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Old 14-08-2008, 11:38   #16
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Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
I've been using the Rule unit pictured (the 800gph version) for two years. It's been flawless. The screen is very large - a plastic tube the length of the case - I don't think it's every been more than 10% covered when I've cleaned it. The screen is also plastic with holes - it cleans quickly compared to metal mesh. The pump (as with most of these small bilge pumps) is also very quiet -- you can hardly hear it. So far, no failures of the switch or pump, but since they are the standard inexpensive Rule bilge pump parts so it's cheap to carry a spare.

Carl
So if I can summarise:
1/…Paul cautions that if you are installing a low positioned grey water tank in the bilges, you need to keep an external pump fairly low also because of the head pressure in the discharge line.
2/…CarlF has had no problems with the Rule System in 2 years but doesn’t say if he is a live aboard using it daily?
It would appear using 2 solves 1.

3/… Hair can build up even with macerator pumps (I have experienced this also) and needs servicing as Gord suggests.

That still implies the wisdom of using a screen for hair.

In my research I found on an Airstream website this comment on using the 2 (Rule type system)
Hi Malcolm; Being in Marine Industry for 41 years, please allow me to give you some input on Rule shower sump pump. It is a good quality unit and with good intent, however here are drawbacks you need to consider.

It must be installed at the trap exit level, which falls below the floor.
The impeller is a swept bladed plastic, press fitted onto aprox. 3/32" SS shaft as a displacement pump. It is easily plugged up and even more sensitive to hair wrapping around the impeller, thus deflecting the flow of water minimizing or stopping its function. With time, when the impeller gets jammed up too often, it will spin out and melt on the shaft loosing the press fit interference. In the sinks, you would need a relatively tight strainer to keep all debris out.

This is what made me question the submersible.
Anyone have experience with using it full time as a live aboard?
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Old 14-08-2008, 12:13   #17
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I'm not a full time live aboard but months at a stretch. I clean it about once every 60 days when I'm aboard so I don't think it would be more likely to clog if I was cruising full time - but the pump and switch might not last as long. Wear on the pump has increased with a new watermaker that allows longer showers but this is probably offset by the declining supply of clogging hair on at least one shower taker.

I think a screen is really important. As I mentioned, the Rule's screen is a 12" long plastic tube with holes. It snaps out and can be wiped clean with a single swipe of a paper towel.

My shower drain also has some plastic cross dividers that stop a lot of the hair at the shower before it get's to the sump.

Finally, I use two cleaners to keep the slime down. Once a week a 1/2 cup of vinegar goes down the sink (and a cup in the head). Less frequently a few squirts of Raritan's CP cleaner.

With the above approach, I've never seen hair wrapping on the pump. But again, the pump is only $25 and a new one snaps on the old base. So I would just change it if it began to give problems. You do need room below the shower pan for the unit.

Carl
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Old 14-08-2008, 16:34   #18
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Am very interested in the comments regarding slime build up as that is a problem we do not experience (including in the pipework) - I have only cleaned the tank I described once in 12 years and that was because of solids that got in there when doing other work in the bathroom compartment.

I don't know the answer but am wondering if this is because -

1. The tank is small (less than 1 foot square) and the flow enters one end and exits the other so maybe flushes through with reasonable flow rate. or/and

2. We also have a salt water pump in the bathroom basin which we use a lot so the alternate flows of fresh and then salt water maybe inhibits bacterial slime growth.

With salt water we use detergent type soaps (the hand/body wash types) and ordinary soap with fresh.
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Old 19-08-2008, 08:51   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
So if I can summarise:
1/…Paul cautions that if you are installing a low positioned grey water tank in the bilges, you need to keep an external pump fairly low also because of the head pressure in the discharge line.
2/…CarlF has had no problems with the Rule System in 2 years but doesn’t say if he is a live aboard using it daily?
It would appear using 2 solves 1.

3/… Hair can build up even with macerator pumps (I have experienced this also) and needs servicing as Gord suggests.

That still implies the wisdom of using a screen for hair.
......

This is what made me question the submersible.
Anyone have experience with using it full time as a live aboard?
Well, yes - but only for the last 6 weeks have we become full-time live-aboards...

We have two of the Rule shower sumps installed, and they work just fine except for one minor quibble: the removable lid is not watertight, so if for whatever reason you forget to switch the unit on before showering, it will overflow into your bilges. Two possible remedies: (1) just leave the sump switch on (ours is a pull-toggle switch next to the shower, so it's easy to bump it "off"), or (2) seal the lid using a gasket and install an air-vent line so that water entering the sump's inlet will displace any air in it.
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Old 19-08-2008, 09:59   #20
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I've been noodling over a shower sump under the sole. Has to take two showers, and two sinks on a big trawler I'm helping rebuild... (30 gallon household hot water heater... 1,500 gallons of water tank...)

