TECHNIQUE – How to detect leaks in on-board plumbing?


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water leaks
Water leaks in the shipboard plumbing system usually occur at the many points of pipe connections, so they should be examined closely with the system under pressure. It is not easy to identify small drips, but you can wrap a piece of Scottex around the fitting and see if it gets wet; if not, it is time to examine the tanks.


Any leaks may also be due to water boxes. If you can’t locate the leak, you need to do a pressure test: empty the tank, seal the outlets, including the air vent tube, then insert air with a pump at a pressure of about 0.3 bar (e.g., that of the tender). Failure to maintain pressure for at least ten minutes means the tank is leaking. Soap and water can be used to locate the exact spot of the leak-the air coming out will cause bubbles to form-although it is not possible to access all sides of the tank until it has been removed from the boat. Having identified the problem, the tank can be repaired by welding.

Leaky fittings should be disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled. Ideally, all hose clamps in the system should be replaced. If the leakage remains, compression fittings used for rigid and semi-rigid pipes should be replaced. Hoses that do not have proper reinforcement can also give problems, especially in suction: if the hose bends it can block the flow. Some systems have a filter before the pump, which should be changed when specified by the manufacturer. Any blockages in the system should also be checked.

Excerpted from “Jobs on Board,” published by Nutrimenti. You can find it HERE


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