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Old 08-08-2016, 06:43   #1
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Bilge pump re-routing ideas

Hey guys!

I'm in need of re-routing my bilge pumps and I heed some help with ideas.

Current setup:
- Manual pump in cockpit (hard to reach while steering)
- Engine driven pump that can be engaged with a lever.
- Old corrugated hoses

There is only 2 output holes currently and making new will require a lot of time (aluminum boat with welded outputs).

Because I usually sail shorthanded / singlehanded, if there will be water coming in, I will be trying to find where it comes from. So I would probably not have a big use of manual bilge pump.

So I would like to install one electric bilge pump (Rule 1500) in my boat with better smooth hose.

What would be your recommendations? What would be good idea to do in short term without welding new piping (I can consider doing this later in winter)?

Would you maybe recommend some Y-valves to switch between manual / engine pump and route electric pump directly?

Thank you for any input on this!
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Old 08-08-2016, 08:50   #2
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re: Bilge pump re-routing ideas

No Y-valves or check valves in bilge pump lines.

Never share a bilge pump line.

Keep the manual pump; relocate near helm.

Look for non-metallic sea cocks.
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:31   #3
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re: Bilge pump re-routing ideas

I like your engine driven pump. Depending on the exact pump, that can move a lot of water.

I would go to the effort to install a new thru-hull for your new pump. There are good non metallic thru-hulls and seacocks available. I like the ones Raritan imports from New Zeland. The Marlon ones will work as well.

The Rule 1500 is a good value but for a few bucks more, you can get a Rule 2000 that is the same size and shape. Put an automatic switch on it. It worries me that you currently have no automatic pumps.
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:52   #4
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re: Bilge pump re-routing ideas

A hole saw and a drill and about 5 min. tops is all it will take to install a thru hull for a bilge pump.
But yes, real hose not that vacuum cleaner / washing machine discharge type corrugated junk.
Hook directly to batteries, not thru battery switch and have a good float switch, not a rule switch.
Maybe consider a second switch mounted higher up, that should never get wet, but connect to it a horn as a high water alarm. I have two pumps, the second switch is higher and connected to the horn so if my primary fails or there is a leak bigger than what it can handle and water level turns on the second, the horn will alert me. My bilge is deep and would hold at least a couple hundred gallons before water got to the sole and I saw it

These are real cheap, do not require ship power and work well, sound like a smoke detector if the get wet, just another way to do a high water alarm.
https://www.amazon.com/Zircon-Leak-A...nt+water+alarm
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Old 08-08-2016, 10:09   #5
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Re: Bilge pump re-routing ideas

Consider a vented loop if you have a long hose run. It's discouraging to see water run back into the bilge again after the pump shuts off.
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Old 08-08-2016, 10:30   #6
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Re: Bilge pump re-routing ideas

My recommendations:

1. Pumps suitable for maintenance and pumps suitable for moving water in case of a flooding problem are entirely different beasts, and don't confuse them. A good maintenance pump does not need to have great capacity. I use two Whale Supersubs for this (main bilge plus engine bilge), but a diaphragm pump which can be mounted higher is much better.

2. For moving water, a small boat needs, if anything, even larger capacity pumps than a large boat does. The Jabsco engine driven pumps might be a good approach to this -- choose the largest capacity pump you can fit. I have two layers of defense -- two jumbo Rule 4000 pumps, plus a portable crash pump, which is very large construction site macerating trash pump, which runs on 230v electricity. This latter does not need a plumbed-in hose -- I have a folding fire hose which is just thrown out the cockpit in case of need.

3. Pay attention to the question of debris in the water in case of a flooding emergency. It is inevitable if the water in the bilge gets above the usual level. You need either a macerating pump, or you need to be ready to be constantly cleaning the screens. Hard to do if you're single handed and busy looking for the leak.

4. An excellent macerating pump, which I would have chosen instead of my Rule 4000's, is the English made Bilge Predator, made for work boats. Could be a good solution for you. Much easier to install than an engine-driven pump.

5. I have my doubts about the value of any manual pump at all, but my boat came with one, and I keep it in working condition just as a matter of tradition I guess. I have a Whale Gusher 10, which is a total carp design with aluminum valve seats which corrode and render the pump non-functional if sea water gets in them. Avoid at all costs, and if yours is one of these, either re-do the valve seats every year, or ditch it, and get something made of plastic. But I really doubt that manual pumps will really help you. If you lose electrical power on top of a flooding emergency, you'll never save the boat with your own muscles, I think. Time for the life raft.

6. As others have said -- no check valves (except possibly in the maintenance pump, if there is another, higher capacity pump always ready), and no y-valves, in any bilge pump line.

7. You must have an anti-siphon loop in every bilge pump line.

8. Float switches are notoriously unreliable. The really good ones are the Ultra Junior ones. Expensive but foolproof.

9. All this is useless without a bilge alarm. Once the sole plates are floating, it maybe too late to find the leak. Make your own with an Ultra Junior float switch (or use the Ultra Senior one which can serve a pump plus an alarm) and a 12v alarm horn.

10. A flooding emergency checklist is a good thing to prepare and keep on hand.


Good luck!
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Old 08-08-2016, 21:36   #7
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Re: Bilge pump re-routing ideas

Hey guys, thanks for answers.

I should point out that I already have Jabco engine pump mounted by PO.
Reason for not making new thru hulls is that the hull is aluminum, there is a crash bulkhead on the back that I also need to pass and more routing problems.

