Refrigerator Taking on Water

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Bruce Poorman
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Refrigerator Taking on Water

Just recently the drainage hole in our refrigerator started to take on water. The water seems to be backing up from the overboard thru hull. There must be a shut off for the intake but I can’t find it and it looks like the foot pump is buried under the stove. Has anyone had this problem and a suggested fix. 

Thanks
Bruce Poorman
Bobcat 954

William Miller
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Joined: 10/4/08
Posts: 294

I had this happen and moved the hose which drained out the thru hull below the sink ,which was below the water line up so it was above the p trap for the sink.No problems now

Bill Miller
S/V Lorraine
Pacific Northwest,Sound Sound
Grapeview,Wa
1990 Mk1

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mutualfun
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Posts: 454

Yes what your going to find is that in the foot pump you have something stuck in It. I piece of something that was in your fridge box. You can get to it by taking the storage compartment out from under the stove. Then that gives you the needed access to the pump. There will be 2 hoses to disconnect and 3 screws and nuts to be removed from the pump body. The black foot pad just pulls off the lever and then the pump body will come out. Just disassemble the pump and clean the crud our of it.

Randy Sherwood
Mutualfun 1990 # 1057
T/R W/K M35a
Home. Charlotte, Mi.
Boat. St Augustine,Fl.

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mutualfun
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Posts: 454

Also if you have a foot pump. There will be a check valve in the line that usually will get crud in it. That is why your getting water in your fridge. Just do the same with the drawer and pull the check out and take the 4 screws out and clean the rubber seal.

Randy Sherwood
Mutualfun 1990 # 1057
T/R W/K M35a
Home. Charlotte, Mi.
Boat. St Augustine,Fl.

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Waxing Moon
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Posts: 21

The frig bottom should be above the water line.  Water can back into frig while on a starboard tack. A quick fix is to close the stopcock under the sink, which is where my frig drain hose drains,  while sailing, especially on a starboard tack.  Probably a good idea to close all nonessential stopcocks while under way, as water can back into the head sink as well, when hard over.

Captain Moon
Waxing Moon
2002 C36 MK II #2105
Port Charlotte, FL

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jakez
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Posts: 24

I had the same problem.  My fridge would fill up on a starboard tack with the sink drain open.  I added a stop cock on the T connector where the fridge line goes into the sink drain line just above the thru hull.  I keep that stop cock closed pretty much all the time and it has solved the problem.  The only time I've opened it is when something spilled in the fridge and I needed to rinse it out.  Pic attached.

Jake Z
five o'clock somewhere
2000 Catalina 36 MKII
Hull #1836

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Waxing Moon
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I like it  Good idea.  Thanks.

Captain Moon
Waxing Moon
2002 C36 MK II #2105
Port Charlotte, FL

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Chachere
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Posts: 825

Bruce - There are a couple of older threads on this subject you might want to take a look at: https://www.catalina36.org/forum/technical-discussion/ice-box-fills-water  and https://www.catalina36.org/forum/technical-discussion/do-i-really-need-refrigice-box-drain

In our boat -- and apparently some others as well -- the foot pump discharges to a spout in the sink.
I described this, with photos, maybe 6 years back at this comment: https://www.catalina36.org/comment/48313#comment-48313

Having the water exit above the sink means there is never sea water backing up into the refer.
Since we usually load up the refer with block ice when cruising, we end up with a fair supply of melt water that we sometimes use for the first run of dishwashing (followed, of course, by a final freshwater rinse from the onboard tank supply). The discharge spout is available at Catalina Direct (photo in my linked comment), and is an easy install (I reinstalled when I changed out the sink a couple of years ago.https://www.catalina36.org/comment/59281#comment-59281

 

Matthew Chachère
s/v ¡Que Chévere!
(Formerly 1985 C36 MKI #466 tall rig fin keel M25)
2006 Catalina Morgan 440 #30.
Homeported in eastern Long Island, NY

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KevinLenard
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Posts: 215

While I'm a perfectionist when it comes to a long list of refurbishments and add-ons, I was a blasphemer on this one (sometimes we have to let the ideal solution go in order to move on to more pressing issues...).  The PO had by-passed the foot pump, the body of which appeared to have cracked over one winter due to non-winterizing this oft-forgotten item.  On every starboard tack the fridge filled with water from the T-connector in the below water level through-hull.  I removed the pump, tossed it out and glued a 6" round white rubber doorknob bumper pad over the hole.  I then did the most heinous thing imaginable and capped the T-connector and extended the drainage tube to reach the bilge.  I'd long ago given up on a totally dry bilge and we just live with occasionally putting a few ounces of bleach in there to freshen it up.  Sacrilege!!!  I'm suitably ashamed...

