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Old 26-01-2013, 17:08   #16
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Re: Vacuum Bilge Pump?

Actually, an novel arrangement would be to have a 12v shop vac set up in an inconspicuous location with the intake tube running to a fitting installed in the top or upper side of a plastic collector box (mounted, say, under the cabin sole) which, itself, has a tube leading to one's bilge sump. The shop vac could be automatically powered through a small float switch in the bilge sump. The power line to the shop vac would also power a small (300-500 GPH) submersible pump mounted in the collector box, itself controlled by a second float switch, perhaps, and discharging through a small vented loop to a convenient drainage outlet such as a T-connection at a sink drain. Water collected in the sump would trip the switch controlling the shop vac/bilge pump which would suction the water/drainage to the collector box where it would be discharged by the submersible bilge pump. That would be a very MacGyver like arrangement but could work. FWIW, I have used a shopvac connected to a fitting in the lid of a 5 gallon plastic bucket, with a second, smaller, line from the bucket lead to/through the dip-stick of a 4-108 to suction oil out of the engine and the arrangement does work. It could also work with bilge water, Non?
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Old 27-01-2013, 04:50   #17
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Re: Vacuum Bilge Pump?

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
Actually, an novel arrangement would be to have a 12v shop vac set up in an inconspicuous location with the intake tube running to a fitting installed in the top or upper side of a plastic collector box (mounted, say, under the cabin sole) which, itself, has a tube leading to one's bilge sump. The shop vac could be automatically powered through a small float switch in the bilge sump. The power line to the shop vac would also power a small (300-500 GPH) submersible pump mounted in the collector box, itself controlled by a second float switch, perhaps, and discharging through a small vented loop to a convenient drainage outlet such as a T-connection at a sink drain. Water collected in the sump would trip the switch controlling the shop vac/bilge pump which would suction the water/drainage to the collector box where it would be discharged by the submersible bilge pump. That would be a very MacGyver like arrangement but could work. FWIW, I have used a shopvac connected to a fitting in the lid of a 5 gallon plastic bucket, with a second, smaller, line from the bucket lead to/through the dip-stick of a 4-108 to suction oil out of the engine and the arrangement does work. It could also work with bilge water, Non?
Well oil is thicker than water so it should work. How about incorporating the discharge bilge pump into the 12 volt vacuum's container. Would save space. When I bought my boat it had a 12 volt wet/dry vac that sucked in a bad way. It did not have the lifting power that the Sears 2 gallon unit has. But, if it was mounted lower in the bilge it might just work as you described.
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Old 27-01-2013, 09:07   #18
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Re: Vacuum Bilge Pump?

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Well oil is thicker than water so it should work. How about incorporating the discharge bilge pump into the 12 volt vacuum's container. Would save space. When I bought my boat it had a 12 volt wet/dry vac that sucked in a bad way. It did not have the lifting power that the Sears 2 gallon unit has. But, if it was mounted lower in the bilge it might just work as you described.
My thinking was predicated on the idea that the smaller the line between the collector and the bilge, the less water could remain in the line-and drain back to the bilge-before the first switch shut off. Also, at least in the case of the 1 gal shop vac, there's not a lot of room in the collector tank for a pump; and, I didn't want the vac itself exposed to the oil (or in this case, water). Any number of arrangements could be conjured up however, eh?
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Old 28-01-2013, 06:32   #19
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Re: Vacuum Bilge Pump?

Current show prices for system from Miami Show:

Series 2 nano 12 or 24 volt units
1 zone ser 2x1 1430.00 1430.00
2 zone ser 2x2 1630.00 815.00

Series 4 mini 12 volt units
3 zone ser 4x3 2795.00 931.67
4 zone ser 4x4 2995.00 748.75

Available options for series 4 units
24 volt version 149.00
Sound down mounting brackets 149.00
Hour meter panel 460.00
Mounting bracket for hour meter panel 375.00
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Old 28-01-2013, 08:48   #20
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Re: Vacuum Bilge Pump?

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Originally Posted by chris07732 View Post
Current show prices for system from Miami Show:

Series 2 nano 12 or 24 volt units
1 zone ser 2x1 1430.00 1430.00
2 zone ser 2x2 1630.00 815.00

Series 4 mini 12 volt units
3 zone ser 4x3 2795.00 931.67
4 zone ser 4x4 2995.00 748.75

Available options for series 4 units
24 volt version 149.00
Sound down mounting brackets 149.00
Hour meter panel 460.00
Mounting bracket for hour meter panel 375.00
The second price (now highlighted in red) is the cost per zone or compartment being kept dry. I assume the manufacturer is trying to create a comparison cost as if each compartment had a bilge pump.

These prices were copied from the price sheet mailed to me from the Miami Show this morning.
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Old 28-01-2013, 08:49   #21
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Re: Vacuum Bilge Pump?

