1721 Mar 29, 2002

Iím new to the list so should introduce myself. Iím Patricia, I have hull #36, cutter rigged, formerly La Rigolade and Sea Angel and now Petrel. Iíve owned her for a bit more than 10 years now. My late husband and I bought her, three years ago he died of cancer, so now Iím de facto Skipper and wishing Iíd paid a bit more attention when he was working on the systems. Iíve sailed quite a bit, mostly on a Pacific Seacraft 25 and other boats and have spent most of the time on Petrel on the Gulf Coast.

I just replaced the water pump for the pressure water system and have developed a leak at the base of a black cylinder mounted on the bulkhead in the engine room. Is this an accumulator for the pressure system? I replaced the hoses to it - and that didnít help the leak so Iím thinking I will have to remove it and test it for leaks. It would be helpful to know what it is. The water flows into it from the pump and it looks like it has a bleed valve on the top although it doesnít turn easily so I havenít messed with it. Anybody know what this is?



1722 Mar 29, 2002

Hi Patricia,

Yes, I think youíre talking about the accumulator. Its about 12" or so tall and about 3" in diameter. The new pressure pump may have over pressurized it if it wasnít leaking before. Is it leaking only when the pump is running? By the way, welcome to the group...

Bill S., k113

1723 Mar 29, 2002

I donít know about your system, but I have never had an accumulator and the pressure water system has worked OK with two different pumps. So the water pulsates a little bit, no problem. I think you may remove it.

Dick Weaver SWII75K

1724 Mar 29, 2002


When I got my boat, it had an accumulator as well and it began leaking. I got rid of it and the water system works fine without it.

James Self, Niko (91)

1725 Mar 29, 2002


My System has also never had an accumulator and has always been fine.

Danny, #086S, Taralah

1726 Mar 30, 2002


On some pressure water systems an accumulator is installed. This device "accumulates" pressure, the air within the tank is compressable, water is not. When the water is initially turned on, the pump operates until the air pressure within the tank reaches a present value and shuts off.

When the water is turned on the second time the pump does not immediately operate until the air pressure drops to a lower level within the tank. At this point or pressure, the pump will turn on and build up the air pressure in the tank and shut off. This provides a smoother and quieter operation.

If you remove the tank, then each time you turn on the water the pump will activate immediately, this in itself is not a concern, as many boats have water pressure systems without accumulators which work fine, mine included and Iíve used the boat over 15 years without an accumulator. Bottom line is likely you can remove the accumulator and gain some more storage space for something else of greater importance.

Don Bundy

1774 Apr 7, 2002

Thanks for all the advice, info and welcome! I was able to replace the T at the base of the accumulator and fix the leak - all for less than $5!! I didnít know it was possible to walk out of West Marine having spent less than $5. The problem was the T-fitting had Ĺ" nipples (hard plastic) that had deformed when clamped down and were leaking. A new T-fitting with 2, Ĺ" to 5/8" adaptors did the trick. Now Petrel has pressure water again and we can get back to sailing. The weather here is Perfect for sailing these days. Thanks to all. Patricia

1775 Apr 8, 2002

Dear Patricia: I am delighted with your success, but concerned that your ability to sail was hampered by this T fitting.

In my quest for redundancy before going offshore, I used a few simple fittings, valves and flexible hoses to gear the freshwater hand pump (on the right, port side of the sink) so that it can pull from

(a) the icebox for drainage (original and still normal set up);

(b) the freshwater tank pickup as back up to the FW pump and, while I was at it,

(c) a plain open ended hose that can come out of the cupboard under the sink, and suck from any pail or container of freshwater, or directly from the FW tank through its cabin sole opening if pick-up problems.

All of these have served at one time or another, including © when the pick-up copper tube detached at the soldered joint and fell into the tank (in the Azores).

Be well, Bert de Frondeville Pianissimo 80K