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Old 26-02-2015, 04:38   #31
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Re: Poor Design of Whale Bilge Pump

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I have always loved Whale diaphragm pumps for their simplicity and ease of servicing.

My manual bilge pump -- a Whale Gusher #10 Mk. 3 -- stopped working last year. I didn't consider it an urgent problem as I have three more electric pumps on board.

Today, buying a diaphragm for a Whale Gulper 220 gray water pump (the diaphragm, frustratingly, lasted for less than a year), I noticed that Joliffe's in Cowes, which in the past I have unfairly denigrated for not keeping a useful inventory of chandlery, has service kits for every kind of pump, apparently, ever made, and I bought the kit for my Gusher.

Well, I pulled the Gusher apart, and was surprised to find that the problem was not the diaphragm at all, but that the flapper valve seats are made out of aluminum, finished with some kind of yellow paint. The alu is corroding and shedding the paint, creating a surface not smooth enough for the valve to seal against . Wow, what a bogus design.


Attachment 97908


I presume that there's nothing I can do with this except sand it smooth and repaint it with zinc chromate primer.

And expect the problem to repeat itself in that environment before too long.

Or is there some other way to deal with this? Grateful for any tips.
Answer is to ditch that crap its also built so salt water stays lying on the alum surface - designed to fail! Get one of those rotary hand pumps for manual bailing.
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Old 26-02-2015, 04:55   #32
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Re: Poor Design of Whale Bilge Pump

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All aluminum pumps suffer this fate. We purchase aluminum pumps because if they were made of titanium the price would be $2,000.00. Plastic pumps seem like a good alternative but they may not be compatible with some solvents so check before going that route.

If you have an aluminum emergency manual pump there are a few rules of use. First, don't use it unless it is an emergency. This one simple rule will solve many problems. Second, if you use it to pump salt water then as soon as possible thereafter disassemble the pump and give it a thorough flushing with fresh water. Remove the flapper seal plate(s) too and clean thoroughly. Reinstall using Lanocote on the screws.

Also, budget to replace this pump every 5-7 years. That's about how long they last waiting to be used.
Blya!

A few comments:

1. I bet if they were anodized, rather than painted, they would hold up ok.

2. If there were simple epoxied-in plastic valve seats, the corrosion wouldn't be nearly such a big deal.

3. I bet plastic will work perfectly well in this application. When I get around to it next year, I will attempt to replace with the plastic Titan


Like many people, I use my manual bilge pump (or used to, when it worked) to get the last bit of water out of the bilges, and not just for standby emergency use. This water is not usually salty -- water in my bilge comes from rainwater coming down the mast. However, there is sometimes salt water in the engine bilge from cleaning sea strainers, working on raw water systems, and so forth.
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Old 26-02-2015, 06:07   #33
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Re: Poor Design of Whale Bilge Pump

Many more complaints of exactly the same problem:

Whale Gusher 10 Mk 3 problem [Archive] - Yachting and Boating World Forums

In addition to the valves not seating, many of these guys have had a problem with the stainless screws corroding the alu body -- they need Duralac, which the factory neglected to employ.

I think there's no question about -- these pumps are great in theory and a disaster in practice -- don't buy.
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Old 26-02-2015, 07:22   #34
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Re: Poor Design of Whale Bilge Pump

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Blya!



A few comments:



1. I bet if they were anodized, rather than painted, they would hold up ok.



2. If there were simple epoxied-in plastic valve seats, the corrosion wouldn't be nearly such a big deal.



3. I bet plastic will work perfectly well in this application. When I get around to it next year, I will attempt to replace with the plastic Titan





Like many people, I use my manual bilge pump (or used to, when it worked) to get the last bit of water out of the bilges, and not just for standby emergency use. This water is not usually salty -- water in my bilge comes from rainwater coming down the mast. However, there is sometimes salt water in the engine bilge from cleaning sea strainers, working on raw water systems, and so forth.

Most can get the last liter of water out with a small brass hand pump. Save the emergency pump for an emergency. If you want a long lasting pump for everyday use don't get aluminum. Anodizing isn't a panacea. A plastic seat is not a bad idea. Sounds like an aftermarket accessory opportunity.

The Titan is a good pump but I worry about it lasting for many hours at one go. Especially when manned by someone in fear of their life.
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Old 26-02-2015, 08:38   #35
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Re: Poor Design of Whale Bilge Pump

I have had the aluminum gusher 10 pump and had the same problems with corrosion.

The Titan would solve the corrosion issue, but in my opinion it shares some design issues with the gusher:

1/ You need tools to get access to the valves. No mater how clean you keep your bilges, if you have a leak, things will likely get washed down into the bilge and then sucked up by the pump. It's little stuff that keeps the valves from seating that's usually the problem, easily cleared with your fingers, if you can get to the valves.

2/ both the gusher and the titan have no limit to the travel of the pump handle except the strength of the diaphragm. I had this issue when I asked a strong crew member to pump while I looked for the reason the bilge was full of water; The diaphragm ripped in the first few strokes, luckily it was only the contents of my freshwater tanks in the bilge.

