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Old 31-12-2017, 02:57   #1
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Quality Pumps

Someone on another thread said something like -- the manufacturers install premium $800 pumps, then we replace them with carp $100 pumps, and complain that they are unreliable.

What are these "premium $800 pumps"? I've never heard of such a thing. All the pumps I use cost more or less the same (never as cheap as $100 nor as expensive as $800). They come from Jabsco, Shurflo, Johnson, Whale. Centrifugal bilge pumps from Rule.

Does anyone think any given pumps are dramatically better than any given other pumps?

I replaced a failed Shurflo water pressure pump with a field-modified Johnson washdown pump I had in spares. The Johnson pump (made in Sweden) does seem to be nicer than the old one, and makes a more quality sound. But that could be subjective. They are so old that I keep a complete brand new pump in spares.

I have hard working Whale Gulper 220 gray water pumps which are absolutely amazingly reliable. They are both original to the boat (17 years), after years and years of living aboard and pumping out everything including washing machine discharge, still going strong. I used to replace diaphragms often before I figured out they don't like bleach.

I have a Jabsco macerator pump which has been fine since I replaced the incorrectly specified impeller housing screws. Original to the boat and going strong.

I have a couple of Whale Supersub maintenance bilge pumps. Bulletproof.


So are these "premium pumps" mythical, or what? Have I missed any brands?
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Old 31-12-2017, 04:14   #2
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Re: Quality Pumps

You must be thinking the ones that come in the special yacht packaging.
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Old 31-12-2017, 04:15   #3
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Re: Quality Pumps

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post

I have a couple of Whale Supersub maintenance bilge pumps. Bulletproof.
We installed two of those in June 2016. One failed in June 2017...they are made out of two parts that are screwed together with a big nut on the outside. The nut wiggled loose (probably due to vibration of the pump) and as a result the whole pump was flooded. Maybe a good idea to control this seal occasionally, looks like a design flaw to me.

There are pumps out there with higher quality, e.g. from german manufacturer Rheinstrom. We have a toilet made by them (installed by a previous owner) that works great, is made out of bronze and is about 2k for a new one. They also make bronze pumps, e.g. this one:

RHEINSTROM diaphragm pump M50E by RHEINSTROM at Toplicht

As far as i know, these are also used for commercial boats. The one i linked is a cheaper one, there are even more expensive ones like this one:

RHEINSTROM deck wash and bilge pump type 6E by RHEINSTROM at Toplicht
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Old 31-12-2017, 08:58   #4
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Re: Quality Pumps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Someone on another thread said something like -- the manufacturers install premium $800 pumps...
Can't imagine what "manufacturers" they could possibly be talking about. None that I know of put anything but ordinary pumps -- like you would find in any West Marine store -- into their boats. Like you said, not el-cheapo $100 pumps, but most certainly not anything like $800 pumps either.

Sounds to me like someone was over-exaggerating to make a point.
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Old 31-12-2017, 09:19   #5
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Re: Quality Pumps

I have had great luck with these:
March Pumps

Originator of the Centrifugal Sealless Magnetic Drive Pump.





US manufactured. Find them here:

Chemical Magnetic Drive Pumps | March Pump | March Manufacturing Inc.

Johnson pumps have been erratic in quality in my experience. Currently trying to figure out an issue with one of them. Electronics don't belong on pumps!

Outside of the marine industry (think commercial or light industrial), there are many vendors to choose from. The difficulty is in finding low voltage DC-powered units. They are out there, you just have to search.

I agree that most of the marine marketed pumps are pretty "carpy"! Let me see if any of the pumps I have experience with in my career have possible marine alternatives. If so, I will post them.
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Old 31-12-2017, 10:02   #6
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Re: Quality Pumps

The pumps that I always think are crazy expensive are the marine a/c pumps .
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Old 31-12-2017, 14:40   #7
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Quality Pumps

A Friend has an Amel Super Maramu and has recently replaced his water pump.
It looked a lot like the HP pump for my watermaker, the thing was a centrifugal pump with a large as in a 10 lb or so motor. To my knowledge it was still working, but was leaking and he couldnít get seals for it and the impeller looked like Swiss cheese.

