Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-07-2021, 20:39   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Tarpon Springs, Florida
Boat: Beneteau 473
Posts: 43
Redoing my bilge pumps (3 questions)

Hello:

I am redoing my bilge pumps. I have a 47 footer. Shockingly the previous owner only had 1 bilge pump, and NO high water alarm!!! Just to be safe I am redoing the system.

Currently it has one Rule 2,000 GPH bilge pump on a 1 1/8 inch discharge hose. I want to add a second Rule 2,000 GPH bilge pump to it. The discharge line runs 25 feet and up about 5 feet. This seems like it will cause the pump(s) to take a 30-40% hit in performance. So instead of 2,000 GPH I am probably doing 1,200-1,300 GHP on each pump. It seems the spec for for a 1 1/8 inch hose should be okay.

Here are my questions:

1. Is the 1 1/8 inch discharge hose okay to support the two pumps with 30-40% performance hit?

2. Can I, or should I use the high water switch to trigger the second bilge pump?

3. Panel space is limited. Rather than 2 bilge switches which takes up a lot of space is there a 2 on 1 option? Maybe listed as primary and backup?

Thanks....
__________________
Harrison
Tarpon Springs, Florida
HarrisonM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2021, 22:30   #2
registered user
 
HankOnthewater's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Over wintering in Melbourne. Whose idea was that?
Boat: plastic production yacht, suitable for deep blue water ;)
Posts: 787
Re: Redoing my bilge pumps (3 questions)

Firstly, the pumps should be mounted on different levels, for a little bit of water the lowest pump should come on. If there is serious trouble (lots of water) then the second pump should be activated.
That means each pump with it own activation switch, activated in succession as the water rises.
Meaning that the first pump can be a relatively small one, and second or even a third should be the largest.
Lastly, do not combine outlets on one discharge hose because (that was Q1):
- if only one pumps runs some of the water will flow back into the bilge via the other pump
- if both pumps are working at the same time, too much flow is lost as the pumps are fighting to get the water through against the flow of the other one
- and no, installing one-way valves is generally frowned upon, again it restricts the flow even more.

Q2, yes that would work, or put the pump up higher as well, so that the big pump stays dry most of the time, and it will last longer that way.

Q3 I can not think of a way to switch 2 pumps with one switch, unless both on one switch, but then both pumps get activated at the same time. A normal switch has 3 positions: auto/off/manual on.
Using only one switch and one fuse...... what would happen if that fuse blows.... no pumps at all. Better to have 2 switches with 2 separate fuses.

I see you have a very long (25 ft) discharge hose. It will pay very well to increase the diameter as at such length flow will be restricted. The water in that hose will drain back in the bilge as soon as the centrifugal pump is switched off. Hmmm a large diameter will drain more water back in the bilge.

Solution for that is to have as first (lowest) pump a diaphragm pump that uses only a small discharge hose, and does not leak back into the bilge, and the second pump to be a centrifugal type with large capacity and a large discharge hose.
__________________
Wishing you all sunny skies above, clear water below, gentle winds behind and a safe port ahead,
and when coming this way check https://www.cruiserswiki.org/wiki/Albany,_Australia
HankOnthewater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2021, 22:33   #3
Registered User
 
sailingabe41ds's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Channel Islands, CA
Boat: Jeanneau 41 DS
Posts: 431
Re: Redoing my bilge pumps (3 questions)

Hi..

I have Jeanneau 41DS and I added a Rule3700, drilled a hole for the outlet as it takes a 1 1/2 inch and used a separate switch. I wanted things separate. Combining switches and using one hose somewhat defeats the purpose of the redundancy.
I know I have not answered your question...but I would find a way to keep both systems separate even if it means putting the second switch away from the control panel and drilling a hole closer to the pump....not 25 ft away.
I would do what Hankonthewater says...that is the way I set my up.

