Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 09-09-2013, 08:55   #1
Registered User
 
Driftwoods's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Texas
Boat: 1987 Morgan 43
Posts: 118
How Often does your Bilge Pump Run?

My bilge always has a little water in it and I noticed my bilge pump runs about once every 2-3 days for about 15 seconds. I don't think it's a problem but I was wondering what would be considered abnormal?

I think I'll use the shop vac to dry out the inch or so that's always in there to see how long it takes to get deep enough to trigger the pump and I just like the idea of a dry bilge too.
__________________

__________________
s/v Driftwood
In some waterfront areas, driftwood is a major nuisance.
Driftwoods is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2013, 09:04   #2
Registered User
 
Capt.Alex's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Somewhere in the Bahamas
Boat: Hylas 46
Posts: 308
Re: How often does your bilge pump run?

Depends. Bilge water has several sources. Packing glands should not leak at all on the rudder, and should only leak a small amount around the prop shaft when running. My A/C condensate drains to the bilge so during the warm months I accumulate quite a bit. Your run time does not sound abnormal. Lots of rain can find its way into the bilge if you have any deck leaks, etc. It also varies from boat to boat depending on the volume of water the bilge holds. A long shallow bilge will take longer to rise to the point of triggering the float switch. Mine has a relatively small sump that fills rather quickly.
__________________

__________________
Capt.Alex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2013, 09:09   #3
RTB
Registered User
 
RTB's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Home port Kemah, TX Currently in Brunswick Georgia
Boat: Hunter 36
Posts: 1,509
Images: 2
Re: How often does your bilge pump run?

Have you tasted it? Fresh or saltwater?

Ralph
RTB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2013, 09:12   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
rebel heart's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,190
Images: 3
Re: How often does your bilge pump run?

A little bit of water in the bilge is no big thing. Don't give into the OCD impulse for a dry bilge.

I run mine once every day or so underway, manually. I have a Water Witch alarm that activates once there's more than a few gallons in there. It rings an alarm and trips a second bilge bump.

I have a deep bilge that can probably hold ~40 gallons just in the deep part, not that I make that a habit.

If you have a conventional packing gland, it probably drops a little bit, which is completely fine. The "dripless" shaft glands, and their failures, are the only time I've heard of someone getting flooding through the gland.
__________________
rebel heart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2013, 09:12   #5
Registered User
 
Driftwoods's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Texas
Boat: 1987 Morgan 43
Posts: 118
Re: How often does your bilge pump run?

Thanks Alex. My A/C condensate drains to the bilge also and it looked like there was quite a bit building up there so I was thinking that might be a source of the water. My wife looked at me sideways when I mentioned it as a possibility so I'm glad to see you list that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTB View Post
Have you tasted it? Fresh or saltwater?

Ralph
No. No plans to do so either.

I do need to put a high water alarm in my bilge just for peace of mind.
__________________
s/v Driftwood
In some waterfront areas, driftwood is a major nuisance.
Driftwoods is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2013, 09:48   #6
Registered User
 
sy_gilana's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On board
Boat: Van de Stadt 50'
Posts: 1,101
Send a message via Skype™ to sy_gilana
Re: How often does your bilge pump run?

Our Freezer expansion valve frosts up each run, adding about a tablespoon each time, then the halyard slots in the mast admit rain, it comes out the bottom of the mast, so we have a 5 second run every 2 days or so...not a worry.
__________________
Tight sheets to ya.
http://gilana.org
sy_gilana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2013, 09:59   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
Sailmonkey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Houston
Boat: '76 Allied Seawind II, 32'
Posts: 5,781
Before the dripless shaft seal, we'd run once a day for about 30 seconds. Now we can go weeks and the deep bilge is dusty. I also put a Venturi on the AC condensate, all that fresh water in the bilge is good for no one!!
__________________
Sailmonkey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2013, 12:32   #8
Don't ask if you can't handle it
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 12,319
Re: How often does your bilge pump run?

I don't know how often mine runs as I have never heard it do so. I do get water in mine and I don't really know when it comes from (I think sometimes it comes from the frig when I defrost and forget to turn on the shower sump at the same time). I do wet vac mine out every so often and it will stay dry a while then one day have a gallon in it (way below the float level).

