Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 13-08-2008, 21:21   #1
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,880
Best Grey Water/Shower Sump System!

I read thru all the plumbing posts to find out if anyone had done a users discussion on the best shower sump system on the market today.

The original system on Stargazer has sink and shower gravity lines which “Y” into an inline Pump in the bilge that transfers the grey water to a large central Sump Tank of about 1200 litres.

So whenever you use the sink or shower you need to manually start pump to transfer grey water to Sump Tank. Same arrangement for forward guest shower/sink.

This often leaves sink discharge welling up thru the lower shower drain if someone forgets to turn on the pump when they brush their teeth etc …. And then we get smell issues.

Also guests forget to turn off pump so now I have wired it forward that they need to hold down switch to drain shower pan…. Kind of inconvenient!

About every 5-6 days the large Sump tank is pumped out when the gauge indicates half full which takes about 30 minutes.

Apart from the double pump out power waste I have thought about using this large tank as an extra water tank">fresh water tank as it has a manhole for me to go in and repaint

So I am debating about switching to individual off the shelf Shower Sumps like this one here
http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|51|26832|319659&id=680799

I would need to buy them sight unseen and ship to the Philippines

A few product reviews seem to point out failures with:
1/Float switch?

2/Wisdom of using submersible in corrosive water versus an external pump?

3/Ease of maintenance in cleaning screen?


Whale, Lovett, Attwood, Jabsco, Rule, ITT… all seem to make one……
4/Any recommendations?

5/Should I stick with existing system? (worked for 26 years!)

Also, if I do this I am thinking to plumb direct discharge of individual sumps by tying into the air con salt water pumps discharge thru hulls using a vented loop or a check valve between the pump and the outlet.

6/Any problems or guidance you see with that?
__________________

__________________
Pelagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2008, 00:41   #2
Registered User
 
JiffyLube's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Oceanside, Ca.
Boat: Islander Freeport 36
Posts: 567
Images: 8
On our boat the head sink drains out the boat through its own thru hull just above the water line, and the shower drains via one of the shower sumps (don't remember the make). The water is pumped up and over a loop well above the water line, and then out through its own thru hull just above the water line. I just turn on the the sump pump before showering, and turn it off afterwards. If I left the pump on it wouldn't matter, because it has a float switch. The hair screen is easy to get to and clean, and I've never had any problems with this system to date. This system has been working this way for 27 years.
__________________

__________________
JiffyLube is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2008, 01:47   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2007
Boat: 1973 Morgan 36T
Posts: 808
Images: 17
Quote:
So whenever you use the sink or shower you need to manually start pump to transfer grey water to Sump Tank. Same arrangement for forward guest shower/sink.

This often leaves sink discharge welling up thru the lower shower drain if someone forgets to turn on the pump when they brush their teeth etc …. And then we get smell issues.


Also guests forget to turn off pump so now I have wired it forward that they need to hold down switch to drain shower pan…. Kind of inconvenient!
Why not use a flow switch. Water is turned on pump starts, water is off pump stops. You could but a timed delay on shutoff to allow for water to drain from shower/pipes.

Just a thought. Good luck man.

Paul
__________________
Morgan Paul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2008, 02:53   #4
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,880
Never thought of that Paul.....thanks! ...... only problem is that same pipes feed toilet flush

Still curious about off the shelf shower sump systems and recomendations
__________________
Pelagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2008, 05:18   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Colombo
Posts: 1,059
Ours is done in the way I prefer providing that direct overboard discharge of grey water is allowed in the region sailed in.

Shower and bathroom basin waste goes to a small ss sump tank (which needs a vent, we take that back to the shower compartment in case of an overflow, which has never happened) that has a SureBail float switch in it. The pump out is an external multiport pump for grey water (SureFlo in our case, but ours maybe now a discontinued model I think) with a strainer before it. Pump goes directly to the grey water discharge seacock manifolded with the kitchen basin wastes as well (so in that case we have to be careful that the seacock is always open when shower/bathroom basin used else the grey water from the sump gets pumped into the kitchen sinks ).

The ss sump is sized in plan area so that with the shower and basin taps running the lift in the float switch between off and on cycles the pump fast enough so that the sump does not overflow - resulted in a surprisingly small tank for us (less than a foot square). The level in the sump therefore fluctuates between the off and on levels of the SureBail switch. The sump tank has a clear handhole in the top (similar to those used in sailing dinghy bulkheads).

