Water in bilge - E34

Phr3d

Member II
Water under galley sink. Was dry. Should there be a bilge pump there?

I’ll dry it with a towel, but what might the source be?
 

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N.A.

E34 / SF Bay
If the refrigerator has been running, it generates a LOT of condensation, and that is set up (on my boat anyway) to drain/pump into the bilge. Took me a while to track that one down -- fridge filled with water.

Other possibilities include leaking hatches (I had multiple leaking top hatches; the bow one seems to be the worst), or the expected seepage from the stuffing box if you were running the prop for any length of time. A poorly-adjusted stuffing box can result in a good bit of water ingress in a short time, actually -- pint every 15 minutes or so. Properly adjusted it's still a drop or two a minute I think (maybe an once every 30-60 minutes).
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
If the refrigerator has been running, it generates a LOT of condensation, and that is set up (on my boat anyway) to drain/pump into the bilge. Took me a while to track that one down -- fridge filled with water.
FWIW, the stock factory ice box on our boat had a molded-in drain in the bottom with a hose led to the bilge. Terrible idea, since heavier cold air would also flow down and out. (sigh). I put a plastic ball valve - cost very little - on the hose end and before we changed over to 12 volt refrigeration I would drain the ice-melt into a pan and put it into the sink. Since the reefer install I almost never find any moisture in that little hose line.
Note B: if your refrigerated ice box is accumulating a lot of condensation, you need to immediately put a thin sponge rubber gasket around the lid. The 1/8 inch "window insulation foam" they sell in rolls at the hardware store works great for this.
 

Phr3d

Member II
The towel idea did not work. It was probably 5-6 gallons. I did not realize that water was forward past the mast step on the keel.

I grossed my wife out, but did a taste. It was fresh with a hint of salt.

Emptied refrigerator and turned it off. Hopefully, the water is not there from a different source when we return.

There are many hoses under that cabinet - too many to sort out in the time I had. Well, I'm learning the boat.

Why isn't there a bilge pump, uh, in the bilge?
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Why isn't there a bilge pump, uh, in the bilge?
Interesting question. My '88 boat came with two Jabsco bilge pumps, factory installed. I have always wondered it the second one was an option, since this boat had a lot of factory ($$) options in place. (Current/equivalent model is the Jabsco 37202-2012 )
Each even had a bronze strum box and its own exit hose all the way aft to the transom.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I suggest you do a survey of your bilge and tankage. Identify each hose and thruhull, and its purpose. Note each valve and label.

From stem to stern there are many hidden systems it is necessary to understand, and every boat is different after many owner modifications.

Remove V-berth compartment covers and empty them of gear. Confirm limber holes that drain water to its central collection point midships.

Crawl under cockpit and check and understand all hoses, noting drainage system under the engine into the main bilge and also separate oil drip collection pan.

In head, examine and understand head hoses and holding tank connections and valves, and shower setup. Label with marking pen.

You certainly have one bilge pump, and probably two (the second one one for shower sump). Note type (submersible or diaphragm) and their pickup hoses and (often hidden) discharge hose hose runs.

This takes a few hours (or more) and it's important to make a personal photo record of everything you can see, for comparison and troubleshooting later. And because, if you're like the rest of us, it can be impossible to accurately remember any of it :) .

Nobody else can do this for you, and it will remove the veil of mystery and enable you to get better answers here.
 

Pete the Cat

Sustaining Member
You will find the leak with patience. I would suggest you replace the ribbed sink hose which must be under water with something more substantial--that hose eventually cracks in the crevices and starts weeping. I suggest either sanitation hose or some exhaust hose is a safer option for below the waterline. I was disappointed to see Ericson apparently did this regularly.
 

Dave G.

1984 E30+ Ludington, MI
My '88 boat came with two Jabsco bilge pumps, factory installed
As Loren stated if it has the original bilge pump(s) you will only have hoses with strum boxes in the bilge so look for those. Do you have a auto/manual switch for your bilge pump ? If so switch it to manual(on) and listen for pump to verify operation and location. I think the location of my original pump was under the dinette settee but did not exist when I got the boat so.....listen carefully.
 

Phr3d

Member II
The manual switch creates a pump sound (probably a pump) in the vicinity of the engine.

I will hunt that sucker down.

