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Old 09-04-2013, 07:00   #1
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Power to Anchor Chain Wash Pump

Advice please.

I am about to install a new pump and plumbing for use as a chain wash system.

The idea is that the pump will shoot a steady stream of salt water at the anchor as the windlass winds in the chain. The chain will pass between two stiff brushes attached to the anchor roller located just below the stream of water. The idea is that the dirty water will be falling forward of the bow into the water not onto the deck.

I was thinking of wiring the pump into the power circuit for the windlass with no on-off switch. When I energize the windlass circuit by closing the switch/breaker both the windlass and the pump will be energized. The water will flow when the foot switches are pressed, as this is to cycle the pump on... stop when the chain is not moving.

A. Should the pump have a separate circuit and switch?
B. Should I wire the pump to the up switch only? (seems to make sense)

Any other suggestions appreciated.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:19   #2
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Re: Power to Anchor Chain Wash Pump

Are you sure the wiring for the windlass has the capacity for the pump also? That's really the question. If it does, then you can wire them together. If not, then you need new wiring for the pump.

What gauge of wire is feeding the windlass? How long is the run? What is the maximum amp draw of the windlass? What is the maximum amp draw of the pump?

Need to answer these questions, then you'll be able to answer your original question.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:34   #3
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I would put a switch/fuse for the washdown system if I were you. It's an easy thing to install for the added benefits of increased pump/wire protection and flexibility of use. FWIW, I used my fwd macerator circuit for my wash down pump, which had the same breaker rating. It is unlikely I would ever use them both at the same time.

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Old 09-04-2013, 07:47   #4
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Re: Power to Anchor Chain Wash Pump

Absolutely put circuit protection in line with the wash down pump. Otherwise you are depending on the windlass breaker to protect the wash down pump and it is simply too large. I would also as Geo suggest put an on/off switch in line as well. This way you can still have it operate they way you'd like it to and the smaller circuit feeding the pump will be properly protected. Just tying into the most available DC line just because it is convenient is usually not a good idea.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:58   #5
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Re: Power to Anchor Chain Wash Pump

Interesting concept. Regarding the electrical - as others have said, definitely go with sep wiring, switch and circuit protection. As an idea, I wired our washdown pump off the windlass battery, but installed a new circuit, etc.

Regarding the rest of the idea, I wonder if the brush and spray would be sufficient to get all the mud off? At least here in the Chesapeake, the mud is often pretty soft and sticky. It can take a good bit of spraying to get the chain clean. I ended up deciding to install a hose with a prayer in the chain locker. Part of the 'raise the anchor' process is leaning over the bow to spray and clean the chain. Pretty sure a single pass with a spray and brushes wouldn't finish the job.

Maybe in LI, you have more cooperative mud.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:58   #6
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Re: Power to Anchor Chain Wash Pump

Thanks!

I will definitely install a fuse to protect the pump.
The windlass has a 30' run of 2/0 to the house back (500AH)

I don't think the additional load of the pump carried by the 2/0 wires shpuld be a problem. I can certainly run a new pair back to the main 12v busses in in the battery compartment aft. But it's a long run and would require heavy wires. So I was thinking that using the power via the windlass wiring would be OK.

Alternately I can put a switch down below where the pump is located and switch it on when I retrieve the anchor.
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:07   #7
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Re: Power to Anchor Chain Wash Pump

We have very sticky mud. And that is the reason for this project... deck ends up will mud running aft when I pull up the anchor.

I've been experimenting with a pair of brushes on the cheeks of the roller which are pretty much squeezed together over the chain. I've been using a hand held hose to direct water at the brushes. Now I want to automate the spraying part.

The brushes do a pretty good job, but I think I need them in both axes. I may develop a hinged brush with the bristles on the inside of a cylinder that I can close over the front of the cheek mounted brushes which would act like a stop... as long as the chain is being retrieved.

A work in progress... and a messy one too!
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:19   #8
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Re: Power to Anchor Chain Wash Pump

Interesting concept, Defjef. Would love to hear how it works. Would be nice to have something that would at least get the chain to the 80% point. You could be on to a new product offering here. Keep at it!!
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:40   #9
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Re: Power to Anchor Chain Wash Pump

I considered the brush/jet system when I installed my own washdown pump. I realized that I would have to stand there with an additional brush to get the stuff that slipped past, carried within the links. So I shifted gears and rethunk the plan. My washdown pump is a dual pump system by Jabsco and has a built-in accumulator tank. It is wired independently of the windlass so that I can use it separately, not having to energize the windlass at all. It has its own circuit breaker. The water flows from the pump to a 50 foot, 3/4" diameter commercial duty hose with a spray nozzle, allowing 40 pounds of pressure and high volume to blast through the nozzle and take off all sticky mud and bird crap, etc.

