Raw water pump...what's normal? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 26 Old 02-09-2015 Thread Starter
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Raw water pump...what's normal?

I have a 1986 Westerbeke 27 and always motor on and off the dock. When I start the engine at the dock, I normally get exhaust water splashes right away, even if the boat has been sitting for a couple of weeks.

However, frequently when I start the engine after we've been sailing (in preparation to return to the dock), the only way I can get the exhaust water splashes is to rev the engine up high. (The engine starts fine in idle, but the pump will not suck up water at that speed.) It's as if all the bouncing around while sailing causes the pump to lose its prime and it cannot re-establish it without the engine being at a higher rpm. The impeller has been replaced and is fine. I've checked for blockages and there are none. My mechanic does not seem to be concerned, so maybe it's normal. I just do not recall having to do this on my prior boat, which had a Westerbeke 21, and I'm afraid that I'm putting unnecessary stress on the impeller.

What's a reasonable expectation for the raw water pump?


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post #2 of 26 Old 02-09-2015
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Re: Raw water pump...what's normal?

Maybe the water that sits between the top of the waterlift and the end of the exhaust hose has drained out and the system is just filling back up?
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post #3 of 26 Old 02-09-2015
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Re: Raw water pump...what's normal?

How old is the heat exchanger?
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post #4 of 26 Old 02-09-2015
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Re: Raw water pump...what's normal?

Try not tilting the boat whilst sailing.
The big water thingy should be in the centre of the boat aligned fore and aft (i think) but it may still leak out if you jiggle the boat.
Then when you restart the engine it has to fill the big water thingy again.

But, of course, maybe I'm wrong

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Re: Raw water pump...what's normal?

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Originally Posted by aa3jy View Post
How old is the heat exchanger?
It's original, so nearly 29 years.


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Re: Raw water pump...what's normal?

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Originally Posted by aeventyr60 View Post
Maybe the water that sits between the top of the waterlift and the end of the exhaust hose has drained out and the system is just filling back up?
Hmmm, I had not thought of that...I'll have to go below and check out the configuration of the hoses. However, my impression of the situation is that if I turned on the engine after sailing and just let it run in idle then I would not get water coming through. But, if I turn on the engine and increase the throttle, I do get water through. Seems to me if it was just a need to fill the waterlift back up then I would get water either way, just maybe a bit faster at higher RPMs?


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Re: Raw water pump...what's normal?

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Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
Try not tilting the boat whilst sailing.
The big water thingy should be in the centre of the boat aligned fore and aft (i think) but it may still leak out if you jiggle the boat.
Then when you restart the engine it has to fill the big water thingy again.

But, of course, maybe I'm wrong
Hey Mark,
I can keep the boat from tilting when I'm just running the engine. But I soon as I use that vertical clothesline gizmo to haul up that big white flappy thingy, the boat starts to tilt. Haven't found the adjustment yet to stop that from happening. Although the screaming from the crew does tend to be distracting, so maybe that's why I haven't figured it out. So, I'll try not jiggling the boat so much and see how that works.

Seriously, it may be as you suggest, but I would have thought it would result in getting water splashes in either idle or higher RPMs, although maybe take longer in idle? That doesn't seem to be the case. But I could be all wrong and probably am.

Thanks!
Jim


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Re: Raw water pump...what's normal?

Sometimes, pump efficiency is reduced by wear of the faceplate of the pump. Flipping the plate can restore efficiency if it hasn't already been flipped in the past.

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Re: Raw water pump...what's normal?

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Originally Posted by Jiminri View Post
Hmmm, I had not thought of that...I'll have to go below and check out the configuration of the hoses. However, my impression of the situation is that if I turned on the engine after sailing and just let it run in idle then I would not get water coming through. But, if I turn on the engine and increase the throttle, I do get water through. Seems to me if it was just a need to fill the waterlift back up then I would get water either way, just maybe a bit faster at higher RPMs?
When was the exchanger last cleaned or replaced?
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Re: Raw water pump...what's normal?

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Sometimes, pump efficiency is reduced by wear of the faceplate of the pump. Flipping the plate can restore efficiency if it hasn't already been flipped in the past.
Currently has a Speedseal cover (was on the boat when I bought it 2 years ago), so it cannot be flipped. But I'll check that and if I see any wear I'll try replacing it and see if that helps. Thanks.


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