Forward Water Tank

Filkee

Member III
On Friday I scared the @#&$* out of myself because of something I’d been ignoring. I went to pump out the holding tank so I could replace the pump unit on my head (Which I don’t ignore) and after making the expected mess in the 90 degree cabin, I checked the bilge and found it was up to the floor boards.

Switched on the bilge pump and got nothing (or maybe I just convinced myself it was nothing), so I frantically pumped with the dingy pump into my magic red bucket and when I thought I was catching up a little, I swapped out the three fuses and the pumps fired up (time for a beer).

By then, it dawned on me that I wasn’t actually sinking, but had mistakenly filled the forward water tank which had in turn, bled into the bilge. I remember at the fuel dock thinking It was taking too long to fill the starboard tank but not putting two and two together.

So now I’m back to thinking about how the leaky forward tank that I don’t use (On purpose) is bringing me nothing but grief and I want to either pull it and use the space for storage or actually fix the thing but before I start the dance of the fifty screws, I’m wondering if anyone else has poked around up there and what I can expect to find.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Always a chance it's the connections or tubing. Quite awkward to reach, as you know. Start at the easy end of the supply lines, and then it gets---harder.

As I recall, it would be necessary to lift the forward tank up and out to check the fittings and integrity. But maybe not.

If you have Qest tubing (gray), new line and fittings are still available if you decide to keep Qest plumbing (which I'm OK with although others hate it).
 

1911tex

Member III
Now that we are on the water tank subject...is there a way to quickly dump the water out of any or all the water tanks overboard? Aside from siphoning out of the fill tube?
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Now that we are on the water tank subject...is there a way to quickly dump the water out of any or all the water tanks overboard? Aside from siphoning out of the fill tube?
...Thought you'd never ask... Long time ago I copied the setup that a dock neighbor has been using for 20 years. New (clean from its blister pack) small centrifugal bilge pump with about 6 feet of clear hose attached. Ten feet of cord with a 12 volt plug on the end. Turned a bit sideways, the little pump drops into our water tank thru the 6"clean-out. Lead the end of the hose to the nearby galley sink. Plug in the power supply. This pumps out 38 gallons of water really fast and saves time and wear on the high-$$ galley pressure pump.
Probably less than $20. in parts and it works SO well.
:)
 

garryh

Member III
"is there a way to quickly dump the water out of any or all the water tanks overboard? "
...or pull the hose off the bottom of the tank if accessible and let it drain into the bilge; then use the manual or electric bilge pump. Clean water and not a lot of it. You always have to get in through the inspection plate (good idea to install one if none) with a rag or sponge the soak up the last gallon or two.
 

1911tex

Member III
...Thought you'd never ask... Long time ago I copied the setup that a dock neighbor has been using for 20 years. New (clean from its blister pack) small centrifugal bilge pump with about 6 feet of clear hose attached. Ten feet of cord with a 12 volt plug on the end. Turned a bit sideways, the little pump drops into our water tank thru the 6"clean-out. Lead the end of the hose to the nearby galley sink. Plug in the power supply. This pumps out 38 gallons of water really fast and saves time and wear on the high-$$ galley pressure pump.
Probably less than $20. in parts and it works SO well.
:)
That is what I am looking for...thanks!!!
 

wynkoop

Member III
I had to deal with a problem water tank under the V berth on silver maiden just a month back. Perhaps my experience will help.

The tank on silver maiden is under the aft end of the V berth. It was empty and should not have been. I also noted when I was up there that the support wood under it and the wood holding it down was rotted. This indicated to me the tank had been leaking slowly over time.

It was easy to remove the wood brackets holding the tank and pull the hose to the pump off as I tilted the tank to pull it out the access panel under the berth.

On getting the tank out I noted that Ericsson had used a single 2x4 down the middle of the tank long wise (athwartships) as a tank support on top of a painted plywood deck. The 2x4 and deck were both water logged and rotted.

On getting the tank out I discovered 3 small stress cracks on the bottom. I cleaned the bottom of the tank with soap and water, then stove alcohol. After it dried I sealed the cracks with food grade silicone seal. When the silicon dried I covered each of the areas with Flex Tape.