I did things this way because I was toying with the idea of installing a small high pressure 110volt AC washer (powerful poop preventer) to deal with some persistent birds hanging out on my port float bow. I didn't have to go that route with the current system. I can also really play havoc in water fights with my friends.

My windlass power comes off the engine start battery, via a large current breaker, then forward to the bow locker. When the breaker is energized, it turns on a large red light in the cockpit, as well as a large red LED just above the windlass to light up the gypsy area at night, and to remind folks that the windlass is powered up. I set it up this way because the windlass is only used when the engine is running. The high pressure washdown pump is on a secondary house bank group of breakers, all red colored, instead of my standard white ones. That serves to remind me that the red breakers should be turned on only when the engine is running, or to remind me that they are not to be turned on when I'm low on battery power. These "high draw" red breakers include special outlets bow and stern for operating electric fishing reels (serious bottom fishing stuff), the saltwater washdown pump, a bait tank (when I install it), and other stuff like the watermaker, etc., that may need to be shut down if I'm having electrical issues. Mainly, the red breakers remind me to question if they really need to be turned on right now. Here's a pic of the washdown pump:
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:42   #10
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Re: Power to Anchor Chain Wash Pump

I have a similar system that was installed by the previous owner but no brushes. There is a wash down pump close to all the other electrical equipment in the engine room which has it's own raw water intake and a breaker at the panel. The hose feeds up to a series of nozzles above the incoming chain above the bow roller. The quantity and pressure that the water being projected at the chain and anchor is quite substantial . The control is a pull switch mounted on the winch control panel. For sticky mud I have to slow down the uptake of the chain. It comes out very clean. My control is inside the cabin at the helm. There is also an access nozzle to attach a hose at the bow. The control pullswitch has two positions so I can use only the pressure oulet if wanted, via a solenoid controlled valve which cuts off the chain sprayer when I just want to use it as a wash down ( great for deck clean up). The only problem I have encounted is fogetting the switch on an not noticing the spraying water coming from the chain wash down. If that happens as I come into the berth at a marina someone on the dock could get a shower. (only happened once to a friend wanting to assist me.)
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Old 09-04-2013, 13:51   #11
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Re: Power to Anchor Chain Wash Pump

Your windlass draws 50-100 amps depending on the size and the washdown pump will draw about half of that. So powering the washdown pump from the windlass circuit won't have much effect on voltage drop particularly with 2/0.

Hooking the pump to the up switch is an interesting idea and should work. But make sure that you use pretty big wire, at least 12 gauge for the switch and pump wiring. And put a 15 amp fuse in the pos circuit.

IMO automatic brushes with a water wash won't get the chain very clean, but maybe clean enough.

Let us know how it works. I have seen several postings on this idea over the years, but never any feedback.

David
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:09   #12
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Re: Power to Anchor Chain Wash Pump

You may need to stop the windlass if the mud is really sticky and keep the water flowing. You may be able to use the windlass wiring if the math works out, however I would go with a seperate switch with circuit beraker, so the water pump can be used with out operating the windlass
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:15   #13
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Re: Power to Anchor Chain Wash Pump

I like Door Number 1 or Option A.

Flexibility is the key. I like to have control becasue I am a man and sailor. LOL.
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Old 11-04-2013, 14:16   #14
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Just to note, I frequently use my wash down without the windlass. I keep a long hose in the anchor locker and use it to wash down the decks.
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Old 11-04-2013, 15:07   #15
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Re: Power to Anchor Chain Wash Pump

FWIW,

I have used the wiring for the windlass to power our washdown pump for years. The extra current for the pump has no observable effect whatsoever on the operation of the windlass, and the voltage drop caused by the windlass doesn't materially bother the pump. I use a separate switch at the pump for control, and the built in pressure switch keeps the pump from running continuously.

IMO, having the pump only working when the windlass is going is a bad idea. There are many times when one would like to have pressure water available without the windlass in motion.

Cheers,

Jim
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