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Old 04-03-2020, 08:10   #1
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Water mystery

So, this is a little weird...

Two weekends ago, we left the boat with about half a tank of water or about 100 of the 200 gallons remaining.

When we returned last weekend, the water tank was empty and the 12 v house water pump was running continuously.

I turned off the breaker for the water pump, checked all bilges, sumps, floors, heads and showers, and the cockpit and lazerette. Basically, anyplace with a water line passing through or a faucet. Everything was bone dry.

I refilled the tank and turned on the water pump breaker. The pump ran for a minute to pressurize the two gallon tank and then shut off like normal. The rest of the weekend, it ran as expected.

Never did figure out what happened to the water and why the pump was still running. Any guesses? Anyone experience something similar in the past?

John
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:18   #2
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Re: Water mystery

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Originally Posted by MV Wanderlust View Post
So, this is a little weird...

Two weekends ago, we left the boat with about half a tank of water or about 100 of the 200 gallons remaining.

When we returned last weekend, the water tank was empty and the 12 v house water pump was running continuously.

I turned off the breaker for the water pump, checked all bilges, sumps, floors, heads and showers, and the cockpit and lazerette. Basically, anyplace with a water line passing through or a faucet. Everything was bone dry.

I refilled the tank and turned on the water pump breaker. The pump ran for a minute to pressurize the two gallon tank and then shut off like normal. The rest of the weekend, it ran as expected.

Never did figure out what happened to the water and why the pump was still running. Any guesses? Anyone experience something similar in the past?

John


Water tank or fuel tank float sensors are notorious for sticking

One minute half tank .... then , oops pump running dry out of water

Pull the sensor and clean
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:20   #3
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Re: Water mystery

Regardless of cause, when leaving the boat unattended in the slip, there are only a few things I turn off. Fresh water pump and water heater are 2 of them.
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:29   #4
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Re: Water mystery

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Regardless of cause, when leaving the boat unattended in the slip, there are only a few things I turn off. Fresh water pump and water heater are 2 of them.
We always turn off the hot water heater. Never had a problem with the fresh water pump before.
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:42   #5
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Re: Water mystery

Galley faucet stayed open with a thin stream of water, no traces in the boat....maybe.....
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:46   #6
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Re: Water mystery

When I leave the boat, I turn off fresh water, hot water, and all 12volt: lights, propane solenoid. I leave on 120volt, so that the shore power runs the battery charger.
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:47   #7
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Re: Water mystery

Hmm... maybe. It was tightly off when we boarded last weekend but maybe.
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Old 04-03-2020, 13:15   #8
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Re: Water mystery

Do you have an automated watermaker on board? I've seen where the house pressure system is a bit too high for some of these watermakers fresh water flush systems and the house pressure pump slowly leaks by the flush coil and will drain your tank over board through the brine discharge line, thus leaving your bilges dry but your tanks empty.
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Old 04-03-2020, 13:19   #9
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Re: Water mystery

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Do you have an automated watermaker on board? I've seen where the house pressure system is a bit too high for some of these watermakers fresh water flush systems and the house pressure pump slowly leaks by the flush coil and will drain your tank over board through the brine discharge line, thus leaving your bilges dry but your tanks empty.
Interesting notion, Tellie. Thanks. We do have a watermaker but it's manual. Good idea, though. I would not have thought of that.

John
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Old 04-03-2020, 14:03   #10
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Re: Water mystery

Do you have a shorewater hose connected? Was it turned on? First off, I would not do this, however I've seen this cause a condition where the water is siphoned from the boat through that. There should be a check valve installed to prevent this.

I would be shutting off the shorewater when I left for any length of time.

I would shut off the hotwater heater, just in case the tank dies and drains out. I don't want to cause a fire.

I would be shutting off the pressure water pump to prevent it from overheating from being run continuously as well.
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Old 04-03-2020, 14:08   #11
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Re: Water mystery

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Do you have a shorewater hose connected? Was it turned on? First off, I would not do this, however I've seen this cause a condition where the water is siphoned from the boat through that. There should be a check valve installed to prevent this.

I would be shutting off the shorewater when I left for any length of time.

I would shut off the hotwater heater, just in case the tank dies and drains out. I don't want to cause a fire.

I would be shutting off the pressure water pump to prevent it from overheating from being run continuously as well.
We never connect direct to shore water and we always shut off the hot water heater. Normally, we don’t turn off the pressure water pump but we’ve never had a problem with it before.
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Old 04-03-2020, 14:10   #12
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Re: Water mystery

I'd second the guess a tap was left slightly dripping. If there is a persistent slow leak, you will hear the water pump cycle for short periods every now and again.


As others have mentioned, never leave the fresh water pump on when leaving the boat. We even turn ours off when sailing as we once lost all our water a week from the next port thanks to a failed clamp on a filter.
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Old 04-03-2020, 14:57   #13
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Re: Water mystery

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Interesting notion, Tellie. Thanks. We do have a watermaker but it's manual. Good idea, though. I would not have thought of that.

John
Likely still has a valve that selects between off, salt and fresh though?
Maybe that valve leaks of wasn’t quite in the off position?
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Old 04-03-2020, 15:42   #14
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Re: Water mystery

I’ve had similar happen to me. Fill with water. Do a boat wash. Have half a tank left and two days later it’s empty and the pressure pump running. Not a drop in the bilge or anywhere. Had me stumped

My wash down has a saltwater or freshwater option. I normally leave on salt but this time I had inadvertently left the valve of fresh. This allowed all my fresh water to drain out through my pump and down the salt water intake and gone. Leaving no trace where it had all gone to.

It took a lot for me to figure that one out. Bonus - I can now drain my tanks whenever I want.
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Old 04-03-2020, 15:48   #15
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Re: Water mystery

Contrary to some of the advice given here, I always leave the water pump turned on when I leave the boat. The reason is that I have electric flush fresh water heads. The solenoid valves for Jabsco heads seal only under pressure. No pressure-no seal. When I first bought the boat I turned off the pump only to return to the boat the next weekend with no water and overflowing heads. The 110 gallons in the tank had been pumped overboard by the bilge pumps. Leaving the pump on presents no significant danger to the boat as the water is already in the boat and even if it winds up in the bilge it won't sink the boat.
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