I believe this may have been an $800 water pump, it looked expensive anyway.
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Old 31-12-2017, 14:59   #8
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Re: Quality Pumps

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post

I replaced a failed Shurflo water pressure pump with a field-modified Johnson washdown pump I had in spares. The Johnson pump (made in Sweden) does seem to be nicer than the old one, and makes a more quality sound. But that could be subjective.
What was this "field modification"

We have been without pressure water since Xmas day, waiting on a new vetus pump to turn up in the post.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/272698199052
We have a couple of Johnson wash down pumps onboard, but I am a bit concerned about the pressure they put out and blowing something in the system.
One I tried did seem to be expanding clear braided hose connection to pex and was getting hot pumping excess pressure
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Old 31-12-2017, 16:53   #9
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Re: Quality Pumps

I am the original poster of the "$800" pump comment that Dockhead refers to in such a disparaging way. As if I made it up, just because he never heard of such a thing. I know people are surprised there are better pumps out there than the stuff carried by west marine, but it is true. You can pay for quality, or you can pay for replacement.

Here is a VERY high end pump, by way of example:
https://www.jamestowndistributors.co...ashdown+System

It is an eccentric impeller pump of cast bronze. It will out last your boat if you take good care of it and change the brushes in the motor every 8 to 10 years. Now is it worth it? Only you can decide... It is not the same brand as Amel installed in their boats for years, but it is the same type of pump.

Another high quality pump that Dockhead apparently hasn't heard of is this one:
https://www.jamestowndistributors.co...t.do?pid=56899

Much more expensive than the Jabsco/Sureflo/Johnson pumps that he refers to. I have used those, and thrown them away when they died.

When I needed to replace a worn out 3 year old Jabsco pressure water pump on my boat that the previous owner had installed as a stopgap, I used a Marco pump. It's build quality is WAY better that the typical stuff you see in the mass market.

So people will say surely I am crazy for paying 3 or 4 times what a mass market POS costs, but as an engineer who specified industrial pumps, I know something that will last when I see it. As a long distance, and full time, cruiser the reliability is worth it.

I have no economic relationship of any kind with any any product or supplier in this post. They are just examples of high quality, albeit expensive, products some people apparently do not think are real.
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Old 01-01-2018, 03:42   #10
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Re: Quality Pumps

Quote:
Originally Posted by billknny View Post
I am the original poster of the "$800" pump comment that Dockhead refers to in such a disparaging way. As if I made it up, just because he never heard of such a thing. I know people are surprised there are better pumps out there than the stuff carried by west marine, but it is true. You can pay for quality, or you can pay for replacement.

Here is a VERY high end pump, by way of example:
https://www.jamestowndistributors.co...ashdown+System

It is an eccentric impeller pump of cast bronze. It will out last your boat if you take good care of it and change the brushes in the motor every 8 to 10 years. Now is it worth it? Only you can decide... It is not the same brand as Amel installed in their boats for years, but it is the same type of pump.

Another high quality pump that Dockhead apparently hasn't heard of is this one:
https://www.jamestowndistributors.co...t.do?pid=56899

Much more expensive than the Jabsco/Sureflo/Johnson pumps that he refers to. I have used those, and thrown them away when they died.

When I needed to replace a worn out 3 year old Jabsco pressure water pump on my boat that the previous owner had installed as a stopgap, I used a Marco pump. It's build quality is WAY better that the typical stuff you see in the mass market.

So people will say surely I am crazy for paying 3 or 4 times what a mass market POS costs, but as an engineer who specified industrial pumps, I know something that will last when I see it. As a long distance, and full time, cruiser the reliability is worth it.

