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Old 31-08-2018, 10:09   #1
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Unhappy Finding a leak

I noticed while at anchor the bilge pump cycling on every 15 minutes. There is a 3' rise from pump to siphon lock, so after the pump shuts off, there is a fair amount of water that returns to the bilge. but I'm worried I have a slow leak somewhere, and can't spot it. Checked the shaft seal, rudder seal, all through hulls. I'm losing sleep thinking that it may increase while I'm away from the boat and the pump won't keep up with it. Any suggestions?
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Old 31-08-2018, 10:19   #2
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Re: Finding a leak

Start looking at all the holes in the boat, thru hulls, xducers etc.
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Old 31-08-2018, 13:35   #3
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Re: Finding a leak

If the pump is running every 15 min., how much incoming water does that represent? Seems to me, like such ingress would be pretty easy to see when you find it. If the pump is actually pumping water out of the boat, it's working a lot, and your concern about failure gets more likely to become a factor. Float switches are not forever, either.

I suppose it's possible, if you filled fresh water tanks prior to going out, that you might have a leak somewhere in the fresh water system, cracked or pitted tank, broken hose clamps, split hose, that sort of thing.

Good luck with it, I hope you find the source soon.

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Old 31-08-2018, 17:20   #4
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Re: Finding a leak

What Ann said.

If in doubt I would use hand pump to empty the bilge of water then would check to see if this was sea or fresh water coming in.
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Old 31-08-2018, 19:27   #5
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Re: Finding a leak

1. Check whether salt or fresh.
2. Hand pump bilge dry, dry surrounding areas and lay out toilet paper or similar to trace which direction water is coming from.
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Old 31-08-2018, 19:44   #6
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Re: Finding a leak

Another water leak hack .... close all seacocks (and inspect each for local leaks as you do it). If it stops, start opening some to isolate and trace. If it doesn’t, and you can afford to, drain your fresh tank(s) and see if it stops.

I wonder how many gallons of bilge water the collective group here have put in their mouth to check for salt vs. fresh! Countless times for me...! Mother would not approve but we do what we must.
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Old 31-08-2018, 21:07   #7
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Re: Finding a leak

I found my persistent leak was a fault in the shaft log. It looked like a packing leak. It took a haul out and 12layers of epoxy glass to fix.
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Old 01-09-2018, 04:42   #8
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Re: Finding a leak

Thanks, everyone. Am heading to the harbor with determination and a checklist. Will get to the bottom of this today!
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Old 01-09-2018, 04:46   #9
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Re: Finding a leak

Last season I sprung a leak in my transmission cooler. Corroded through the salt water chamber to create a pinhole leak. Took me a while to find it. So consider any heat exchangers as well.
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Old 02-09-2018, 03:41   #10
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Re: Finding a leak

It turned out to be two keel bolts that were not tight. Finally eliminated all other sources - per Ann's advice, and when I torqued them tight, the bilge pump never ran again. Thanks again, everyone.
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Old 02-09-2018, 04:50   #11
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Re: Finding a leak

Glad to hear you found it. Your next issue then is that you likely need to drop the keel and re bed it at the next opportunity. Properly sealed and bedded, water should not reach the bolts.
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