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Old 20-04-2006, 23:04   #1
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Backflow from Bilge Pump

After my bilge runs the back pressure in the system empties 3 or 4 cups of water back into my bilge (basically the volume of water between the bilge and thru hull which can't get pumped out). I was wondering if anyone had tried a backflow preventer between the bilge and thru hull or would that just plug up? The same thing happens on my shower sump. I also don't have a low spot to collect that last little bit of water so I always seem to have water in my bilge and my keel bolts are perpetually submerged in water.

Kevin
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Old 20-04-2006, 23:19   #2
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Yes there are non-return valves made especially for bilge pump applications. They do restrict a little, but not too bad.
The other way to go, is a self priming bilge pump that is used to get the very last little bit out. The suction end is attached to a low profile foot that sucks the last little bit out(as much as it can) but then you have a hassle of another through hull and so on.
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Old 29-12-2007, 16:47   #3
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I plan to solve the problem by reshaping the bilge so it will drain into a plastic sump cut from the bottom of a bucket. That will hold the backflow safely away from anything that might rust.
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Old 29-12-2007, 17:12   #4
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The question is; why are you getting water in your bilge in the first place?

Modern boats should be dry boats. Wooden boats have an excuse and need a little salt on the inside to prevent rot.

On mine I use a wet vac to extract the last little bit. My bilge pumps are for minor emergencies. The only water I get in my bilge comes down the keel stepped mast.

As for the shower sump, if it's used a lot, it can be sealed off from the regular bilge with a barrier below the deck plates. And that area can be sealed in epoxy to prevent saturation into the glass. And that area should be rinsed with clean water and pumped until the soap is gone. Then if it's going to sit for a while then it can be vac'd out too.
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Old 30-12-2007, 16:07   #5
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Good question about where it is coming from.
The entire time I've owned my boat it has been in a state of repair with things like the engine room cover removed and covered with a tarp. Maybe I don't need to worry about water in my bilge after I get done with refurbing it. The chain locker used to drain to it but I'm changing that. With my glass boats I never worried about the last little bit of water and it was always there. I just assumed with a steel boat it would be too, but maybe if I vac it out it wouldn't return. I'm not sure what to do now. I can do the job easily while everything is open, I'd hate to put it off and find out later it is needed. It's a long way down below the engine and not easy access to vac out but I have done it with a long PVC tube taped to wet dry vac nozzle I carry along anyway. Thanks
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Old 30-12-2007, 22:29   #6
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I have used both plastic and bronze check valves on bilge pumps with long runs to the overboard discharge valve...no problems.

There is not necessarily something wrong if you are getting water in your bilge. There are dozens of ways water can get in there. In my case I get scientists who collect benthic samples (mud) which clogs the scupper around the afterdeck hatch which then allows water to get in the after bilge. It's all part of doing business.

In chop I get spray that comes down my engine room vents...normal.

Condensation forms on the aluminum in my after compartment...normal.

Water from my anchor rode drips water which ultimately leads to the bilge...normal

"Dripless" shaft seals occasionally drip...normal

Rudder shaft seals drip water at speed...normal.

I gave up years ago thinking I could keep 100% of the ocean out of my boat 100% of the time.
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Old 31-12-2007, 09:06   #7
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I also don't have a low spot to collect that last little bit of water

I use a sponge to get out the last little bit of water.
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Old 31-12-2007, 09:10   #8
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We get rain water down the mast. Sometimes it is an amazing amount if the rain is wind driven from the right direction. It is not coming through the boot but from the openings in the spar for halyards and shrouds.
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Old 25-05-2009, 01:48   #9
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I vacuum out my bilge about once a year - it seems to accumulate a fair bit of dust!
Bull dust methinks! lol
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Old 26-05-2009, 09:32   #10
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vaccume pail

I've built up a system to make it easy to vaccume out the last few drops. I use a 5 gal pail with a lid, (old comercial paint pail) I put two pvc fittings in the lid that just fit shop vac hoses. I connect one to the vac and the other to the long pvc pipe with the flex hose to the bucket lid. This way I vaccume the water into the pail, and not the shop vac. The lid just sets on the pail, vaccume holds it down. I never have to worry about changing over the shop vac from dry to wet and it keeps the salt water further away from the vaccume.

I just bought another steel sailboat, this one has leaks at deck level, so I get to use this more often. I'm getting ready to do the welding to seal the leaks. I bought this just to fix it up and then resell it. It's 27 foot and built in the same yard in Holland as my big boat. I'll have it on my website www.jheld.mysite.com and also have pics of this vaccume setup on there. I finally bought that rotary table last week, a 3 inch model, bet I might be the only sailboat in the world to have one of those onboard.
Also check out my 2 liter pop bottle dry food storage solutions.

Have a great day.
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Old 26-05-2009, 09:37   #11
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I've used a bronze or plastic check valve also, but to tkeep the boat from sinking rather than worrrying about a few cups of water!
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Old 26-05-2009, 15:16   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jheldatksuedu View Post
Also check out my 2 liter pop bottle dry food storage solutions.

Have a great day.
The only catagory I see it would be in is neat stuff.
I missed it.
??
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Old 26-05-2009, 17:20   #13
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Here in the South, the boat's a/c runs all the time. It drains into the bilge, so I always have water in it. I have the same experiences that KevinE has, and a Hunter 375!
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Old 16-07-2009, 18:43   #14
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off topic: 2 liter pop bottle food storage

The 2 liter pop bottle food storage is on the top of the misc pictures page.

Misc Photos

I've been also getting a lot of 3 liter pop bottles too, they have larger lids and 50% more storage. About an inch taller and an inch bigger in diameter. One of them is in the picture.

They are great. I found the cheapest place to get them is Dollar Tree. $1 full of pop. Jon
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Old 16-07-2009, 22:33   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jheldatksuedu View Post
The 2 liter pop bottle food storage is on the top of the misc pictures page.
Clever, I like it! Thanks for passing that along!!
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