I did not like the arrangement for holding the tank so I took a scrap of 3/8 inch ply that was just slightly bigger than the tank and did a test fit. It fit in the space just fine. Then to raise the tank to the proper height I used a scrap 2x4 left over from my new engine bed. The important thing about this piece of wood is that it is black locust. Harder and longer lasting than any other wood as far as I know. Impervious to rot. Often used for fence posts.

I anchored the black locust to the sound portions of the plywood deck and then anchored the new ply on top of that. I then replaced the tank and made a new wooden bracket from some scrap lumber I had around. I do not think the tank will crack again as the entire bottom is supported.

If your factory tank is in the same condition I suspect you can do the same job and have the extra 15 or so gallons of water above what you carry in your "new tanks". I will leave plumbing as an exercise for you.

If you can not get black locust for the cross member I would go with Oak. It may be expensive but it will last. I had to remake my tiller 20 years ago and I cut one from an oak 2x4. In spite of me not keeping up with the bright work it is still sound, even though it is ugly.

BTW when I want to dump water from my tank I just break the connection under the sink and let the h2o gravitate into the bilge. The bilge pump takes care of sending it over the side.

I hope this helps someone. I did not paint any of the wood under the tank as I had to get things done in just a few hours, but I do plan to pull the tank and do a paint job and clean out more of the dead deck once I have my mechanical issues done.
 

kapnkd

kapnkd
Guess we’ve been lucky as the water tank on our ‘73 E-32 II is as good as ever.

I pulled it once back in the early 80’s to clean it thoroughly and check it’s overall condition. All seams were in good shape although one baffle had come loose.

With our recent refit of the boat, the tank was once again pulled and cleaned thoroughly again. This time we added two water tight inspection plates to allow ease of inspections and cleaning without having to remove the tank.

We also put a drain valve in the waterline to allow drainage of the tank into the bilge. Normally, we used to simply run the galley and head faucets but this will better insure the tank is completely empty.

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Windancer808

Windancer
Recently faced with an emergency pumpout, albeit on a car, I came across a myriad of little pumps on Amazon, many of which can be driven with a regular handheld drill. The best one was a more expensive marine grade aluminum unit "Zuwa Heavy Duty Drill Powered Pump", for which you can purchase different impellers for pumping engine oil, water, hydraulic fluids, etc. This little wonder is worth every penny of the $210.00 purchase price, as it will outlast any of those $13.00 plastic pumps. I found this unit a very handy tool, rated to pump out 8 gallons/minute.
Below is a link to the Amazon page.

 

Attachments

1911tex

Member III
Recently faced with an emergency pumpout, albeit on a car, I came across a myriad of little pumps on Amazon, many of which can be driven with a regular handheld drill. The best one was a more expensive marine grade aluminum unit "Zuwa Heavy Duty Drill Powered Pump", for which you can purchase different impellers for pumping engine oil, water, hydraulic fluids, etc. This little wonder is worth every penny of the $210.00 purchase price, as it will outlast any of those $13.00 plastic pumps. I found this unit a very handy tool, rated to pump out 8 gallons/minute.
Below is a link to the Amazon page.

I purchased this exact pump in the past...very, very expensive....for changing engine oil, pumping out fuel to fix leaks etc. for aircraft. Very efficient and eliminates a potential spillage mess. You can use a step-down NPT for smaller tubing requirements including garden hose attachments.

Never thought about using it on my sailboat ! Takes Windancer808 to trigger my dull mind to use it to pump out my water tanks, engine oil, waste water, etc on my boat and kept on board for an emergency fuel leak.....when needed, worth every $$ !!

Thank you Windancer808 for the reminder!

EDIT: NPT adaptors, take to your hardware store for the proper NPT fitting :

 
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K2MSmith

Member III
I recently flooded my bilge replacing my knot meter sensor for the first time. I didn't know how to get the last bit of water out of it, but my slip neighbors mentioned that a "super soaker" pump ( ie the lawn toy that your kids will have fun shooting water at each other) works great. I have not been able to find one so ended up using a leaky plastic pump that I found onboard, but perhaps some of you might be aware...
 

wynkoop

Member III
Having a small amount of water in the bilge is not a problem. If it is below the level your pump can suck up just forget it unless it is stinky in which case drop a little Dawn dish washing soap down the bilge and add a bit more water, mix well (go sailing) and then pump again.
 
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