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Old 18-05-2013, 08:49   #1
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Converting from Electric Pump to Foot Pumps

Hi all,

As my departure date draws closer, I am thinking about switching from an electrical water pump system to all or partially manual pumps. Do any of you have a favorite brand and model of foot pump to recommend? Also, when you do this do you lose hot water in the sinks? Would you run the same clear PVC hose or would you go with the small water pipe?

Any tips or suggestions are very welcome.

Thanks, Bill
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Old 18-05-2013, 09:07   #2
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Re: Converting from Electric Pump to Foot Pumps

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Originally Posted by montenido View Post
Hi all,

As my departure date draws closer, I am thinking about switching from an electrical water pump system to all or partially manual pumps. Do any of you have a favorite brand and model of foot pump to recommend? Also, when you do this do you lose hot water in the sinks? Would you run the same clear PVC hose or would you go with the small water pipe?

Any tips or suggestions are very welcome.

Thanks, Bill
In our gallery, we have a Whale Gusher double action foot pump with a line T'd into the main freshwater line from our tanks. (The advantage of the foot pump is that it leaves both hands free for washing etc.) When underway or anchored out we keep the pressure water system turned off unless it is needed for pumping hot water for showering or washing dishes. While we could add hand or foot pumps to the heads as well, instead we have a couple of 1-quart plastic pitchers with lids that allow one to take water from the galley to the heads for brushing teeth, hand washing and the like. We've been following this convention since the mid-'70's it has worked well.
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Old 18-05-2013, 09:09   #3
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Re: Converting from Electric Pump to Foot Pumps

Hello Bill... I have both the pressure pump and a hand pump. My set-up is as follows:

Tank to
Water filter to
Tee --
One side of tee goes to my pressure system and the other (IMPORTANT!) has a shut off/one way valve, to the Whale brand hand pump.
The other side goes directly to the pressure pump that then goes to all points in the boat.

What I wish is that I'd installed a foot pump with salt water in the galley sink too -- to do pre-rinse of stuck on foods though frankly my bailing bucket on a rope is okay (and free0

Contrary to popular lore, I use more water with the hand pump than my pressure system. With the 12-volt pump I can just barely nudge on the water but my hand pump puts out quite a gush.

Anyway, I like having both available -- though primarily (except for showers) the pressure system is off.
I use the same hose everywhere (well, I do have the red-thread hose for hot water) but essentially it's the same enforced hose that is standard for boats. When my tank is low the hand pump takes longer to bring up water. It pulls fine thru the $20 Home Depot house water filter (the 10" or so size) without any issues -- specifically, I do not believe you need that "special" (read: expensive) filter that Whale will be happy to sell you.

Happy voyaging.
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Old 18-05-2013, 14:50   #4
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Re: Converting from Electric Pump to Foot Pumps

We wanted to keep our pressure water system and also add a foot pump at the galley.
Our hull design doesn't allow enough space for one, so we went with one of
these instead:

delta h20 touch faucet - Bing Images

We purchased it from Amazon iirc.
It's been great! I can save a lot of water when washing dishes.
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Old 18-05-2013, 15:27   #5
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Re: Converting from Electric Pump to Foot Pumps

Keep the pressure, get yourself a Scandvik Water Saver for the galley faucet at least. Once you have it installed you just touch it and get water, release and no water. Allows you to rinse dishes or wash hands with very little water. In the head I installed a standard garden sprayer head with various settings from mist to full, and you just touch the handle to get a dribble. I think it might save more water than even foot pumps, which are very handy to have as back ups.
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Old 18-05-2013, 15:51   #6
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Re: Converting from Electric Pump to Foot Pumps

The whale gusher foot pumps are lovely. At anchor unless you run the engine, hot water is an issue. I just heat water in a pot on the stove or in a bucket (solar) on deck. Shower is now a garden sprayer on deck (summer)

I just used the vinyl hose. There is very little pressure so just about any drinking water safe hose will work
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Old 18-05-2013, 15:52   #7
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Re: Converting from Electric Pump to Foot Pumps

I would steer clear of Fynspray hand pump like we put in the head. Worked fine for about a year then would not hold prime and pumped poorly. Unfortunatly you can't take it all the way apart to re-seal or lube.
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Old 18-05-2013, 16:09   #8
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Re: Converting from Electric Pump to Foot Pumps

I'm using a combination of Whale and TMC foot pumps. The TMC pumps are a Chinese, I assume, knock off of the Whale pump that have proven very reliable in 5 years of intermittant use. One of the pumps is Salt Water and the other two are freshwater, one in the galley and one in the head. The freshwater pumps are 'T'd' into the line from the tank also feeding the pressure pump suction side. Don't know if it's necessary but put a swing check valve on the intake side of the foot pumps to insure that the pressure pump wouldn't suck air through the foot pumps.

Foot pumps work great leaving both hands free to do things like hang on in a seaway and wash a pan or hold a container at the same time. Have found hand pumps to be totally stupid, awkward to use, seriously lacking in capacity per stroke and wishing I was a circus freak with three hands.

Water usage with the foot pumps is about a 10th of that than with the pressure system. Maybe if I had an instant on dead man pump switch, the pressure pump wouldn't be so wasteful but then I'd need that third hand again to actuate the pump while hanging on with the others to the boat and container.

Have thought about getting a pressure pump for salt water. Saltwater is something that's not in short supply and there are times when it's nice to have a long steady stream of pressure water.
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Old 18-05-2013, 16:23   #9
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Re: Converting from Electric Pump to Foot Pumps

Oh yes. Go pressure salt water. It's great Our electric salt water pressurized system goes to the bow for washing down deck, anchor etc. and to the head, we spray out the toilet instead of using the hand pump. Go PEX
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