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Old 18-08-2014, 22:50   #1
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Manual pump fresh water plumbing questions

I'm about to start the install of the fresh water system on our boat. We completely gutted the old system including all tanks, hoses, connections, taps, and pumps.

Our plan is long term off grid cruising, and our philosophy has been to keep it as simple as possible. To this end, we want to keep this install as simple as possible, we can always add to it later if we need.

My setup will include two water tanks and two sinks. There will only be manual pumps. I am planning on using hose and barbs instead of PEX style fittings.

I'm assuming that for tank selection I can just put a y valve in. For the feed to the two sinks I plan to put a T in the fresh water supply line, one side to each sink. I'm assuming that since it will be T'd that I'd need to put a flow check valve at each sink, however, I've read that diaphragm style pumps don't need this.

We have MK IV style pumps. I can't see anything in literature about if they prevent backflow?

So my question is, do I need check valves? Also, does anyone make a ready to go manifold for this type of setup?
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Old 18-08-2014, 23:22   #2
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Re: Manual pump fresh water plumbing questions

Have a pressure water system as well as foot pumps. Installed a one way check valve just to be sure that the pressure system wouldn't suck through the foot pumps. Did not try it eith out the check valves of don't know if it's needed.

Used ball valves for each tank, have three, into a four way tee. A three way valve would work for two tanks though like a separate valve for each tank. Ran the hoses from the tanks to an access hatch in the cabin sole. Connected the valves to the four way T with short lengths of hose. A straight forward set up with this home made manifiold.
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Old 18-08-2014, 23:41   #3
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Re: Manual pump fresh water plumbing questions

The intake valve in a positive displacement pump should prevent any backflow through the pump. Manifolds, check valves etc. complicate what could be a simple system, KISS?
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Old 19-08-2014, 00:20   #4
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Re: Manual pump fresh water plumbing questions

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The intake valve in a positive displacement pump should prevent any backflow through the pump. Manifolds, check valves etc. complicate what could be a simple system, KISS?

Well that is sorta what I thought, but sometimes you just need someone to pat your head and tell you that you're right.
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Old 19-08-2014, 02:19   #5
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Re: Manual pump fresh water plumbing questions

Actually, FWIW, we have foot pumps, and I quite prefer them to hand pumps. Both for washing hands and for washing up (as in kitchen/galley cleanup following a meal.) One hand washing itself does a parlous job, IMO, and rinsing is easier, too, with foot pumps.

...However, your foot does get confused ashore!

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Old 19-08-2014, 02:27   #6
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Re: Manual pump fresh water plumbing questions

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Actually, FWIW, we have foot pumps, and I quite prefer them to hand pumps. Both for washing hands and for washing up (as in kitchen/galley cleanup following a meal.) One hand washing itself does a parlous job, IMO, and rinsing is easier, too, with foot pumps.

...However, your foot does get confused ashore!

Ann
Ann,

We have the tip-toe style foot pumps which are MK IV models. So i hear ya loud and clear. That is what we're going with.
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Old 19-08-2014, 04:26   #7
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...However, your foot does get confused ashore!

Ann[/QUOTE]





I don't think it's possible for me to use water from a Standard faucet without my right foot going out searching.. : D

+1 for foot pumps
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Old 19-08-2014, 12:53   #8
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Re: Manual pump fresh water plumbing questions

Anyone else with feedback on skipping the check valves? Does it wear the pumps out quicker?
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Old 19-08-2014, 13:00   #9
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Re: Manual pump fresh water plumbing questions

My understanding is that manual pumps will limit your ability to filter the water using filters capable of removing cysts and bacteria, which may be a factor (not sure what "off-grid means to you). You can chlorinate, and granular carbon will dechlorinate safely if used regularly (irregular use leads to bacterial growth).
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Old 19-08-2014, 13:03   #10
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Re: Manual pump fresh water plumbing questions

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My understanding is that manual pumps will limit your ability to filter the water using filters capable of removing cysts and bacteria, which may be a factor (not sure what "off-grid means to you). You can chlorinate, and granular carbon will dechlorinate safely if used regularly (irregular use leads to bacterial growth).
I started another thread about the use of manual pumps with filter systems and got some feedback from people saying it is doable. So I'll give it a try and report back on that.

Off-grid to me means anchored out most of the time and keeping the boat as simple as reasonably possible.
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Old 19-08-2014, 14:02   #11
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Re: Manual pump fresh water plumbing questions

A filter that will remove chlorine is certainly do-able with a manual pump, one that is so fine the it will remove bacteria and cysts might be tough to do, I guess it depends at least partially at how low a flow rate you'll accept
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Old 19-08-2014, 18:49   #12
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Re: Manual pump fresh water plumbing questions

If you don't use or don't have a pressure water system, see no reason for a check valve. If the pumps internal check valve or whatever holds water in the line fails, you can add a check valve at a later date.

The typical household filter available from Lowes, etc. work fine with a charcoal filter. Have one on my current boat. That type of filter removes any chlorine taste and most suspended particles n the water. Those rip off filters that cost an arm and a leg, pass through very little water, but will filter our the minutest of nasties but may not work with a foot pump. The question becomes, do you really need such a filter?? Chlorine addd to the water kills almost everything that is harmful. There may be a small cyst that can live through the chlorine, however, but will you ever encounter it??

Will you be filling your tanks from local streams?? We sailed for an entire year without needing to supplement the water we got from catching rain which is safe. Municipal water systems almost anywhere in the world will not have any cysts or other serious nasties in the water. Really can't see having one of those crappy, super expensive filters on a boat unless you are just paranoid.
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Old 19-08-2014, 19:01   #13
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Re: Manual pump fresh water plumbing questions

If you can put your filter on the "out" side of the pump it would be best.
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