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Old 04-09-2009, 09:10   #1
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Bilge Pump Placement

My boats previous owners never felt the need to properly install a bilge pump / hose / hull fitting. I don't think sailing without one is very smart or safe. So on a mono hull boat where should I mount my bilge pump and float switch and also where should I mount the thru hull fitting and also will I need a one way check valve in the hose to prevent water from flowing back into the boat? I have read that you shouldn't have the hose running any higher than necessary to avoid over working the pump. Also i have read and it seems to make sense to mount the pump itself and the float as low in the hull as possible.
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:27   #2
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Yep, you have the basics. If you post what kind of boat you are doing this on, perhaps another owner may have additional recommendations?

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Old 04-09-2009, 09:28   #3
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It is a compromise, pump as low down as possible but still accessible for cleaning; outlet high enough to be above the well heeled waterline.
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:35   #4
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Put a loop above the exit fitting for sure. (dont ask how I know!)I would do that in lieu of having the back pressure of a check valve. I have done both though. Bilge pumps are very wimpy devices, they may produce decent flow unrestricted, but produce little pressure so any restriction is significant.... pump should be in the lowest part of the bilge.
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:41   #5
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I have 3, a manual pump mounted in the cockpit, a small (750) mounted low, and a larger (2000) mounted slightly higher.

Here is a link to where I wrote up the rational behind this if you are interested.
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:45   #6
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For the electrical connections, use marine wire, heat shrink tubing AND heat shrink connectors.
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:02   #7
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Well my cockpit is a self bailing design. But I tend to agree with your reasoning for multiple pumps. I hadn't thought of a manual, but thinking of it now, it might be a good idea.
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:04   #8
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another option on the electrical is to use a buss bar mounted just below the cabin sole as high as possible (this assumes the wires on your new pump will reach there and you have a reasonably deep bilge) You can spray the terminals with various products or use Dielectric grease (radio shack) Makes for easy change out, diagnosis etc. You can run nice big #10 wire to the buss bar and not have to figure out how to connect that to the wimpy wires on the pump. and when your new defective pump fails immediately it's easy to change out!!
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:20   #9
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That's really the proper way to wire most things, with a terminal block near the load so you don't have to cut back wire when you need to replace the device plus as Cheechako said, its quicker.
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Old 05-09-2009, 06:33   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
another option on the electrical is to use a buss bar mounted just below the cabin sole as high as possible (this assumes the wires on your new pump will reach there and you have a reasonably deep bilge) You can spray the terminals with various products or use Dielectric grease (radio shack) Makes for easy change out, diagnosis etc. You can run nice big #10 wire to the buss bar and not have to figure out how to connect that to the wimpy wires on the pump. and when your new defective pump fails immediately it's easy to change out!!
Yep.. Thats what we use on our boat- boats.. Frequently (2-3) years... The "RULES" will go out.. Especially the float switches.. So having the Buss bar just below the cabin sole works great..

Don't get some wimpy pump either.. When you start taking on water from a broken thru hull, bad sea cock, ANYTHING to do with the raw water cooling or exhaust on your engine.. Your going to be glad you have something that can keep up until you find the hole etc. and stop/fix it..
I have heard many stories of sailors under way going down into the cabin of the boat and finding a foot of water over the cabin sole from something going amiss while sailing or motoring.. (Many years with TowBoat US on rescue calls.)

The loop above the the thru hull is very necessary, especially if you have a "low" one or a sailboat..

You don't want to be healed over and your thru hull going below the heeling angle and sucking water in!!

And for motorboats.. when underway, the waves you push or other waves/ boaters wakes may cover your discharge opening and allow water back into the boat..

Float switches are notoriously failing due to gunk trash, connections etc. I always carry a spare..

You could get a "computer controlled" one that tests for water every 3 minutes or so and will pump down till any water is gone.. They will go bad too..

There is another type of bilge pump switch.. That has no moving parts.. but 2 electrodes that protrude from a hockey puck looking device.. You mount it sideways in the bilge with one electrode higher than the other.. When seawater rises up to cover both connections.. it will turn the pump on.. No moving parts..

There are also more industrial bilge pumps like "Loveitt" and others that will last longer and are commercial than the "Rules"..

Don't get me wrong.. I have Rules in all my stuff.. Just keep a good eye on them..

I test them with the automatic to manual switch and visually inspect the bilge every time I step back onto the boat..

Last thing.. Procure and carry on-board.. Wooden tapered plugs of various sizes, (preferably ones that fit your thru hulls) so just in case there's an accident, you have something to shove into the hole that was made to plug holes..

Sorry so long winded but more boats sink at the dock from failed bilge pumps than anything else..

Good Luck..
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Old 05-09-2009, 16:58   #11
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World's best nonfail bilge pump

= a terrified sailor with a bucket
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Old 14-09-2009, 15:02   #12
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After dealing with those $%^&^#$ Rule centrifugal pumps I finally got me one of these:



couldn't be happier.No problems for 5 years. If I wanted a crash pump, I'd probably get an Edson.
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Old 14-09-2009, 15:31   #13
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Remember -
If you have a separate float switch always mount it above the level of the pump's intake, not below. Otherwise, it won't turn off and could burn out the pump, etc.
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Old 14-09-2009, 15:33   #14
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After dealing with those $%^&^#$ Rule centrifugal pumps I finally got me one of these:



couldn't be happier.No problems for 5 years. If I wanted a crash pump, I'd probably get an Edson.
Rule centrifugal pumps suck and NOT in a good way. any tiny piece of hair or debri renders them useless.

My experience exactly and I did the same. Pump mounted high in a locker.
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Old 14-09-2009, 15:39   #15
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OK....What is it and how much did it cost ....what's the flow rate etc. Help us out here.

I have rule pumps too...one for every compartment. my O'day 25 has 3 distinct compartments so I have three 1000 GPH pumps with built in float switches. I have to test them on ocassion, and so far so good. I did once have an attwood switch wired to a rule pump, but the switch went bad after about a season. I don't thing even three pumps will save me if I hole my boat. I've read that a 2 inch hole will sink a boat in about ten minutes. The outside water pressure far exceeds anthing that a few rule pumps put out. So it's a losing battle. My bilge usually has about two inches of water anytime it rains. and the pump never kicks in unless it goes over say three inches. It's said that most boats sink at the dock from rain waster and condensation
leaking in from the deck. I have a little mini pump that I use to clean it out everytime
I go to the boat.
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