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Water in bilge and possible culprit?

Mjg407

.
Jan 12, 2020
21
Catalina 30 My Three Sons Coyote Point
Hi,

I apologize for the long post but I’m trying to provide as much detail as possible. Owner of a 1988 30 Catalina MKII. Was reading through the forums and noticed that water in the bilge is abnormal. Last night cleaned out the bilge, dried it off and observed. I noticed a small trickle of water coming from the starboard side in what appeared to be around the deck support. I looked at possible areas where it could be coming from and started looking around the starboard fresh water tank (17Gal). I filled both tanks yesterday and this one was still completely full. Mind you I have also had intermittent running of the pump. I checked all the connection I could find and didnt notice any leaks. But when looking around the shutoff valve for the 17 gal tank I noticed the supply line coming from the forward tank was damp with a small amount of water accumulated around it. I stuffed paper towels around the line and this morning they were wet. I have since closed the valve from the forward tank (and it looks like it is down about 1/4).
Can a supply line leak cause the pump to cycle? If so that means I have a leak somewhere between where the line goes into the 17 gal tank “box” and the hanging locker. So if I need to replace this supply line any advice or links on how best to fish it through everything and aside from west marine who carries the nylon braided line? I checked Home Depot here and they didn’t have any.

Michael
 
Mar 13, 2011
174
Islander Freeport 41 Longmont
Before replacing any lines you need to find the absolute source for the leak. Water has this innate ability to always flow downhill but that can be very slight. Is it clean water from the tank for sure, Find out if you have a leak in the tank or if it is around the hose clamps or if it is leaking onto the tank from above and then finding its way down.

Once you find the source of the leak, determine what the specific repair should be. It could be a simple hose clamp or patch the tank, caulk on a fitting above or replace a line. Replacing the line can be pretty simple disconnect one end, attach teh new hose to the unattached end and fish it through all openings. Hopefully its not connected in between in a place you can't access but most likely pull a few floor boards and/or open a few cabinet doors and you'll see the hoses (and wires) bundled together.

good luck. :)
 
May 12, 2004
1,240
Hunter Cherubini 30 New Port Richey
Can a supply line leak cause the pump to cycle?
If you mean the hose between the deck and tank, then, no. That is not a pressurized line. That you mentioned the pump cycles intermittently means there is a leak somewhere on the pressurized side. I'm assuming this is fresh water in your bilge. I had this issue recently and discovered a small hole in a pressurized line. Cut the line, installed a shunt with two SS hose clamps. End of issue, for now. Cheaper then replacing 20 feet of hose. One question: why would it be leaking on the non-pressurized side unless you were filling the tank or heeled over so far that the water in the tank was running uphill thru the fill hose? That this happened over night suggests that is not the problem. Even if your tank is leaking that would not cause the pump to cycle. Let us know what you find. Good luck.
 

Mjg407

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Jan 12, 2020
21
Catalina 30 My Three Sons Coyote Point
Roland, sorry let me clarify. I believe the leak is in the line that comes from the 25 gal forward tank to the pump. Specifically where the line is run between the hanging locker and where it pops out again next to the valve on the 17 gal tank. Let me see if I can generate a picture.
 
Jan 21, 2009
209
Catalina 30 Lake Perry, KS
There are a couple of areas to look. The original valves on these tanks are of poor quality and should be replaced with a brass ball valve. Another possibility is that you could be over filling the tank and water is seeping out the inspection port. It will take awhile for the water to make its way into the bilge. They need to be tightened up since the seal is poor. Also check the vent is clear on both tanks. Other than that you might have a leak in the hose but I would put that low on the possibilities.
 

Mjg407

.
Jan 12, 2020
21
Catalina 30 My Three Sons Coyote Point
The forward tank is about 3/4 full, the starboard tank is below the inspection port. I felt along the vent lines as best I could and didn’t feel any moisture. Looks like the vent lines and fill lines are newer, and the lines everywhere else look really old.
 

Mjg407

.
Jan 12, 2020
21
Catalina 30 My Three Sons Coyote Point
There are a couple of areas to look. The original valves on these tanks are of poor quality and should be replaced with a brass ball valve. Another possibility is that you could be over filling the tank and water is seeping out the inspection port. It will take awhile for the water to make its way into the bilge. They need to be tightened up since the seal is poor. Also check the vent is clear on both tanks. Other than that you might have a leak in the hose but I would put that low on the possibilities.
Definitely took a second look. The culprit may be the starboard tank valve. The previous owner only took water from the forward tank. What ball valve did you replace it with? Also would the leaky valve cause the pump to sporadically cycle for 2-3 seconds every few hours?
 
Oct 22, 2014
11,735
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
would the leaky valve cause the pump to sporadically cycle for 2-3 seconds every few hours?
It appers you may have 2 issues.
  1. Pump cycling: this is occurring on the pressure side of the system. From the pump to the faucets. This includes the hoses in between. There is a slight leak. Pump has a pressure switch. It runs the pump until it reaches the sensor pressure and shuts off. The leak (say a slow drip faucet) gradually lowers the pressure. When the pressure drops below the sensor threshold it triggers the pump to add pressure. The cycle repeats.
  2. The supply side of the pump (between the pump and the tanks) is not pressurized. It sounds like you found water by the storage tank. You will need to locate this leak and seal it. Could be a valve, a hose clamp, even the tank. The wet paper towels would be a good place to continue your search
Good luck. This is where the skipper becomes the detective.
 

Mjg407

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Jan 12, 2020
21
Catalina 30 My Three Sons Coyote Point
Mystery water solved:

So the valve was leaking slightly. But noticed still had water in the bilge this morning. Disassembled every access panel. Notice water is coming from under the kitchenette area. Check all the lines. Can’t find the leak, then I see the drain line from the icebox is damp. Poured a glass of water into the ice box and prove my hypothesis that the ice box drain is leaking. Plugged the drain to confirm its the drain not the box. Now how the heck do I access that drain?
 

Mjg407

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Jan 12, 2020
21
Catalina 30 My Three Sons Coyote Point
Never mind, the drain hose isn’t attached to anything. So it just drains into the bilge. Brilliant design
 

dmax

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Jul 29, 2018
110
O'Day 35 Interlude Buzzards Bay
On my C-30, the ice-box drain led to a pump at the sink.
 
Oct 11, 2019
16
Catalina 30TRBS New Bern
Mystery water solved:

So the valve was leaking slightly. But noticed still had water in the bilge this morning. Disassembled every access panel. Notice water is coming from under the kitchenette area. Check all the lines. Can’t find the leak, then I see the drain line from the icebox is damp. Poured a glass of water into the ice box and prove my hypothesis that the ice box drain is leaking. Plugged the drain to confirm its the drain not the box. Now how the heck do I access that drain?
The ice box drains to the bilge on most of these. Another water in the bilge source is stuffing box on the prop shaft...slow drip. my plumbing pressure pump cycles every 10 minutes because of a slow leak at the joints (working on that this weekend)...old stuff is a joy! I hate a wet bilge but have been dealing with it.