What I'm pondering is a fiberglass box with an open top, and a drain lines running in well above the top. Then a sump pump/bilge pump mounted in the bottom mounted in a sump. With a mercury switch as low as the pump can pull.

Thinking that it'd pull down lower than any float based bilge pump. Hopefully not have a huge problem with hair, and out pace having all four running at the same time. I've entertained a 110v submersible sump pump, but don't like the idea of mixing 110v and water, but head pressure would almost not be an issue... and it would keep up with even if everything was going full blast at the same time.

I like that a plastic mesh (like screen for a window) could be zip tied around the pickup... every once in a while pull it out and toss it. Rather than a stainless screen that requires high pressure water, or dropping into a chemical bath to clean...

For the various odors, I'm thinking a chlorine puck once in a while would take care of that. The fact that its open to the top, means no screens and cheap to make. Spraying down with chlorox ought to be enough, at least... not much different than a shower.

I've dealt with the off the shelf electric sumps. The flow switches stick with hair, and the screens up stream of the pump plug up pretty quickly if being used daily. (Nasty job...) The one I fought with, was 110v powered and cooled by the water flow through it. Running dry it would get hot enough to burn you... and when the drain plugs at the sink, had enough pull to collapse vinyl hose, so you can't necessarily see where other clogs are. The one I battled, had a one way valve to keep a water trap in the line... that would get stuck too.

Been thinking a red and white stick on a float through the floor would be funny. Turn down the water! Look at how fast the water is rising...

Thoughts?

(I'll stick with solar shower on Pylasteki.... )
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Old 19-08-2008, 10:11   #21
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My shower sump pump went out in 1991 so I looked at lots of systems. I finally came up with the least expensive and most reliable pump ever. First I installed an inline strainer to keep the hair out and we have a long hair cat so most of the hair is his. Then I bought a red head bait tank pump rated at 500 gph. It is sealed completely with an inlet and outlet but it is top and bottom so I simply layed it on it's side and hooked it up.

It actually is too large and a 350 should work better. It is so silent I have forgotten to turn it off a few times. No problem there, not a big drain on the battery and it still works flawlessly.

Cost is very small and the best part is no smell like from the other systems with float switches, etc.

Only drawback is you have to manually run it.
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Old 19-08-2008, 10:33   #22
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For the various odors, I'm thinking a chlorine puck once in a while would take care of that.
You have to use caution when using chemicals. The normal hoses you might choose don't like harsh chemicals. It's fine for the PVC pipe in most homes but not for hoses.

You might make a sump such that the main sump has a smaller sump in the middle. This would let you drain out as much water as possible. Using a submersible pump you could make a screen that goes over the inner sump to trap debris. Nothing gets into the lower sump to clog it up. The upper screen could have a large area to minimize the problem of it getting clogged up. You still would need to clean it out.
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Old 27-08-2008, 14:54   #23
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Off-the-shelf sumps are causes of stress for the two simple reasons that they use centrifugal pumps, and homo sapiens have body-hair which finds its way into the impeller and clogs round the shaft.
I'd prefer a remote diaphragm pump evacuating an enclosure like a York-Box (our name for a waterproof fibreglass electrical enclosure) and powered by a momentary switch so the careless can't leave the pump running.
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Old 27-08-2008, 15:47   #24
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For the various odors, I'm thinking a chlorine puck once in a while would take care of that.
I too would be careful about putting chlorine (in whatever form) through the system too.

I think the main problem people have with smells is because they have tanks which are far too big. The moment one starts talking about putting the pump and filter inside the tank is already too big.

We have no smell or slime build up problems with a small ss tank and external multiport diaphragm pump with in line filter even though the tank is vented back into the bathroom. The tank is 9in x 8in x 6in high - I don't know the actual maximum fill level but is around about 3 inches so very little volume for anything to smell and it is continually refreshed by flow through it due to its small volume. It serves one bathroom with basin (both fresh and salt water taps) and shower.

All one has to do is a little bit of arithmetic to determine the pump size needed to more than handle the maximum flow from the bathroom (basin, shower, etc), take into account the dwell in the float switch (we use a SureBail which has proved completely reliable) and put that all together so that the pump is not running continuously or cycling on/off evey millisecond .

Is easy, don't know what all the fuss and complication is myself.
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Old 14-09-2008, 18:49   #25
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we don't have a tank or sump. Just a drain running direct to a pump. we've added a shower drain hair dam. it's a round soft plastic thing that sticks up about 2" and has small holes to allow water through but holds back most hair at the shower drain. Buy it at a bath store.
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Old 14-09-2008, 22:26   #26
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you guys are working way too hard...

my sink drains to a thru hull directly beneath it. my head sink drains to a thru hull beneath it and about three feet away. my shower has a strainer in the floor and then drains directly into the bilge. and since i keep after the bilge pretty regularly i've never had an odor problem.

keep it simple....
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