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Old 11-11-2007, 17:59   #1
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Bilge pump recommendations

Just curious if anyone had a good choice on bilge pumps? I've seen the "Gold" series, and like those a bit: Rule 1500 Gph 5-Yr Warranty Pump - 04 - BoatersWorld.com

I have a bilge pump in there right now from the previous owner, but I'd sleep a bit better knowing that it's something I installed and feel comfortable trusting.

My next step is to put a high water alarm in, maybe 2' up the bilge (it's about 4'6" deep. I saw a neat one that was just a wooden ball in a sleeve. When it rizes up in its sleeve, it completes the circut, and it's time to get scared!
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Old 11-11-2007, 18:15   #2
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Maybe something like this is the "real" deal:?
Diaphragm Bilge Pump

If I got that, I think I'd throw that in with the high water alarm, and keep a smaller submersible to collect the little puddle that always forms over a week or two.
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Old 11-11-2007, 20:25   #3
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The Rule 1500 is a serious pump. The 2000 is a bigger version but needs a bigger connection. Before spending more money consider installing a second pump mounted higher than the first. The idea is should the first one fail the second one will be unused and go the distance. I've had a pump fail when it was needed. It was at anchor so land was close but I bailed all night.

The alarm is a good idea too. I would add a light at the helm to signal anytime the pump is in operation.
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Old 11-11-2007, 21:41   #4
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A guy from the CG here told me he would keep a low amp / low draw pump down in the bottom, and then have the bigger pump and alarm mounted a foot or two above that. Seems like a good idea.

Maybe I'll use that 1500 as my second stage, and drop something cheaper in the bottom? Good idea on the light. It's pretty hard to hear that thing in the cockpit, or even in the cabin at night if there's any music / tv on.
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Old 12-11-2007, 14:40   #5
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Maybe something like this is the "real" deal:?
Diaphragm Bilge Pump

If I got that, I think I'd throw that in with the high water alarm, and keep a smaller submersible to collect the little puddle that always forms over a week or two.

What is your goal? To take on relatively major leaks, or just keep the bilge dry?

That diaphragm pump is 8 gallons per minute. The Rule 2000 is 2000 gallons per HOUR, or 33 gallons per minute. The centrifugal pumps derate fast, the rating they give is for no head, no hose, at 13.8 volts. Figure a little better than 1/2 of the rating by the time you're done. They do give a derating chart in their manual, which you can find online.

The centrifugal pump has no valves, so if you use it as the bottom pump, all the water in the hose backflushes back into the bilge. Diaphragm pumps are better for leaving the least amount of water in the bilge.

Jabsco also has a diaphragm pump. I have no idea which brand is better. One of the pumps in my boat is a diaphragm pump because access to the deep part of the bilge is limited, so the pump and strainer are mounted where they are accessable.

Here's a thread I started awhile ago about disaster pumps and flooding rates.

Another Bilge Pump Thread

John
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Old 12-11-2007, 15:19   #6
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I meant Whale also has a diaphragm pump, your link already references the Jabsco pump.

John
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Old 12-11-2007, 18:16   #7
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IMHO, those diaghram pumps suck.

They rust, the bearings go out, the belts break.....yuck...very old technology.

I agree with Pblais, a second pump is a must (on separate fuses). Bilge pumps are not intended to "keep your bilge dry". They are intended to keep your boat from sinking in the event that you have a water intrussion.

You keep your bilge dry with maintenance. There is no excuse for having a wet bilge. If your packing is leaking....fix it. If you have a leaky rudder shaft.....fix it. If you have anything else getting your bildge wet.....fix it. It's not hard and it pays dividends.

Bildge pumps are like insurance. You have them so that you never have to use them.
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Old 12-11-2007, 19:39   #8
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The advantage to the diaphragm pumps over the centrifugal pumps is the diaphragm pumps will pull water "uphill" better and they wont sit there spinning in your bilge not pumping water like so many centrifugal pumps do. The advantage to centrifugal pumps is they pump a whole lot more water.

The diaphragm pumps are more complex and they do tend to rust.

I would choose centrifugal pump because of their high capacity in case you knock off a thruhull or a hose pulls off. One of each type of pump is ideal.

