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Old 25-08-2017, 10:20   #1
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Pressurized water: a blessing or a curse?

So far I sailed only on older boats without pressurized water, recently on one which had a pressurized water system. I did like that I don't have to pump to wash my hands but that noise...

Also planning to buy my first own boat, and have mixed feelings if I want it - or in case the boat of my dreams has it I want a hand-pump backup if the system breaks during a passage/just operate the sink silent while half the crew is sleeping.

Any idea how fragile these things are? Anyone else kept the hand-pumped taps after installation of a pressurized setup?
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Old 25-08-2017, 10:52   #2
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Re: Pressurized water: a blessing or a curse?

On the spencer we had both pressure and a whale foot pump in line so you cod operate either with no issues . Whale inlet is teed off the supply line before the pressure pump. Having pressure feed water is almost a necessity if you want hot water from the Faucet. Also plumbing a manual seawater pump faucet is a good idea for rinsing the dishes before washing . ( Heck a sea water wash with a freshwater rinse works great to.)
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Old 25-08-2017, 11:54   #3
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Re: Pressurized water: a blessing or a curse?

It's been around for a while. Welcome to the 21st century.
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Old 25-08-2017, 11:58   #4
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Re: Pressurized water: a blessing or a curse?

Having pressurized water is well worth the noise WHEN YOU ARE USING IT.

The things people worry about
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Old 25-08-2017, 12:14   #5
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Re: Pressurized water: a blessing or a curse?

I'll second sailorboy......of all the worries!!!!

Fwiw we have both salt and fresh foot pumps as well as a pressure pump. It's going on 10 years now with the same pump and no problems.
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Old 25-08-2017, 12:35   #6
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Re: Pressurized water: a blessing or a curse?

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
It's been around for a while. Welcome to the 21st century.
The boats I am considering to buy are not even '90s . Anyway, I'd definitely want a manual pump too.
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Old 25-08-2017, 12:43   #7
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Re: Pressurized water: a blessing or a curse?

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
It's been around for a while. Welcome to the 21st century.
KISS contrarian I presume?
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Old 25-08-2017, 12:50   #8
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Re: Pressurized water: a blessing or a curse?

The original pump on our yacht from 1993 is very quiet and works great. As long as your water source is debris-free, these things really last. Furthermore, if a pump is truly noisy, I'd say that there's something wrong.
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Old 25-08-2017, 12:58   #9
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Re: Pressurized water: a blessing or a curse?

I agree with Sailorboy1 -- if you have hot water, and especially for the shower, you do want pressure water. You can still conserve water if you keep your mind on the valve. The only downside I can think of is that if your plumbing ever springs a leak you can empty your tank into spaces you don't want water.


PS -- comment to Newhaul: Why a manual pump for salt water? If you use a second electric pump for sea water you can pre-rinse dishes while using all the water you need, without depleting your precious fresh water supply. Also, if your fresh water pump fails you can use the saltwater pump as a spare.
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Old 25-08-2017, 13:01   #10
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Re: Pressurized water: a blessing or a curse?

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Originally Posted by GTom View Post
The boats I am considering to buy are not even '90s . Anyway, I'd definitely want a manual pump too.
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KISS contrarian I presume?
Good luck trying to wash both hands at the same time or showering with your hand pump. The rest if us have been doing it just fine for the past forty or fifty years.

Nothing simple about a manual pump.
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Old 25-08-2017, 13:08   #11
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Re: Pressurized water: a blessing or a curse?

When freshwater is easy to come by, coastal cruising developed world or onboard watermaker, then either is fine.

Offshore or undeveloped coastal areas with no watermaker then manual, forces conservation.

Even with a watermaker you want tankage for a bare minimum of 2l/day/person to the next for sure water source plus a 20% cushion.
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Old 25-08-2017, 13:22   #12
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Re: Pressurized water: a blessing or a curse?

Forget the manual pump. It does not make sense unless in an emergency. You can get a 12V electric valve (normally closed) for less than $20 on Amazon. You can operate the switch by hand, foot, knee, back whatever pleases you. You can regulate the flow with the faucet as usual. Best of both worlds. Keep a spare pump for emergencies.
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Old 25-08-2017, 13:37   #13
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Re: Pressurized water: a blessing or a curse?

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Forget the manual pump. It does not make sense unless in an emergency. You can get a 12V electric valve (normally closed) for less than $20 on Amazon. You can operate the switch by hand, foot, knee, back whatever pleases you. You can regulate the flow with the faucet as usual. Best of both worlds. Keep a spare pump for emergencies.
Emergencies can happen in the first week of a transat passage, pump replacement in the middle of the ocean might be a bit cumbersome...
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Old 25-08-2017, 13:43   #14
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Re: Pressurized water: a blessing or a curse?

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Emergencies can happen in the first week of a transat passage, pump replacement in the middle of the ocean might be a bit cumbersome...
Oh please.... with the modern quick connects (that have been the standard for over thirty years) it takes less than ten minutes to swap a pump.

Have you ever owned a boat or done a repair at sea? If not... get used to it. Swapping out a pump is probably one of the easiest repairs.
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Old 25-08-2017, 13:43   #15
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Re: Pressurized water: a blessing or a curse?

I haven't reinstalled the pressurized water system but have installed salt and freshwater foot pumps that work just grand. If you are a shower addict or have a need of empty a tank quickly, pressure water systems have some merit. Other than that they are terrible water wasters. Living aboard in a marina on the boat we took to SoPac, we'd blow through 80 gallons of water in less than two weeks using pressure system using their showers and toilets. Cruising, we often went a month or more on 40 gallons with the pressure system turned off and only using the foot pumps.

My new to me other boat had only hand pumps and no pressure water when I bought it. The hand pumps drove me crazy. Ever tried to wash your hands one hand at a time?? It's the sound of one hand clapping. If you are relying on hand pumps, they'll drive you crazy, install foot pumps.

I'm tempted to reinstall the pressure pump on my other boat but hook it up to the salt water inlet. Their is a whole ocean of salt water to use wastefully that lends itself to pressure water system.
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