IMHO
Abe
sailingabe41ds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-07-2021, 01:37   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
GordMay's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 43,323
Images: 241
Re: Redoing my bilge pumps (3 questions)

What Hank said!
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13-07-2021, 01:49   #5
Moderator
 
Pete7's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Solent, England
Boat: Moody 31
Posts: 15,639
Images: 14
Re: Redoing my bilge pumps (3 questions)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
What Hank said!
And Abe

We also followed his approach, separate pumps and switches, separate discharge hoses. Drilling a new hole in the top sides isn't for the faint hearted but it solved the problem and kept the new second hose down to abut 10 feet in length.

We have a 3rd small pump under the engine, likely the source of the water in the first place. Little auto pump discharges into the cockpit so people get wet feet and therefore might investigate if there is a problem.

Pete
Pete7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-07-2021, 02:43   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2008
Boat: Trident marine Voyager 30
Posts: 386
Re: Redoing my bilge pumps (3 questions)

A bilge pump should never be off so wire both pumps directly to separate float switches with a push button to operate the lower pump when you want to check if there is any water in the bilge. The on-off-auto switches makes no sence at all to me.
Anders is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-07-2021, 08:43   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Posts: 67
Re: Redoing my bilge pumps (3 questions)

It was not part of the questions, but FYI, look at the 'Ultra Safety Systems' float switches. They have some models with built in high water alarm. Pricy but very reliable.
Var Korall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-07-2021, 09:15   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Seabrook, TX
Boat: Catalina 30
Posts: 114
Re: Redoing my bilge pumps (3 questions)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Var Korall View Post
It was not part of the questions, but FYI, look at the 'Ultra Safety Systems' float switches. They have some models with built in high water alarm. Pricy but very reliable.
Second this.
The Ultra Safety systems are professional quality used on bilge level alarms on ships. Floating magnet with a sealed reed switch.

Aqualarm also makes a similar one with a control panel/buzzer etc.
sinnerman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-07-2021, 09:27   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 477
Re: Redoing my bilge pumps (3 questions)

You should think about installing a manual bilge pump.
Stewie12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-07-2021, 09:40   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Kennebunk ME
Boat: Owner built 60í Aluminum Expedition Yacht.
Posts: 1,105
Re: Redoing my bilge pumps (3 questions)

If you call the Coast Guard and tell them you are taking on water, and a helicopter comes, what do the lower to you so you wonít sink.
A gas powered semi trash or dewatering pump.
They used to be the size and weight of oil drum and you would need a olympic wrestler to move them on deck. You can buy one now that you can lift one hand.
Even the smallest can move a huge amount of water. Gives you time to find and stop the leak. Yes the suction hose is a pain, but quick connects and a little practice will do wonders. I donít want to use my main engine cooling pump...I think itís a lot safer to have a dedicated dewatering pump.
Commercial boats have dewatering pumps to avoid sinking and bilge pumps for nuisance water. The big issue is the gasoline, which is how most semi trash pumps are powered. If you have a larger engine, you can belt off a good size pump. No gas required. Or you can drain the gas out and blow out all the fumes from a gasoline powered unit. A lot of people carry gasoline for their dinghy...you have to have your thinking cap on..commercial boats carry them on the aft deck...some even carry them with filled fuel tanks but Iíd pass on that idea.
Iím not saying, get rid of your bilge pumps...i just see a lot of boats in which they are too small or very poorly installed. Just consider why commercial vessels not just carry dewatering pumps, but are required to test them on a regular basis. Both for dewatering and fire fighting.
The manatee crew recently purchased a Big Jabsco and a HATZ electric start diesel so they could join tug and fire boat parades.
What a crew. Their crash bag contains cookies and beer.
On a serious note...You might just save someone else from sinking.
The expensive water level switches are very reliable, well worth the money and you can connect them to a bell and a strobe. Iím sure someone here will post on units which will call your smart phone. Iím not computer literate.
Happy trails to you.
Captain Mark a certified Marine Firefighter, which was the most difficult course I ever took. Hats off to all the men and women who do this professionally.
Manateeman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13-07-2021, 09:50   #11
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Vienna, Austria
Boat: Vagabond 47
Posts: 745
Re: Redoing my bilge pumps (3 questions)

Please keep in mind that these pumps have got integrated swim switches.
If you read the very small printed instructions you will find a part that says:

IF THE PUMP GETS OIL IN THE WATER IT WILL KILL ITSELF AND WILL REFUSE TO WORK.

