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Old 28-11-2018, 12:00   #31
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Re: A Whale of a Fail: Emergency bilge pump

Dumb question. How long do batteries typically work when flooded with saltwater?


Let's skip the theory (current leakage, chlorine in the acid, chlorine gas) and go right to actual data. I don't know of any and couldn't find any.


I'm half temped to dump a cheap battery in water and measure some stuff.
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Old 28-11-2018, 12:16   #32
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Re: A Whale of a Fail: Emergency bilge pump

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Dumb question. How long do batteries typically work when flooded with saltwater?
My guess is "not long enough!" lol

We can hook the pump up to the 12 volt adapter on the Honda generator (moved up on deck) if needed. But, the other person on board would likely be deploying the lift raft at that point. lol
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Old 28-11-2018, 12:17   #33
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Re: A Whale of a Fail: Emergency bilge pump

I salvaged a Henderson chimp mk 111 pump off of a boat built in 1989. Henderson was on the Isle of Wight, their company and tooling was bought out by Whale of Ireland. The pump had a broken top plate. I telephoned Whale in Ireland and they mailed a complete new cover to Canada by air mail at no charge. the package also inculded new rubber parts.



Their instructions state that their pumps should be rebuilt with new rubber valves every two years. So discovery as to aluminum oxidization causing a bump, or whether the pump had been badly repainted should have been discovered years ago.


So I regard them as a good company to do business with.
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Old 28-11-2018, 12:41   #34
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Re: A Whale of a Fail: Emergency bilge pump

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Our emergency pump consists of a Rule 3700, 25 feet of 2" flat plastic discharge hose (like for draining a hot tub or swimming pool) connected with a hose clamp, and two electrical clamps (mini jumper cables) that connect to any battery to power the thing.
I really like that idea! If the boat lists or pitches, say from water coming in at the bow (think collision) faster than it can drain to the bilge, it'll cause the boat to pitch down -- and stop all the flow to the bilge until it's oriented like the last moments of the Titanic. With your arrangement, you can get the pump to the water, rather than the conventional other-way-around!
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Old 28-11-2018, 12:49   #35
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Re: A Whale of a Fail: Emergency bilge pump

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Dumb question. How long do batteries typically work when flooded with saltwater?


Let's skip the theory (current leakage, chlorine in the acid, chlorine gas) and go right to actual data. I don't know of any and couldn't find any.


I'm half temped to dump a cheap battery in water and measure some stuff.
AGMs will work submerged to a depth greater than the boat could sink and still be on the surface. Sea water is not very conductive and really not a factor at 12 volts. You'll get leakage current, but not enough to matter in a short term emergency. Stick ohmmeter probes in sea water and see how much conductivity you get. Not much. Some people seem to imagine it conducts like molten copper.


Sea water works well as a radio ground plane and radar reflector because of the sudden change in refraction at the air/water interface -- not because of conduction.
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Old 28-11-2018, 14:08   #36
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Re: A Whale of a Fail: Emergency bilge pump

But how long will the batteries last?
Bill





Incidentally, I have 15,000 gallons/hour of theoretical bilge pumping capacity (3 x 4000 gph pumps, one 2600 gph, and one 400 gph pump to dry out the bilge) and a very large watertight compartment in the bow. And yes, there is a diverter valve to shift the engine water supply to the bilge.[/QUOTE]
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Old 28-11-2018, 14:25   #37
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Re: A Whale of a Fail: Emergency bilge pump

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AGMs will work submerged to a depth greater than the boat could sink and still be on the surface. Sea water is not very conductive and really not a factor at 12 volts. You'll get leakage current, but not enough to matter in a short term emergency. Stick ohmmeter probes in sea water and see how much conductivity you get. Not much. Some people seem to imagine it conducts like molten copper.


Sea water works well as a radio ground plane and radar reflector because of the sudden change in refraction at the air/water interface -- not because of conduction.

That sounds like the right answer. I remember doing some measurements with zinc anodes years ago, and the flow was on the order of a few milliamps at 1-2 volts. If it was more, the anodes wouldn't last.


On the other hand, I've melted the ends off 120V extension cords that were dropped in seawater and the GFI didn't trip. In this latter case, the current was logically more than 1000 times higher.



But on 12v system (multiple leakage points, multiple batteries), the total leakage would still be less than an amp.
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Old 28-11-2018, 17:11   #38
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Re: A Whale of a Fail: Emergency bilge pump

To go back a bit, the idea that the pump was never tested is just bonkers - and the OP sees that as a mistake. However, I should point out that testing it has its issues as well. I have two Whales (1 each Mk.II and Mk.III) and I tested both. Well, those integral check valves held the water inside for a very long time, and the water happened to be salt water. Any flaws in the paint, either original or from parts contact (as can be seen in the OP's photo) and the aluminum will corrode nicely, thank you. Both still function but need new paint. A friend had one develop a hole - I guess he tested it often. So after use be certain to flush with fresh water and then drain; if buying new buy a good plastic bilge pump instead. If I had it to do over I would use the same excellent pump that came with the Lavac toilet for all of my 1-1/2" pumping needs - very reliable and cuts down on the need for spares.