As I'm preparing for a race on lake in few weeks I don't have time to do cutting metal in hull. So tbe only option (for now) is to find best solution with stuff that os already there.
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:04   #8
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Re: Bilge pump re-routing ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by xslim View Post
Hey guys, thanks for answers.

I should point out that I already have Jabco engine pump mounted by PO.
Reason for not making new thru hulls is that the hull is aluminum, there is a crash bulkhead on the back that I also need to pass and more routing problems.

As I'm preparing for a race on lake in few weeks I don't have time to do cutting metal in hull. So tbe only option (for now) is to find best solution with stuff that os already there.
In that case, if it were me, I would disconnect the manual pump and install the largest electric pump which suits the through-hull size.

And I would replace the corrugated hoses with good smooth ones.

Install a bilge alarm if you don't have one.

Then later, I would add two additional outlets, reconnect the manual pump, and install two electric pumps -- one maintenance pump, maybe a remote mounted diaphragm pump, and one good large capacity macerating pump like the Bilge Predator.


You can of course just leave it -- most sailors don't have pumps adequate to deal with any kind of flooding emergency, even for a short period, and sail happily for years or decades. Flooding is one of those rare but catastrophic events, where you are likely to get away with it if you cut corners preparing for it, or don't prepare for it at all. If you want to significantly reduce the risks, however, then you will want serious clog-resistant pump capacity, properly installed.
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Old 09-08-2016, 03:43   #9
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Re: Bilge pump re-routing ideas

As an interim solution you could do what did when I was part way through rebuilding our bilge pump setup. I had two of the bigger Rule pumps setup with long hose tails and electrical cables with alligator clips, and with a couple of access points in the cabin sole. The idea being that if needed I could drop the pumps through the access points and put the hose tails over the side. The pumps were stored coiled up and ready to go in the deck house.

As it was I got to test the setup through a bit of my incredible stupidity that saw us ship 1500 litres of water when crossing the Gulf St Vincent. The system worked perfectly though it took me a week to get the boat fully dry again. Still flinch at my stupidity.

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Old 09-08-2016, 04:07   #10
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Re: Bilge pump re-routing ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
As an interim solution you could do what did when I was part way through rebuilding our bilge pump setup. I had two of the bigger Rule pumps setup with long hose tails and electrical cables with alligator clips, and with a couple of access points in the cabin sole. The idea being that if needed I could drop the pumps through the access points and put the hose tails over the side. The pumps were stored coiled up and ready to go in the deck house.

As it was I got to test the setup through a bit of my incredible stupidity that saw us ship 1500 litres of water when crossing the Gulf St Vincent. The system worked perfectly though it took me a week to get the boat fully dry again. Still flinch at my stupidity.

Matt
That's an excellent suggestion.

A dewatering pump need not be permanently installed, and might actually be more useful if it is portable. Drawback is it will take a bit more time to deploy, so certainly should not be your only higher capacity pump. On the plus side, you could save someone else's boat with a portable pump.

My crash pump is not permanently installed; I have a folding fire hose which I would just throw out the cockpit.

A powerful pump could really save your butt someday. Worth considering.
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Old 25-09-2016, 16:51   #11
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Re: Bilge pump re-routing ideas

I have some questions about the recommendations made by "Dockhead". I am installing a Rule 1500 with a Mercury float switch. I will have a check valve near the pump to stop the cycling of the pump when the water in the discharge line try's to drain back. I also am installing small whale pump with a built in switch with a seperate line. The bilge is very shallow in the 38' Yankee so I don't have space for much water volume. The through hull for the bilge pump is way aft.
Please describe the reason for an anti syphon valve if you have a check valve in the line.
Also any further recommendations.
This project is a total retrofit so basically I am starting from scratch except for the thru hull.
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Old 25-09-2016, 17:17   #12
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Re: Bilge pump re-routing ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Transpac 67 View Post
...I am installing a Rule 1500 with a Mercury float switch. I will have a check valve...
Very bad tech.

NEVER install a check valve in a bilge pump line. Instead, use either a diaphragm pump, for drying the bilge, or one of the electronic switches that allows the centrifugal pump to continue to run for a few seconds after a normal float switch would have shutoff.

Run the discharge hose up to a vented loop, well above the waterline, then continuously downward to the exit T-hull.
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Old 25-09-2016, 18:06   #13
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Re: Bilge pump re-routing ideas

Thanks for the info.. I should have known better.
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Old 26-09-2016, 06:13   #14
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Re: Bilge pump re-routing ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
Very bad tech.

NEVER install a check valve in a bilge pump line. Instead, use either a diaphragm pump, for drying the bilge, or one of the electronic switches that allows the centrifugal pump to continue to run for a few seconds after a normal float switch would have shutoff.

Run the discharge hose up to a vented loop, well above the waterline, then continuously downward to the exit T-hull.
That's good advice

Particularly about the diaphragm pump, which is the only way to get the bilge really dry on a boat with a keel-stepped mast which gets rain down it.

My personal opinion is that a check valve is ok in a maintenance ("bilge drying") pump PROVIDED:

1. There is a large capacity ("water moving") pump in the same bilge space
2. Which is always switched on; and
3. Is automatically operated with a float switch.


A check valve is NOT ok in your main bilge pump, intended for moving water or in an ONLY bilge pump.


Diaphragm pumps don't need check valves or, to be more precise, they have check valves built into them as part of their operating principle.


The water cycling problem is a serious problem which can kill your batteries and prevent you from getting the bilge very dry, so it's worth doing something about.
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