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How do you test water lines for leaks?-gctid388771

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    How do you test water lines for leaks?-gctid388771

    I am trying to determine why my water pump doesn't stop pumping when the cabin switch is turned on and all the faucets are closed. I'm talking about the fresh water system, not the engine cooling water pump, etc.

    First off - I get steady, fast flowing water from all 4 water faucets - I have the galley sink with hot/cold, I have the head sink/shower with hot/cold, I have the transom shower with hot/cold and I have that courtesy deck sink with cold only.

    My understanding of how the pump should work is this:

    Fill the holding tank, turn on the pump. The pump sucks the water up from the holding tank, fills the water heater, all the lines, etc, and then once a "pressure" point is met, the pump should automatically stop. From that point on, I believe it should be an "on demand" system. Turn on the water at one of the 4 stations, the pump kicks in. Turn the water off, and once enough pressure has been built up, the pump should then stop.

    Now the fact my pump never stops (it used to), I'm pretty sure I have a leak somewhere - but the problem is - I can't find any sings at all of a leak. I thought it was where the plastic quick connect from the cold supply elbow going into the water heater wasn't gripping tight. I replaced that with a SeaTech fitting, and this one grips the metal pipe tight. Everywhere that I have access to, and I have checked several times now - everywhere inside is dry.

    I've read other threads where people suggest pressure testing the lines/system. That's great! How? How do I actually do this, and then, what would I look for to find WHERE the leak is? If I don't see water dripping out from the lines, how am I supposed to find the leaks when pressure testing the lines/system?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    #2
    They way you describe the functioning is spot on. If the pump never stops and there is a leak it would show up somewhere in the boat as a small flood. If there is no water apparent then it very well could be a tired pump no longer capable of attaining the 40 psi or even a defective pressure sensor. Past experience on trouble shooting the pump and attempting repairs taught me to just buy a new unit and all problems solved.

    Easiest way to test is to remove the output hose from the end of the pump and plug it, now run the pump. If it functions normally there is a leak, if not, the the pump is defective.
    Cheers, Hans
    2007 Carver 41 CMY
    Twin Volvo D6-370
    Montreal, Canada
    Midnight Sun I Photos

    Comment


      #3
      It could be air in the line. Did you run water out of each faucet long enough to remove all air from the lines?

      There could also be leak on the low pressure side of the pump between the tank and pump that is sucking air along with water, that will cause the pump to continue to run.

      Comment


        #4
        MidnightSun wrote:
        Easiest way to test is to remove the output hose from the end of the pump and plug it, now run the pump. If it functions normally there is a leak, if not, the the pump is defective.
        Thanks for the advice - I didn't even get that far and I am pretty certain the pump has to go. I just ordered a new one.

        When I disconnected the output hose from the pump, water came out of the pump (just a little). OK, that was expected. I turned the pump on - just to see, and the pump couldn't even pull water in from the holding tank. No need at this point to plug the end - it's not even generating any suction/pressure.

        I also did another thing, not even sure why I did it at the time, but I just did. I turned the galley cold water faucet on - as soon as I did that, water came out of the open end of the hose that I just removed from the pump.

        So...If there was a leak anywhere in the plumbing after the pump, then the water in the hose/system would have spilled out and continued spilling out the moment I disconnected the hose from the pump. The fact the water didn't spill out until I opened a faucet tells me the plumbing from the pump to all my fixtures is air tight.

        And in fact, now that I'm thinking about it some more - if there was a hole/air leak in the plumbing before the pump from the holding tank, then I would have expected to see some water in the bilge. That section was dry.

        I'm pretty sure replacing the pump is the right choice. I'll know in about a week when the new pump arrives if that was the final fix or not.

        Comment


          #5
          It didn't leak, but never stopped running, either.

          Try removing it, and going direct into the pump.
          Tally and Vicki
          "Wickus" Meridian 341
          MMSI 338014939

          Comment


            #6
            If the pump's internal check valve is bleeding off, the pump will continue to operate.