Next time I run the engine a long time that really heats up the water heater I'm going to wet vac the bilge and see if the water comes from the water heater relief valve.
__________________
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
sailorboy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2013, 12:37   #9
CF Adviser
 
Bash's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sausalito
Boat: 14 meter sloop
Posts: 7,260
Re: How often does your bilge pump run?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Driftwoods View Post
No. No plans to do so either.
It's actually an important diagnostic to determine the salinity of bilge water. The good news is that you don't need to swallow.

I like to follow a salinity test with a good swig of single malt, just to reset the meter. Neat, of course.
__________________
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
Bash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2013, 12:41   #10
CF Adviser
 
Bash's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sausalito
Boat: 14 meter sloop
Posts: 7,260
Re: How often does your bilge pump run?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don L View Post
Next time I run the engine a long time that really heats up the water heater I'm going to wet vac the bilge and see if the water comes from the water heater relief valve.
It's not too big a job to vent that relief valve overboard. (That setup came standard on my boat. )
__________________
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
Bash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2013, 12:46   #11
Registered User
 
Delancey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Miami, FL
Boat: sunk by irma
Posts: 3,464
Re: How often does your bilge pump run?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTB View Post
Have you tasted it? Fresh or saltwater?

Ralph
Lol!!!
__________________
Delancey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2013, 12:48   #12
Registered User
 
Delancey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Miami, FL
Boat: sunk by irma
Posts: 3,464
Re: How often does your bilge pump run?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
It's actually an important diagnostic to determine the salinity of bilge water. The good news is that you don't need to swallow.

I like to follow a salinity test with a good swig of single malt, just to reset the meter. Neat, of course.
Have you ever tasted it and it tasted fresh?
__________________
Delancey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2013, 12:49   #13
Don't ask if you can't handle it
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 12,319
Re: How often does your bilge pump run?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
It's not too big a job to vent that relief valve overboard. (That setup came standard on my boat. )
Yeah, I could hook the relief up to the shower sump pretty easy. I don't run one of the showers much and it would probably be good to send water to it more often as it gets all foul otherwise.
__________________
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
sailorboy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2013, 13:11   #14
Moderator
 
Hudson Force's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Lived aboard & cruised for 45 years,- now on a chair in my walk-in closet.
Boat: Morgan OI 413 1973 - Aythya
Posts: 7,894
Images: 1
Re: How often does your bilge pump run?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
It's actually an important diagnostic to determine the salinity of bilge water. The good news is that you don't need to swallow.

I like to follow a salinity test with a good swig of single malt, just to reset the meter. Neat, of course.
I skip the bilge water tasting and let some evaporate from a shallow dish set in the sun. 'easy to compare the remaining salt to the same volume taken directly from the sea in a similar dish. I drink the scotch while watching the samples evaporate.

My auto bilge pump rarely runs because I regularly throw the manual switch and count the time taken until sucking air. With my dripless shaft seal, my increased time also comes with air conditioning condensate or some increase with rain dowm my masts interiors. Often I just get the one or two seconds that comes from the downfall on the bilge side of my anti-siphon loops.
__________________
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
Hudson Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2013, 13:35   #15
Registered User
 
PamlicoTraveler's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Depends
Boat: SB 43' Cutter
Posts: 679
Images: 13
Don't taste it....it could be your head or holding tank leaking and no amount of double malt will make you forget it...

We have bronze seacocks and they always seem to seep a little. Not a problem when they're turned off, so I don't worry about it.
__________________

__________________
The next best thing to playing and winning
is playing and losing ...
[I]
PamlicoTraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bilge, bilge pump

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bilge Pump Non-Return Valve Dockhead Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 91 30-04-2017 10:15
Different Wire Sizes In Bilge Pump Circuit cburger Construction, Maintenance & Refit 37 03-02-2012 06:36
Bilge Pump Situation Nibiruwayne Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 6 27-01-2012 18:47
making manual bilge pump automatic boat_alexandra Marine Electronics 4 01-01-2012 09:24



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:04.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.