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Old 05-08-2015, 14:44   #1
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Bilge Pump Filter, Yes or No?

We've been having incredibly warm weather here the past month, so warm that we had a fresh water bacterial bloom take place in the bilge today. The black pond scum then plugged up the inline pump protector filter. Yuck.

Got the stinky mess cleaned up, and now here's my question....

Is it necessary to have a pump protector filter ahead of the primary bilge pump? It seems to be counter productive if and when it gets plugged up just when you might need it most. If the filter is necessary, then what is the best kind, what size and what type of mesh screen?

Second question: What's the best detergent cleaner to really give the bilge a good scrub? I can't get down in there easily because it's so deep, but I can spray a hose and use a scrub brush on the end of a pole to get at everything.

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Old 05-08-2015, 16:14   #2
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Re: Bilge Pump Filter, Yes or No?

Electric or manual?

It is usual to fit a strum box on manual pumps and number and size of holes depends on size of pump and associated hoses. Much easier to clear debris from stum box then from inside of pump when pumping for your life!

Electric, I dunno; I'm just guided by the manufacturer provides.
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Old 05-08-2015, 16:21   #3
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Re: Bilge Pump Filter, Yes or No?

Beware. If your boat is broached by a wave or you are knocked down, there will be no end to the small items in your cabin that are ready standing in line to obstruct your bilge pump inlet as the float into your bilge. My theory is not to make it any worse by adding a filter but instead, working on treating the algae or using the boat more, or flushing the bilge, or....


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Old 05-08-2015, 16:24   #4
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Re: Bilge Pump Filter, Yes or No?

Re-reading the OP, just what is your primary bilge pump and what size mesh is in the filter. It sounds quite fine if an algal bloom can block it.

I would be conconcerned if my primary bilge pump could not handle 10mm (3/8") solids.

And why is the filter "inline"? I would expect it to be at the suction end of the inlet hose where it can be cleaned fairly quickly when required.

Sorry to have more questions than answers
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Old 05-08-2015, 16:52   #5
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Re: Bilge Pump Filter, Yes or No?

You need a strum box or cage around the pump. I would not use a screen with mesh less than maybe 1/8" or larger.
As mentioned it may make your pump useless as much as anything. Slime, pond scum etc should be able to pump right out. JMHO
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Old 05-08-2015, 16:55   #6
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Re: Bilge Pump Filter, Yes or No?

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Originally Posted by stevec195 View Post
Beware. If your boat is broached by a wave or you are knocked down, there will be no end to the small items in your cabin that are ready standing in line to obstruct your bilge pump inlet as the float into your bilge.
Don't you have a floor in your cabin?

Mark
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Old 05-08-2015, 17:10   #7
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Re: Bilge Pump Filter, Yes or No?

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Don't you have a floor in your cabin?

Mark
Mark, I recently/currently am having a nightmare of a problem after some unusually heavy sailing that caused oily scum to wind up in my bilge system. As a result I've been down on the boat trying to reach every nook and cranny on my bilge.

My end result so far though is having to shop vac my bilge water into buckets and carry it to Canadian Tire for proper disposal, so as not to leave a sheen. It's a real pain in the neck.

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Old 05-08-2015, 17:19   #8
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Re: Bilge Pump Filter, Yes or No?

I'd be worried about a pre filter blocking. The strum box should be enough. Don't you have one?

There are plenty of proprietary bilge cleaners. I use dish washer tabs dissolved in hot water. It works as well and is one less supply to buy as I have them anyway.
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Old 05-08-2015, 17:28   #9
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Re: Bilge Pump Filter, Yes or No?

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Mark, I recently/currently am having a nightmare of a problem after some unusually heavy sailing that caused oily scum to wind up in my bilge system. As a result I've been down on the boat trying to reach every nook and cranny on my bilge.

My end result so far though is having to shop vac my bilge water into buckets and carry it to Canadian Tire for proper disposal, so as not to leave a sheen. It's a real pain in the neck.

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So you CAN get just about everything you need at a Canadian Tire!

Oily scum probably didn't come from your cabin. If it did, you should hire a professional chef or get some personal hygiene advice.

Won't the scum float on water? If so, get some 3M oil absorption pads and detergent. Put the pads and detergent in the bilge, flood with water and mix around. The detergent will get the oil emulsified off of all the surfaces and the pads will suck the emulsified oil out of the water. Then just pump the water out and take the oily pads to Canadian Tire. Even if it doesn't float on water, the pads will suck it right out of the water.

You can even use the oil absorption pads as scrub pads to really go at the surfaces of the bilge. All the oil will go in and all the water will stay out.

I love those pads.

Mark
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Old 05-08-2015, 17:35   #10
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Re: Bilge Pump Filter, Yes or No?

Pads were the first thing I tried. I have a really deep dark bilge. Just forward of my mast support is a 1000 litre diesel tank and I can't get under it to clean.

I wish it was as simple as taking cooking classes or showering. I think I need a micro robot with spinning high pressure hot water detergent cannons.

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Old 05-08-2015, 17:42   #11
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Re: Bilge Pump Filter, Yes or No?

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I love those pads.
Mark
They should be free worldwide. Although, they charge for TP in some countries so maybe that's asking to much.
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Old 05-08-2015, 17:55   #12
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Re: Bilge Pump Filter, Yes or No?

I botched a tack in small seas(about a meter) and heeled over about 50 or 60 degrees. My pumps had been turned off all day because I was sailing, so I had a decent amount of water in my bilge. Now the gunk is everywhere.

Chalice et sacres monde.

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Old 05-08-2015, 17:59   #13
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Re: Bilge Pump Filter, Yes or No?

Kenomac,

I don't understand why anyone bothers with comical mass-marketed bilge pumps. Commercial pumps like the one I have included in this response do not need to be protected from most of the crap you would find in a bilge and the rest get chewed up like a garbage disposal...

KPM Marine Bilge Predator, KPM Marine Aluminum Bilge Pumps, KPM Marine
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Old 05-08-2015, 23:08   #14
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Re: Bilge Pump Filter, Yes or No?

We have an electric Jabsco 36600 series piston driven bilge pump with the larger grid screen installed on the end of the suction end. The inline screen that became clogged is just before the pump. I installed the inline filter last season when the Jabsco quit on me two days before the end of the season leaving me with a bilge completely filled with watermaker fresh water, so I installed a temporary substitute water pump in its place to pump out the bilge. The filter came with that pump and is quite small and looks to be an intake raw water strainer.

I left the strainer in place after rebuilding the Jabsco electric bilge pump three weeks ago. The bilge pump gets used daily, because excess water from the watermaker at start up gets dumped into the bilge (the first five minute of production or so), freshwater that's diverted from the water tank. Upon discovering the pond scum issue, I noticed that the primary fresh water pump had sprung a leak, so that will also be replaced later today.
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Old 05-08-2015, 23:14   #15
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Re: Bilge Pump Filter, Yes or No?

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Originally Posted by zboss View Post
Kenomac,

I don't understand why anyone bothers with comical mass-marketed bilge pumps. Commercial pumps like the one I have included in this response do not need to be protected from most of the crap you would find in a bilge and the rest get chewed up like a garbage disposal...

KPM Marine Bilge Predator, KPM Marine Aluminum Bilge Pumps, KPM Marine
I'm going to look into adding the KPM Marine bilge pump. The macerator is a good idea.

Any idea on how much a KMP costs? Apparently it's a secret because the company lists everything on its website but the cost.

Thanks
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