I have to disagree about the philosophy that if there is water in the bilge then there is something wrong. There are so many ways for water to get into a bilge that for there to be a little water in there is pretty normal.
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Old 12-11-2007, 20:38   #9
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Yeah I'm not in the "dry bilge" mindset either. My shaft drips a tiny bit when in use, and I'm just fine with that. My buddy has a wooden ketch (Mariner 40), and as he explained it, it's either a bilge pump coming on once a day, or spending $40K in wooden hull repairs.
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Old 12-11-2007, 21:45   #10
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IMHO, those diaghram pumps suck.

They rust, the bearings go out, the belts break.....yuck...very old technology.

I agree with Pblais, a second pump is a must (on separate fuses). Bilge pumps are not intended to "keep your bilge dry". They are intended to keep your boat from sinking in the event that you have a water intrussion.

You keep your bilge dry with maintenance. There is no excuse for having a wet bilge. If your packing is leaking....fix it. If you have a leaky rudder shaft.....fix it. If you have anything else getting your bildge wet.....fix it. It's not hard and it pays dividends.

Bildge pumps are like insurance. You have them so that you never have to use them.
I think that the diversity of boats makes a single solution with one outcome unconsidered. I have an encapsulated keel, my bilge is about 4 feet deep under the cabin sole, behind the lead. It is fairly narrow and the access port is not large and the engine cover has to be removed to get to it. If I dropped a pump down there and it clogged, it would take awhile to get it out to clear it. The previous owner had put a diaphragm pump where it and the strainer for it is accessible. I think he did the right thing, but didn't go far enough. I added a centrifugal pump on top of the lead, it is only about 1.5 feet below the cabin sole, and it is easily accessible, but it isn't going to see water until there is more than 12 gallons of water in the keel. I also added an alarm to that pump to let me know if I have that big of a problem.

I'm lucky, my 42 year old boat only leaks when it gets significant water on deck. It's a small leak and I haven't found where it's coming from yet.

It would be nice to have a dry boat, but there are people with wood hulls, wood decks, older boats, and people with either inadequate money, or inadequate skills that do have an excuse, unless they are to be condemned to being boatless.

John
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Old 12-11-2007, 21:59   #11
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Sorry....I didn't mean that to sound like a "self-righteous rant" .

Wood boats certainly are harder to keep dry and actually, it is less harmfull for wood boats then other mediums like F/G, steel or aluminum.
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Old 14-11-2007, 20:16   #12
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Right now my brain hurts!

I remember having a brochure for a bilge pump that was all mechanical in that its impeller mounted on your prop shaft...and then there was a housing that encased it... and the impeller just spun with the shaft...but there was no issue of wear and tear...since the housing was not so tight that anything made contact. If the water in your bilge rose to the level of this pump....and you kept your engine(s) running...then this type of pump would move a tremendous amount of water out of the boat through the above waterline through-hull.

Problem is...I can't remember the name of it, and google didn't help much

Seems like a really good item...as long as you are underway.

Otherwise...good heavy duty pumps are needed.
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Old 14-11-2007, 21:39   #13
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Right now my brain hurts!

I remember having a brochure for a bilge pump that was all mechanical in that its impeller mounted on your prop shaft...and then there was a housing that encased it... and the impeller just spun with the shaft...but there was no issue of wear and tear...since the housing was not so tight that anything made contact. If the water in your bilge rose to the level of this pump....and you kept your engine(s) running...then this type of pump would move a tremendous amount of water out of the boat through the above waterline through-hull.

Problem is...I can't remember the name of it, and google didn't help much

Seems like a really good item...as long as you are underway.

Otherwise...good heavy duty pumps are needed.
Ericson. Did you ever test it, or would that have been enough water in your boat to cause problems.

I was asking about this pump in the disaster pump thread I referenced.

John
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Old 15-11-2007, 00:32   #14
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I see I didn't read your post very carefully. Never mind about whether you tested it.

Here's the link for Ericson

ESP

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Old 15-11-2007, 05:58   #15
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I see I didn't read your post very carefully. Never mind about whether you tested it.

Here's the link for Ericson

ESP

John
John... Many THANKS for the link!! Now my head doesn't hurt! We never got one installed in our sailboat...but it was on the list. I think I will put this one on the list for the trawler...with a much higher priority.... I have always had a mild case of the "willies" when running at night...and not being able to see whats in the water, and with container ships dropping containers that sometimes don't sink...a pump or two like this could make life a whole lot easier...as long as you can keep your engine(s) running.

Bookmarked it! Thanks again!!
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