the sink tap in the head if the shut off is left open for the head sink.

Phil
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Old 13-06-2010, 08:00   #10
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Thank you for all your help, this is awesome. We shocked our tanks with bleached water and after opening all faucets and bleeding the system all air disappeared taking care of problem #1. We suspect dirt clogged our lines. The water leak was a bit more tricky. We started by tightening all hose clams and rejoined some hoses and sealed them. Then we worked from the bow to aft to check all faucets and lines. We noticed water dripping in from a line that was connected to our transom shower (thanks MarkJ ). The seal inside this shower had worn or not proberly taken care of during winterizing. Water was dripping along the shower hose into the bilge. We bought a new shower head ($58) and after two days of crawling into spaces we not so often visit the water pressure pump and bilge pump are quiet. Thank you all very much for your help. Today we are going to tackle a small leak from our water heater by removing it. I think we will have to put a new one in...
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