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Old 26-06-2018, 16:52   #1
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Ice box "drain" with plumbing I just don't get.

No fridge on our boat, we use the icebox which generally works fine (48+ degrees latitude, not exactly blazing hot). We don't use ice generally we use frozen water jugs from our Engel portable freezer, so we haven't had problems with draining the icebox before. But I damaged a canned adult beverage that drained into the bottom of the icebox, which caused me to discover the ice box "drain" setup is just not something I can comprehend.


From the bottom drain plug of the icebox there was a 90 degree elbow then a horizontal hose then another 90 and then a hose about 2’ tall that then went into a y valve in my bilge pump drain hose. Y valve has always been set toward the bilge pump and that works fine, but for the life of me I can’t see how the ice box drain hose was supposed to “drain” the bottom of the icebox when the outlet it 2’ higher than the inlet and there’s no inline pump or anything?





I will now plug it off, but I sure can’t drain it anyway other than with a shop vac... or am I missing something colossal (venturi effect, supposed to go down into bilge first, ???)


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Old 26-06-2018, 18:14   #2
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Re: Ice box "drain" with plumbing I just don't get.

I'm trying to understand what the other position of the Y valve would do - did someone think it would allow the bilge pump to empty the icebox, or was it supposed to pump bilge water into the icebox to keep it cool, or ?


In any case, I would start by replacing the whole thing with a straight run from the bilge pump overboard, with no other connections, and then deal with the ice box. Others with more experience will refine this suggestion.
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Old 26-06-2018, 18:55   #3
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Re: Ice box "drain" with plumbing I just don't get.

You're absolutely sure there's no inline pump on the ice box drain hose? I believe that's what it's designed for allowing you to have only one through hull fitting.
Much better than allowing it to drain into the bilge.
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Old 26-06-2018, 19:40   #4
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Re: Ice box "drain" with plumbing I just don't get.

My ice box drain has three 90 degree fitting in the the hose just below the box. One day the box wouldn't drain, I discovered this and was confused.

With the bends in the hose I couldn't snake the line. I traced the hose to where it terminated in the bilge. Decided to try blowing on the line, which cleared it.

I relaxed after the box started to drain, and that gave me clarity of thought — I decided an previous owner did that to create a P trap, which stops the chilled air from drain down into the bilge.
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Old 26-06-2018, 20:23   #5
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Re: Ice box "drain" with plumbing I just don't get.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnglaisInHull View Post
I'm trying to understand what the other position of the Y valve would do

I was too and I really couldn't imagine it at all...



Quote:
Originally Posted by AnglaisInHull View Post
In any case, I would start by replacing the whole thing with a straight run from the bilge pump overboard, with no other connections, and then deal with the ice box. Others with more experience will refine this suggestion.

I agree, I don't really care about the drain (never use it anyway, will be plugging it for better cool efficiency) and I do care about a straight bilge pump run, it just seemed so weird I couldn't figure it out
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Old 26-06-2018, 20:26   #6
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Re: Ice box "drain" with plumbing I just don't get.

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Originally Posted by sparrowhawk1 View Post
You're absolutely sure there's no inline pump on the ice box drain hose?

I am absolutely sure. In a true boat rarity, it's quite easy to lay my eyes on the whole hose run from bottom of ice box to Y valve.



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I believe that's what it's designed for allowing you to have only one through hull fitting.
Much better than allowing it to drain into the bilge.

I agree I'm happy it didn't drain into the bilge. And there are a bunch of not great looking patches and clamps etc on the ice box drain pipe so perhaps someone "fixed" it and removed a pump in the process. As you said, that's the only logical thing I could think of.


On the boats we chartered from Sunsail (Beneateau and Jeanneau) I quite appreciated the foot pump that drained the icebox into the sink... easy, efficient way to get the water out (until they clogged) but more importantly when I was cooking hot in the tropics I really liked the cold water over my hands
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Old 26-06-2018, 20:26   #7
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Ice box "drain" with plumbing I just don't get.

Designed to be equivalent of a p-trap using left over water that the bilge pump can’t scavenge as the plug to stop cold air going out the bottom.

Probably originally had a non-automatic pump after the y-valve instead of in front of it.
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Old 27-06-2018, 10:10   #8
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Re: Ice box "drain" with plumbing I just don't get.

Quote: " so perhaps someone "fixed" it ...'

Indeed. Older boats have often had a succession of owners each of whom have made "improvements", all of which have made the boat progressively dysfunctional. That's just the way it is given that yotting is so much of an amatoor's game :-)

TP came to us with the icebox drain tapped into the drain for the galley sink. That in turn was tapped into the drain hose from the forward cockpit scuppers. This hose was led to a thru-hull below the waterline which was, amazingly, fitted with a seacock. The after cockpit scuppers were taken to a thru-hull ABOVE waterline on the transom and had no seacock.

In the chain locker I found three lead ingots of about 50 lbs apiece which of course brought her down by the head so that rainwater in the cockpit would drain through the forward scuppers first and back up, when the seacock was closed, into both icebox and galley sink until the common level was that of the after scuppers.

The PO was a successful businessman, so his IQ must have been at least marginally higher than the water temperature in the Salish Sea. Although there is the possibility that his dad had given him money enuff to hire, for his business, people who DID know what they were doing.

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Old 27-06-2018, 11:12   #9
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Re: Ice box "drain" with plumbing I just don't get.

It looks like a failed attempt and a discharge using the venturi principal like you would use on a condensation line to the A/C discharge line on an air conditioner.
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Old 27-06-2018, 16:19   #10
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Re: Ice box "drain" with plumbing I just don't get.

Sounds like we figured it out. There used to be a pump probably started to leak and the previous owner just put in a section of hose.
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