The discharge from the pump does not go through a vented loop even though the shower pan is well below the waterline - the valves in the multiport pump prevent backflow and the builder believed this was enough, but although I agreed with him I had him put a bronze non return valve in the line as well, just in case. If there were to be backflow it goes back into sump and the pump cycles to pump it out again - we leave the pump alive all the time we are on board. The reason we did this was due to the difficulty of finding a place to put a loop where it would vent into a wet area should its vacuum relief valve dribble - in a bigger boat or a small one with wet bilges or lockers not minded if get damp it may not be an issue.

The only issue is the strainer before the pump fouls very rapidly especially with woman on board due to hair even though we used a coarser strainer than the pump manufacturer recommended. In future I would put a removable ss gauze in the pan drain hole to act as a coarse first cut at the solids (another alternative I've seen is in the same place or inside the ss sump tank itself a holder for a ss pot scourer - the type that looks like turnings off a lathe - which acts as a strainer and is chucked away when fouled).

The sump seems to self clean. If you have a water trap in the shower pan drain (U bend type thing) rather than a thin rubber joker valve to stop smells coming back then the vent in the sump has to be large enough to take the basin drainage displacement of air without the water in the shower trap blowing back into the shower tray. We had a water trap but removed it as we could only fit a small diameter vent and we had that vented into the bathroom anyway - smell hasn't proved a problem except when the boat has been unused for a few days, that because the small sump is constantly flushed and does not act as storage of grey water. In positioning the sump one needs to keep in mind boat motion and heel and its effects on inflow, outflow and float switch operation - from memory, without reinventing it, I think this meant inlet, outlet and float switch are best on the fore and aft centreline of the sump tank.

In 12 years we have not had a failure of anything except I had to remake the soldered and lined heat shrinked 12v connections to the float switch earlish on due to the wet atmosphere in the sump but I remade them with lined shrinkwrap with a good dollop of hot melt glue added inside it for good measure and no further problem. But we do not do charters and few non boaty types ever on board so abuse is not a problem for us - use includes having lived aboard for an around 10 month period, and on board usually 2 days almost every week and cruising near 2 months per year.

Although I have never used one, I would personally be wary of a submersible pump inside a grey water tank - can't think of a really good reason why I feel that way except is easier and cleaner to maintain if outside and will not get covered in soap and body fat slime . Same with the strainer - in line outside means pretty clean to handle.

John
__________________
MidLandOne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2008, 05:36   #6
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
We have a similar setup as the Defender self contained unit. Ours looks a bit bigger and is a West Marine setup packaged as one part number with a Rule pump and float switch it has a clear plastic top you screw down. It runs drains only from the shower and for some odd reason the ice drain in the fridge. It came with multiple inlets. I have a panel switch to turn on but it operates only by float switch.

It also has a screen to trap the stuff that comes out the drain from the shower. It has one serious advantage in that it is a small self contained box I can easily reach and clean. The smooth plastic makes it easier to clean the build up. That alone is huge. If I don't clean it regularly is gets pretty nasty and smells really bad. I sure would not want all that mixing with any other part of the boat you could not get at.

Our galley and head sinks have dedicated through hulls. If you make the line very short and direct it works best. Our last boat had a galley drain that ran horizontally a long way before it went overboard. It was a pain to keep clear. The head drain on the last boat shared a through hull. The line was too long even if the shared through hull never was a problem. Stuff meant to go overboard should go there as quickly and direct.

Routing everything to a central sump sounds fine but so far I can't say it works best. Our last boat had central sump down the encapsulated keel. Any water drained there to the bilge pump. The shower basically flowed in a gutter to get there and be pumped over board. Many owners made false bottoms and used homemade sumps with pumps and float switches for the very reason it is easier to clean and service.

Pelagic I don't know if the idea of multiple little boxes around appeals to you. I think they could be made better structurally so making your is an option. Small is a good thing for servicing as long as you don't have do a headstand to service it. Minimize the hose lengths any way you can. You'll probably need check valves on the outlets and they really work poorly on long runs and leaves the rest in the run to set in place or drain backward.
__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2008, 05:37   #7
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,576
Images: 240
See the excellent Depco Shower & Sump Pump pages, for a short tutorial and numerous product choices from several manufacturers:
http://www.depcopump.com/catalog108/25.pdf
http://www.depcopump.com/catalog108/26.pdf
http://www.depcopump.com/catalog108/27.pdf
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2008, 05:58   #8
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,880
Thanks for the detailed explanation MidlandOne.

I have the same concerns about submersible shower sump pumps but no experience.