The MarkV pump solves all these problems. Also on my current boat I have the same pump for both my Lavac heads, electric and manual.

Cheers,
JM.
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Old 26-02-2015, 09:01   #36
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Re: Poor Design of Whale Bilge Pump

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Originally Posted by NahanniV View Post
I have had the aluminum gusher 10 pump and had the same problems with corrosion.

The Titan would solve the corrosion issue, but in my opinion it shares some design issues with the gusher:

1/ You need tools to get access to the valves. No mater how clean you keep your bilges, if you have a leak, things will likely get washed down into the bilge and then sucked up by the pump.

2/ both the gusher and the titan have no limit to the travel of the pump handle except the strength of the diaphragm. I had this issue when I asked a strong crew member to pump while I looked for the reason the bilge was full of water; The diaphragm ripped in the first few strokes, luckily it was only the contents of my freshwater tanks in the bilge.

The MarkV pump solves all these problems. Also on my current boat I have the same pump for both my Lavac heads, electric and manual.

Cheers,
JM.

I think the MarkV does solve the issues with corrosion and it has tool-less access to the valves, etc. They use a tricuspid valve in lieu of a flap. I'm not sure if that is more likely to foul with debris, but all seating surfaces are rubber so no corrosion. The only problem is the capacity is only rated at 11 gal/min. There is a DA (double action) version which essentially couples 2 MarkV's together. This increases the capacity to 17 gal/min, (not sure why it does not double?) and adds redundancy. One side could foul and the other would still be operable. I have no personal experience with this pump, but it does seem to click off a number of my concerns. The Edson mentioned above does seem to cover everything pretty well, but I'm not sure it will work with my cockpit layout.
-Tom
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Old 26-02-2015, 09:19   #37
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Re: Poor Design of Whale Bilge Pump

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Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
Most can get the last liter of water out with a small brass hand pump. Save the emergency pump for an emergency. If you want a long lasting pump for everyday use don't get aluminum. Anodizing isn't a panacea. A plastic seat is not a bad idea. Sounds like an aftermarket accessory opportunity.

The Titan is a good pump but I worry about it lasting for many hours at one go. Especially when manned by someone in fear of their life.
I don't really agree with the idea of never using it, except in an emergency. On the contrary, it seems to me that it is much better when important emergency gear is used regularly. Gear which sits for years unused is subject to deterioration, which is not detected since you're not using it. Also you're not familiar with its use, if you're not using it. Surely kit like this should be designed to be capable of regular use.
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Old 26-02-2015, 09:21   #38
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Re: Poor Design of Whale Bilge Pump

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I think the MarkV does solve the issues with corrosion and it has tool-less access to the valves, etc. They use a tricuspid valve in lieu of a flap. I'm not sure if that is more likely to foul with debris, but all seating surfaces are rubber so no corrosion. The only problem is the capacity is only rated at 11 gal/min. There is a DA (double action) version which essentially couples 2 MarkV's together. This increases the capacity to 17 gal/min, (not sure why it does not double?) and adds redundancy. One side could foul and the other would still be operable. I have no personal experience with this pump, but it does seem to click off a number of my concerns. The Edson mentioned above does seem to cover everything pretty well, but I'm not sure it will work with my cockpit layout.
-Tom
The Mark V has plenty of capacity -- the single one equal to the Gusher 10; the double one like the Titan. Sounds like it has some worthwhile design improvements.

But I bet it does not fit a space designed for the Gusher 10.
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Old 26-02-2015, 09:24   #39
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Re: Poor Design of Whale Bilge Pump

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I think the MarkV does solve the issues with corrosion and it has tool-less access to the valves, etc. They use a tricuspid valve in lieu of a flap. I'm not sure if that is more likely to foul with debris, but all seating surfaces are rubber so no corrosion. The only problem is the capacity is only rated at 11 gal/min. There is a DA (double action) version which essentially couples 2 MarkV's together. This increases the capacity to 17 gal/min, (not sure why it does not double?) and adds redundancy. One side could foul and the other would still be operable. I have no personal experience with this pump, but it does seem to click off a number of my concerns. The Edson mentioned above does seem to cover everything pretty well, but I'm not sure it will work with my cockpit layout.
-Tom
The MarkV has one "tricuspid" or joker valve (top) and one flap (bottom).

I'm not sure where you got the ratings from but on the Whale site:

http://www.whalepumps.com/marine/pro...al-bilge-pumps

It is rated 17GPM like the gusher 10.

The Doube MarkV is rated 23GPM. But it's around $500. and takes a lot of space.

The Edson pump is ridiculously expensive and also very big.

Cheers,
JM.
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Old 26-02-2015, 09:54   #40
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Re: Poor Design of Whale Bilge Pump

I'd replace the seat with a piece of starboard. Can be worked with hand tools, is tough as all get out. I would bet you can get a piece of scrap at any boat yard. Dave
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Old 26-02-2015, 10:07   #41
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Re: Poor Design of Whale Bilge Pump

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The MarkV has one "tricuspid" or joker valve (top) and one flap (bottom).
Yes, you're correct. I had forgot that, and I rebuilt one less than 6 months ago.

