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Old 24-07-2016, 15:36   #1
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Installing Strainer for AC

Hello all:

I just bought a boat in May. It is a 33 foot sailboat.

The pump for the air conditioning is below the engine, in the sump.

The through hull that takes in the raw water for that pump is maybe a foot or 14 inches away.

I realized to my horror that the person who installed this did not install a strainer before the pump.

So I was thinking about installing a strainer myself.

Is this something that A neophyte can do? Do I put the strainer at the same level (i.e. below the waterline) as the pump? Or rather do I put the strainer higher, and run a line up and down?

Thanks in advance.

Michael
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Old 24-07-2016, 15:41   #2
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Re: Installing Strainer for AC

It's easy, ideally below waterline so you can let any air out of it, these pumps do not self prime.


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Old 24-07-2016, 16:04   #3
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Re: Installing Strainer for AC

Sure. A simple wire basket strainer that you can take out and clean would do. All you're trying to do is eliminate large stuff that you don't want to have hit your pump. Sea Choice and even Walmart.com sells one that fits 3/4 inch pipe threads. Just be sure that you've got a seacock on that through hull. If not, that's a greater reason for horror than the lack of a strainer!
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Old 24-07-2016, 17:47   #4
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Re: Installing Strainer for AC

Can you send a link to the strainer you are referring to?

Thanks.

Michael
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Old 24-07-2016, 18:01   #5
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Installing Strainer for AC

I'd recommend this one, they have the plastic ones too, but this one will last a good long time. I just got through cleaning up and replacing the gaskets on the one for my main engine, it is 30 yrs old and will easily go at least another 30
http://www.hopkins-carter.com/grar3rawwast.html


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Old 25-07-2016, 09:17   #6
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Re: Installing Strainer for AC

Thanks. Will that strainer work in this tight installation? The seacock is the yellow handle on the right. The pump shows on the left.

Thanks.

Michael
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Old 25-07-2016, 09:40   #7
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Re: Installing Strainer for AC

Depends on where the water line is.
Your pump mount is busted, I have had good luck with gluing a piece of Marine plywood to the hull with 5200 and using that as a mount surface. I think I would relocate the pump a little, and mount a strainer between the two, strainer will either have to be on it's side or mounted higher for clearance, that is why where the waterline is matters, I would not mount the strainer above waterline if you did I bet the pump would often lose prime and would drive you nuts.
Buy a strainer that is the same size as the line, 3/4" is I believe common.
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Old 25-07-2016, 09:55   #8
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Re: Installing Strainer for AC

I'd recommend moving the pump if possible. Keep it at or below the water line and have your strainer slightly lower than it is. Make sure you can open and remove the bowl as well, you will need to be able to get to the strainer mesh to clean it.

While 5200 works, another option is to wire brush the gelcoat off an area and glass in a piece or two of wood to screw the strainer and pump to. Either way, you will need to make sure the bonding surface is CLEAN. You do need to repair/replace the pump mount as well.

The pump appears to be a bit small. Is it up to delivering all the water your A/C needs?

Also, none of your hoses are double clamped. If one should fail the hose may come loose. If you have the nipple to take two, I'd add another clamp to each fitting.
(A good marine stainless one, not a cheapo from Home Depot.)
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Old 25-07-2016, 09:58   #9
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Re: Installing Strainer for AC

I just installed a VETUS FTR330, replacing a barely working peace of junk totally inaccessible. It has rather large capacity and a clear lid so you can see when it needs cleaning. I have the same on my engines for years, and decided to apply them on AC too, as it has lots of continuous running hours.

The lid has a sealing rubber gasket that allows under water install, but I installed mine so that the water level is about an inch below its top when OPEN. So I can clean it without having to reach down to the seacock.
The pump itself is 5" lower and kept primed this way.
Mine has 3/4" connectors, but several sizes are available.
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Old 25-07-2016, 09:58   #10
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Re: Installing Strainer for AC

Boy, that's tight. You'll need something to mount the strainer on. Good time to make sure the valve is a true seacock & the hoses are in good condition.

Marine Plastic Water Strainers
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Old 25-07-2016, 10:12   #11
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Re: Installing Strainer for AC

In this instal I would probably go with a pancake style just because they are usually easier to fit in tight spaces, but either will do. The installation itself isn't that difficult, but you will probably need to buy at least one length of hose and cut what you have. You could try to just install it inline with the existing hose, but I generally have had bad luck doing that.



Forespar Marelon Raw Water Strainer
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Old 25-07-2016, 11:21   #12
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Re: Installing Strainer for AC

If in warm water I might resist using the AC until you get that strainer installed. I agree with those who like the traditional wire basket design and below the water line installation. A clear top unit sounds good although I would still advise monthly inspection and cleaning if you spend a lot of time in port. Your AC might have an auto shutdown but my mechanic tells me that a period of reduced water flow can do real damage before the shutdown is triggered.
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Old 25-07-2016, 18:14   #13
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Re: Installing Strainer for AC

I just completed installing our a/c (new install). First off, I agree w/poster above re:double clamps on all connections below water line w/quality stainless composition. Also as above, make sure the seacock is truly a seacock. Both the pump and the strainer MUST be below the waterline because, as also stated above, the pump is a flooded type, meaning that it does not self-prime. If the strainer is mounted above the waterline and is between the pump and through hull, the pump will eventually be dry and that is the deathnell for the pump. I used the pump linked above, the one from Groco. It has a clear basket and top with a bronze frame and mounting bracket. Place the strainer as close to the through hull as possible and keep a watchful eye on the water discharge.
Good luck.
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Old 26-07-2016, 18:01   #14
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Re: Installing Strainer for AC

OMG I'm petrified by all the things I could do wrong. Very interested in the epoxy technique because connections are many. I'm never drilling holes if I can help it.

Thanks for all the advice. I already ordered the pump and will try to fix this weekend. Fingers crossed!

Best to all of you.

Michael
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Old 26-07-2016, 18:33   #15
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Re: Installing Strainer for AC

I meant I ordered the strainer, not the pump.
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