This Whale grey water tank has an external mounted float switch (not sure how it works?) and looks like a good setup, but has no internal screen

http://www.whalepumps.com/marine/product_list/13/128/
Anyone have experience using this model?

Presently I am using the Jabsco par 3 pump with the round screen filter just prior to it. The filter needs cleaning about once a week and it is not in an easy location.

Pumps are coming out now claiming they don’t need any filters.. like this one:

http://www.whalepumps.com/marine/product_list/13/70/

Is this just marketing hype or can you run them without filtering out the hair and stuff?
__________________
Pelagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2008, 06:33   #9
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,576
Images: 240
The Whale Gulper 220 shower and grey water diaphragm pump will self-prime to 12 feet vertically, run dry without damage, and incorporates inlet and outlet duckbill valves that are specifically designed to pump wastewater without clogging. This is supposed to eliminate the need for a suction filter.

I wouldn’t trust it to take care of hair.

I think the Jabsco PAR Max 3 may be a more powerful pump than the Whale Gulper.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2008, 06:43   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Colombo
Posts: 1,059
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
I wouldn’t trust it to take care of hair.
My feeling too.

I suspect hair in the bilges blocking bilge pumps is the origin of the old sailors' belief that it is bad luck to have women on board . Is a constant source of wonder to me how it is that they all aren't bald from the hair they shed .
__________________
MidLandOne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2008, 06:56   #11
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,880
Thanks Gord….. Excellent links you provided that found in one catalogue what it took me hours to research

I thought the Gulper might be too good to be true

When I look at http://www.depcopump.com/catalog108/26.pdf

The Jabsco and Rule system have a nice strainer. I think this is what Paul has.

I was hoping to find something similar but with an outlet so that I could fit my Par 3 pump downstream to it and not have to service every week.

Maybe I have to make something.
__________________
Pelagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2008, 07:27   #12
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
Quote:
This Whale grey water tank has an external mounted float switch (not sure how it works?)
One thing about self priming pumps is that while it may claim 10 ft it won't prime that high if you have water ahead of the pump. It can't push water using air all that far. To get maximum lifting the pump outlet needs to have zero resistance. It's how they conduct th rating. My fresh water pump is rated to 6 ft and it won't do more than about 2 ft if the water line has water and the supply is empty. If the source is quite low then you need to make sure the line ahead is clear of water that needs to be pushed before the prime can get a hold. I suppose if you mount the pump properly you can get it so gravity clears the line. It would also be likely that it's easier to get at too.

When you combine soap, hair and toothpaste they make a pretty tough residue that does not wash away easily. I think that the pump itself could be made just fine but unless the lines have very positive drainage build ups come quick enough.
__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2008, 08:24   #13
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,965
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
__________________
CarlF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2008, 08:54   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Anacortes, WA
Boat: Maine Cat 41
Posts: 325
My shower is plumbed directly to a dedicated macerator pump. No sump. No float switches. When I'm done showering, I flip the switch and pump it dry. After living aboard over 2 1/2 years, I've not had to even think about the system. The macerator pump deals with the hair issues. No goopy sump to clean out or smell. You can't 'forget' and leave the pump on, it's pretty loud. Yes, you're standing in a bit of soapy water at the end but you could start the pump earlier if you didn't like that. It's not like we're taking long, lingering showers aboard doncha know.
__________________
cchesley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2008, 08:59   #15
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,576
Images: 240
Macerator Pumps aren’t always proof against hair:

If some hair or string wraps around a macerator pump’s cutter head, it will wedge itself between the blades & the SS wear plate, causing the pump to run “slow”.

Disconnect the power to the pump & remove the pump. Look in the end of the pump & you can see the cutter blades. There is a nut that holds the blades on. Remove the nut by turning counterclockwise. You can keep the shaft from spinning while you loosen the nut by inserting a straight screwdriver in the shaft at the opposite end of the pump. After clearing the hair or string replace blades, install the pump & connect power. The pump should now pump at a normal rate.
__________________

__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
grey water, shower, shower sump

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Water Collection System rleslie Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 38 13-09-2016 10:47
Bleeding Fresh Water System rjarrell Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 5 09-08-2008 05:24
Water-displaced fuel system? nylarlathotep General Sailing Forum 9 22-02-2008 01:29
Raw Water Cooling System jjorg Engines and Propulsion Systems 14 16-01-2008 13:49
demand hot water system xort General Sailing Forum 6 30-12-2005 14:00



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:15.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.