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Old 27-11-2007, 14:11   #1
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Where's the water coming from???

I am trying to discover the source of a water leak. I've done a lot of searching and haven't yet found the source. I need some ideas on how to keep troubleshooting. The boat is a Morgan Classic 41'.

Here's what's happening:

- the leak is intermittent. It can be days or weeks between events. I live aboard full time.
- the leak appears as water marks on the forward bulk head opposite the shower stall in the aft cabin. It doesn't extend to starboard past about midway under the door towards the toilet.
- the leak has happened over the years as the marks were there when I bought the boat and it keeps happening.
- so far I know it is not related to:
- the drain, floor pan, or faucet in the shower stall
- the faucet in the head
- the shut off valves for either the port or starboard water tanks
- the holding tank
- the raw water intake for the toilet
- the toilet overboard thru hull
- the leak is not on the pressurized side of the system
- it is not sewage
- it is not related to rain or water sprayed on the deck.

The only other things I can think that could be causing the leak are:
- the hose that allows the two tanks to equalize or
- the hoses that connect the water tanks to the pressurized water system.

My challenge is that I don't know where these hoses go as they are under the sealed floor. The wall that the water shows up on is not accessible from the other side. The fact that the leak is intermittent and that I haven't yet been able to figure out a pattern is very frustrating. I also thought that maybe the tank might be leaking but eliminated that thought as then it should leak continuously until the water level falls below the leak.

I'm stumped. Any ideas would be most appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

s/v Dream Maker
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Old 27-11-2007, 14:18   #2
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The water is coming from the ocean. Yeah, I know that's patently obvious. So start with shutting down where the ocean is probably entering the boat, through the thruhulls and go back to doing what you were doing when you had the leak. You can can still run an engine with the sea strainer valve closed for no more than a minute. It's similar to detecting electrical noise, just start shutting things down until the problem goes away. It's one of the best ways of isolating a problem. You can always get down there with a flashlight while someone else drives. Another way is to completely dry everything and get down there with some blue paper shop towels and start running them along any suspicious valves, hoses etc. When they get wet, they become darker and are therefore a real good way of tracing very small leaks.


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Old 27-11-2007, 14:44   #3
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One more fact...

I forgot to mention...The water is not coming from the ocean. I know this as the leak appeared once while we were on the hard.
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Old 27-11-2007, 15:01   #4
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The fact that the leak occured while you where on the hard is important.
It should allow you to eliminate a lot of the items that are only in use when the boat is in the water. Try to think what was going on when the leak occured, i.e. was there a rain event, where water tanks still being utilized, are the water tanks kept full all the time or do you run them down, was the shower still being used. Try to correlate what was going on when the leak appears.
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Old 27-11-2007, 15:04   #5

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A passing thought:

Do you shower a lot in there? Could it be condensation forming somewhere and then dripping down?
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Old 27-11-2007, 21:19   #6
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Our bilge has several "compartments." I figured this out after installing an electric bilge pump. I would check the engine compartment - almost the lowest spot in the boat and the bilge pump was keeping things nice and dry.

We would then get back from a sail and there would be water on the cabin sole. I tasted it - fresh. Perplexed...

That's when I figured out that our cockpit lockers leaked rain water past the seals (on the to do list) and that when we heeled the lockers emptied into the bilge aft of the engine. When that was full and we heeled it drained into the forward compartment which is quite small.

Then when we heeled it spilled over the engine cover sill into the cabin.

The other "leak" we found was that if we filled the water to the brim and heeled the boat the water leaked out the press on cap which is a replacement jury rigged some time ago.

Keep investigating - you'll find it.
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Old 28-11-2007, 02:02   #7
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Found water from the shower was filered thru the foam core & slowly made its way into an area where it looked like it was out of the fresh water tanks. Reglassed the area under the sole in the shower all normal now. That only took 3 yrs to find.

Regards Bill Goodward

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