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Old 14-05-2015, 16:50   #1
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How long after start up should raw water begin to exit exhaust

First Start of the season today for my Yanmar 3YM20. Kicked over first try like a champ however wasn't expelling raw water from exhaust.on first start of the year, how long will it typically take for the raw water to make its way through the engine before it is sent out the exhaust. Thruhull is open water in strainer and present in impeller. Ran the engine for three or do minutes but no water exiting the exhaust. Any ideas?
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Old 14-05-2015, 16:54   #2
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re: How long after start up should raw water begin to exit exhaust

Ours does so almost immediately , even if the water lift muffler was dry on start up.
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Old 14-05-2015, 16:55   #3
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re: How long after start up should raw water begin to exit exhaust

30 seconds to a minute. Longer if the boat has been hauled and drained.
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Old 14-05-2015, 17:56   #4
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re: How long after start up should raw water begin to exit exhaust

Depends on the volume of the water lift muffler, the water pump and the last time it burped itself. If the timing is right you would get water right away on start, if not, it would need to fill up the muffler again. At idle it could take a while to fill up if it were empty on start.
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Old 14-05-2015, 18:19   #5
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re: How long after start up should raw water begin to exit exhaust

Hi Phennessey,
We had a 3GM30f, and she would start flowing water immediately on start up, unless she had just been hauled like someone else mentioned. Even then, it would be within 5 seconds. The one time at spring start up she didn't start spewing water quickly, I found the impeller had torn. Probably had stuck in place after sItting for a few months then ripped on first start up. I bet that could be your issue. You have water flow at the strainer if you pulled the hose? How old is the impeller?


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Old 14-05-2015, 18:26   #6
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re: How long after start up should raw water begin to exit exhaust

Water should appear at the discharge within a few seconds. If it does not, there is a blockage somewhere or the pump is defective.
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Old 14-05-2015, 18:58   #7
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re: How long after start up should raw water begin to exit exhaust

Concur with everyone else so far

A few seconds to a minute (or two at the very most).
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Old 14-05-2015, 19:37   #8
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re: How long after start up should raw water begin to exit exhaust

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Originally Posted by Phennessey View Post
............. Ran the engine for three or do minutes but no water exiting the exhaust. Any ideas?
Is the impeller actually turning?

My water pump has a hard plastic key that will break to protect the gears if there's a problem. I wouldn't expect it to but a spare came with the boat.
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Old 14-05-2015, 20:38   #9
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re: How long after start up should raw water begin to exit exhaust

The first time I changed the impeller on my 3GM30F I started the engine and watched over the side for water. When none appeared I figured I had done something wrong. Not sure how long I watched for.... probably around a minute. So I went down and pulled things apart again.

Same thing again. But this time I felt the pump and it was cool, indicating presence of water. So I popped the hose feeding into the heat exchanger while it was running and water gushed out ... confirming it was pumping.

Third time, I just waited a little longer and all was fine. Listen for a change in exhaust note as the muffler box fills.

From the OP's 3-4 minutes, that does seem excessive, but if there is a heat exchanger and exhaust box to fill it could take a while. Do the "feel" test on the pump to see if it's cool, and then pop hoses to check for water flow.
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Old 14-05-2015, 21:01   #10
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Re: How long after start up should raw water begin to exit exhaust

Good advice on the 'feel' test. I do that on my heat exchanger and elbow to make sure water is flowing. Timing wise, starting from scratch - boat hauled, I changed impeller and cleaned the raw water intake filter - so system was as empty as it gets, I had good water flow within 10, and probably closer to 5 seconds. If it's taking much longer than that, the impeller is shot, intake is clogged, or there is an air leak and it's not priming. After running for 3 minutes dry the impeller will be burnt anyway. Not to mention very bad for the engine as the heat isn't dispersed properly and hot spots will do damage... For the few bucks and 10 minutes it's worth replacing the impeller anyway. Let us know how the progress goes!
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Old 14-05-2015, 22:22   #11
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Re: How long after start up should raw water begin to exit exhaust

The raw water pump on 3YM20 does not reliably self prime. Before you start it for the first time after raw water is drained, you should put a bit of silicone grease on the impeller vanes and inside the pump housing. Lacking silicone grease, you can use some thick dishwashing detergent. After the first start, water should stay in the pump and you should have no trouble on subsequent starts (until you drain the system again).
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Old 15-05-2015, 05:49   #12
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Re: How long after start up should raw water begin to exit exhaust

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Originally Posted by Phennessey View Post
First Start of the season today for my Yanmar 3YM20. Kicked over first try like a champ however wasn't expelling raw water from exhaust.on first start of the year, how long will it typically take for the raw water to make its way through the engine before it is sent out the exhaust. Thruhull is open water in strainer and present in impeller. Ran the engine for three or do minutes but no water exiting the exhaust. Any ideas?

Sometimes -- especially after a lay up -- you might have to goose the engine a bit, maybe a couple/three times or so; impellers will sometimes just stick from being in the same position so long.

Three minutes might be too long... so maybe some vanes have broken off, and/or maybe the key let go...

At this point, it's likely worth a check to see if you still have a functioning impeller, need a new one, etc. And of course they need to be replaced periodically anyway...

-Chris
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Old 15-05-2015, 06:06   #13
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Re: How long after start up should raw water begin to exit exhaust

Last engine I saw with a significant delay on the start of water flow overheated and seized a few weeks later.

Ten seconds max would be my comfort zone. Any longer and I would think the flow rate was too low.

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Old 15-05-2015, 08:52   #14
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Re: How long after start up should raw water begin to exit exhaust

I've had a similar and ongoing problem getting adequate cooling water for my 3gm30 Yanmar.

Similar issue . . . not much water (hence, taking a long time to start exiting outside). I changed pump vanes, tightened water pump belt, then CHANGED water pump belt, etc. Monkeyed around but never quite solved the problem.

What finally worked for me was to work through the system one thing at a time. You can open the hoses and work through it step by step:

  1. loosen and remove the water hose at the "input" to the water pump. It should free flow water (because it's lower than the water line). This verifies that the seacock isn't closed and the strainer isn't plugged.
  2. put this back together and loosen/remove the hose where it goes INTO the heat exchanger. Put the hose end in a bucket and start the engine. There should be a LOT of water flow. This will verify that the pump is indeed pumping outside sea water.
  3. Turnoff the engine, put this back together and more forward in the system. Loosen/remove the hose at the back of the heat exchanger. Again start the engine and verify good water flow (this is kinda messy).
  4. From the back of the heat exchanger, my hose then goes up to a high loop/Vacuum breaker, and then comes back to the mixing elbow. So pull the hose off of the mixing elbow, start engine and verify good water flow.
  5. If still good there, then the only other possibility is a blockage in the mixing elbow or muffler.


I had been fighting mine for a long long time. frequent but minor overheating.


I found partial blockage inside the heat exchanger pipes. EASY EASY to solve once I was identifying the actual CAUSE of the diminished water flow.


Good luck!


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Old 15-05-2015, 09:09   #15
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Re: How long after start up should raw water begin to exit exhaust

The exhaust elbow should still be full of antifreeze from winter storage, so water/liquid should start coming out almost instantly on startup.

If no water is coming out, time to shut of the engine and figure out whats wrong. Can you open up the water pump face plate and see if the impeller is shot?

If you "drain" your engine, you have invited corrosion and insects to fill the passageways over the winter.
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