Scary video from boat cleaner! - help me diagnose the leak

MiamiAGMiamiAG Miami, FloridaMember Posts: 154 ✭✭
So I was texted this video today from my boat cleaner. You might imagine my reaction...

I haven't been on the boat for three weeks but the power I can confirm the shore power has been on 100% of the time.



This is the inside of my cabin on a 2013 290ec. It looks like the ocean is in there.

I suspect that the mid-bilge is overflowing into the cabin. The mid-bilge area has two holes located behind the steps down into the cabin. I suppose that the bilge-pump(s) in the mid cabin are not working. However, I haven't been there to check it out.

He used a wet vac to take all the water out and dry as best he could.

My question, what would you do? Where would you look?

I realize that most will tell me to haul the boat out immediately. I don't have the easy option at the moment. All nearby marina's are closed or not offering a haul out service. I don't have trailer to put it on in any case.

Any thoughts would be very appreciated.
2013 290 ec - Volvo Penta D4/DP
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Comments

  • Handymans342Handymans342 Member Posts: 8,503 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Bilge pump not working
  • MiamiAGMiamiAG Miami, FloridaMember Posts: 154 ✭✭
    I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's the bilge pump. The thing that is curious is that I have two bilge pumps in the mid-bilge. One is in the container for the shower water and the other one is outside of that container in the general bilge area.

    I purchased a new bilge pump for the general bilge area a couple of months ago. However, it must have failed because I figure the shower one would overflow into the general bilge and then the other one would cover that.
    2013 290 ec - Volvo Penta D4/DP
  • J3ffJ3ff Member Posts: 2,484 ✭✭✭✭
    Do you have the AC running? Aside from AC or a sea water leak I can't imagine that would just be rain water.. 
  • PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 2,071 ✭✭✭
    Do both run off the same power feed?
  • aero3113aero3113 Long Island, NYMember Posts: 5,215 ✭✭✭✭✭
    That happened to my co worker once and it turned out to be a cracked strainer bowl for his AC.
    2008 330EC
  • YYZRCYYZRC Georgian BayMember Posts: 939 ✭✭✭
    edited July 30
    I would definitely close all thru hull valves and work through narrowing down the source. My leak was the AC strainer and my mid-bilge pump has also failed. 

    My strainer was only leaking when on plane so less scary than your situation for sure!
    2008 330 EC on Georgian Bay
  • MiamiAGMiamiAG Miami, FloridaMember Posts: 154 ✭✭
    edited July 30
    Thanks guys. Going to the boat tomorrow.

    strainer is not cracked. Just checked a month ago when I replaced the AC. The AC evaporation line does go into the mid bilge and it runs constantly in the South Florida heat. My AC guy said a surprising amount of water is generated during the summer months due to the high humidity.

    i will turn the AC off and close the valve. I will also close the toilet valve that is there also.

    clearly my bilges aren’t working so that is a relatively easy, although annoying, fix.

    it has rained torrentially the last week but I don’t think that much can be due to rain. I will taste it to see if it’s fresh.
    2013 290 ec - Volvo Penta D4/DP
  • MiamiAGMiamiAG Miami, FloridaMember Posts: 154 ✭✭
    Do both run off the same power feed?

    i don’t know but I suppose so.
    2013 290 ec - Volvo Penta D4/DP
  • PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 2,071 ✭✭✭
    Check for blown fuse or tripped breaker.  Very unlikely both pumps died at the same time.
  • MiamiAGMiamiAG Miami, FloridaMember Posts: 154 ✭✭
    Check for blown fuse or tripped breaker.  Very unlikely both pumps died at the same time.
    Thanks. Good point.
    2013 290 ec - Volvo Penta D4/DP
  • PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 2,071 ✭✭✭
    No problem. I hope its a simple fix.  
  • icoulthaicoultha Niskayuna NYMember Posts: 1,768 ✭✭✭
    edited July 30
    But in reality you only have one mid bilge - the one outside the shower box. That will only run when you are using the shower/water is draining down into it and it cycles on and off based on the float. Unless the head floor is filing from a broken pipe or something that won’t run anyway.

    I’d be shutting off seacocks as others have suggested to stop the potential sources and then see if the mid bilge runs of the float and if not, try the switch. 

    Regards,

    Ian

    The Third “B”

    Rear Commodore (2019), Crescent Boat Club

    IT/Webmaster

  • J3ffJ3ff Member Posts: 2,484 ✭✭✭✭
    MiamiAG said:
    Thanks guys. Going to the boat tomorrow.

    strainer is not cracked. Just checked a month ago when I replaced the AC. The AC evaporation line does go into the mid bilge and it runs constantly in the South Florida heat. My AC guy said a surprising amount of water is generated during the summer months due to the high humidity.

    i will turn the AC off and close the valve. I will also close the toilet valve that is there also.

    clearly my bilges aren’t working so that is a relatively easy, although annoying, fix.

    it has rained torrentially the last week but I don’t think that much can be due to rain. I will taste it to see if it’s fresh.
    Don't count out the AC being the issue. I can tell you that I've been running my new AC almost full time and the shower sump kicks on for 10 seconds every 20 mins or so and I'm further south than you are. Looking at that much water I'd say it's has to be a leak from one of the valves... hopefully it isn't what I just went through with a leak from the transom assembly!!
  • MiamiAGMiamiAG Miami, FloridaMember Posts: 154 ✭✭
    So at boat, cabin lights were not working. No breakers tripped. Neither bilge pump worked.