The idea of using the engine's raw water pump for an emergency has been floating around for years - it should have sunk by now. First, the amount it would move would be a few liters a minute - hardly enough to make a difference in an emergency. Meanwhile, it is another thing to fail, and in this case could result in overheating the engine. Not worth the risk. Buy a proper large emergency bilge pump instead. I have carried a Rule 3700 around with a hose attached that can reach out the small portlight on the aft of the cabin and overboard; the long power cable has a 50A connector on the end and a mate is permanently attached to the bulkhead beside the main DC breaker panel. I am in the process of permanently installing it.

For all of you with the aluminum Whale pumps: they may look great on the outside but you really need to un-clamp the diaphragm and take a look inside occasionally - maybe when you test and drain them?

Greg
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Old 28-11-2018, 18:32   #39
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Re: A Whale of a Fail: Emergency bilge pump

FWIW
Regarding engine driven bilge pumps, Yanmar used to supply an optional cooling / bilge pump on the QM series. There was one impeller / chamber for the cooling and a separate impeller / chamber for the bilge aspects all driven by one shaft. It seemed a reasonable idea although I not sure if it would work with a dry bilge - supply the bilge impeller shouldn't be allowed to run dry - IMO.
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Old 28-11-2018, 21:09   #40
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Re: A Whale of a Fail: Emergency bilge pump

It is possible to rig up a pump with manual clutch to the fan belt on some engines. I have seen that done before, and it has the possibility of a high flow rate.


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Old 28-11-2018, 22:13   #41
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Re: A Whale of a Fail: Emergency bilge pump

I have a manual Edson emergency bilge pump. It's huge and has a 3600 gph rating. 25 ft of hose. I have it and it's handy zipper bag. I never thought to test it, but as a result of reading this thread I am going to be sure to test it.
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Old 29-11-2018, 04:31   #42
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Re: A Whale of a Fail: Emergency bilge pump

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I sent two photos and an email to Whale. It is very clear that the paint lump caused the valve failure. The inside of the pump is pristine. Whale only cares about warranty issues, not its long-term liability for poorly made products.

And yes, it is a simple thing to sand out the paint bubble.

People who have seen the pump are appalled. It would be impossible to screw in the flapper valve without seeing the paint lump. Quality control must have been nonexistent at the time.

I am seriously considering sending the material to the US Coastguard. I am worried that the problem may be typical.

I suggest a couple aspirins and plenty of fluids. Breathe. Let's get real. This is a drop of paint in a very old, out of warranty pump and is not even close to being the end of the earth issue. Remind me never to charter a boat to you. It's clear that no one tested, or opened the pump for biannual maintenance since it was installed, and yes, that includes you.


Anyone who leaves shore without conducting a complete pre-flight, lol, is well, foolish. To complain is the height of arrogance, I'm sorry. Relax. Sand off the paint, and instead of crucifying a fine company whose pumps seem to last forever (with regular inspection and maintenance) - but failed only because you and the previous owner never checked it for ten years - well, you'd have been much better off admitting your own failure at performing maintenance or testing.


With regular maintenance a Whale will last for decades. Mine has. One final note: from the Whale instructions:


Quote:
This Whale Gusher® 10 is designed to only require minimal maintenance.


WARNING
: Before servicing pump, drain water from system.


Inspection:
The diaphragms and inlet valves are held in place by the groove in the pump body and cover. Following inspection, ensure that they are seated properly in the grooves before tightening the covers in place. Regular inspection of the pump is recommended. Access to the pump chamber is quick and easy, requiring no tools. Rubber components
should be replaced if worn or every three years regardless of condition.


During periodic shipboard inspections, the bilge pump should be visually inspected to confirm parts are in goodcondition, especially rubber parts and mounting arrangements. The pump should be operated to show that it pumps water efficiently.

Don't be a troublemaker. Contacting the Coast Guard? Really?
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Old 29-11-2018, 05:55   #43
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Re: A Whale of a Fail: Emergency bilge pump

Sailmonkey is 100% correct ! test all your equipment before you go cruising ! Something will always fail anyway, usually a reason like the tie wraps !
I pump out my bilge vacuum out all the sand etc and test all my pumps. All water pumps, all bilge pumps even the fuel pump . And I carry spares
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Old 29-11-2018, 06:58   #44
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Re: A Whale of a Fail: Emergency bilge pump

There's a reason people have their life rafts inspected. Kind of the same reason one would check other safety equipment before heading offshore.

I like clean bilges, so once every year or so wash down the ER, which is the only place I have with a bilge, and exercise the pumps. I know they work, and probably have flushed out any pump clogging debris.
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Old 29-11-2018, 07:35   #45
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Re: A Whale of a Fail: Emergency bilge pump

Another warning: My boat has both electric and manual pumps. On one cruise a problem with shaft packing caused a steady leak. The electric pump had no trouble keeping up, until it failed. No problem, I have a hand pump that I test frequently. I start pumping on that, but it got harder, then suddenly easier but stopped pumping water. At this time we're broad reaching in 25-30 knots off the coast of Georgia. Water in not deep there, a steep sea has built up. Our immediate solution was bailing by bucket into the sink, which drains overboard. In port, the electric pump was replaced (we had the spare onboard, but installing it in the sloshing bilge would have been quite difficult). Examination revealed that the yard crew had painted the bolts that tighten the shaft packing, preventing them from turning, I replaced them. The hand pump failed because the inside of the hose had collapsed. That hose looked fine laying in the bilge, but had never had to do hard work and was probably decades old. I've since replaced several other hoses of unknown age. So, test your pumps, but take a critical look at the hoses too.
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