            Could be a piece of debris causing it to not "check".

            Also, if the pressure differential within the pump's cut-off switch is hair-trigger, it will cause problems.

            Do you have an accumulator in the system?

            If not, it will help greatly if you were to install one.

            This style must be installed vertically.



            The-larger-the-better, IMO.



            .
            Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
            2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
            Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
            Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
            Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

            Comment


              #7
              I have the FloJet 4405-143, mounted vertically, as you show.

              This has been an "ongoing" issue for me for a few seasons now.

              Actually I just went back to read the original post I put here 2 years ago (maybe I should have looked at that before ordering a new pump last night).:sorrow:

              http://www.baylinerownersclub.org/fo...g-holding-tank

              I'm going to go out and check the strainer to see if that is indeed clogged. If that is the issue, then maybe I can cancel my order for the new pump. If not, look for my pump add on Craigs List or E-Bay.

              Comment


                #8
                I think this is why the pump won't stop.





                No problem with the lines at all - but if the pump itself can't contain it's own pressure, no way the switch can kick in to stop the current.

                What a b!%@h that was to find. All this time checking lines, filters, etc. A hairline crack that was so unnoticeable until I had to take every piece apart.

                Now much to my surprise, I was able to immediately find the part number for this piece - Flojet 2090-104

                http://www.depcopump.com/catalog108/138.pdf

                And even find how to order one

                http://www.theresourcestore.ca/prodd...?prod=2090-104

                Now the trade off - I already ordered the full pump assembly for $120 - the pressure switch itself is $36.

                At this point I just aint taken anymore chances. I doubt I can cancel the order for the pump. Just gonna install a new pump in and call it quits.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Not to throw salt on your wounds but this is what lot of mechanics do, throw parts at a problem without ever finding out what the real problem is.

                  Did the pump ship already, i would have called them and explained the problem. If it did not ship then they might have canceled the order.

                  The reason for this post from me, is for every person reading this... before ordering a expensive part or any part first determine what the problem is.
                  Be good, be happy, for tomorrow is promised to no man !

                  1994 2452, 5.0l, Alpha gen. 2 drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !

                  '86 / 19' Citation cuddy, Merc. 3.0L / 140 hp 86' , stringer drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !

                  Manalapan N.J

                  Comment


                    #10
                    This is a case where I would order the pressure switch, fix and keep it as a spare. Losing your fresh water mid trip for a $100 part that can be swapped pretty easy in the field .... well my days off and on the boat are worth a lot more than that.
                    1999 Sandpiper Pilothouse - Current
                    1989 3888 - 2011-2019, 1985 Contessa - 2005-2011, 1986 21' Trophy 1998-2005
                    Nobody gets out alive.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I agree, the $84 difference between a new pump with switch and the switch alone aren't worth the worry. Drive a few miles less than planned next time and you have made up the difference.

                      For $120 you know that everything is new. Not that it couldn't fail too but it's a lot less likely.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Chief Alen wrote:
                        Not to throw salt on your wounds but this is what lot of mechanics do, throw parts at a problem without ever finding out what the real problem is.

                        Did the pump ship already, i would have called them and explained the problem. If it did not ship then they might have canceled the order.

                        The reason for this post from me, is for every person reading this... before ordering a expensive part or any part first determine what the problem is.
                        I agree with what you are saying, and no, you're not rubbing salt in my wounds.

                        When I "decided" to buy the new pump last night, I had been chasing this issue in one form or another for almost 2 years now. For me, $120 was worth it to finally fix this problem.

                        I actually had a change of mind though after thinking about it this morning.

                        I found West Marine actually to have the lowest price for the sensor ($25.99), just not in stock - they can have it by Thursday.

                        Now I'm looking at $120 versus $26, and I'm still not able to get out on the water (the weather here simply sucks). Sure, let me give the $26 part and another weekend a shot. What's the hurry now.

                        I logged onto Amazon and the status for the pump was still open. I chose to "cancel order".

