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Old 27-07-2018, 15:31   #1
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My Bilge Stinks

Yeah, I know common problem, but it didn't use to. I used to have pretty much a constant slow drip of salt water from my stuffing box, bilge pump would kick in maybe a one or two times a day.
Now I have zero salt water leak into the bilge, but due to having a keel stepped mast a Dusty bilge is unlikely, so I have fresh water that sits until it begins to stink.
I flush it out with fresh water every now and again and have added Pine Sol for the fresh scent, but after I guess a couple of weeks, it stinks again.
Is there any harm adding a little bleach? I'm guessing there is about 5 Gls of water the pump just can't remove.

Bilge is about as clean as it's realistic to be, zero oil and no growth of any kind that I can see, but surely the smell is biologic in nature
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Old 27-07-2018, 16:00   #2
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Re: My Bilge Stinks

No harm will come from a couple of spoonfulls of bleach, and it will keep the biologicals in check for a while... but it will loose effectiveness after a while, just like the pinesol.

Our bilges are dry, but we have a shower sump into which we direct the mast leakage water, and I add some bleach to it now and then... but it has the soap residue to deal with as well, so a worse problem than yours. Generally keeps the odor down.

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Old 27-07-2018, 16:11   #3
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Re: My Bilge Stinks

I have the shower sump as well, on an IP, it looks suspiciously like a kitchen garbage can. About 1 ft square and 3 ft tall.
Although to save the teak we shower in the cockpit, but of course any floor washing water and air conditioner condensate goes there.
I don't think it's the smell, I think it's the bilge.
Interesting as long as I had a salt water leak, it had no smell.

If I could drain my mast water to the shower sump, I'd get a dripless shaft seal.
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Old 27-07-2018, 18:32   #4
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Re: My Bilge Stinks

If you are docked, a shopvac is useful for sucking the last dregs out of the bilge well. You could leave a small hose permanently installed into it, and every few days attach the shop vac and suck it all out.



Bleach evaporates quickly, within a couple of days, so it only stops the creepy crawlies for a little while.



If you go for a sail in a bit of a sea, you could pour a quart or so of simple green in the bilge and pump a bit of water in, and let it slosh around all day, then pump out. Or use a more eco friendly cleaner.
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Old 27-07-2018, 18:53   #5
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Re: My Bilge Stinks

Five gallons is a lot you might consider a diaphragm bilge pump with a pickup down at the bottom. Put the switch on a batten and install it at a height just above the pickup.
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Old 27-07-2018, 19:04   #6
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Re: My Bilge Stinks

Five gallons is a SWAG, bilge is Iíd guess about eight Ft long and maybe a Ft wide and has two or three inches of water in it? Itís about five Ft deep, maybe four Ft.
I can wet vac it out, have thought to do that, just never have. If I do itís a temporary measure as of course water will find its way back. I may have some air conditioner condensate spilling in.
I know chlorine off gasses, reason you have to keep adding it to a pool of course, but figure a little every week ought to keep it sterile?
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Old 27-07-2018, 19:09   #7
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My Bilge Stinks

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrowleyMonster View Post
If you go for a sail in a bit of a sea, you could pour a quart or so of simple green in the bilge and pump a bit of water in, and let it slosh around all day, then pump out. Or use a more eco friendly cleaner.


A few months ago, maybe six, I did take a broom and as water was rushing in from the hose, I swept the broom back and forth, that stirred up years worth of black accumulated dirt and dust and the bilge pump pumped it out, there is still some there, but I got 90% of it.

Back in my power Boat days I learned to always have some dish washing machine detergent in the bilge, it doesnít suds at all, but will keep the bilge spotless of any oily residue, like if your running DDís,
Detroit Diesels.
I have not done that here as there is not a drop of oil or oily residue, but maybe I should?
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Old 27-07-2018, 19:22   #8
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Re: My Bilge Stinks

We have the same issue occasionally on the 53, which usually originates from the fridge drains starting some growth in the bilge. A few onces of marine store bilge cleaner added to the bilge water works great, then allow it to slosh around down there for a day. Follow up by hosing out the bilge with fresh water and using the bilge pump to pump it out.

Donít put bleach down there, youíll screw up your bilge pump.
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Old 27-07-2018, 19:44   #9
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Re: My Bilge Stinks

Iíll look to see what bilge cleaner is at WM tomorrow, I rarely buy stuff like that as itís usually way over priced something else, just have to determine what the something else is.
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Old 27-07-2018, 19:47   #10
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Re: My Bilge Stinks

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
A few months ago, maybe six, I did take a broom and as water was rushing in from the hose, I swept the broom back and forth, that stirred up years worth of black accumulated dirt and dust and the bilge pump pumped it out, there is still some there, but I got 90% of it.

Back in my power Boat days I learned to always have some dish washing machine detergent in the bilge, it doesnít suds at all, but will keep the bilge spotless of any oily residue, like if your running DDís,
Detroit Diesels.
I have not done that here as there is not a drop of oil or oily residue, but maybe I should?

LOL I got a lot of time on '71 series Detroits and yeah they are known to "slobber" a bit. You can keep a clean bilge with them, but only if you have engine pans under them, and keep them wiped out. In the bad old days when doing an oil change, we drained the sump right into the bilge and well, I won't tell how we got rid of it. Those with delicate sensibilities who didn't grow up in the 60s and 70s would faint. So anyway we didn't think anything of "erl" oozing from every crevice and pore of those old two strokes. Bilge was full of it, anyway. And everybody understood that shrimpers and oilfield trash were naturally dirty people LOL!


First time I met a peddler pushing "bilge cleaner" on the docks I thought that was an absolutely hilarious idea. Sort of like scrubbing a septic tank or sweeping the dirt out of a cotton field. These days, I like my bilge nice and clean.
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Old 27-07-2018, 19:54   #11
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Re: My Bilge Stinks

Quote:
Don’t put bleach down there, you’ll screw up your bilge pump.
Not so... a few spoonfulls of typical 3-5% household bleach in a few gallons of water will not bother your bilge pump. Years of so doing without issues ...

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Old 27-07-2018, 22:23   #12
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Re: My Bilge Stinks

Use the fish tank method. ~~~~~~><)))))į>

Run a log small solid plastic tube/straw to the bottom of the bilge and hook up a fish tank pump. Which creates oxygen in the water and kills bacteria. No more chemicals to go bad. Keep the water moving with bubbles just like in a drain field septic tank on the farm.
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Old 28-07-2018, 04:32   #13
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Re: My Bilge Stinks

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Not so... a few spoonfulls of typical 3-5% household bleach in a few gallons of water will not bother your bilge pump. Years of so doing without issues ...

Jim
Thatís good to know, thanks.

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Old 28-07-2018, 05:14   #14
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Re: My Bilge Stinks

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Five gallons is a SWAG, bilge is Iíd guess about eight Ft long and maybe a Ft wide and has two or three inches of water in it? Itís about five Ft deep, maybe four Ft.


Ah, thought it was a sump.
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Old 28-07-2018, 05:56   #15
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Re: My Bilge Stinks

Go to the hardware store, or Amazon, and get some Air Conditioner Pan Tablets. They are normally blue and are a non corrosive biocides. Toss one down in the bilge when the water collects. Put one in you AC drip pan also and if your shaft drip one under that. I even put a couple inside the strainer for my air conditioner onc in a whe.

Or clean and flush the bilge every few days.
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