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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 07-19-2006
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water

I've noticed that my bilge pump go on more than usual. I figure I have a leaky thru-hull but have not been able to find the problem. Does anyone have any ideas on how to find a leak?
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Old 07-19-2006
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Sounds gross but taste (don't chug) the bilge water. Is it salt water or fresh. Then check your fresh water lines and your hot water heater for leaks. Put a little soapy water on the lines that run the bilge to see if they bubble.
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Old 07-19-2006
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Do you have an inboard engine? If so, when was the last time you serviced the stuffing box on the prop shaft? There may not be any packing left or it may need to be tightened a bit.
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Old 07-19-2006
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If there is another water coming out of the stuffing box to trigger the pump thats a lot of water. Here are a few other things to check: Keel bolts, the through hulls for any electronics.
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Old 07-19-2006
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Surfesq is right, the first step is to taste it.

If it's fersh you know its coming from inside, do you have fridge/freezer or AC? that's probably where its coming from unless its from a shower or other leaky fawcet. trace your pipes. Good news unless you have a kickass watermaker running wild you won't sink.

If it is salt, it has to be a thruhull, and don't forget your engine is full of saltwater, and your stuffing box could be it as well. Be careful with this one but you can place powdered dye (non permanent) around any water connections or thru hulls and later see where there is a runoff line. Its a good way to spot slow leaks

Harry

Last edited by SoOkay; 07-19-2006 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 07-19-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfesq
Sounds gross but taste (don't chug) the bilge water. Is it salt water or fresh. Then check your fresh water lines and your hot water heater for leaks. Put a little soapy water on the lines that run the bilge to see if they bubble.
Of course, this means nothing if your boat is on the Great Lakes or another body of fresh water... Nearly screwed up a friend of mine during a delivery, since he's a bluewater sailor, and was doing a delivery on Lake Michigan at the time. By the time the water was up to his calves, he realized that being fresh water didn't necessarily mean it was the pressure water system, if the boat is surrounded by fresh water.
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Old 07-19-2006
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Big Dog...Thanks for point out the obvious! I actually have a funny story on this. I was sailing to Bermuda with my Dad and he came up and said, there is water in the cabin we are sinking!!!!
I ran down below and sure enough there was water just starting to cover the cabin sole. I quickly lifted the bilge cover and tasted the water.
It turned out that my water heater was rusted through on the bottom and was spilling out all of our hot fresh water in the bilge.
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Old 07-20-2006
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Well, the OP doesn't state where he is located, or what body of water the boat in question is located on... and it is just as likely to be freshwater as saltwater...and just because many of us sail on saltwater, we can't make that assumption for him, as it would cause us to give very bad advice.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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