    Switched from 1 battery to 2 batteries via the switch. Lights start to work and bilge pumps start to work. Hatch is opening very slowly almost like it has very little power.

    Any thoughts?
    2013 290 ec - Volvo Penta D4/DP
  • aero3113aero3113 Long Island, NYMember Posts: 5,215 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Could your battery charger have failed then the batteries ran down?
    2008 330EC
  • shawnmjrshawnmjr Detroit MIMember Posts: 1,826 ✭✭✭✭
    Did you put a multimeter on the batteries to see voltage?
  • MiamiAGMiamiAG Miami, FloridaMember Posts: 154 ✭✭
    Just checked the panel and the battery charger breaker was on off position.

    I think the Admiral may have accidentally hit the wrong switch when I told her to turn off the accessory breakers. I should have checked before leaving the boat...
    2013 290 ec - Volvo Penta D4/DP
  • aero3113aero3113 Long Island, NYMember Posts: 5,215 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Oh boy, blame it on the wife!! LoL! Glad it was an easy fix for you. Now, do you get mad at her?
    2008 330EC
  • J3ffJ3ff Member Posts: 2,484 ✭✭✭✭
    Butttt where did the water come from?!
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 4,371 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The bilge pumps are wired to the starter batteries through a pair of diodes.  They will always have power until BOTH starter batteries are dead.  

    After three weeks with no charger, the bilge pump could probably draw down both batteries, but it would have to be a bad leak.  
  • MiamiAGMiamiAG Miami, FloridaMember Posts: 154 ✭✭
    I keep my battery switch on 1 battery because my Dometic refrigerators are DC only. The fridges and the bilges running often could have brought the 1 battery down substantially. I’m trying to charge them back up now.

    I did find out where the leak is coming from but I don’t know the source. Video incoming
    2013 290 ec - Volvo Penta D4/DP
  • MiamiAGMiamiAG Miami, FloridaMember Posts: 154 ✭✭
    Check out the stream of water coming into the mid bilge from forward of the boat.

    https://youtu.be/4zKiuW5mH7w
    2013 290 ec - Volvo Penta D4/DP
  • MiamiAGMiamiAG Miami, FloridaMember Posts: 154 ✭✭
    Any thru hulls going forward?
    2013 290 ec - Volvo Penta D4/DP
  • Aqua_AuraAqua_Aura Lower Columbia River, WashingtonMember Posts: 684 ✭✭✭
    edited July 30
    Were you able to check if it's saltwater. I can't think of anything forward of the mid bilge but the 290 may have something different than the 280. 
    2007 280 EC Volvo 8.1 
  • aero3113aero3113 Long Island, NYMember Posts: 5,215 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don’t think there are any through hulls forward that are under water. I bet your AC line sprung a leak maybe. Is your AC unit forward?
    2008 330EC
  • Cableguy GregCableguy Greg Pittsburgh, PAMember Posts: 4,366 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Are you connected to city water? There are not any thru hulls forward unless you have a bow thruster. The air on the 290 should be on the starboard side of the boat in the aft cabin. The interior layout is pretty much the same as my 280. That is a lot of water coming in. 
    2008 280 Express Cruiser, 6.2MPI, B3, Pittsburgh, PA "Blue Ayes"
    Go Steelers!!!
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 4,371 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yep, that will kill the batteries.  Good thing you caught it.

    For safety, you can't turn off the bilge pumps.  They are always connected, and they draw from both starter batteries (not the house bank).  
  • MiamiAGMiamiAG Miami, FloridaMember Posts: 154 ✭✭
    Ok so you guys are confirming it can only be one cause- by external bow thruster. I installed a bow thruster from yachthruster.com 5 years ago. It’s external and goes through the hull in the bow. 

    I pulled up the forward cushions and saw this.



    There is salt creep and looks to have some wet or moist area at the bottom. They told me they used 4200 and that it wouldn’t leak but it is the only explanation.

    my AC is behind the mid bilge and so are all the other thru hulls.
    2013 290 ec - Volvo Penta D4/DP
  • Aqua_AuraAqua_Aura Lower Columbia River, WashingtonMember Posts: 684 ✭✭✭
    That doesn't seem to reflect the amount of water in the video. If it is saltwater than maybe it is that. If it's freshwater maybe it's a leaking line from the sinks? 
    2007 280 EC Volvo 8.1 
  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganMember Posts: 4,986 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If you have Merc outdrive(s) the Mercathode system will drain your batteries in just a few days alone when in the water. 

    2003 342FV "Black Diamond", 350 MAG MPI, 20P 4x4 Props, PC BYC, Holland, MI
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