Course How To

Find a water leak on a houseboat?

by Carla
(Luka, MS)

How to find water leaks in houseboats?

How to find water leaks in houseboats?

I have a water leak in my Gibson houseboat that I can't seem to find?

Water collects in the front bow area where the bilge pump is. The leaking water is hidden, but I think it could be coming from the water holding tank under the cuddy.

How can I find the leak, without taking up the floor.

Thanks, Carla

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Reply - Answer
Well Carla, sorry to hear about your leaking water tank problem. I can relate to it since I've had a few tanks leak in my lifetime. We should be able to solve the problem together.

To find a leak, you have to remember that water always routes its way "downwards" but can travel quite a distance.

Just think of a roof leak, and the leaking damage can sometimes appear much further away than we can imagine.

If you feel that the water tank is the culprit, you can always put some safe "food coloring" into the tank, and fill it up, and you should see the where the
water trickle or stream flows.

Now to repair a water tank, depending on whether it's aluminum, stainless steel, or PVC polyethylene style, you can usually use a "two part putty like compound" to repair, or plug the crack or seam.

If that is not possible, you can remove and replace the water tank. Sometimes this can be a big job because of the floor.

In this case, you can sometimes place a new water tank in another area, and run new plumbing to your existing water lines.

For more information, you will also find the following articles from our site on houseboat water tanks useful.

Replacement Houseboat Water Tanks

Houseboat Water and Holding Tanks.

I'm sure that you will find the problem and be able to solve it permanently. I hope that this all helps.

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their houseboat leaking tank experiences. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found at the bottom of this page.

Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats

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Comments for Find a water leak on a houseboat?

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Water Tank leak on a Three Buoys houseboat
by: Fern and Rosy

We just bought our houseboat only to find out that we have a leak in the holding tank. We did the food coloring test and we are pretty sure the water leak is coming from the septic tank.

It is big - 300 Gal - aluminum - we can't reach underneath it to put any repair kit from the outside. Reading your comment about inserting a new one inside the old one gave us some hope.... can you please provide more details about product name, where to purchase etc...

Desperate in Montreal, Fern and Rosy

Leaking Water Tank
by: Anonymous

You can also leave the damaged water tank in place, and buy a "bladder" style tank, and insert the bladder inside the existing damaged one.

Septic Issue
by: Kurt

Fern and Rosy,
Were you ever able to get your septic issue resolved? We also own a Three Bouys Sunseeker and have the same issue. I tried to fix it once by washing the inside down and coating it with a sealant but that only last a short time before it started leaking again. As you know it is no easy task to replace the tank due to it being located under the bathroom and hallway. Need advice.
Kurt and Stephanie

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