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Old 07-05-2020, 02:32   #1
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Have a small fresh water leak to the bilge, should I be bothered too much?

Hello all,

We have a small amount of fresh water getting into the bilge (approx 1litre per day) and after a lot of investigation I THINK it it coming from the built in port water tank (200L capacity) and as said is no more than 1L per day draining to the bilge. The bilge obviously has the keel bolt fixings there.

I have filled the tank up and put a mark on the one side I have access to and going to see if the level goes down, as the tank is isolated now, and if so will show it is the port tank or one of the hoses from the port tank to the water pump manifold.

Now to remedy this leak , if it is a small split in the water tank or even to investigate further, will involve a LOT of work such as removing the calorifier, a lot of woodwork etc

So, should I be overly concerned as it is fresh water, which is a lot better than sea water of course!

Thanks

DTD
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Old 07-05-2020, 03:57   #2
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Re: Have a small fresh water leak to the bilge, should I be bothered too much?

DTD, Just a general philosophy.....a little problem will turn into a big problem and at the worst possible time. Ignoring a deficiency that you know about is never a good idea.
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Old 07-05-2020, 04:08   #3
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Re: Have a small fresh water leak to the bilge, should I be bothered too much?

I'm afraid I also think it is something you should find a remedy for. Perhaps it is not a split tank, but something simpler? Perhaps a hose, as you suggested, or something else. Our mast used to let in a surprising amount of rainwater, would this be a possibility?

A liter a day can make for a really soggy spot wherever the leak is, and you can wind up with wood rot.

It may take a while to find the source of the leak, but I would recommend you keep after it. Best of luck and I hope it's something simple and cheap!

Cheers!

Steve
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Old 07-05-2020, 04:15   #4
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Re: Have a small fresh water leak to the bilge, should I be bothered too much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinlifebda View Post
DTD, Just a general philosophy.....a little problem will turn into a big problem and at the worst possible time. Ignoring a deficiency that you know about is never a good idea.
+1

Yep. Figure out where it's coming from and fix it. The dark side would be that, once you get into the fix, you find that what you thought was "just a little problem" was bigger than you think...

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Old 07-05-2020, 04:17   #5
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Re: Have a small fresh water leak to the bilge, should I be bothered too much?

Maybe doesn't have to be a "fix yesterday!" issue, but it won't get better by itself.

-Chris
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Old 07-05-2020, 04:37   #6
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Re: Have a small fresh water leak to the bilge, should I be bothered too much?

I would say it is crucial to understand the cause. I have a deficiency in the connections between boiler and depressurizing bowl, and it lets drops come out each time water gets heated. No big deal and definitely not a threat but something that is on my bucket list for one day... so trace back the «*stream*» and find out where the culprit is hiding
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Old 07-05-2020, 05:44   #7
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Re: Have a small fresh water leak to the bilge, should I be bothered too much?

Yes I agree that I need to determine the exact cause but as said it is looking likely to be in a location that will be difficult to get to as the port water tank is well and truly embedded within the boat.

Have filled the tank up and marked the level but as the tank holds 200L and the leak is less than a litre per 24hrs will take a while to determine if it is indeed the tank or the connection.

In an ideal world I want to sort it out as do not like not having things 100% correct, however as we are in lockdown here in Gran Canaria there is not a lot I could do at the moment anyway as the chandlers and hardware shops are all closed anyway.

I think the plan will be to remove the calorifier when the chandlers and hardware shops are open as that way if I break a fitting etc at least I can replace it as we are living aboard the boat here.

DTD
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:20   #8
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Re: Have a small fresh water leak to the bilge, should I be bothered too much?

We had the same thing. It was a simple fix. The supply line to the electric water heater was leaking at the connection. Tightened the hose clamp and it was fixed.
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:27   #9
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Re: Have a small fresh water leak to the bilge, should I be bothered too much?

You need to investigate. It may not be the tank. Especially if that tank is not under the floorboards.
Sometimes a real slow leak, in a gel coated bilge, or even a bare fiberglass bilge, is very hard to see. I use toilet paper to find hard to see small leaks.

Just lay a strip on the inside of the hull just beneath the tank location. Or beneath the exit fitting. Look for a wet spot on the TP. Then try another to zero in on location.
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:38   #10
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Re: Have a small fresh water leak to the bilge, should I be bothered too much?

My recent experience with a mystery leak.

http://www.sv-secondstar.net/project...-they-thinking
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:59   #11
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Re: Have a small fresh water leak to the bilge, should I be bothered too much?

Do you have an ice box? Ice melting might drain into your bilge. Ours does. Sometimes it's the simple things. Good luck.
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Old 07-05-2020, 11:43   #12
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Re: Have a small fresh water leak to the bilge, should I be bothered too much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
You need to investigate. It may not be the tank. Especially if that tank is not under the floorboards.
Sometimes a real slow leak, in a gel coated bilge, or even a bare fiberglass bilge, is very hard to see. I use toilet paper to find hard to see small leaks.

Just lay a strip on the inside of the hull just beneath the tank location. Or beneath the exit fitting. Look for a wet spot on the TP. Then try another to zero in on location.
I do this as well, except I use paper towels, TP is better, thanks for the tip!

I've also used washable felt pens, the kind used for white boards and kids coloring kits. Marking lines on the hull can help narrow the location of a mysterious leak. Condensation will create a larger blurred area and a leak will typically be easy to spot as a clear break in the line with a streak going downhill.

There are so many connections the leak could be anywhere.

Pressure testing would help find it if you plug up the vent.

It could be condensation. In the right conditions a boat can sweat that much.
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Old 07-05-2020, 12:28   #13
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Re: Have a small fresh water leak to the bilge, should I be bothered too much?

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I do this as well, except I use paper towels, TP is better, thanks for the tip!


THAT! You should advertise this widely... Great way to get rid of excess TP for those who compulsively bought mountains of rolls
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Old 07-05-2020, 12:59   #14
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Re: Have a small fresh water leak to the bilge, should I be bothered too much?

I had a leak which turned out to be the pressure/temperature relief valve on the water heater (your calorifier?)... might want to check that.
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Old 07-05-2020, 17:15   #15
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Re: Have a small fresh water leak to the bilge, should I be bothered too much?

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Originally Posted by lovinlifebda View Post
DTD, Just a general philosophy.....a little problem will turn into a big problem and at the worst possible time. Ignoring a deficiency that you know about is never a good idea.
When you know what it is, you can make your choices. An unknown needs to be followed to its source. It might be nothing more than a poor quality clamp.
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