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Old 31-12-2013, 13:12   #1
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Sump Box

Hello all,
first off happy new year. i have a quick question, sorta, but first the back story... my sump box from the shower and sink overflows into my fwd bilge. the pump works fine and trips on when the float raises and does what its supposed to do...i think?! the problem is that when the rush of water comes into the box it floods and overflows before the pump can get all the water out of the box, hence overflowing into the bildge and sits until it triggers the bilge pump, and sometimes long enough to smell foul...i tried the only think i know to do and that was to put some calk around the top to seal it (i will be able to pull off when i need to clean the box out...) but it still over flows where the float and pump wires come into the box, so its not 100% water tight...seems to me this shouldnt be happening...

my question is: do i really need a sump box for legal/environmental reasons? and why cant i just bypass the box and let it all flow out via gravity? and what are the drawbacks to not having a box?

question two: does anyone have any suggestions?

thanks in advance!
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Old 31-12-2013, 13:20   #2
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Re: Sump Box

First I don't think it would flow out by gravity, at least not overboard. Unless you shower sits pretty high the sump will be below the waterline of the boat so the only place it would flow would be back to the bilge.

On my boat I don't have a float in the sump, I just have a switch and turn on the pump when I'm using the shower. The sinks since they sit higher do drain directly overboard.

Draining overboard isn't a problem in most places but there are some areas that require you to pump out sink and shower water as well as head sewage.
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Old 04-01-2014, 13:39   #3
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Re: Sump Box

Mine is the same as Skipmac, a diaphram pump with a switch for the shower because the shower drain is below the waterline, it works great with no problem. Even with the float switch you could wire the pump for manual operation with a toggle or rocker switch also. If you switched the pump on just before you opened the taps that may give the pump the head start it needs to stop any over flow of the box. Good luck
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Old 05-01-2014, 15:10   #4
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Re: Sump Box

Hey! Mine is doing the something similar caused by faulty float switch that turns on OK but turns the pump off when the water level gets too high.
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Old 05-01-2014, 15:16   #5
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Re: Sump Box

sounds like the pump cannot keep up with the flow of water from the shower. Can you increase the size of the discharge hose/thru hull or increase the size of the pump. Barring that the only other option is to seal the sump box and let the shower pan hole hold the excess water until the sump can hold it.
Try to avoid shower water in the bilge it will smell.
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Old 05-01-2014, 16:49   #6
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Re: Sump Box

Those sumps usually come with a 300 or 500 or 800 gph pump. They should keep up. Its your float switch that is probably bad. They frequently go. I have to swap out the float switch about every 6 months or so. These sump boxes are really terrible. I would much rather go with a whale IC gulper, but don't have the room in the bilge.
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Old 05-01-2014, 19:01   #7
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Re: Sump Box

OP states that the pump is functioning. I know the issue with mine is that the sump box is too small to contain the volume of water the shower creates. As such the sump fills up and backs up to the shower pan. I have to stand in 1.5 inches of water till it can move into and be pumped out of the sump box. Takes a couple minutes and I can live with that. The other option would be to buy/build a larger sump. I believe mine is an off the self Rule unit.
Just make sure the sump lid is on tight and sealed
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Old 05-01-2014, 19:57   #8
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Re: Sump Box

Have checked the pump vane mine gets
Clogged with hair & requires cleaning.
About once a month with full time use.
Your shower is not likely to flow more
than 20lts/min a small pump is all that
Is needed.
I use a rule 500.
Only issues are regular cleaning.
I recommend weekly for full time use
Also before you leave the boat for any
Length of time.
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Old 05-01-2014, 20:01   #9
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Re: Sump Box

Have checked the pump vane mine gets
Clogged with hair & requires cleaning.
About once a month with full time use.
Your shower is not likely to flow more
than 20lts/min a small pump is all that
Is needed.
I use a rule 500.
Only issues are regular cleaning.
I recommend weekly for full time use
Also before you leave the boat for any
Length of time.(sump)
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Old 06-01-2014, 13:38   #10
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Re: Sump Box

My point was it can't be the size of the box because the pumps are more than sufficient to empty out the box before it fills up. As BriaF notes, there capacity is much higher than gravity flow from your shower. Therefore, it has to be the switch or maybe the flow through the hoses is restricted.
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Old 06-01-2014, 18:32   #11
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Re: Sump Box

In my case it is the size, or more specifically the depth, of the box. The box is maybe 4 or 5 inches tall and about a foot square. By the time the float switch rises to the on position the box is essentially full. The pump kicks on drains the box faster than the incoming flow, flow switch drops, shuts the pump off and the cycle starts again. A deeper box would likely work better but current location does not permit
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:20   #12
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Re: Sump Box

OK, I'll have at it one last time. Unless you've cut the top down, you've got the same size sump box as the rest of us. If it is functioning properly, which is often only for the first few weeks, it will drain any shower in any boat without overflowing. There is just too much capacity to overwhelm it. However, it will stop functioning and leak eventually. But it is not because of the size of the box. It is because the float does not turn on when it should. It is a pretty straightforward fix to pull out the box, disconnect the float and replace it with a new one. Upon inspection, faulty float switches usually look just fine. If your shower is draining slowly, this has nothing to do with the box but it is because your drain hoses are becoming clogged with gunk. Try snaking them. I have 2 of these sump boxes on my boat, and I hate them but you can keep them working without leaking if you keep the float switch working. There is no reason to live with smelly grey water in your bilge.
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:31   #13
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Re: Sump Box

You should also pull the pump and clean the impeller when you clean the strainer.
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:53   #14
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Re: Sump Box

ive tried all of the above...i like the whale ic gulper...gonna give that a try. ill repost on the results, thanks!
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:13   #15
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Re: Sump Box

Try an experiment and see if you can get the float to kick on a smidge earlier... say an inch.... zip tie a key float or thinner if need be under your float switch... If it works, find a permanent solution....
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