fresh water system stopped working after fill-up - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 27 Old 08-01-2008 Thread Starter
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fresh water system stopped working after fill-up

I have a new (to me) Beneteau 505 with 4 separate water tanks. The fresh water system was working when I bought it. Of course, before sailing away from the dock and taking her home, I topped off the fresh water system. Now it doesn't work, only sputters a small bit of water out of the faucets.

When filling up, we simply stuck the "garden" hose into the inlet port. There was no firm seal. Water could and did spout up 6-12 inches high when the tank got full. So I'm thinking (hoping) nothing got damaged from that.

I tried switching the manifold to suck water from various combinations of tanks and still it didn't work. I tried switching to the backup water pump and that didn't work either. I did notice that the water pumps looked like they were pumping a lot of air into them, through the clear hose going into the pump.

Maybe there needs to be an air cavity in the water tanks for it to work? To prime the pump? My plan is to remove an inlet cover or two and see if it works then.

Any ideas?

(Counting the hours until I'm back on board!)
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post #2 of 27 Old 08-01-2008
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Your tank breather will still work even if the tank is full to the brim.
Personally, I never fill the tank right to the deck fitting and it's best not to let it spout up like that as it pressure-spikes the tank.

Even still, I cannot explain what's happened to the pump. perhaps take off the tank inspection hatch to see if that helps.
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post #3 of 27 Old 08-01-2008
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Disconnect the water line just prior to the pump and see if gravity pushes water through it. Most tanks, when full, are above the pump so gravity allows the flow. If there is water there, then you have a pump issue. If not, probably a valve shut off somewhere. Usually water problems are more a matter of tracing the problem rather than a major issue. Just like electricity, it flows!
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post #4 of 27 Old 08-01-2008
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If the boat is brand new, there is a fair chance you have an obstruction from construction debris that was not adequately cleaned from the tanks. More than likely it is clogging the inlet at the pump. Alternatively, the hose clamps may need to be snugged so the pump won't draw air.

Another possibility is that the air leak or blockage is at the manifold, which might explain why switching tanks had no effect and your "back-up" pump also did not work. It's difficult to say for sure without seeing a water system schematic. Is your back-up pump a foot-pump?


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post #5 of 27 Old 08-01-2008
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Do you have outlet valves on each of your water tanks individually? It sounds like they are all closed. When you initially turned the water on it sounds like it pumped the feeder line dry and no fresh water is now gravity flowing to reach it.

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post #6 of 27 Old 08-01-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyDoII View Post
Do you have outlet valves on each of your water tanks individually? It sounds like they are all closed. When you initially turned the water on it sounds like it pumped the feeder line dry and no fresh water is now gravity flowing to reach it.
That is a very good suggestion!!

On our boat, each tank has a ball valve at its outlet. If these valves are closed, the system would produce the sort of symptoms described.

However, the OP indicated that the system was working prior to his filling the tanks, so ????? Did he or someone else possibly close those valves when the tanks were filled?


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post #7 of 27 Old 08-01-2008
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Bleed the system. Turn on the pump. Open all the faucets including fresh water lines into the toilet, if you have them. Close them starting at the sink or head furthest from pump. Check tank for leaks, Bene's use plastic tanks that can split if too much pressure is used.
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post #8 of 27 Old 08-01-2008
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Something to try before you do anything complicated... We had a similar problem at the start of this season. Go around to all of your faucets and unscrew the filter screens from the ends. See if there is debris or gunk. We disassembled half of our water system thinking it was an airlock, and it turned out to be this issue.

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post #9 of 27 Old 08-01-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
That is a very good suggestion!!

On our boat, each tank has a ball valve at its outlet. If these valves are closed, the system would produce the sort of symptoms described.

However, the OP indicated that the system was working prior to his filling the tanks, so ????? Did he or someone else possibly close those valves when the tanks were filled?
John,
I read it slightly different. I made the assumption some amount of time passed between when he viewed the boat and then bought it before he sailed it away. Given that time, the PO could have turned off valves as part of his standard exiting proceedure.
My other thought was that the initial test could have used up any water remaining in the line prior to the cut off valves.
Just ideas...

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post #10 of 27 Old 08-01-2008
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May have an air lock. Open all valves - should clear the lock. If not, disconnect the out fow from the pump and see if it clears.
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