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Old 27-07-2012, 09:57   #1
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Variable Speed FW pumps?

Im consideing replacing our fresh water pump and going with one of the newer style variable speed pumps that claim you can ditch the expansion tank. The pump we have now is like 3.2 gpm I think and is a piece of crap. We are a family of 4 live aboard. Recommendations on a new pump?

Thanks
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Old 27-07-2012, 10:17   #2
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Re: Variable Speed FW pumps?

I'm interested in learning more about these pumps. Anyone?
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Old 27-07-2012, 10:34   #3
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I've been exposed two two.
Both had ( after several months of use) some sort of problem with the switch.
I'm not saying good or bad, only what I've seen
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Old 27-07-2012, 10:40   #4
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Re: Variable Speed FW pumps?

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
I've been exposed two two.
Both had ( after several months of use) some sort of problem with the switch.
I'm not saying good or bad, only what I've seen

Detail on which (2) you had? Brand? Model? Warranty issues?

Thanks,
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Old 27-07-2012, 10:44   #5
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Re: Variable Speed FW pumps?

I put in a Jabsco 31750 Sensor Max VSD pump. It has been in for about 2 years and works much better than the last clunker we had in there.

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Old 27-07-2012, 10:46   #6
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Re: Variable Speed FW pumps?

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
I've been exposed two two.
Both had ( after several months of use) some sort of problem with the switch.
I'm not saying good or bad, only what I've seen
I've deliberately not put these on my boat, but know others who have with similar experiences to yours. Way too fancy for me...and I really don't get the perceived advantage of getting rid of the accumulator tank?

See related thread at External Pressure Switch.
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Old 27-07-2012, 10:51   #7
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Re: Variable Speed FW pumps?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I've deliberately not put these on my boat, but know others who have with similar experiences to yours. Way too fancy for me...and I really don't get the perceived advantage of getting rid of the accumulator tank?

See related thread at External Pressure Switch.

Getting rid of the tank frees up some much needed locker space and eliminates a few hose connections. Plus my tank is on its last legs and I would prefer not to buy a new one. I havent had the pressure switch problems you refer to but we have not been living aboard for that long.

Thanks
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Old 27-07-2012, 11:28   #8
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Re: Variable Speed FW pumps?

Our boat came with a ShurFLO variable speed pump and we were very pleased with the way it worked. However, in a little less than a year it started to seize up intermittently and would only flow when the circuit breaker for the pump was reset. Investigating online, I found a lot of people had problems with the ShurFLO pumps, however I liked the variable speed functionality enough to give the technology another try. I ended up replacing the pump with a Jabsco Sensor Max 17 variable speed pump and it has functioned perfectly for the last year and a half.

With both pumps the water flow is strong and you can hear the pump varying its speed based on the demand. We have found that the pump can handle two separate water demands with no problem (e.g., a shower and a faucet or a head flush), and not having a pressure tank is nice from a space perspective.

Hope this helps,

Steve
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Old 27-07-2012, 13:12   #9
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Re: Variable Speed FW pumps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyxis156 View Post
Our boat came with a ShurFLO variable speed pump and we were very pleased with the way it worked. However, in a little less than a year it started to seize up intermittently and would only flow when the circuit breaker for the pump was reset. Investigating online, I found a lot of people had problems with the ShurFLO pumps, however I liked the variable speed functionality enough to give the technology another try. I ended up replacing the pump with a Jabsco Sensor Max 17 variable speed pump and it has functioned perfectly for the last year and a half.

With both pumps the water flow is strong and you can hear the pump varying its speed based on the demand. We have found that the pump can handle two separate water demands with no problem (e.g., a shower and a faucet or a head flush), and not having a pressure tank is nice from a space perspective.

Hope this helps,

Steve

Thanks Steve I have been looking at the Jabscos, the Sensor Max 17 is 4.5 gpm, did you find that to be adequate or would going up to the Jabsco V-FLow which is 5.0 gpm be better? Our current pump is 3.2 gpm but is close to the end of its life and I suspect is not delivering close to that.
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Old 27-07-2012, 13:35   #10
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Re: Variable Speed FW pumps?

