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Old 07-11-2012, 06:42   #1

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
CRAZY water pump system

And I do mean for the water supply, not the engine.

A dear friend climbed down into my hold to cut a hole in my fuel tank and clean it out. He did a fabulous job on the fuel tank under very trying conditions.

While he was down there, he said, "What do all these hoses go to?" Hold is very deep and i can't get down there. I knew the exhaust hose and the fuel line, but that was it.

Turns out the water fill hose and the scupper hose looked exactly the same -- and he didn't label which went to which.

I've been out of town most of the summer and came back to really foul water after one trip, so I cleaned the tank out well and didn't even use it. Discovered it was filling up anyway. It made no sense.

I kept a close eye on it. One day not too long ago i manually pumped it out again into the cockpit, but i marked the water level on the side of the tank.

The next day, the exact same amount of water was in the tan.

So I poured food dye down the scupper, and the water in the tank turned red. mystery solved; he reconnected the hoses wrong.

HOWEVER: unfortunately I experimented with putting the kitty litter in the cockpit because it's much easier to clean up there. Welll, not if the cleaning water goes into the water tank ...

I had been draining the tank by running the galley sink. One day there was a pot in the sink, so the water flowed in an arc. This "waterfall" created an arc-shaped mini-dam of kitty litter clay.

This means I probably have clay in the water lifting pump.

I need to rinse that pump out thoroughly. My idea was to put VERY clean water in the water tank, cleaning out every residue of kitty litter I can find (NO I DID NOT DRINK WATER WHEN I DID NOT KNOW WHERE IT HAD COME FROM), run it JUST enough to get water in the pump, and then turn the water off and hold it there, let it dissolve the clay, do that maybe 50 times.

i was wondering if there was something I could safely add to the water (that wouldn't damage the pump) to assist it in dissolving?

This is what happens when you barter for boat help. Mistakes will happen.
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Old 07-11-2012, 13:46   #2
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Location: Kea'au, Big Island, Hawaii
Boat: Cascade, Sloop, 42 - "Casual"
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Re: CRAZY water pump system


Can you remove the pump and clean it while not hooked up to the tank? Can you remove the pump and take it apart to inspect the innards? It might save you cycling it 50 times if you can clean it separate from the tank.

Good luck on this one. That would have been tragic to contaminate your water while at sea.

What does your cat think of all this?

kind regards,
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Old 07-11-2012, 13:52   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Wandering around North America
Boat: Defever 43 - Gray Hawk
Posts: 595
Re: CRAZY water pump system

Clay won't dissolve. It will go into suspension but if it sits it will fall out again. Your only hope is running water and agitation. My guess is you're going to have clay in your water for a very long time. And every time you have a rough passage you'll find a little bit more. If it was clean kitty litter, learn to live with it. If it wasn't clean kitty litter, well, put some bleach in the tank and learn to live with it.
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