I just overhauled my bilge pump
system. It already had a Jabsco
heavy duty diaphragm
pump with 3/4" hose. It will run dry for a long time and has excellent self-priming capability. The pump is remote
from the bilge
. The system was already setup with another Whale Gusher 220 pump used for the graywater tank. There are two Y-valves so that either pump could be used to pump either the bilge
or the graywater. A bit complicated but there is redundancy that way. It also has two bronze gravity type check valves which I didn't really want but kept in because of having two pumps. They also prevent some of the backflow from the t-hull back in to the bilge (but very little since they do not seal tight).
The pump is 6 gal/min but is steady and reliable. I have an inline strainer just above the bilge and a wide flange in the bilge at the end of the hose. It pumps very well with a good stream of water
, at least as strong as previous 1500 gph Rule
centrifucal pump and an 1 1/2" hose.
I installed a dual Water
Witch model 257B "float" switch. It has two sensors (not a float mechanism) and is highly reviewed (but like all these gizmos some hate them some love them). I have had Ultimates in the past and had excellent experience with them as well. But one of the things I like about my WW is that it will open a separate circuit (to activate a backup pump or an alarm
or ?) after the primary circuit runs for two minutes. It also has a backup sensor a bit higher than the lower one as another backup.
Above that I installed a Water Witch High Water Alarm
. I ran new wire from the panel to the switches and alarms that is separate from the bilge pump wiring
. Of course the "auto" and "manual" wires are connected when the switch is on. I heat-shrinked butt connectors on to the Water Witch 30" leads and put the wiring terminal block up higher still (behind a settee actually) well above the bilge waters.
I've attached a photo
. I just buttoned it up yesterday and it works great. I also used the 100% s.s. AWAB hose clamps for all of it. Expensive but worth it for a mission critical system in the harshest environment
on the boat.
The first photo
is the pumps: fresh water in foreground, bilge on the right, graywater on the left.
Second photo: wiring at the pumps
Third: check valves mounted on starboard to keep horizontal and vertical (they were just laying on the bilge pan prior)
Fourth photo: wiring for bilge switches and alarm. I removed the solenoid shown as it created a short circuit for some reason. I decided it was overkill and removed it. I mounted the terminal board and alarm sounder with Velcro behind the settee seat.