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Old 25-02-2012, 14:47   #1
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Bilge Pumps

I hope this is the right section for this.

Anyway, I want to replace the bilge pump in my corbin 39. Right now it has a Jabsco diaphragm pump mounted in the engine room with the suction hose going to the bottom of the bilge, below the engine.
I was told those old Jabsco diaphragm pumps are obsolete and that I need to upgrade to something more modern. The problem is, the only pumps I can find are all submersibles that have to be mounted to the bottom of the bilge. The only access I have to my bilge would be by removing the engine.
I know Rules are supposedly the best pumps but I can't find one with an inlet port that you can attach a hose to.
Any ideas or suggestions of what I can do?

Thanks,
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Old 25-02-2012, 14:54   #2
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Re: Bilge Pumps

One thought let the old Jabsco if its a diaghram bilge pump stay as a utility pump give it a service if needed. put a second pump, big pump a rule or such up in the bilge where you can access it. Jabsco takes care of the rain water and dripping stuffing box. Bigger pump is there to really get rid of water if the Jabsco cant. I have the same set up. The Jabsco has been very reliable as a service bilge pump but is not big enough to remove alot of water.
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Old 25-02-2012, 15:26   #3
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Re: Bilge Pumps

Whale gusher comes to mind there are plenty of diaphragm pumps available, maybe look for shower sump pumps, problem with these pumps is the can get junk in the valves. A good strainer will help. Maybe a rule on a stick to lower down. And I do think the Par/Jabsco pumps are still available just expensive as hell!
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Old 25-02-2012, 15:49   #4
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Re: Bilge Pumps

better do a lot more reading on bilge pumps.
there are 2 kinds of bilge pumps...
the ones that get nuisance water out of spots...like your "obsolete" jabsco..and then the ones that may or may not keep you afloat.
about 90 out of 100 suggestions/advice you get on bilge pumps will be wrong or short sighted...they all have to be thought as part of a big system that keeps your boat dry and afloat.
after you have read at least 20 articles by pros and 20 forum threads...then you will begin to understand.
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Old 25-02-2012, 18:04   #5
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Re: Bilge Pumps

Sabray: yes I was intending to leave the Jabsco in place so as to have a larger pump with a lot more capacity as a back up for when the jabsco can't keep up. My goal is to have 5-6000 gallon capacity between two or even 3 pumps.
I haven't looked at the diaphragm yet to see it's condition but what alerted me to the likelihood of it's imminent failure was the shower sump pump. It too was a jabsco diaphragm pump but a smaller one. It failed and I took it apart to have a look at it. It only had some hair stuck in one of the valves but the diaphragm itself was starting to rot. I put it back together and back into service but it only lasted long enough for me to pick up a rule the next time I was in town. I had found a new diaphragm for it but it was twice the price of a new rule.
So IF I can find a new diaphragm for the main bilge pump then yes, I will replace the diaphragm and leave it place as the back up to a larger pump.

Sailvayu: I the only way I can see getting a rule down there would be to remove the flywheel off the engine. Granted, this is an important enough job to warrant buying the puller and torque wrench but it would be a lot simpler to run hose down into the bilge.
And then there's the issue of a switch. It almost seems to me that the builder didn't foresee the obsolescence or failure of the inadequate bilge pumping system that they installed. Go figure eh!

Psneeld: um... thanks?
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Old 25-02-2012, 19:13   #6
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Re: Bilge Pumps

I rock:

- Little crummy auto electric for the 6" a month of water that randomly gets in.
- A gusher 10 for more water.
- A highwater bilge alarm that's really simply and loud. The sensor is clear plastic chamber with a little float. Water gets in the chamber, the float goes up, alarm sounds.
- An Edson stand up rig that moves a lot of water. You can move it around the boat (or to a neighbor's boat), and you get a gallon per stroke. My wife was 7 months pregnant and could operate it moving ~50 gallons a minute perpetually, more if you're scared.