So they are trying to KILL YOU.
moseriw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-07-2021, 10:57   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Southport, NC
Boat: Pearson 367 cutter, 36'
Posts: 579
Re: Redoing my bilge pumps (3 questions)

With regard to where to put the switch for the second / higher / larger pump, I had the same problem with panel space, so I installed the switch in a cabinet just above the bilge. Since I will rarely run that pump, it's no big deal to to have to open the cabinet, and I shouldn't have to, anyway, because the switch is always set to automatic.
AJ_n_Audrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-07-2021, 13:10   #13
Registered User
 
CarinaPDX's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Boat: 31' Cape George Cutter
Posts: 2,905
Re: Redoing my bilge pumps (3 questions)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
A bilge pump should never be off so wire both pumps directly to separate float switches with a push button to operate the lower pump when you want to check if there is any water in the bilge. The on-off-auto switches makes no sence at all to me.
The reason to have an on-off-auto switch is so that when the float (auto) switch fails the pump can be manually activated. Automatic switches work great - until they don't. The Ultra Safety System switch I had worked flawlessly for a couple of decades before it failed, when I had to use the manual switch until I could replace it.

I think the OP started out with the wrong perspective: saving money and effort on something that is a fundamental safety system is the wrong priority. The bilge pump system must be capable of automatically removing a fair flow of water, while the source is located and blocked. It also needs to remove small amounts of water from the bilge, which is a different but related problem. Saving on the number of hoses and/or hose size is misguided.

When I first left to go cruising Carina had 4 bilge pumps aboard: a manual pump in the cockpit that can be used while steering, a manual pump below decks that can be operated with the cabin closed up, a Rule 1800 (IIRC) with the USS switch, and a Rule 3700 rigged with enough 1-1/2" hose to run out a 4" port and overboard and a quick-connect power lead - all in a bucket. The two manual pumps were a requirement of the offshore racing rules and a good idea IMHO, but realistically the electric pumps are probably more important for short-handed sailing - hard to search for the leak while pumping...

I currently have two electric bilge pumps: a Whale IC pump system for de-watering the bilge, and the old Rule 3700 with 1-1/2" hose permanently mounted with the new USS switch connected directly to the batteries (through a fuse and switch of course). The Whale is a very reliable diaphragm pump like the one I have used to pump my galley sinks for 25 years, with its own sensor with pickup and foot valve. The Rule should never come on automatically unless the Whale fails or is overwhelmed as the switch is mounted a few inches higher than the Whale sensor.

The OP is right to want to upgrade the current bilge system - he just needs to think bigger.

Greg
CarinaPDX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-07-2021, 13:48   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Tarpon Springs, Florida
Boat: Beneteau 473
Posts: 43
Re: Redoing my bilge pumps (3 questions)

All great replies thanks.....

Rather than using a "Rule" bilge pump that sits on the hull and potentially in the water is there a good alternative bilge pump with an intake hose I could run to the lowest point in the bilge so the pump will not be sitting in water?

Thanks...
__________________
Harrison
Tarpon Springs, Florida
HarrisonM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-07-2021, 14:04   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 19
Re: Redoing my bilge pumps (3 questions)

Yes look up gulper type pumps
25 ft hose is way too long when the pump stops the water in the hose will run back into the bilge
It will also derate the pump by an incredible amount
crashley is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bilge, bilge pump, pump

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pumps, pumps and more pumps. Winf Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 13 07-03-2016 09:43
Bilge Pumps vs Bilge Pumps RoJack1 Construction, Maintenance & Refit 12 30-05-2010 19:01
Interior Updating and Redoing b-rad Construction, Maintenance & Refit 7 24-11-2009 12:20
Using Single Diaphram Pumps as Bilge Pumps jlogan Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 12 29-09-2009 08:05
redoing Fridge interior waterworldly Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 6 19-11-2008 09:14

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:24.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.