Oy! Thousands of dollars? We didn't pay that much for our bilge boy, and we bought him from one of the most expensive orphanages in town. He soaks up every drop of the bilge water for his crusts, he does, and when there's more rain we give him the fixings for porridge but only if he uses ALL the water to make it. Figure we can get two more years out of 'im before he gets too big and we has to replace 'im with a newer littler one. Course then we'll recycle 'im into a cabin boy, we will.
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Old 28-01-2013, 09:48   #22
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Re: Vacuum Bilge Pump?

Home Depot has a cheap 110v shop vac unit that fits on a 5 gallon plastic bucket. And they have the buckets, too. The orange "Homer" bucket works fine. No boat big enough to live aboard is properly equipped without one or two 5 gallon plastic buckets.
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Old 28-01-2013, 09:58   #23
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Re: Vacuum Bilge Pump?

Keep the high volume centrifugal vane type pump you have for emergencies for when you are flooding. Purchase a positive displacement pump and put the suction hose right at the bottom, less than an inch above the deepest part of the bilge. Make up a homemade stainless steel screen that goes over the end of the suction hose that is held on with a hose clamp. There is no need for a float switch for the displacement pump, just turn it on manually occasionally. You will still have the vane pump with its float switch in case of serious flooding.

You will always have less than an inch of water in there but that is better than what you have now. If that last bit of water still bugs you then there is always a sponge and bucket. I think that is as good as you are going to get.

I do this. I call the displacement pump a scraper pump because it scrapes that last bit of water out of the bilge that the vane pump is incapable of reaching.
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Old 28-01-2013, 10:47   #24
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Re: Vacuum Bilge Pump?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris07732 View Post
The second price (now highlighted in red) is the cost per zone or compartment being kept dry. I assume the manufacturer is trying to create a comparison cost as if each compartment had a bilge pump.

These prices were copied from the price sheet mailed to me from the Miami Show this morning.
Yes, we saw this unit at Annapolis or somewhere a while ago. Looked great until we saw the price.

I'm not a fan of Jabsco pumps, I find the Whale Gulpers much better and not much more money. I have a couple of Gulpers, and am replacing the stock diaphragms with nitryl, that way they can transfer diesel also.

Have not yet used it for the very deep aft bilge, but will give it a try. I'll probably need to fit a non return valve as the bilge is very deep.
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Old 03-08-2016, 15:27   #25
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Re: Vacuum Bilge Pump?

Arid Bilge Home
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Old 04-08-2016, 14:19   #26
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Re: Vacuum Bilge Pump?

The shop vac solution is the perfect answer to getting a dry bilge, but it has its problems.
I have tried the biggest Rule ,centrifugal pump, but it was unable to lift water 9 feet from the bottom of the bilge to the hull outlet two feet above the water line.
I can divert my 2 inch flexible impeller engine cooling pump to draw water from the bilge in an emergency, but it won't run dry for very long, so it needs constant attention.
I have a large Edson diaphragm pump that I have modified to operate continuously using a generator,and a compressor, and a pneumatic ram. It works well, sucks up all kinds of junk, but not a solution for general use.
I have tried the screen over the bilge pump input but the debris in the bilge that seems to appear from nowhere always clogs it up, and groping around under the engine while a storm is raging, and unclogging the inlet is not much fun.
Check valves are not a good idea as they can easily become fouled with debris, and if the outlet is too near the waterline it can syphon water back in .
The shop vac works fine but requires some ingenuity to make it fully automatic. Once the can is filled it must be disconnected and emptied overboard, what a hassle!
It needs an inverter to operate since most shop vacs are ac voltage. Then a 12 VDC float switch operating a relay to keep high voltage out of the bilge area. Then a timer so the vac works for a few more seconds after the float switch has shut down to completely dry the bilge and empty the inlet hose. Then the floating ball inside the shop vac ,which prevents the flooding of the motor, needs to be used to stop the shop vac and switch on a separate drain pump to empty the can and if necessary start the process over until the bilge is dry. A bit complicated, but achievable. Positive responses would be appreciated. Some logic and possible software might be required.


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Old 04-08-2016, 14:25   #27
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Re: Vacuum Bilge Pump?

As silly as this sounds, put a bilge pump inside of the shop vac, it will pump water out of the vac through a hose overboard without you having to man handle the thing full of water to dump it.
There are vacs with pumps in them already, but way more money.


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Old 06-08-2016, 21:16   #28
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Re: Vacuum Bilge Pump?

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As silly as this sounds, put a bilge pump inside of the shop vac, it will pump water out of the vac through a hose overboard without you having to man handle the thing full of water to dump it.
There are vacs with pumps in them already, but way more money.


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How about shop vac above the water line, and a solenoid operated valve in the bottom of the vacuum cannister, operated by a float switch. This float switch would also shut off the vacuum even when the float switch in the bilge is up. Float switch in the vacuum closes the valve when empty, and allows the float switch in the bilge to take over control of the vacuum on/off. So in operation the vacuum sucks water from the bottom of the bilge until it is dry. When it is full, the vacuum is shut off, the dump valve opens and then closes when it is empty, and the vac resumes sucking water from the bilge until it is empty. Totally automatic, and you could add a timer so that after the bilge float switch is down, the vac still sucks for another 60 seconds or so for a perfectly dry bilge. There. Fini.
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