Where to look for bilge leaks?

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Where to look for bilge leaks?

Post by BruceB »

Looking for some advice - I have a 1999 Triton TR18 and have noticed that it takes on a noticeable amount of water after a few days in the lake. Nothing enormous, but enough that I suspect that something is leaking that shouldn't be. Any tips on where to start searching and the best way to do so? Thanks!
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Re: Where to look for bilge leaks?

Post by twister »


It is very unlikely it is leak through the fiberglass.

1) Check hoses. Tighten hose clamps if loose.

2) Check all the fittings starting with the pump fittings. If you find the leak at a fitting, partially disassemble and add a marine grade silicone between the flange and the fitting. Reassemble and wipe off excess. Other fittings that may cause a leak is the livewell.

If you don't find any leaks at the above areas then the only remaining culprit is the joint between the deck and the hull. But you should consult Triton if it get to that. I don't know how Tritons are put together but I have alot of experience with other brands. Hopes this helps.
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Re: Where to look for bilge leaks?

Post by TWinger »

Sometimes when the live wells are full or left on water can leak over or even splash over in rough water travel into the bildge areas. Recently water in the bildge caused the auto pump to go on and we found a fish had been sucked against the drain hole in the live well, blocking it causing the live well to over flow into the bildge. I have also found where a recirculatiing nozzle had been turned when placing or removing fish from the live well causing it to spray water near the top of the livewell and under the force of the sparay go into the bildge area. Just a couple of other thoughts that are less serious in nature, they can be just none failure things.
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Re: Where to look for bilge leaks?

Post by Hitman »

I recall sometime ago this was discussed on the forum. I remember one suggestion in particular.

Ensure you start with an empty bilge. Fill your livewells with water and then check for leaks around hose connections, look for cracks in the hoses, check pump areas for leaks. I think you'll find most problems are with the hoses, connections or pumps as the culprits for your leak. Dont rule out the possibility of overflow from full livewells when boating. This is pretty common. I once had a fill pump crack at the hull-thru tube which was causing about a gallon or 2 of water to seep in about an 8 hour outing. I found it when I wiggled the pump and found it to be loose.

Hope this helps

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Another thing to watch

Post by Dewayne »

When going slowly or coming to a stop watch the water that will build up in the splash well. At times the water level may be above the hole where the control cables go through the splash well. I know in my Ranger a little water gets in through there. The other place to consider is a cooler if the boat has one. Some drain into the builge.
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Bilge leak

Post by steve0806 »

Don't know what kind of drain plug your boat has, I have the expanding rubber type and they can leak after a while. Had it happen once. Best to check that first.
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Things to Check

Post by Marc »

I would start checking at home while on the trailer. Start with a dry bilge, and fill your livewells with water. After a few minutes inspect the inside of your hull to see if water appears in your bilge.

If none, then run the aerator pumps and check the bilge again. If you have water now you probably have a cracked pump fitting or hose either loose or damaged.

If the bilge is still dry, I would then put enough water inside the bilge area to submerge the thru hull fittings. Then inspect the outside of the fittings to see if water is leaking out of the hull at either the fittings or the drain plug. A cracked fitting, or one that isn't sealed will show water leaking out. Likewise, a drain plug that is bad, or even the drain plug housing may leak.

If still no source is found, drain the inside of your boat, and then put a light inside the bilge area (be careful not to ignite anything) and close the deck lid. Now look inside your livewells and see if you can see any light coming in. Also check the underside of your rubrail and see if there is any light coming in. If you see light, then you need to apply sealant on those areas. Many livewells are not sealed at the top, so when the boat is coming onto plane water sloshes over the top and into the bilge, and also when in rough water this is typical. It is a pain, but you can seal this top edge with plumbers goop and stop this problem. Some people who get water in a rear deck dry storage area are experiencing the same problem, only their livewell water is going into the dry storage instead of the bilge.

Hope this helps.

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