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post #1 of 17 Old 05-09-2016 Thread Starter
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Bilge Pump Recommendation

Hi All,

I am planning on replacing the bilge pump in our 1976 C&C 38 that we use for cruising/day sailing on lake Erie. I read an article written by David Pascoe recommending 3 pumps that can total 6000GPH. That's all fine and well but I hardly have the space in my bilge for one smaller submersible pump let alone 3 that can move 6000GPH. I was looking at either a Rule or Attwood automatic submersible. The boat currently has a Rule 800GPH with 3/4" hose. If I upgraded to a larger pump with a wider hose barb would I lose the higher GPH when I necked it down to the 3/4 hose that is currently installed? I would really prefer to not change the hose. We have a large manual pump that in my mind is the pump we would use if anything serious ever happened when we were out. Any help is appreciated.

thanks,

Joe
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post #2 of 17 Old 05-09-2016
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Re: Bilge Pump Recommendation

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Originally Posted by jetdrvr393 View Post
Hi All,

I am planning on replacing the bilge pump in our 1976 C&C 38 that we use for cruising/day sailing on lake Erie. I read an article written by David Pascoe recommending 3 pumps that can total 6000GPH. That's all fine and well but I hardly have the space in my bilge for one smaller submersible pump let alone 3 that can move 6000GPH. I was looking at either a Rule or Attwood automatic submersible. The boat currently has a Rule 800GPH with 3/4" hose. If I upgraded to a larger pump with a wider hose barb would I lose the higher GPH when I necked it down to the 3/4 hose that is currently installed? I would really prefer to not change the hose. We have a large manual pump that in my mind is the pump we would use if anything serious ever happened when we were out. Any help is appreciated.

thanks,

Joe
Hi Joe,

The best automatic nuisance bilge pump I have found, and installed on my last 3 boats [and a friend's basement sump...] is a SuperSub by Whale. They make 2 models: 1100gph and a 600gph. Be sure to get the yellow automatic one. [they sell non-auto also...]

The reason I think they are the best auto pump for routine bilge pumping is they don't run the motor every couple of minutes like some of the other brands do... The electronic sensor can be tested by holding your hand on it for a few seconds... These also fit well in a low profile space, and only leave ~1/4" of water remaining when they shut off..

In case this is helpful.

Cheers!

Bill


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post #3 of 17 Old 05-09-2016
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Re: Bilge Pump Recommendation

While 3 pumps would be nice. Two is better than one. Your first pump should be a diaphragm pump. The capacity of a diaphragm will be limited but it can drain more water and leave you with a nearly dry bilge. The pump can and should be installed outside the bilge, with only a strainer and sensor in the bilge.

The second pump left in the bilge can be a much bigger one. It is a backup to the diaphragm pump and should never have to work. Make it as big as can fit. If you want a 3rd bilge pump it could be even higher up for when things go really wrong.

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Re: Bilge Pump Recommendation

Yea, on my C&C 33 there is only room for one pump. I would love to have 2, and have the lower one with a check valve so it could get the bilge really dry then have the bigger one up a bit higher in case the small lower one craps out, check valve jams or just can't keep up. But would not use a check valve on a single pump for sure.

Lake Erie is a great place to sail! I used to sail out of Catawba Island.

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post #5 of 17 Old 05-09-2016
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Re: Bilge Pump Recommendation

Rule 2000 Gold - BUT only with a Ultra Safety Systems Bilge Switch.

I have no affiliation with either company, other than as a happy customer.


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Re: Bilge Pump Recommendation

Don't forget a high water bilge alarm.
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Re: Bilge Pump Recommendation

We have two in our C&C 35 MKIII. Very shallow bilge as we have a centerboard. A Rule 2000 and a Rule 1100. Neither are the automatic ones. I am not a big fan of the automatic pumps.

I just installed an Ultra mini switch on Mainesails recommendation on the 2000 and the 1100 has a float switch.


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Re: Bilge Pump Recommendation

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Originally Posted by jetdrvr393 View Post
....If I upgraded to a larger pump with a wider hose barb would I lose the higher GPH when I necked it down to the 3/4 hose that is currently installed?....
Pretty sure you would lose capacity. You also lose capacity for every foot of rise in the line to the thru-hull outlet. That loss is usually documented in the new pump's manual. If your bilge hose is not smooth inside, more loss.

If you routinely get a small amount of water in your bilge, from a dripping stuffing box or condensation from a fridge, for example, a diaphragm pump, with a separate float switch, is the way to go. You don't need any serious capacity for this and they won't allow the small amount of water they evacuate to drain back. Check valves are guaranteed to fail eventually.

If you want a real crash pump for emergencies, then mount one higher that your nuisance pump. I highly prefer a separate float switch, since I find that is the component most likely to fail. No sense having to replace the entire integrated pump.

As for capacity in general, I don't know too many boats with 6000gph in their favor. It's almost inconceivable to have enough capacity to keep up with a serious hole anyway. Even 6000gph is the flow rate of a 2 inch hole that is 2 ft below the waterline. The pump and, more importantly, the high water bilge alarm are only going to give you additional time to find the leak and stop or slow it down. The alarm should ideally have an external buzzer to allow others in your marina to summon help, if she starts to take on water, while you are away.


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post #9 of 17 Old 05-10-2016
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Re: Bilge Pump Recommendation

have used automatic pumps and found they require replacement almost yearly. i have hd better good fortune with my rule 2200 with lever switch for automaticity, and a high water alarm that is a re-sourced yanmar screamer. ouch. cannot miss it when it goes off, which it did one time.
btw, those lever switches have a tendency to fail almost yearly, but i managed to have mine last a while-hoping due to cleaning it occasionally.
seems that oily bilges cause malfunction. it did that, malfunction thing, and i cleaned it and demanded it work. it does, by miracle, and has for a few years, so far. praise to the rule pump/switch gods and goddesses.
oh btw--some spout rule fail rule fail--- but each and every product and boat is different, and if you are on board more than merely a few times annually, stuff works better. funny thing about that.
i have 2 pumps, one under engine,manually operated (at switch panel) electrical pump, 2000 gph, and another one slightly highjer in elevation, 2200 gph. my bilges are hugely deep and boat is a wet bilge boat.


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Last edited by zeehag; 05-10-2016 at 11:07 AM.
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post #10 of 17 Old 05-10-2016
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Re: Bilge Pump Recommendation

I've had very poor luck with Rule pumps. IF they turn on they don't turn off. I have one left only because I bought a spare.

I've gone to Johnson for traditional bilge pumps but also have Whale diaphragm pumps. The Whale pumps work great but are not high volume. I ran a tee off the shower sump pick up and use it to suck out the forward bilge near dry. I bought one of Whales fancy no float switches, worked exactly once. POS.

I inherited a couple of Jabsco diaphragm pumps with the big boat. I rebuilt one to use as a utility pump but the damn thing won't prime with other than very marginal pressure head. Haven't tried the other.

There are competing theories about how much bilge pump power you need. FWIW I carry a high capacity pump, not fitted, but with exhaust hose and alligator clamps or 120 vac. My theory is if if I have a BIG leak I'll throw it in and the hose out a port. If water is below floors then I'm safe. But also I can use it for other tasks, like putting out a fire or what ever.

My marina launched a boat at absentee owners request. The owner had previously removed the sea water impeller cover and left it off and the sea **** open. So the boat was slowly taking on water. By the time it was noticed she was well down on her lines. Marina call fire company for a trash pump, which was useless because it would not fit down the companionway. A portable pump would have been nice that day.

Just my thoughts.

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