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Old 29-09-2016, 20:57   #46
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Re: Shower is set up to Drain into Bilge (YUCK)

This is an old thread, but I've been debating this in my head for a little while, and this is where searching sent me.

What's worse: shower water in the bilge, or stagnant shower water in a shower sump? Our current setup is a separate shower sump (just a deep shower pan with teak slats over it) with a Rule 360 pumping through a vented loop to the sink drain. Works great, except with no check valve and maybe 6 ft of plumbing to the vented loop, there is always a few cups of water left in the shower sump (right under your feet). Right now the shower sees infrequent use, but we plan on living aboard in the near future, and when we do the shower sump will pretty much never dry out. I'm imagining this will lead to mold, smell, etc. Seems like it would be preferable for it to drain to the bilge where water egress from sailing/rain/packing gland will keep the water moving and the gunk from the shower would be diluted.

As a theoretical "what if" I'm entertaining the idea of drilling a small hole in the bottom of the shower sump, such that we would still pump it out at the end of a shower, but any leftover water would slowly leak into the bilge. Interested in why this would be a dumb idea.
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Old 29-09-2016, 21:28   #47
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Re: Shower is set up to Drain into Bilge (YUCK)

Regardless of how much raw water you think will dilute your shower sump water, it will still stink and pervade the whole boat. We lived aboard for many years and have dealt with both using your bilge as a sump as well as having a dedicated sump for our shower.
My advice is to have a dedicated sump for your shower that is easily accessible, say in the engine room and to religiously clean out the hair and other detrious material every other day and when leaving your boat. A squirt of simple green after cleaning it out keeps everything smelling sweet. Phil
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Old 29-09-2016, 21:30   #48
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Re: Shower is set up to Drain into Bilge (YUCK)

Simple Green is a very good best friend.
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Old 29-09-2016, 22:08   #49
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Re: Shower is set up to Drain into Bilge (YUCK)

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Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
Regardless of how much raw water you think will dilute your shower sump water, it will still stink and pervade the whole boat. We lived aboard for many years and have dealt with both using your bilge as a sump as well as having a dedicated sump for our shower.
My advice is to have a dedicated sump for your shower that is easily accessible, say in the engine room and to religiously clean out the hair and other detrious material every other day and when leaving your boat. A squirt of simple green after cleaning it out keeps everything smelling sweet. Phil
On our 36' boat, any solution that involves an engine room isn't really applicable. However your point of 'it will stink regardless of dilution' is understood, and your experience to back it up is helpful. I guess I'll lean more towards a system that can adequately drain the sump.
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Old 30-09-2016, 00:35   #50
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Re: Shower is set up to Drain into Bilge (YUCK)

Ours initially had the shower and vanity water going to a sump which then pumped to the bilge. Double yuck. Our shower sump was just an open type accessibly directly through an access in the cabin sole.

I initially got rid of the connection to the bilge but after 12 months living aboard with the sump I got sick of a slight smell all the time and having to do a regular clean of all the grey water slime in the sump. Also we had a couple of instances where the sump pump Or float switch failed with the grey water overflowing into neighbouring compartments. Wife has long hair that was also a problem for the pump.

Recently completed a revamp of the whole shower and ended up making my own mini sump with float and pump out system. Looked at buying one of the readymade sump boxes but what I didn't like was the centrifugal pump and the float switch mounted inside the sump. Ended up making my own mostly out of salvaged bits and pieces.

Used some 4" PVC pipe about 6-8" long. Put an end cap on the bottom with a hose barb fitting through it for the outlet. Put a screw cap fitting on top and attached the float switch to that. Made a float out of foam from a vege box painted with some epoxy. A thin steel rod in the middle of the float goes through a short bit of plastic tube which is fixed to the centre of the screw cap. Bored a couple of holes in the top with hose burbs to take the shower and vanity drain lines. The pump is a whale 320 diaphragm type mounted high and dry under the vanity cabinet.

Was a bit of fiddling around. Seems to work ok so far. I like that the outlet of the sumo is right at the bottom at the lowest possible point so hopefully won't get a buildup of any muck as the chamber will empty completely each time. Also like that the float switch is actually out of the water as I can't seem to get more than a few months out of a submerged switch.

Winf.
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Old 30-09-2016, 00:47   #51
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Re: Shower is set up to Drain into Bilge (YUCK)

Don't use animal fat soap. Needs to be cold water soluble.
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Old 30-09-2016, 01:53   #52
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Re: Shower is set up to Drain into Bilge (YUCK)

Quote:
Originally Posted by wyb2 View Post
This is an old thread, but I've been debating this in my head for a little while, and this is where searching sent me.

What's worse: shower water in the bilge, or stagnant shower water in a shower sump? Our current setup is a separate shower sump (just a deep shower pan with teak slats over it) with a Rule 360 pumping through a vented loop to the sink drain. Works great, except with no check valve and maybe 6 ft of plumbing to the vented loop, there is always a few cups of water left in the shower sump (right under your feet). Right now the shower sees infrequent use, but we plan on living aboard in the near future, and when we do the shower sump will pretty much never dry out. I'm imagining this will lead to mold, smell, etc. Seems like it would be preferable for it to drain to the bilge where water egress from sailing/rain/packing gland will keep the water moving and the gunk from the shower would be diluted.

As a theoretical "what if" I'm entertaining the idea of drilling a small hole in the bottom of the shower sump, such that we would still pump it out at the end of a shower, but any leftover water would slowly leak into the bilge. Interested in why this would be a dumb idea.
I would not say dumb idea, but naive. The deal here is that soap scum goes with the shower water. It is far better, and once you get used to it, not a big deal, to, after the water from the shower has all drained to the sump, pull out the grate, and bail the last bit out. After each two showers. Every time. Always stays clean, and y'all take turns.

The problem with soap scum is that it may clog your proper bilge pump when you need it to work.
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Old 30-09-2016, 06:59   #53
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Re: Shower is set up to Drain into Bilge (YUCK)

Quote:
Originally Posted by wyb2 View Post
This is an old thread, but I've been debating this in my head for a little while, and this is where searching sent me.

What's worse: shower water in the bilge, or stagnant shower water in a shower sump? Our current setup is a separate shower sump (just a deep shower pan with teak slats over it) with a Rule 360 pumping through a vented loop to the sink drain. Works great, except with no check valve and maybe 6 ft of plumbing to the vented loop, there is always a few cups of water left in the shower sump (right under your feet). Right now the shower sees infrequent use, but we plan on living aboard in the near future, and when we do the shower sump will pretty much never dry out. I'm imagining this will lead to mold, smell, etc. Seems like it would be preferable for it to drain to the bilge where water egress from sailing/rain/packing gland will keep the water moving and the gunk from the shower would be diluted.

As a theoretical "what if" I'm entertaining the idea of drilling a small hole in the bottom of the shower sump, such that we would still pump it out at the end of a shower, but any leftover water would slowly leak into the bilge. Interested in why this would be a dumb idea.

Sump?

Or Bilge?


That is the question.

Or is it?

Whale make a gray water sensor pump with no sump. It pumps straight overboard:

Whale Marine - Products


My gray water tanks are the most disgusting thing aboard. The stench, when you open them up to clean them out, is indescribable. Thinking about ripping them out and replacing with these.
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Old 30-09-2016, 09:44   #54
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Re: Shower is set up to Drain into Bilge (YUCK)

Put a pump in the hose to the shower drain. Small above water thru hull nearby to discharge. (or just use your sink drain as currently do I suppose) Have a switch in the shower to activate the pump. This evacuates the sump very well as opposed to one of the plastic boxes or a bilge pump type.
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