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Originally Posted by SV Demeter View Post
Thanks Steve I have been looking at the Jabscos, the Sensor Max 17 is 4.5 gpm, did you find that to be adequate or would going up to the Jabsco V-FLow which is 5.0 gpm be better?
I believe our original pump was the SHURflo Extreme Smart Sensor 5.7 that is specified to deliver 5.0 GPM. We replaced it with a Jabsco Sensor Max VSD 17 pump rated at 4.5 GPM and we don't notice a difference in flow and only a slight difference in pressure. I suspect the pressure difference is due to the SHURflo having a higher pressure rating of 60 PSI, and in retrospect I think this caused a few (minor) issues with our hot water tank pressure relief valve constantly dripping, something it doesn't do with the new pump...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Demeter View Post
Our current pump is 3.2 gpm but is close to the end of its life and I suspect is not delivering close to that.
To put things in context, if your existing pump is putting out 3.2 GPM the (new) Jabsco pump would be putting out 40% more flow at 4.5 GPM.
As far as pressure goes, I know they offer two models of the Jabsco pump, one that kicks in at 30 PSI and cuts out at 35 PSI and the other that kicks in at 20 PSI and cuts out at 30PSI, we got the latter. We don't have a watermaker so we are somewhat frugal with our freshwater use but even when we know water won't be an issue (i.e., we are at a dock somewhere) and go "all out" on a shower water pressure wise, someone can be washing dishes at the same time and we do not experience any drops in water pressure.

Steve
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Old 27-07-2012, 13:49   #11
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Re: Variable Speed FW pumps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyxis156 View Post
I believe our original pump was the SHURflo Extreme Smart Sensor 5.7 that is specified to deliver 5.0 GPM. We replaced it with a Jabsco Sensor Max VSD 17 pump rated at 4.5 GPM and we don't notice a difference in flow and only a slight difference in pressure. I suspect the pressure difference is due to the SHURflo having a higher pressure rating of 60 PSI, and in retrospect I think this caused a few (minor) issues with our hot water tank pressure relief valve constantly dripping, something it doesn't do with the new pump...


To put things in context, if your existing pump is putting out 3.2 GPM the (new) Jabsco pump would be putting out 40% more flow at 4.5 GPM.
As far as pressure goes, I know they offer two models of the Jabsco pump, one that kicks in at 30 PSI and cuts out at 35 PSI and the other that kicks in at 20 PSI and cuts out at 30PSI, we got the latter. We don't have a watermaker so we are somewhat frugal with our freshwater use but even when we know water won't be an issue (i.e., we are at a dock somewhere) and go "all out" on a shower water pressure wise, someone can be washing dishes at the same time and we do not experience any drops in water pressure.

Steve
Thanks a lot Steve this is very helpful. Thinking the VSD 17 is the way to go. Will probably get the extended warranty from port supply just to be safe...
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Old 27-07-2012, 13:53   #12
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Re: Variable Speed FW pumps?

One note that while the VSD pumps don't need a tank, the hot water in the water heater expands when heated. Without the tank, the T&P relief valve on the tank may pop off a bit now and then to relief excess pressure. Which wastes water on a boat.

Even in a 6 gallon tank the water will expanded enough that over time the rubber diaphragm on the smaller jabsco accumulator tanks will fail. Or it did in my case...

To use the tank for thermal expansion with a VSD pump you should locate the tank on the cold water supply to the water heater and place a check valve in front of the tank (between the tank and pump). then the tank does not effect the pressure sensor.

The manufacturers data is correct that you don't need a tank for the pump, but it may be prudent to have one to prevent the water heater from dribbling water to the bilge.
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Old 27-07-2012, 14:01   #13
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Re: Variable Speed FW pumps?

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
One note that while the VSD pumps don't need a tank, the hot water in the water heater expands when heated. Without the tank, the T&P relief valve on the tank may pop off a bit now and then to relief excess pressure. Which wastes water on a boat.

Even in a 6 gallon tank the water will expanded enough that over time the rubber diaphragm on the smaller jabsco accumulator tanks will fail. Or it did in my case...

To use the tank for thermal expansion with a VSD pump you should locate the tank on the cold water supply to the water heater and place a check valve in front of the tank (between the tank and pump). then the tank does not effect the pressure sensor.

The manufacturers data is correct that you don't need a tank for the pump, but it may be prudent to have one to prevent the water heater from dribbling water to the bilge.
I see. Well I guess I wont throw out the tank I have now, will give things a go first without it and see if I get the drips!
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Old 27-07-2012, 14:07   #14
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Re: Variable Speed FW pumps?

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I see. Well I guess I wont throw out the tank I have now, will give things a go first without it and see if I get the drips!
I left the tank in place and connected when I installed the Jabsco VSD
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Old 28-07-2012, 07:56   #15
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Re: Variable Speed FW pumps?

Great thread! Good useful information. We will bear everything offered in mind when making our decision for Karen's pressure system.
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