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Eloisec93

Water in cabin bilge! Help

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Hello we have owed our boat Millie Fleur for just over a month now.

I came home today in daylight for the first time (I work early to late hours) and noticed she was sitting slightly lower in the water at the back. I turned on the engine bilge and pumped out the  rain water that had collected. But still she sat low in the water 🤔

 

I then checked the inspection hatched inside the cabin one by our back door and one in our bathroom (also at the back of the boat). Both hatches are full of water 😱

 

I want to get the water out but I don't know how. I guess I need to buy a water pump.

 

Please can people recommend a good water pump? As I have no clue.

 

Also any suggestions on what to do? I hope I'm not sinking and I suspect the water may be leaking from the shower when I have a shower?

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Just fit a bilge pump. A wet vac is also good but needs regular emptying if there's a lot of water. 

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Experts will be along shortly, but until then......

 

Does your cabin bilge have a bilge pump?  they usually do?  If not then best look to get one fitted - pop into a chandler and get their advice, you'll probably need flexible pipe as well...

 

You can also use a wet vac to get rid of the water - try something like the ones in this thread : 

 

The next thing is to find why the water is there... presume your engine and cabin bilge are separate?  check under sinks etc...

 

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Tips

When you leave the boat make sure the water is off at the tank and isolate any calorifier.  Buy and fit an auto bilge that’s always on.

 

lastly try to get someone near to keep an eye out.

 

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If you don't want to move your existing pump, you could get one of these

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rule-24-Submersible-Bilge-Pump/dp/B000O8D8QG

 

or a manual pump

 

https://www.midlandchandlers.co.uk/products/bilge-pump-whale-easy-bailer-short-wb-022

 

We had a leaking shower tray once that filled up the bilge exactly as you describe.

 

Good luck.

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If you have to resort to manual bailing, a dustpan makes a very good tool to get shallow water out.

 

Empty it into a bucket rather than go up top with each pan full!  ;)

 

Good luck. :)

 

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7 minutes ago, Eloisec93 said:

 

Also any suggestions on what to do? I hope I'm not sinking and I suspect the water may be leaking from the shower when I have a shower?

Making some assumptions, but worth considering.

 

If your freshwater tank is in the bow, and is empty(ish), this will also make the front of the boat weigh less, and in a seesaw kind of way cause the stern to drop lower.  My tank is 1000 litres, and therefore weighs a ton when full, if I let it run two-thirds empty the stern will sit at least an inch lower.  Also, you say the inspection hatches are full, this does not sound like just a leaky shower, but a full blown leak.  If you have a hole in your plumbing, then all that water from the fresh tank will flow downhill (all narrowboats lean back), thus transferring up to 1000kgs of weight, front to back.  If you have a leak your water pumps will be running overtime, if they are isolate them ASAP, to stop anymore water escaping.

 

as I say, assumptions, but worth checking...

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3 minutes ago, The Dreamer said:

Making some assumptions, but worth considering.

 

If your freshwater tank is in the bow, and is empty(ish), this will also make the front of the boat weigh less, and in a seesaw kind of way cause the stern to drop lower.  My tank is 1000 litres, and therefore weighs a ton when full, if I let it run two-thirds empty the stern will sit at least an inch lower.  Also, you say the inspection hatches are full, this does not sound like just a leaky shower, but a full blown leak.  If you have a hole in your plumbing, then all that water from the fresh tank will flow downhill (all narrowboats lean back), thus transferring up to 1000kgs of weight, front to back.  If you have a leak your water pumps will be running overtime, if they are isolate them ASAP, to stop anymore water escaping.

 

as I say, assumptions, but worth checking..

Yes the water tank is at the front and is nearly empty which could be why she is leaning back a bit! 

 

There is about an inch of water in both inspection hatches. The only reason why I suspect the shower is because the surveyor said the bathroom was an amature fit out and we should re do it to stop the shower leaking.

 

My water pump only comes on when I run the taps and isn't running all the time. 

 

I don't have a cabin bilge pump fitted I don't think. In the shower there is a switch that pumps the water out of the bottom of the shower but only from the shower it seems

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1 minute ago, Eloisec93 said:

 

 

I don't have a cabin bilge pump fitted I don't think. In the shower there is a switch that pumps the water out of the bottom of the shower but only from the shower it seems

Is that a shower emptying pump in a box by any chance

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How old is the boat? If old it might have a through wet bilge. where rain water can run through from the front well to the rear.  Also always switch off the fresh water pump when you go out, if a pipe springs a leak the water pump will empty the tank into the vboat.

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11 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

Is that a shower emptying pump in a box by any chance

What kind of box? 

Our shower is like one of those hip bath types things 

There is a pump fitted in the plug and sucks the water out when switched on

 

IMG_20200201_181549.jpg.9817fe7283dcfd6dbf9894d2ee9df291.jpg

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1 minute ago, Eloisec93 said:

What kind of box? 

