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Old 12-07-2018, 04:10   #1
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freshwater pumps that don't work

Big surprise I need to replace my freshwater system pump AGAIN.. This is the third pump in six years. What is with the pump manufacturers that they cannot build a reliable, durable, long lasting pump. I live aboard so the pump gets a lot of use, and I have tried every pump out there from $200 - $800 and they are all plastic crap. Short of buying something in the $1500 - $2000 range which is serious overkill for a 44' boat with 4 outlets what do you get that will last? I pulled the head off the last dead pump to install the rebuild kit and 25 pieces of plastic shot out all over the place that an engineer could not reassemble. I have had computer controlled variable speed plastic junk, I have had dual pump fancy setups mounted on starboard, JUNK. I am really running out of patience. Has anybody found a good pump that will last more than 2 years with heavy usage?
I am seriously thinking about installing a 110 volt heavy duty non marine pump this time.
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Old 12-07-2018, 04:26   #2
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Re: freshwater pumps that don't work

Quote:
Originally Posted by rourkeh View Post
Big surprise I need to replace my freshwater system pump AGAIN.. This is the third pump in six years. What is with the pump manufacturers that they cannot build a reliable, durable, long lasting pump. I live aboard so the pump gets a lot of use, and I have tried every pump out there from $200 - $800 and they are all plastic crap. Short of buying something in the $1500 - $2000 range which is serious overkill for a 44' boat with 4 outlets what do you get that will last? I pulled the head off the last dead pump to install the rebuild kit and 25 pieces of plastic shot out all over the place that an engineer could not reassemble. I have had computer controlled variable speed plastic junk, I have had dual pump fancy setups mounted on starboard, JUNK. I am really running out of patience. Has anybody found a good pump that will last more than 2 years with heavy usage?
I am seriously thinking about installing a 110 volt heavy duty non marine pump this time.
Try a 'TopsFlo' 12 VDC centrifugal type, but only if you can mount below water supply level as the will not self prime. Otherwise they are a quiet, simple magnetic drive and last for years. It is running dry that kills most of these mini pumps.

Cheers OzePete
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Old 12-07-2018, 04:31   #3
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Re: freshwater pumps that don't work

Have you tried the Jabsco PUR belt driven pumps? Ours were 30+ years old and still working fine (with new rubber parts every so often). Something like this?

https://www.defender.com/product.jsp...231&id=3960045


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Old 12-07-2018, 06:12   #4
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Re: freshwater pumps that don't work

Agree with Matt. Had a Jabsco belt driven on the boat for 26years with one rebuild in that time. Replaced it about 4 years ago due to a lot of surface corrosion with the same pump and still going strong. I’m also a full time live aboard on a 44’. The great thing is they are completely rebuildable and parts are easy to come by.
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:19   #5
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freshwater pumps that don't work

Hunh. I live aboard and my Shurflo 4 gpm on demand pump is five years old and fine.

What is the failure mode of your pumps?
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:22   #6
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Re: freshwater pumps that don't work

Hhmm.. We have a Jabsco PAR-MAX 3.5. Since there are 5 of us aboard it gets some pretty hard use. Its now over 2 years old (about 28 months).


Your post is making me think I will be due for a replacement soon.
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:55   #7
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Re: freshwater pumps that don't work

I'm adding an accumulator to my pump because i noticed the difference in shock loading to the pump is a lot less with an accumulator in the system. It acts like a shock absorber. Maybe this would help?
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:07   #8
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Re: freshwater pumps that don't work

Lots of long term live-aboards have solved their crappy 12v. fresh water pump frustrations by switching to a 110v 1/2hp shallow-well pump (check Amazon) with a 2+ gal. residential accumulator tank (the larger the better). Gould is one of the better pump brands, albeit a little more expensive. Of course you need an inverter to run a 110v pump. Shallow well pumps were designed for rural home use and can last 30 yrs or more. Plumbing them in is a little more complex since they typically have 1" threaded input/discharge ports meaning reducers and maybe hose barbs are required, but that's not really a big deal. Most are self-priming up to 25' so having them mounted a few feet above the water tanks isn't a problem. Space, especially for the accumulator tank (don't use the small Jabsco/Shurflo plastic tanks) may be the only issue.
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:29   #9
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Re: freshwater pumps that don't work

