This thread is well timed, as I am doing a major refit
. I have carried a 1-1/2" centrifugal pump with hose and quick electrical
connection in a bucket for years, with a 1-1/8" centrifugal automatic pump and 2 manual pumps all independently installed. I have come to realize that even though I could quickly operate the crash pump, the short time required would still be better used to stop the leak. So I have mounted the crash pump as the main pump and have been considering something else to remove the small amount of water
that ends in the bilge
. Currently I am considering a Whale Gulper, as I have used one for a couple of decades to pump out the galley
sinks and it has performed flawlessly.
While I certainly agree that bilges need to be kept clean - for all sorts of reasons - I have found that pumps and check valves have never failed even when I expected them to clog. The modern designs are incredibly robust. That said, please don't count on it - keep the bilges clean.
Check valves do more than prevent pump cycling; for manual pumps they maintain the prime between pumping. With air in the hose it takes a lot of pumping to prime - my cockpit
pump has an input hose of about 10' length, which I don't really want to keep priming. However, I agree that using a check valve to prevent siphoning is a really bad idea destined for a bad outcome.
I regularly operated the manual pumps to confirm their status. Unfortunately this meant that water was left inside more or less continuously and corrosion
developed inside the aluminum
bodies. There is a lot to be said for plastic...
And I agree that there is an awful lot of undersize wiring
around. My West bilge
switch, rated at 15A, looks like it has 16ga cable. I will be dramatically shortening the leads coming out and replacing with 10ga or 12ga (for the larger pump).