Our shower is like one of those hip bath types things 

There is a pump fitted in the plug and sucks the water out when switched on

 

IMG_20200201_181549.jpg.9817fe7283dcfd6dbf9894d2ee9df291.jpg

I suspect ditchcrawler means something like this, a pump in a box with a float switch, they are notorious for leaking. The other option, which it sounds like you have, is a pump connected directly to the bath that pumps overboard.

0000028158.jpg

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3 minutes ago, bizzard said:

How old is the boat? If old it might have a through wet bilge. where rain water can run through from the front well to the rear.  Also always switch off the fresh water pump when you go out, if a pipe springs a leak the water pump will empty the tank into the vboat.

She was built in 1990 45ft pat buckle semi trad narrowboat

 

 

IMG_20191209_154638.jpg

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6 minutes ago, Eloisec93 said:

She was built in 1990 45ft pat buckle semi trad narrowboat

 

 

IMG_20191209_154638.jpg

Ok dry bilge boat. On ebay there is a hand pump called the ''Marksman Large syphon pump''. Its really for pumping from 40 gallon drums, has a long pick up tube and long discharge tube, the pump like anything, I have one, it was about £7 on Ebay.

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8 minutes ago, bizzard said:

Ok dry bilge boat. On ebay there is a hand pump called the ''Marksman Large syphon pump''. Its really for pumping from 40 gallon drums, has a long pick up tube and long discharge tube, the pump like anything, I have one, it was about £7 on Ebay.

You can't syphon uphill, a prpooer pumb would be better

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1 minute ago, ditchcrawler said:

You can't syphon uphill, a prpooer pumb would be better

I know, its not really a syphon, it is a pump, with a big piston in a cylinder with a handle on top which you work up and down. Its all plastic. I use mine to pump samples of fuel from my tank and from others tanks.

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1.That is an A bath and unless the water is leaking it is very unlikely that shower water can leak out of it.

 

2. As said its a dry bilge boat so once the water in the bilge is out it should not need pumping out again for months, I don't see the point of an accommodation bilge pump but do see the point of weekly/monthly bilge inspections and sponging the bilge as required. This will give you an idea about how fast the water is collecting. What you have could be months of window leaks or this winter's condensation.

 

A pump like the one above is always useful on a boat but it wont get the last drop out so sponging is needed.

 

Once you gave the water out expect more to appear as it trickles back from around thaeballast. The rate should gradually reduce but it will take several/many days to get it all drained.

 

 

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An inch of water doesn't seem a lot, could it just be condensation building up down there during the winter ?

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From November onwards my boat produces between half a pint and a pint of bilge water from condensation every day. If I left it until now to get rid of it I reckon there would be more than an inch depth of it at the back of the boat.

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1 minute ago, The Welsh Cruiser said:

From November onwards my boat produces between half a pint and a pint of bilge water from condensation every day. If I left it until now to get rid of it I reckon there would be more than an inch depth of it at the back of the boat.

My cabin bilge is usually dry during the summer but is always wet during the winter.

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20 hours ago, bizzard said:

I know, its not really a syphon, it is a pump, with a big piston in a cylinder with a handle on top which you work up and down. Its all plastic. I use mine to pump samples of fuel from my tank and from others tanks.

That wasn't the one I got up when I googled it, it was a squeezy headed thing. On a side I saw someone selling those jiggly hose syphons at some boating event as handy for getting water out of the bilge

 23447_P&$prodImageMedium$

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41 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

That wasn't the one I got up when I googled it, it was a squeezy headed thing. On a side I saw someone selling those jiggly hose syphons at some boating event as handy for getting water out of the bilge

 23447_P&$prodImageMedium$

No that's not it. It is large with a long stiff plastic pick up pipe, up and down pump handle on top. It has the the large nut on it too which screws into 40 gallon drums. I did find it again last night but it wouldn't copy. They are now £8 odd   Marksman Large syphon pump.

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1 hour ago, bizzard said:

No that's not it. It is large with a long stiff plastic pick up pipe, up and down pump handle on top. It has the the large nut on it too which screws into 40 gallon drums. I did find it again last night but it wouldn't copy. They are now £8 odd   Marksman Large syphon pump.

 

Oh so the photo of a Marksman syphon pump in post 17 is NOT it?

 

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1 hour ago, bizzard said:

No that's not it. It is large with a long stiff plastic pick up pipe, up and down pump handle on top. It has the the large nut on it too which screws into 40 gallon drums. I did find it again last night but it wouldn't copy. They are now £8 odd   Marksman Large syphon pump.

This one?

https://store.fastcardirect.co.uk/large-syphon-pump-115cm-manual-operated-plastic-fuel-petrol-diesel-water-fluid-8374-p.asp

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