Now adding a sticky for adding a bilge pump.
 

TKBLACK

Member II
I suggest you do a survey of your bilge and tankage. Identify each hose and thruhull, and its purpose. Note each valve and label.

From stem to stern there are many hidden systems it is necessary to understand, and every boat is different after many owner modifications.

Remove V-berth compartment covers and empty them of gear. Confirm limber holes that drain water to its central collection point midships.

Crawl under cockpit and check and understand all hoses, noting drainage system under the engine into the main bilge and also separate oil drip collection pan.

In head, examine and understand head hoses and holding tank connections and valves, and shower setup. Label with marking pen.

You certainly have one bilge pump, and probably two (the second one one for shower sump). Note type (submersible or diaphragm) and their pickup hoses and (often hidden) discharge hose hose runs.

This takes a few hours (or more) and it's important to make a personal photo record of everything you can see, for comparison and troubleshooting later. And because, if you're like the rest of us, it can be impossible to accurately remember any of it :) .

Nobody else can do this for you, and it will remove the veil of mystery and enable you to get better answers here.
 

TKBLACK

Member II
Best advice here. Ericson (and Olson) owners are full of great ideas!
A third bilge = manual bilge system is also vital to know and maintain.

We used the smart phone camera to reach into recesses to photograph under the sole into everywhere! The photo inventory is so valuable.
Happy and safe travels.
from, TKBLACK
 

JSM

Member III
FWIW, the stock factory ice box on our boat had a molded-in drain in the bottom with a hose led to the bilge.
On our '87 34-2 the galley ice box drain is connected to a foot pump that discharges into the sink. The bilge on your boat runs from just forward of your mast to the underside of your galley sink. I have refrigeration in my galley ice box as well and have found that any condensation in the ice box turns into ice on the plate in the box. There is no way you are getting that much water in you bilge from the ice box.
Have you had a lot of rain lately ? Chances are that you have a lot of water coming down your mast and collecting in the bilge.
The manual switch creates a pump sound (probably a pump) in the vicinity of the engine.
The pump you are hearing in the engine compartment is for the shower sump in your head. It pumps shower water into the bilge.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
The pump you are hearing in the engine compartment is for the shower sump in your head. It pumps shower water into the bilge.
That's quite unusual. Our '88 boat has the "shower" pump (switch inside the head compartment) pumping OB via a hose to the transom like the nearby bilge pump scheme. Both of them effectively function as bilge pumps. And when I was checking on a friend's E-32-3 while he was out of town during the winter rainy period, it has a head/shower grating pump (in addition to the marked bilge pump) that also pumped OB via a hose all the way aft.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Paul, take some pictures of what you're seeing. Trace the route of the pumps and hoses. Each issue has to be isolated. We're going in circles here.
 

N.A.

E34 / SF Bay
I agree it is not the refrigerator -- I had missed (or it came out later) that we were talking 5-6 gallons. That's a huge amount of water. My (lacking the seal... I'll fix that :) fridge does generate a quart in only a couple of hours though.

I did have a leak from my accumulator (basically a big oval/tube that is a pressure buffer in-line with the line from the fresh water tanks, to ease the load on the electric fresh water pump) -- the connectors, which are snap-on, went bad over the 20 years before I acquired my boat. It was an easy fix, and not expensive. I was not getting gallons of water leakage, but it was a good bit, and only happened when I was running the sink -- would have been hard to diagnose if I couldn't see it dripping under there.

If you have had not water in the bilge in a couple of days, then whatever it is only happens when something is running (or it is raining out)... one way to try to diagnose would be to do different things, each time keeping an eye on the bilge.

I.e., run the sink for 10 minutes, watching bilge. Then run engine for 10 minutes (in gear, maybe while away from dock :) and watch bilge -- though since your water tasted fresh, I doubt that's it. Then pump the head a bunch, watching bilge. If it didn't rain recently, it's not your mast, but anyway, 5-6 gallons is quite a lot -- my mast boot isn't even that great, but I do not get _gallons_ (well, maybe one, but I doubt it) from the mast even in a couple of days of heavy rain. You might also make sure the bilge is dry, then wash down your boat as you usually do -- if your anchor locker is leaking, for instance, a washdown might show up in the bilge.
 
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