Author Topic: Bilge water  (Read 226 times)

captpatrick211

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Bilge water
« on: May 21 2020, 13:18 »
Hey everyone  - not sure this is abnormal but we are seeing water in our bilge which in two years of owning the boat (2007 Vision 40) we’ve never seen.  There is not much, just a few cms so and centered right in the middle of the boat where you’d expect.  It’s not coming from the HVAC unit for sure because we haven’t run it since January. Nor have we run the dehumidifier.  And the water hasn’t gotten high enough for the bilge pump to actually go off.

One important thing to note is we’ve never been on the boat this consistently (pretty much full time since the beginning of the year) so we think that since we are here all the time, working from the boat, and with the fridge and freezer running 24/7, we’re probably seeing condensation and drainage?  Does this sound right or is there something we should be looking for?  Thanks!

Lazy Pelican

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Re: Bilge water
« Reply #1 on: May 21 2020, 13:39 »
Presumably it’s fresh water?
Leaks from water tank/ potable water system are a common cause.
How much rain have you had. Leaking Stanchions / deck fittings are another possibility, though unlikely given the amount you have in the bilge.

captpatrick211

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Re: Bilge water
« Reply #2 on: May 21 2020, 14:50 »
Thanks!  No rain in the last week so that helps me rule out a few things.  The water is fresh and appears soapy (but I could be wrong about the soap).  Our shower drain looks good from what I can tell.  Wondering if its a galley sink.  Going to shower on shore for the next day or two to rule out the shower and crawl under the galley sink today. 

Clivert

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Re: Bilge water
« Reply #3 on: May 21 2020, 16:20 »
We had a similar problem on Wish and eventually tracked it down to a drip from the outlet of the calorifier.
Hardly noticeable but over time builds up.

Salty

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Re: Bilge water
« Reply #4 on: May 21 2020, 21:44 »
.........................The water is fresh and appears soapy (but I could be wrong about the soap).............

I noticed that there are several rivers feeding into Chesapeake Bay where you are based, and wondered whether the water in the bay is predominantly salty, or with so many rivers feeding in, is it perhaps more fresh water rather than salty? The reason I ask is that if the bay is predominantly fresh, then I would also want to take a close look at the exhaust system for leaks. The Volvo silencers with their stainless steel ends suffer badly from corrosion caused by the absence of oxygen within the silencer, such that water and, carbon monoxide from the exhaust, could be leaking into your boat. Water is bad enough, but carbon monoxide is a real threat to life. It is worth checking periodically for any wetness in the area under the exhaust silencer. Once the stainless ends get a corrosion hole, leakage may start off slowly but it then only gets worse. Also it would only leak while the engine was running. I replaced my Volvo silencer with the cheapest plastic exhaust silencer I could find (under £60), and it has worked very well indeed, and has been in use now for some three to four years.

captpatrick211

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Re: Bilge water
« Reply #5 on: May 22 2020, 18:25 »
Thanks Salty - yep, you describe the Bay perfectly.  Lost of rivers and places to anchor.  The Bay is actually brackish water and when it infiltrates your boat it smells.  So far I think we've dodged that bullet.

Dried the bilge out last night and this morning 2-3 cups of fresh water in it.  The plumber says that's normal.  Arrgh.

Keweetoo

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Re: Bilge water
« Reply #6 on: May 22 2020, 20:40 »
I had a similar issue and it turned out to be the over pressure valve on the calorifier leaking when in use - on mine the spring inside the valve had weakened and so only slight increased pressure caused it to weep. Can be difficult to spot at first but putting down tissue paper around likely sources of water leaks helps to pin point.

captpatrick211

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Re: Bilge water
« Reply #7 on: May 22 2020, 23:25 »
Thanks!  Is a calorifier the same thing as a hot water heater???

Salty

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Re: Bilge water
« Reply #8 on: May 22 2020, 23:42 »
Thanks Salty - yep, you describe the Bay perfectly.
.
Dried the bilge out last night and this morning 2-3 cups of fresh water in it.  The plumber says that's normal.  Arrgh.

Despite many years of seafaring, Chesapeake Bay remains as one of the areas I never managed to get to.

That aside I quite agree with your comment regarding the water in your bilge. One of the problems is that water from different areas of the boat will flow through the longitudinal and transverse hollow box sections that pass through the bilge areas, and where it actually needs to overflow the lip at the underside of each drain hole within those sections in order to arrive at the bilge suction pump. This means that frequently water remains partially trapped within those box sections, only leaking out when your boat is heeled or trimmed sufficiently to allow the water out. This can make it a devil of a job to track down the source of any leakage because the water might have been sloshing around for weeks or months within those box sections without ever reaching the stage where it might overflow into the bilge pump area. In addition when water leaks into the boat it can travel long distances away from the actual leak site such that it can drive you crazy wondering where the water came from. Most times you will need a lot of patience to find the source, and I wish you a lot of luck in finding it.

Also regarding your question about the calorifier, the answer is yes !

captpatrick211

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Re: Bilge water
« Reply #9 on: May 23 2020, 19:58 »
Salty - can't tell you how much this helped.  Thank you.  You explained a lot of the components of the bilge we can see but didn't understand how they were connected.  And it just so happens we had sailed the day before we noticed a larger than normal amount of water in the bilge!

And now I know what a calorifier is.  It's been a good day!

Happy weekend.