I'm not sure where you got the ratings from but on the Whale site:

Whale Marine - Products

I got the ratings from their respective data sheets. The ratings I mentioned are for 45 strokes/min. The ratings you mention are for 70 strokes/min. I think 45 strokes is at least "closer" to how the pump might be operated for for any period of time. I don't think any of these pumps (other than the Edson) are going to keep up with a serious leak. They'll just buy you time.

It is rated 17GPM like the gusher 10.

The Doube MarkV is rated 23GPM. But it's around $500. and takes a lot of space.

PaYacht has them for about $350

The Edson pump is ridiculously expensive and also very big.
Expense and size are relative to your current context.
Cheers,
JM.

I think that in at least some installations, the DA pump makes sense. The whole point of a manual bilge pump is for when the wheels fall off everything else. Otherwise, why bother as a large electric or engine driven pump(s) is the right answer. I agree those wheels off circumstances are pretty very rare. But if they occur, that big expensive manual pump is gonna look small and cheap.
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Old 26-02-2015, 10:29   #42
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Re: Poor Design of Whale Bilge Pump

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I think that in at least some installations, the DA pump makes sense. The whole point of a manual bilge pump is for when the wheels fall off everything else. Otherwise, why bother as a large electric or engine driven pump(s) is the right answer. I agree those wheels off circumstances are pretty very rare. But if they occur, that big expensive manual pump is gonna look small and cheap.
I think that's a very sensible and wise comment.
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Old 26-02-2015, 11:45   #43
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Re: Poor Design of Whale Bilge Pump

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I don't really agree with the idea of never using it, except in an emergency. On the contrary, it seems to me that it is much better when important emergency gear is used regularly. Gear which sits for years unused is subject to deterioration, which is not detected since you're not using it. Also you're not familiar with its use, if you're not using it. Surely kit like this should be designed to be capable of regular use.

Normally I agree that emergency equipment should be used to ensure it is good working order. But aluminum bilge pumps, life rafts, and auto inflaters are not like that.

If you want to test the bilge pump every year that's a good idea. Just flush it with fresh water and dry it out after testing. Break it down and make sure it is not corroded. Don't let it sit with moisture or salty water inside. It's made of aluminum and will corrode quickly in moist salty conditions.

There are no plastic 1 gallon per cycle manual pumps that I am aware. The volume per stroke is a big consideration in an emergency.

A person on a sinking boat will figure out the bilge pump if it's simple and unbreakable. Aluminum pumps are ideal if maintained properly. Not treated well they are nearly useless. Plastic pumps can be easily broken by an over zealous crew.
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Old 26-02-2015, 11:51   #44
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Re: Poor Design of Whale Bilge Pump

"Plastic pumps can be easily broken by an over zealous crew."
I broke off an aluminum doorknob once, just by twisting too hard. Apparently an aluminum-parted pump can break all by itself.

At least with a properly designed, engineered, good quality plastic part? It is more likely the be broken by inept crew, than to simply fail all by itself while it sits untouched. I'd call that a net advantage.

And considering how strong "plastic" engineering resins can be? Shouldn't be a problem. (Or of course, you could just choose wimpy crew.(G)
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Old 26-02-2015, 12:03   #45
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Re: Poor Design of Whale Bilge Pump

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Normally I agree that emergency equipment should be used to ensure it is good working order. But aluminum bilge pumps, life rafts, and auto inflaters are not like that.

If you want to test the bilge pump every year that's a good idea. Just flush it with fresh water and dry it out after testing. Break it down and make sure it is not corroded. Don't let it sit with moisture or salty water inside. It's made of aluminum and will corrode quickly in moist salty conditions.

There are no plastic 1 gallon per cycle manual pumps that I am aware. The volume per stroke is a big consideration in an emergency.

A person on a sinking boat will figure out the bilge pump if it's simple and unbreakable. Aluminum pumps are ideal if maintained properly. Not treated well they are nearly useless. Plastic pumps can be easily broken by an over zealous crew.
Another weakness of the Gusher 10 is that there is no limitation on the stroke of the arm except the diaphragm itself, so an "over zealous crew" can easily break the diaphragm.

I think I'd probably rather take my chances with a well-designed plastic pump. The Whale plastic ones are glass reinforced resin -- I bet they are not much less tough than alu.

I like the double diaphragm Mark 5. Don't know if it will fit in my engine room, but I will check -- next year.


For my main crash pump, so Plan A in case of some disaster, I am acquiring a Honda 230v trash pump. I've been meaning to do this for a long time, but the chilling story of the loss of the Red Sky (sister ship to my boat) has galvanized me into action.

I will install an outlet for it directly at my generator, which is mounted above the waterline in my engine room, and so should run even with a lot of water in the boat. With a folding fireman's type discharge hose. That will be the dog's b******s for this purpose, clog-proof, and shifting a couple hundred gallons a minute of water plus debris. You see why I am irritated to be forced to service, maintain, and repair the manual pump, which is not Plan A or even Plan B. It's a distraction.

Of course one could go one step further, to something like this:

SDMO TRASH 4 Diesel Pump

I actually have room for this in my engine room, above the waterline. The mother of all dewatering pumps!
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