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Old 29-07-2009, 09:50   #1
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Installing Bilge Pumps

I have a cat that didn't come with pumps and planning on installing one in each hull.

Should I...

1 - Use float switches and connect them directly to the batteries?
2 - Float switches and connect to a breaker?
3 - No float switches and run them to a breaker?
4 - Some other way I haven't though of?

I live aboard, and plan to eventually cut the dock lines and live on the hook. In case that has any bearing on your recommendation.
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Old 29-07-2009, 12:20   #2
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watching with bated breath...

Oh joy, you all can kill 2 birds with one stone here... our Cal 28 is bilge-pump-less also and I am thinking on what set ups would be best. I am used to a pump on the hull and a float switch right above it, but that was for a very shallow draft wood chris craft. I don't know what will make the most sense for our girl...
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Old 29-07-2009, 12:52   #3
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All wiring (receiving moderate or more amperage) should be fused, so even if you're attaching directly to a battery, make certain there is a fuse inline as close to the battery as possible. Make certain you know, the fuse is to protect the wire, not so much the pump.

I have one attachment that goes from a battery junction, to a fuse, to the float, to the pump. There is another power line that goes from my distribution breaker panel to the pump directly (This is for manual operation). That's for the mid bilge pumps.

In the engine compartments. They go from battery, to fuse, to 3way switch to float to pump. The three way switch allow you to manually turn the pump on, turn it off, or turn it on auto float switch.

I have another set of pumps in the forward heads/showers. They can double as bilge pumps too. They are attached via fused junction locations that go to the breaker panel.

So, I have six bilge pumps. The most important ones have a direct attachment to the batteries. One to the house bank, One to the starter battery bank. I can swap battery banks by a selector switch when necessary.
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Old 29-07-2009, 13:19   #4
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You could have whale hand pumps, too, if that is not considered revolutionary.
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Old 29-07-2009, 13:20   #5
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how many pumps per loa?
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Old 29-07-2009, 13:25   #6
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there is an ancient manual hand pump that is not functional... original I suspect. it's good she's watertight! Like this one.


I planned on replacing it so we would have a manual back up. Good idea or no to use one like this?
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Old 29-07-2009, 14:01   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strygaldwir View Post
All wiring (receiving moderate or more amperage) should be fused, so even if you're attaching directly to a battery, make certain there is a fuse inline as close to the battery as possible. Make certain you know, the fuse is to protect the wire, not so much the pump...
Which provides the second, of 2 very good reasons, to maximize the bilge pump wire size.
1. Larger wire reduces voltage drop. Smaller wire increases voltage drop, which can drastically reduce the pump’s output.
2. Larger wires can be safely fused at higher amperages, reducing nuisance outages due to minor (or major) overloads. In extremis, I want my bilge pump to die trying.

See also:

Bilge Pump Wiring Question
Bilge pumps
http://www.cruisersforum.com/gallery...r&imageuser=79
http://www.cruisersforum.com/gallery...r&imageuser=79
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Old 29-07-2009, 14:50   #8
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Sarfina,

I have one of those types of hand pumps. They are handy for various jobs so get one. An installed Whale Gusher hand pump is a serious hand pump and can deliver a lot of water easily. It is generally installed in the cockpit so you can pump as you sail back to safety. They are very efficient and can pump a long as the arm holds out. A deck hand is not included.

No real rule on pumps per loa. More like if you have a segmented bilge and then need multiple pumps to clear them all. It is embarrassing having the bow sink because the forward bilge got too full.

The other idea is to install the normal electric bilge pump and install a second one higher. The idea is if the first one can't keep up (or fails from being used a lot) you double the effort with an even bigger one. All this works until the battery goes dead. Sizing the outflows and installing back flow check valves, wiring the pump so it can't be accidentally shut off and a whole host of things all come to mind when pumping bilges. Gotta love bilge pumps. The double pump idea is not required but I wouldn't mind one in my boat.
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Old 29-07-2009, 15:28   #9
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well, so long at the sun is shining as we slowly sink, we should be fine... installing a killer set of solar panels!

heh... of course something like that happens only on a cloudy or rainy day, or at night, right?
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Old 29-07-2009, 15:30   #10
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say... we are considering a foot pump in the gallery for the water supply.. maybe 2 because I can't figure out how to get one to work for both hot and cold water... any way to set this up so that they are back up bilge pumps? I like redundancy!
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Old 29-07-2009, 16:19   #11
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.. No real rule on pumps per loa...
Except to note that, the smaller the boat, the quicker she'll sink with a given amount of water or hole size.
Ergo, some suggest that the smaller the boat, the larger the pump.
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Old 29-07-2009, 16:24   #12
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heh... the smaller the vessel the bigger the pump huh?

*evil grin*
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Old 29-07-2009, 16:42   #13
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Sara,
If all the water in your bilge drains to one place then all you need is one electric bilge pump. Some transverse bulkheads have limber holes (drain holes) at the bottom and some have none. I don't think your boat has any transverse bulkheads.

On a boat your size (28 foot sailboat) a Rule 2000 would work just fine. Buy an additional manual hand pump with a long enough hose to reach over the side or through a port. Test it to see if it actually works for you, before you need it.

As far as wire and fusing. 12 AWG on a boat your size and a pump that size will work. Buy the ANCOR heat shrink butt connectors for connecting your pump. Buy a pump switch with the Auto-Off-On positions. It will have a fuse in it. A 20 amp fuse will be the right size. Connect the bilge pump wires directly to the battery. Whether you have a float switch or an automatic pump is more to your preference. The float switch pumps cause the water to come up higher before draining. The automatic ones keep the water level a little lower, but they also draw a little power each time they cycle every few minutes. What you don't want to do to wire it so that when you turn off your master battery switch, your bilge pump no longer works. Its a really easy setup.

As far as hot and cold water goes, one pump can power both the hot and cold water spigots. Its a matter of putting the pump between the water tank and the hot water heater. With the hose that comes out of the water pump, put in a Y-connector. One hose will go to the sink spigot (cold) and the other will go to the heater (hot) and then to the spigot.

If you use your fresh water pump for drinking water I would NOT use it as an emergency bilge pump. It could be done with a Y-valve...but don't unless you don't mind getting your stomach pumped at the hospital because you just drank a glass of bilge water because you forgot to switch the Y-valve back. It's against ABYC rules to connect the bilge and F/W system together in any way anyways. With an electric bilge pump and a hand pump you will already have two ways of dewatering your bilge already.

If your battery seems inadequate then you may want to go up a group size or two. You have at least a 30 amp/3 stage charger aboard right?
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Old 29-07-2009, 17:03   #14
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Quote:
heh... the smaller the vessel the bigger the pump huh?
Consider the jet ski. Very small boat, very big pump, and no bilge.
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Old 29-07-2009, 21:22   #15
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1) Redundancy. Where you need one, put in 2. So, that's 4 total. CHEAP insurance.

2) Wired directly to the battery.

3) A fuse small enough to prevent a fire - but as big as you can stand. As previously noted, I'd rather lose a bilge pump and/or battery, rather than sink a boat.

4) For freshwater system, the only way to go is with a VSD pump.
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