I have no economic relationship of any kind with any any product or supplier in this post. They are just examples of high quality, albeit expensive, products some people apparently do not think are real.
Sorry if I gave an impression of being disparaging about your comment. Nothing could be further from the truth! On the contrary, your post was something completely new for me which made me think, and I wanted to drill into it. Thanks for participating and for this very informative answer. I didn't know such pumps existed.
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Old 01-01-2018, 03:47   #11
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Re: Quality Pumps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simi 60 View Post
What was this "field modification"

...
Snipped a couple of turns out of the spring in the pressure regulator to reduce the operating pressure. Perfect results!
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Old 01-01-2018, 07:23   #12
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Re: Quality Pumps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Sorry if I gave an impression of being disparaging about your comment. Nothing could be further from the truth! On the contrary, your post was something completely new for me which made me think, and I wanted to drill into it. Thanks for participating and for this very informative answer. I didn't know such pumps existed.
Thanks, Apology accepted!

It's always a challenge to "value engineer" the gear we have to install on our boats. Things that would have been a been a needless luxury to me when all my sailing was done within a 2 hours of a West Marine, move way over toward being a necessity when the simplest replacement part can be 2 weeks away.

Reliability and long life has been the thing I value most in equipment these days. Unfortunately, it is also the kind of thing that does not show when reading a specification sheet.

Sometimes, I can use my knowledge of the mechanics (like with pumps), sometime reputation (although that can be tricky), sometimes I have to just trust...
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Old 01-01-2018, 09:17   #13
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Re: Quality Pumps

Quote:
Originally Posted by billknny View Post
I am the original poster of the "$800" pump comment that Dockhead refers to in such a disparaging way. As if I made it up, just because he never heard of such a thing. I know people are surprised there are better pumps out there than the stuff carried by west marine, but it is true. You can pay for quality, or you can pay for replacement.

Here is a VERY high end pump, by way of example:
https://www.jamestowndistributors.co...ashdown+System

It is an eccentric impeller pump of cast bronze. It will out last your boat if you take good care of it and change the brushes in the motor every 8 to 10 years. Now is it worth it? Only you can decide... It is not the same brand as Amel installed in their boats for years, but it is the same type of pump.

Another high quality pump that Dockhead apparently hasn't heard of is this one:
https://www.jamestowndistributors.co...t.do?pid=56899

Much more expensive than the Jabsco/Sureflo/Johnson pumps that he refers to. I have used those, and thrown them away when they died.

When I needed to replace a worn out 3 year old Jabsco pressure water pump on my boat that the previous owner had installed as a stopgap, I used a Marco pump. It's build quality is WAY better that the typical stuff you see in the mass market.

So people will say surely I am crazy for paying 3 or 4 times what a mass market POS costs, but as an engineer who specified industrial pumps, I know something that will last when I see it. As a long distance, and full time, cruiser the reliability is worth it.

I have no economic relationship of any kind with any any product or supplier in this post. They are just examples of high quality, albeit expensive, products some people apparently do not think are real.
My boat came with the expensive Groco washhdown pump, because the PO had a lot of money and thought that more expensive meant better. The advertised self priming feature was a lie. To get the damn thing to work I had to suck on the washdown nozzle to prime it. After one attempt to rebuild it with a kit which cost more than a cheaper pump, I threw it off the boat and bought a PAR.
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Old 01-01-2018, 10:21   #14
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Re: Quality Pumps

The second pump on that list is the one my friend on the Amel used as a replacement, notice on the drop down menu, if you want the high capacity pump, itís every bit of $800.
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Old 01-01-2018, 10:33   #15
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Re: Quality Pumps

Quote:
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My boat came with the expensive Groco washhdown pump, because the PO had a lot of money and thought that more expensive meant better. The advertised self priming feature was a lie. To get the damn thing to work I had to suck on the washdown nozzle to prime it. After one attempt to rebuild it with a kit which cost more than a cheaper pump, I threw it off the boat and bought a PAR.
Ah, I was thinking that the repair kits would be more expensive then a "cheap" pump. I also am an engineer with tons of pump experience and I looked a the groco pump and my first though was, "Gee looks to have to many ways to fail". Check valve on inlet (or is it outlet), belt drive and brushes that need to be replaced every few years. While I use to disparage plastic pumps too, they are light weight, don't corrode, easy to replace and cheap enough to allow for a spare or two aboard.
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