So recently the big thing was the variable speed pumps. No accumulator required. How have those worked out for longevity? haven't heard a word about them for quite a while.
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:54   #10
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Re: freshwater pumps that don't work

110 volt shallowwell pump or Groco Paragon series low voltage pumps.
My Paragon Jr was still going strong after 28 years. Replaced the pressure switch once.
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:23   #11
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Re: freshwater pumps that don't work

Cheechako, just installed a variable speed 12V fresh water pump (Aquajet AES 12 @ $185) and removed accumulator per the folks at RV Water Filter Store, Aguanga, CA. needed the high pressure (120 psi) to push thru new filter. Replaced all fresh water lines with 1/2 inch pex, sharkbite push-on connections, 3 new faucets, new water heater. Only in place for 2 wks so cant give you longevity info, but will try and update all in 1 yr as to status..thnks Dave PS..Removed a Jabsco belt drive pump that was still working like a charm, albeit with external corrosion evident. But the 40psi just wasn't hi enof for new filter.
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:28   #12
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Re: freshwater pumps that don't work

Quote:
Originally Posted by rourkeh View Post
Big surprise I need to replace my freshwater system pump AGAIN.. This is the third pump in six years. What is with the pump manufacturers that they cannot build a reliable, durable, long lasting pump. I live aboard so the pump gets a lot of use, and I have tried every pump out there from $200 - $800 and they are all plastic crap. Short of buying something in the $1500 - $2000 range which is serious overkill for a 44' boat with 4 outlets what do you get that will last? I pulled the head off the last dead pump to install the rebuild kit and 25 pieces of plastic shot out all over the place that an engineer could not reassemble. I have had computer controlled variable speed plastic junk, I have had dual pump fancy setups mounted on starboard, JUNK. I am really running out of patience. Has anybody found a good pump that will last more than 2 years with heavy usage?
I am seriously thinking about installing a 110 volt heavy duty non marine pump this time.

Do you have an expansion/accumulator tank? It sounds as though you do not. This is a the problem. Basically, no matter what the supplier says, without one you do not have a proper system.
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:59   #13
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Re: freshwater pumps that don't work

I agree re f/water pumps. After 4 Whale pumps in 4 years , all under warranty , I changed both pumps to a small household type. 240vac but very reliable 3 years later. Dishwashers and washing machines seen to stuff the marine type pumps.. It's the solenoids opening and closing rapidly that may stuff the pump seals.
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Old 12-07-2018, 13:46   #14
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Re: freshwater pumps that don't work

Quote:
Originally Posted by funjohnson View Post
Have you tried the Jabsco PUR belt driven pumps? Ours were 30+ years old and still working fine (with new rubber parts every so often). Something like this?

https://www.defender.com/product.jsp...231&id=3960045


Matt
I agree with Matt. We have the same pump, now 32 years old, but still going strong. I do oil the motor wit a few drops of 3-in-1 once in awhile and did replace the valves once and the shock damper base in 2006 but other than that we've been good. We do have an accumulator but backed off to a 20 PSI pressure switch as the 40 PSI seemed unnecessary. I carry spares for everything on the unit in vacuum packs but haven't needed them while on a cruise yet.

FWIW...
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Old 12-07-2018, 13:59   #15
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Re: freshwater pumps that don't work

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Do you have an expansion/accumulator tank? It sounds as though you do not. This is a the problem. Basically, no matter what the supplier says, without one you do not have a proper system.
Thinwater, I don’t think I’ve ever disagreed with you but there is always a first time. The new variable speed pumps are designed to operate without an expansion tank. In fact it seems to hurt them when there is a tank in the system.
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