Head holding tank (or somewhere else in head system) "might be" slowly leaking

Discussion in 'General Maintenance/Repair Questions' started by 340DA, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. 340DA

    340DA Member

    265
    Jul 21, 2008
    LI Sound
    2000 Sundancer Sport Cruiser
    454 Mercruiser w/Bravo III Drives
    On my 2000 340 Sundancer I have been noticing that the bilge has some brown water in it.

    It is not a lot of brown water but enough to make me begin to think that something is wrong. It would almost appear that there may be a slow leak/weeping that is coming out of the holding tank, or from some other component part in the head system, and it is collecting in the bilge.
    I have flushed the toilet and I have watch the system operate and I do NOT see any visible signs of leaking/weeping brown water into the bilge. Thus, I'm thinking it is a slow process...

    The vacu flush system is working just fine. The toilet works fine. When the water collects over a few weeks, I flush it out with a hose. I am not talking about a lot of brown water, but enough to make me want to address the "issue". This is the 1st year I've noticed this.

    Any thoughts/suggestions/fixes??????
     
  2. R-and-R

    R-and-R Active Member SILVER Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    163
    May 9, 2018
    Safe Harbors Narrows Point - Kent Island
    2002 340 Sundancer
    8.1S Mercruiser
    I had exactly this problem last season. Most noticeable though was the smell. If you don't have a fowl odor, it's possible you have a different source of "brown water."

    Replaced my holding tank this past winter.

    There are metal releases in the bottom of the tank that have a tendency to slowly rust and decay. Note the dark patches near the top and bottom corners in the attached pic.

    It wasn’t a fun job. Had to remove several components of the starboard engine to make enough room to remove and replace the tank.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
  3. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    When the tanks were made (newer design fixes the problem), there was a problem in the casting of the tank. The part of the tank "feet" (in each corner) that would be used to hold and remove the tank from the mold was poorly cast and the plastic would crack and leak over time.

    Before you condemn it, though, thoroughly clean around the tank and the "shelf" it sits on. Then stuff/tape some paper towels around the entire bottom perimeter. If it's leaking, the paper towels will show evidence of it.
     
    Darrenfon and Chris-380 like this.
  4. ZZ13

    ZZ13 Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2009
    Lady's Island, SC
    2001 400 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins 450 Diamond
    I had a rainwater windshield leak that passed along some inner wall exposed fiberglass. That turned it brown by the time it got to the bilge. You may have a hull window or deck opening leaking.
     
  5. Coz

    Coz Member

    249
    Oct 9, 2018
    2008 Sundancer 310
    Merc Mag 350 DTS w/Bravo III
    I would think you could tell by the smell.
    I get dirty water in the bilge if caught in a rain.
     
  6. Express 390

    Express 390 Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    478
    Sep 14, 2018
    South Shore of Long Island NY
    1986 SeaRay 390 EC
    1993 SeaRay 290 DA single 7.4 /Bravo 2
    1992 SeaRay 230 DA 4.3LX Alfa drive
    Twin 454 Crusaders inboards 4 blades
    I agree with R and R , you would notice the fowl smell first if it was coming from the tank.Start looking else wear !
     
  7. 340DA

    340DA Member

    265
    Jul 21, 2008
    LI Sound
    2000 Sundancer Sport Cruiser
    454 Mercruiser w/Bravo III Drives
    This is all good information.
    FYI: I do smell a "smell" from the brown water. That's why I suspect it is somehow dripping/leaking from the holding tank????

    As I said, it is slow leak, thus the amount of brown water builds up slowly over time. I am able to flush it away with a hose. And, we rarely use the head for "solids". Only "liquids"

    BUT, to ZZ13's point, the port side hatch window in the head does leak in rainstorms. That's a possibility of the source?
     
  8. 340DA

    340DA Member

    265
    Jul 21, 2008
    LI Sound
    2000 Sundancer Sport Cruiser
    454 Mercruiser w/Bravo III Drives
    Where can I buy a new holding tank for replacement?
     
  9. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    I guess you confirmed it's leaking?

    Talk to Northeast Marine Sanitation - they're in your neck of the woods and really know their... ummm... well, I'm sure you can figure out what word finishes my sentence!
     
  10. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    Deck leaks produce brown water from the rotting balsa core. The fungus is brown. Garwood 003.jpg
     

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