Fresh Water Plumbing

Mack8964

Member I
Has anyone here ever replaced the fresh water system? My tanks and lines must be filled with goop. The smell of the water is atrocious and there is a off white slimy film that clogs the strainers. I have tried to trace where the water hoses run from tanks to spigot but I can't figure out where they go once they leave the area under the kitchen sink. How big of a job is this? Sole removal?
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Hopefully some sister ship owners can advise you on particulars.
I have replaced almost all of the original gray plastic water lines, after having a leak develop at the pump fitting. This was the "Qest" product.
I did keep the EY-fabricated manifold under the galley counter, for our two tanks.

You may want to map out some new routing for the lines; we did that. It's fiddly work, but not very technical. I doubt that sole removal is involved... have you looked under the edges of the existing sole with the access sections set aside?

I did end up moving the pressure pump and adding an accumulator. If I were to do it over, I would spend the extra $ for one of new newer pumps that vary the pressure and seem to obviate the need for the accumulator.

Here is the thread from our plumbing project:

Hope you are soon raising your glass of clear and clean water for a Toast!
(and that none of your crew throw toasted bread back at you.... !)
 

Geoff W.

Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm
Blogs Author
Hey Mack, what kind of boat do you have?

It can be helpful to put your boat and engine model in your forum signature for other same-boat-owners.
 

wynkoop

Member III
Silver Maiden has never had such a water problem and I have had her since 1984. I do a couple of times a year put about 1/3 of a bottle of chlorine bleach into the tank. I then fill the tank and run the sink until I smell the chlorine at the sink.

After that I let things sit for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, or in some cases more if life intervenes I run the tank through the sink, and I actually let it drain into the bilge instead of the through hull. This has the advantage of killing anything fungus like in the bilge. I generally disconnect the bilge pump and let the 15 gallons of chlorine laden water fill the bilge right to the bottom of the cabin sole.

I then fill the fresh water tank and I let the high chlorine water sit in the bilge for a few hours.

I start the bilge pump, and once the bilge is clear I again drain the fresh water tank.

I keep filling and draining the tank until the water no longer smells or tastes of chlorine.

This has kept things nice for years.

I suspect I may have some h2o system work in my future though as I think the tank has started to leak. When I was on the boat a few weeks ago I found the deck under the tank rotted and the tank empty when it should have been 1/2 full.

Not sure if the chlorine shock will help others, but it has worked well for me since I got the boat.
 

Mack8964

Member I
Hey Mack, what kind of boat do you have?

It can be helpful to put your boat and engine model in your forum signature for other same-boat-owners.
Hi Geoff. I thought I had added the model of the boat in my signature. I have a '86 32-3.
 

Geoff W.

Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm
Blogs Author
Ok, so here is the diagram of the stock freshwater plumbing system on the 32-3. This is in your owners manual if you have it and want to persue the paper version as well.

ericsonplumbing.png

On my boat, it does not seem like sole removal is explicitly required to get at most of the tubing. The area in the middle where the port side plumbing crosses the boat is under the TAFG, however, and my boat has access holes cut to get to it. I'm not sure if this is stock or not... it doesn't look very stock. I had to get in there to repair a crack in the tubing itself once, though the Qest fittings are supposedly what fails the most in these systems.
 

Mack8964

Member I
Ok, so here is the diagram of the stock freshwater plumbing system on the 32-3. This is in your owners manual if you have it and want to persue the paper version as well.

View attachment 32414

On my boat, it does not seem like sole removal is explicitly required to get at most of the tubing. The area in the middle where the port side plumbing crosses the boat is under the TAFG, however, and my boat has access holes cut to get to it. I'm not sure if this is stock or not... it doesn't look very stock. I had to get in there to repair a crack in the tubing itself once, though the Qest fittings are supposedly what fails the most in these systems.
TAFG?
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
The fresh water systems on our boats are hard to work on. Draw from the bottom of tanks, piping runs awkward, valves hard to access. Not rocket science, just time and knuckle-consuming.

I don't know what the slime is, or what causes the odor. But before ripping out the system I'd first work through all the flushing and sanitizing ideas I could find. Most water tanks have an inspection port, and you can get in there with a light and an iPhone camera and see what's up.

I know that Qest--the gray plastic tubing--is nobody's favorite, but I still maintain mine. Often the fittings are installed wrong or hurriedly (awkward work access) but new ones are available. You could remove one section only and see if the piping is actually the issue.
 
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debonAir

Member III
+1 on the chlorine shock. my boat was sitting for a number of years when I took her over. The water system was full of slime peeling off the inside of the tanks. A pressure spray through the inspection ports followed by a number of chlorine cycles (I used pool shock treatment) fixed it right up. I had to clean the screen filter in the pump intake so many times I took it out, and put a large inline screen filter in the pump hose instead, And then cleaned that a bunch of times.
 

kapnkd

kapnkd
How things have changed design-wise since my 32-II.

...One SS tank underneath the V-berth, a pump in the main salon area supplied to/from by copper tubing that had an annoying rattle under the head when used.

Early on I cut out around and pulled the water tank to clean it throughly. Creating an easier access provided a way for scheduled insurance the head wouldn’t get an over workout from us drinking bad water.

Later on, with our “Never Ending” project of multiple repairs and refit, the fresh water system received all new softer type of water hoses (no rattles), a new smaller but more efficient pump located close to the tank which was given inspection ports large enough one can get a hand inside to insure an absolute spotless clean tank. ...EVERYTHING new!

We even added new decorative styled faucets as well to finish it off. (The wife’s touch.)

Almost forgot - we created a separate tank drain to the bilge to insure it is empty after winterizing the system with the “soda pop”. (Nothing worse than accidentally drinking even a minute portion of that stuff in the Spring fill up unless you are very constipated!)

(Got photos so intend to create a blog on this portion later on.)
 

1911tex

Member III
We use only bottled water for drinking...never the 2 water tanks plus 1 for head. We use paper plates when eating; no cleanup. I keep a light dose of chlorine bleach in all the water tanks...if you can swim in chlorinated swimming pools, you can surely wash your hands in in the chlorine watered sink and flush head as well. Or just hit the foot pump for lake water to the sink. If there is ever a leak in the water system, you can smell the chlorine. Found this on the internet Snopes:
"In truth, bleach contains the same base chemical as pool chlorine. That chemical is, of course, chlorine, and the only major difference between the two products is the concentration strength. Pool chlorine typically contains some form of stabilizer, as well, though this is not a crucial factor."
 
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