In total that's probably $1500 in pumps, the most expensive of which I hope I never use other than to make sure they work. And if the hole is big enough none of it makes a difference anyway. Sigh.
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Old 25-02-2012, 20:23   #7
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Re: Bilge Pumps

Manual Pump mounted in the cockpit. Or where ever it will do the job. and anyother pumps you can fit in there ! There are never to many pumps when you NEED Pumps!!! I like a Manual pump right where I can get to it easy, mostly a couple of strokes is all thats needed if all is right !! and believe me with the right pump you can MOVE some water !! just my 2 cents Bob and Connie
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Old 25-02-2012, 20:43   #8
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Re: Bilge Pumps

I have two bilge pumps. One sits down there in the bilge. The other one has a hose that goes down to the bilge and a float switch down there near the foot of the hose. The pump itself is under the settee - not in the bilge at all. As long as the switch and the foot of the hose are down where you want them there is no need for the actual pump to be down there too. You want it as close as you can get it (i.e. as short a suction line as you can) but it can sit in a more convenient place.
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Old 25-02-2012, 21:03   #9
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Re: Bilge Pumps

I have a very deep keel with an engine sitting over it as well. When the Rule 500 gave up the ghost I started rereading everything I had and could find about the subject.

Getting the Rule out was the start of the battle. I ended up nearly upside down at the rear of the engine and was able to use the hose and a friend with an extendable pole to work the pump rearward (after cutting all the wires) so that eventually we got it out.

I worked a Johnson 4000 back into the same position in the reverse manner. I added a bronze screen cylinder to the bottom of the pump. I fabricated an aluminum piece of flat bar that attaches to one of the side aluminum angles that comprise the engine mounts. As it was being lowered down the front of the engine I installed a bracket to hold the hose and a bell strainer for a Jabsco utility pump that mounted on the bulkhead. Also at the very bottom of the flat bar I mounted an Ultimate switch that runs the Jabsco. This is my maintenance pump and I also bought 2 replacement impellers as spares. One foot above this I mounted the second Ultimate switch that runs the Johnson pump and this one is wired with a high water alarm. Above that (approx 8" below the starter) is another high water alarm switch.

This was my thinking, the maintenance pump with it's bell fitting can get the bilge down to about an inch. If it's not keeping up (blown throughhull), the Johnson kicks in and the alarm tells me to close the throughhulls and look for the intrusion. I added the second alarm (already had it a lying around) so that I'd get another warning before I start shorting stuff out. Time for the survival suits to go on, make last radio calls and get ditch bag.

I'd still like to add a hand pump and will in time I'm sure. I kinda agree that you should read everything you can find on the subject. Nigel Calder has some great stuff on it as does Casey, though I don't totally agree with the latter. There are some great resources on line of course too.

I disagree with your friends assessment of the Jabsco utility pumps. I can run hoses from the pump to anywhere for emergency fluid transfer and the pumps rebuildable. I like those 2 features.

I'd also look at pump choices while you're at it. I've come to not favor the Rule equipment for various personal reasons.

The deep keel under an engine thing is a pain. Keep at it though, you'll sleep a lot easier, I know I do.

John
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Old 26-02-2012, 15:38   #10
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Re: Bilge Pumps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Wraun View Post
Sabray: yes I was intending to leave the Jabsco in place so as to have a larger pump with a lot more capacity as a ---edited---
of a switch. It almost seems to me that the builder didn't foresee the obsolescence or failure of the inadequate bilge pumping system that they installed. Go figure eh!

Psneeld: um... thanks?
Again...think total system...If you can't mount a large capacity to remove water...you are WAY better off thinking Gasoline Trash pump. Less than 5-6000 gph is barely going to keep up in most any damage control situation and the trash pump can lift ti out of tight spaces...better to put the money there than a couple 500gph pumps that are overkill for nusance water yet way to small for anything but dingys.

Plus in most installs...you can halve the GPH of the pump due to "head", hose loss and sometimes low voltage (especially on many sailboats).
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Old 26-02-2012, 15:48   #11
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Re: Bilge Pumps

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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Again...think total system...If you can't mount a large capacity to remove water...you are WAY better off thinking Gasoline Trash pump. Less than 5-6000 gph is barely going to keep up in most any damage control situation and the trash pump can lift ti out of tight spaces...better to put the money there than a couple 500gph pumps that are overkill for nusance water yet way to small for anything but dingys.

Plus in most installs...you can halve the GPH of the pump due to "head", hose loss and sometimes low voltage (especially on many sailboats).
Can't disagree.

