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Old 05-16-2012
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bilge pump system with mulitple bukheads???

Hi there, I'm a brand new member here, although I have been reading threads for quite some time, info here has proved invaluable...what a resource!

My question for debate is as follows..
I am trying to design a bilge pump system for a 42' Zulu, rebuilt recently, that has 3 watertight bulkheads, hence 4 compartments. I have so far thought that all hoses that come from strum boxes in respective compartments should come to a manifold via taps. This means that if compartment 1 is filling, you open tap 1 and then choose your pump, open the tap to that pump (manual, electric or engine clutch pump), close taps to other pumps so water will not back down them, and Bobs your mother's brother. This was explained to me by a friend who worked on ships systems...

The problem arises when i am away from the boat and she springs a leak. When i am away, I planned to leave all compartment hose taps open, as i would not know where a leak might come from, and leave the electric pump on auto with float switches. BUT, if a leak occurs in compartment 1, and all hose taps are open, the electric bilge pump will also be sucking in air from the three remaining dry compartments...... see attached drawing....

This system also means that I should have 8, yes 8! float switches, one normal and one high water for each compartment!

Is there a way round all this?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bilge system..jpg (15.8 KB, 28 views)
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