                        I do agree though with what kjs says, at times - I'd rather have something new replace something malfunctioning. The difference here is the pump is supplying water, it just won't stop. And it's not like this issue alone is stopping us from using the boat.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I ordered the pressure sensor/switch, and cancelled the order for the pump last week.

                          The sensor came in yesterday, picked it up today and proceeded to replace the broken sensor.

                          Turn the pump on, no water flowing, so I resort to the method that has been working, using the head sink/shower tube and sucking the water to get the flow going.

                          Once I got the flow going, and got that familiar deep sound from the pump, I turned off the faucet, and within only a few moments, the pump STOPPED!!!

                          Well, it didn't last. I turned my attention to the galley, turned on the faucet - water coming out at a pretty good flow, pump comes on. Turn off faucet - pump doesn't stop:livid:

                          Repeated the whole cycle - and again, the first time I get the water to flow from the head sink, and turn off the faucet, the pump shuts off. But when I go back, pump won't stop second time.

                          At this point I'm pretty certain the pump simply cannot attain the pressure necessary. The fact it cannot suck the water up a 1 foot length of tube without me having to prime it manually, and now even with a new sensor attached the pump won't consistently stop.

                          $30 and a week later still have same problem - so when the original poster stated it wasn't worth the time and energy chasing the problem down for a $100 part - Absolutely - it wasn't worth the extra effort to save $70.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Is there something in the water heater that functions like a 1 way valve? How long should it take to build up pressure in the water heater tank before the pump shuts off on its own?

                            I got a new water pump, installed it. Hooked up the intake and output pipes. Open the cold faucet in the galley sink, turn the pump on. Immediately I get water flowing (this is a good sign compared to the old pump, I wouldn't get water to flow on its own without sucking it into the pump from the head hose).

                            I turn the faucet off, and immediately I hear the change in tone on the pump and moments later, it shuts off on its own. I do this several times and each time I get the exact same behavior from the pump - turn the galley cold faucet on, immediately the pump kicks in and water flows smoothly. Turn the faucet off, and almost instantly the pump automatically stops.

                            I move to the head, same experience - I move to the deck sink, same experience, and finally the transom shower - everything working as it should - the pump automatically stops once the faucet is off.

                            Now I turn my attention to the hot water - and everything goes downhill.

                            I open the galley hot faucet, water comes out, but...and this is where I think the issue is within the water heater - the pump doesn't immediately engage. There is enough built up pressure in the hot water line that the water flows out of the hot faucet for a good 5 - 10 seconds, then the pump comes on.

                            Now when I turn the hot water faucet off - the pump doesn't stop. OK, I realize I may have to wait some period of time for the pump to pressurize a 6 gallon tank. But how long is enough time?

                            Well, I go a few steps further. I turn the pump off myself, wait about 5 minutes. Turn the power to the pump back on, and it doesn't pump (all faucets are still closed from before). I open the cold faucet, water immediately begins to flow and the pump kicks in. I turn off the cold water faucet, and almost immediately the pump automatically shuts off.

                            I can repeat this process with consistency - and the instant I open the hot faucet, that's when the pump will not behave the same way. Open the hot water faucet, and because of the built up pressure from before, the water flows for about 5 seconds, and then the pump kicks in - but then once I turn close the faucet, the pump continues to operate for several minutes. It won't shut off automatically.

                            Is there a valve that gets stuck in the open position when the pump is engaged, maybe a spring of some kind that is just not strong enough to close when the pump is engaged, but once I turn the pump off manually, the valve is able to close and remain that way until the hot water faucet is opened and water is flowing again?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Is there something in the water heater that functions like a 1 way valve? How long should it take to build up pressure in the water heater tank before the pump shuts off on its own?
                              Both of my water heaters have one way valves on the cold water in lines. And I just needed to replace them, clogged with local minerals from the water.

                              OTOH you symptoms have me baffled. My water system has a little filter with a clear cover. Can you watch the actual flow?
                              Yep, my 4588 Bayliner IS my happy place :whistle:

                              Comment

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