Kevin Lenard
"Firefly"
'91 C-36 Mk. "1.5" Tall Rig, Fin Keel, Hull #1120, Universal M-35 original (not "A" or "B")
CBYC, Scarborough, Lake Ontario, Canada

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bfissel
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Posts: 15

I had the same issue several years ago and had a lot of seawater flow back into the fridge. I added additional hose and a vented loop between the back flow valve and the existing tee connection to the thru-hull. This raised the drain line well above the waterline and the foot pump from the frig has worked very well, and no seawater.

Bill
2000 MKII
#1896 Sweet Caroline
Chesapeake Bay

mikeannikki
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Posts: 26

Don't beat yourself up FireFly!  My PO also had removed foot pump and I have since ran fridge drain to the bilge (po just removed pump...period!?)  I keep a plug in the drain hole in bottom of fridge so as not to lose any cold air.  I do not think we have had any liquid actually drain into bilge yet.  When cleaning do more of a wipe down and not a hose down and just make sure to sponge up excess H2O!  Works fine for me!  

Mike and Nikki Willis
1996 C 36 #1570  "Slip Away"  
MK II - Tall Rig - Winged Keel
Fremont, Ohio

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Catboat Willy
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Posts: 385

On my 1990 Catalina, I run the water through the foot pump then directly in to the bilge . Previously, the water trapped in that line would stagnate, then smell and would be a bear to eliminate.  I did however put a one way valve in the line to prevent back flow.
We freeze 1/2 gallon water jugs and put the frozen water jugs in the cooler rather use block ice. I also use a plug on the bottom of the frig to prevent the release of cold air from escaping the bottom of the frig.

Bill Dolan 1990 Catalina C-36 MKI - Hull #1041  'Williwaw'
Std. Rig, Walk Through, Wing Keel
M35, Oberdorfer Conversion,
Home Waters; Charlotte  Harbor & The Gulf Islands of Florida
'You are never out of work if you own a boat'

 

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TomSoko
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Posts: 978

Another use for the footpump: I plumbed the footpump's intake to the domestic water (before the pressure pump), and the output to a small spigot at the galley sink.  Trying to wash two dirty hands is so much easier using one or two strokes with my foot, instead of turning on and off the galley faucet. Uses a lot less water, too. For the fridge drain, I installed a small on/off valve in the discharge line, and extended it into the bilge. Normally off, it keeps the cold in the fridge and the hot out. That way I have control of when the fridge gets drained, and I can follow up with more of a rinse, both for the fridge and the bilge. Just a thought.

Tom Sokoloski
C36/375IA Past Commodore
Noank, CT

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Sojourn
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Posts: 171

I had issues like that but in searching I found my foot pump could either empty the frig or provide sea water to the galley sink. We're a fresh water boat so for tasks like was your hands or other non-potable water needs it works fine. Switching from on to the is a little more complicated. We only use the foot pump out the fridge on a selective basis the rest of the time it is set to just pump lake water. I wrote myself instructions on how to make the switch. Here they are:
Sojourn
Instruction for Fridge Pump Out

Function Ball Valve* Diverter Valve** Ball Valve on Tee by Seacock
Normal Engine Open*** Crosswise to plumbing Closed
Sea Water to Sink Open*** Crosswise to plumbing Ball valve open##
Pump Fridge Sump Closed# Inline with plumbing If seacock is open, close ball valve^
Notes: * - Located in locker in Aft cabin near Floor after seacock
** - Located under sink w/ red plastic knob
*** - Handle down inline with ballvalve
# - Handle crosswine to seacock
## - Handle inline w/ valve body
^ - Handle crosswise to seacock

Note: Engine seacock or ball valve is closed first and opened last when draining the fridge. Otherwise it will flood.

Hope this helps someone.

Lou Bruska
Sojourn C-36 Hull # 495 1985
Lake Michigan, Lake Macatawa, (Holland, MI)

Lou Bruska
Sojourn
1985 C-36 Mk-I TR #495
Eldean Shipyard
Lake Macatawa (Holland, MI) Lake Michigan
Rallyback@comcast.net

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