Doing a risk analysis for a lead laden vessel that will sink if flooded pumping has to be a No1 priority. That vessels are built without room to fit a decent engine driven bilge pump astounds me. Then again my experences is with fishing and charter vessels where it is a basic but a enforced legal requirement.

I fail to understand the reliance on small electric pumps for most vessels.
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Old 26-02-2012, 16:00   #12
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Re: Bilge Pumps

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Can't disagree.

Doing a risk analysis for a lead laden vessel that will sink if flooded pumping has to be a No1 priority. That vessels are built without room to fit a decent engine driven bilge pump astounds me. Then again my experences is with fishing and charter vessels where it is a basic but a enforced legal requirement.

I fail to understand the reliance on small electric pumps for most vessels.
Not saying that insufficient pumps are just fine to have on boats, but it's really not that common to have flooding of a catastrophic nature on a small boat that pumps do anything for. Guys who smash into containers report the decks being awash within a minute's time (Steven Callahan, etc). And for a cracked thru-hull or something of that nature you really can plug and pump pretty quickly.

I've seen and read a lot about pleasure boats ending up wrecked or lost but I really can't think of a single time where the crew said "if only we had stronger pumps we could have made it through".

I get the sentiment and being ex-navy and a current 100 ton master working on boats I'm familiar with uninspected and t boat requirements. On upper tonnage the issue is a lot different because you're dealing with collision bulkheads, should-be-trained crew, and water tight compartments in addition to *huge* pumps.

The old adage about a scared sailor and a bucket is true. Money is a limitation for most everyone and I can see why the focus goes into ground tackle, fire fighting gear, propane and gasoline safety, navigation, and other areas which really are on the top end of the lists for causing loss of life at sea.
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Old 26-02-2012, 16:15   #13
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Re: Bilge Pumps

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Not saying that insufficient pumps are just fine to have on boats, but it's really not that common to have flooding of a catastrophic nature on a small boat that pumps do anything for. Guys who smash into containers report the decks being awash within a minute's time (Steven Callahan, etc). And for a cracked thru-hull or something of that nature you really can plug and pump pretty quickly.

I've seen and read a lot about pleasure boats ending up wrecked or lost but I really can't think of a single time where the crew said "if only we had stronger pumps we could have made it through".

I get the sentiment and being ex-navy and a current 100 ton master working on boats I'm familiar with uninspected and t boat requirements. On upper tonnage the issue is a lot different because you're dealing with collision bulkheads, should-be-trained crew, and water tight compartments in addition to *huge* pumps.

The old adage about a scared sailor and a bucket is true. Money is a limitation for most everyone and I can see why the focus goes into ground tackle, fire fighting gear, propane and gasoline safety, navigation, and other areas which really are on the top end of the lists for causing loss of life at sea.
Well... after 23 years USCG helo pilot and 10 years assistance towing salvage...the reason why crews never say "if only we had stronger pumps we could have made it through". is because they abandoned ship before even remotely figuring out where the water was coming in. I can think of hundreds of that EXACT situation.
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Old 26-02-2012, 16:28   #14
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Re: Bilge Pumps

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Not saying that insufficient pumps are just fine to have on boats, but it's really not that common to have flooding of a catastrophic nature on a small boat that pumps do anything for.

The old adage about a scared sailor and a bucket is true. Money is a limitation for most everyone and I can see why the focus goes into ground tackle, fire fighting gear, propane and gasoline safety, navigation, and other areas which really are on the top end of the lists for causing loss of life at sea.
I simply cannot put bilge pumping anywhere but alongside ground tackle, fire fighting and propane and gas safety. Equaily important in my view even in coastal cruising and definitely for offshore.

My view.
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Old 26-02-2012, 16:29   #15
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Re: Bilge Pumps

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Well... after 23 years USCG helo pilot and 10 years assistance towing salvage...the reason why crews never say "if only we had stronger pumps we could have made it through". is because they abandoned ship before even remotely figuring out where the water was coming in. I can think of hundreds of that EXACT situation.

IMHO, after 20 years in the Bermuda Fire service, attaining the rank of Captain, and attending more ship incidents than I can remember, I feel most sailors have little idea of how much water ingresses thru a 1 1/2" hole 3 ft below the surface.
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