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Old 23-05-2017, 16:17   #1
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Bilge Pumps that don't.

A recent Bilge issue has brought to light some questions that I need to sort out.

The L450 has 1 x auto Rule pump and 1 x manually switched Gulper pump and 1 x Manually operated hand pump installed in each bilge. All failed at the same time.

How do you test the manual pumps?

If you pour water in the bilge the auto ones come on (if working) and pumps water away.

Up to now I have operated the switch on Electrical panel, the Gulper Pump ran and I heard it gulping and assumed it is working. Wrong obviously.

How do you test the manual pumps only without disconnecting wiring on the auto pump to stop it ?

The reason the Gulper and the hand pumps would not pump was a foot valve that was frozen shut, in both cases.
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Old 23-05-2017, 17:25   #2
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Re: Bilge Pumps that don't.

Somewhere, the auto pump will have fuse or circuit breaker protection. Pull it / switch it off to disable the pump.
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Old 23-05-2017, 18:39   #3
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Re: Bilge Pumps that don't.

Hi paul the port and starboard fuses are located in the 12v circuit breaker strip located behind the panel door on the starboard side next to the stairs.they are on seperate circuits.The fuses are on fuse no 18 and 19 on our boat reading left to right.The gulper type pumps use the one fuse located in the electronic control board beside the bilge pump switchClick image for larger version

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ID:	148296. The first wiring diagram should read item 378 stb bilge pump.372 port bilge pump.371 auto switch port.377 auto switch stb.373 manual switch port. 376 manual switch stb


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Old 23-05-2017, 19:15   #4
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Re: Bilge Pumps that don't.

My boat has 3 bilge wells with 3 elect pumps and 3 manual whale type pumps. I replaced 2 of the electric pumps and float switches so I know they're good.
I've seen older whale manual pumps where the flapper type check valves curl up a little with age and wont pull a suction. I flatten them out as much as possible and flip them over to seat on the other side. I'm thinking I can put a 5 gal bucket in the bilge, fill with water and put the end of the suction hose in the bucket and give it a test. I'll try it next time I get a chance. I have never tested the manual pumps yet. I'm not expecting good results.
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Old 24-05-2017, 02:38   #5
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Re: Bilge Pumps that don't.

Hey PaulinOz,
I think you got a test procedure; trip out both the circuits for the electric pumps, fill the bilge with water, test the manual hand pump, reset the circuit to test the Gulper and then the automatic Ŕule pump. Repeat for the other hull.

Interesting that your pumps are fitted with non-return foot valves. These are not fitted to our L400, which only has bronze strainers. The Gulper and the hand pump should be self priming and hence, in theory don't require foot valves. As you found out, these can be a source of failure. Especially if not protected from clogging debris. As Diesel Bill suggested, Gulper type pumps need periodic replacement of rubber flapper valves in order to efficiently operate and self prime.
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Old 24-05-2017, 09:12   #6
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Re: Bilge Pumps that don't.

Put pump in a pail of water most pumps have a quick disconnect base. The manual pump same thing put the pickup hose in a pail..
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Old 24-05-2017, 15:22   #7
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Re: Bilge Pumps that don't.

Non Return metal foot valves now scrapped on both Whale Hand and Gulper electric, manually operated pumps, replaced with plastic strainers only no valve. The pump tails are now movable so each can be placed in a bucket for independent testing without the need to pull fuses.



The faulty Rule 2000 second one, (first stopped when switch failed in on position the alarm stopped working after 5 minutes and ran for 9 hours dry) has been swapped for a 1/4 of the price Asian knock off. To see if that is any better or worse than branded unit. Have a new Rule 2000 in storage just in case. The knock off plugs straight into the Rule base.

Replaced the Whale electronic level switch, because once it switched on would not turn off. That is the third replacement on the boat in 3 years.

First one switched on with no water and stayed on.(caused pump and alarm failure)

Second just did nothing when tested one time.

Third turned on with water but would not turn off unless it was de-powered.

I guess I need to test theses things more often, the sad thing (maybe not) they have never worked in anger. The only running they have ever done is testing or during sensor failures.
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Old 25-05-2017, 15:21   #8
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Re: Bilge Pumps that don't.

Pul.
We've had similar sirens not wanting to turning off. There seems to be 2 ways to turn it off:

1. Disconnected the Whale electronic float switch from its cable connector and then re-connect. This works sometimes for us - sometimes not.

2. On the Whale (or other) electronic float switch, clean the two circular sensors on the float switch face. If you're not aware, these two sensors activate (the pump) when both sensors are submerged as the electrical circuit is then closed. These circular areas of the sensors gum up with bilge slime/sediment and need occasionally cleaning off to prevent closing the circuit when only damp.
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Old 25-05-2017, 17:28   #9
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Re: Bilge Pumps that don't.

Thanks Steve never thought about cleaning them, will try with next failure.
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