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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 06-20-2007
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bilge pump trouble

My Jabsco bilge pump has finally stopped moving water, although the motor still runs. Does the learned panel know of any common problems and easy fixes, or do I refrain from being a cheap ass for a change and go buy a replacement?
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Old 06-20-2007
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Depends on the size/cost of the pump. The cheaper pumps dont have serviceable parts, if I recall correctly. The more expensive ones will let you at least change out the impeller (which is what you need, most likely). See if you can take it apart and inspect the impeller. If you can't then chuck it and buy a new one.

Or, to play devil's advocate...

Ask yourself this: If your toaster breaks, do you fix it, or toss it and buy a new one? Most of us would answer that they just buy a new one, because they're only $30. What's your time worth?
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Old 06-20-2007
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If the motor is still running and sounding fine, it's a relatively easy and much cheaper step to buy a new "service kit" which should consist of an impellor and O rings. I just replaced mine (also a Jabsco) this past weekend, and I'm a bad mechanic and didn't have any trouble with it--just a few screws to take off the plate, pull out the impellor with needle nose pliars, add grease to the new one, replace the old O ring with the new one, and put it back together. It took well under an hour, and cost of the kit was $29.95 compared to the same pump new at $229.99. The chandlery had both in stock.
My motor was also still working, but no water was being pumped, and the new impellor fixed it so it's working perfectly.
Good luck!
Frank.
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Old 06-20-2007
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It is possible it is not the pump. Many bilge pumps had check valves just off the exit. It will ussually be a brass cylinder. These are prone to getting clogged and stopping up. Also, I have found that without some water on the exit port, some bilge pums tend to not do anything but hum.

TO check it, simply pull of the exit hose, make sure there is water in there, and turn it on with the bottom of the pump in the water too. IF it moves water, it may very well not be your pump. If it does not, I always replace. It is very easy to replace it. Try to find the same one if possible so you do not have to remove and replace the mount.

The bilge pump is one of the most critical pieces of safety equipment on the boat. I don't fool around with it.

- CD
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Old 06-20-2007
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The most common problem and easiest to fix is a clog of the screen many people have on the bilge end of the hose or simply the hose itself. If you have not pulled off and checked the input hose that is where I would start. The output hose is a less likely suspect but I would check that before taking the pump apart. There is also the possibility that the P.O. added an backflow valve that could be clogged.
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Old 06-20-2007
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sailhog must have some huge cajones to stay with his computer, while his boat is sitting at the marina . . . with no bilge pump!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueBlue
sailhog must have some huge cajones to stay with his computer, while his boat is sitting at the marina . . . with no bilge pump!
TB, the cojones are larger than the brain... She's got new seacocks and I keep them all closed, so I'm thinking she'll stay afloat for a few more hours. I'm going to take Stan's advice and start with the hoses, and if that isn't it, I'll take a quick look inside the pump. It's a $125 unit, and I don't want to waste a pile of time. Thanks Chicago, thanks Frank. I appreciate the thoughtful replies. It's helpful to have people like Cruisingdad and True Blue scare the **** out of you. I had the wife and kids out on Port Royal Sound yesterday. We were bouncing through waves that were big enough to send salt spray through the forward hatch. The family had their feet over the rails, getting wet, having a blast. The bilge pump was working when we left the dock, but it wasn't as productive as usual. I'm a nervous ninny when the kids are on board, and I've always got worst-case scenarios running through my mind when something isn't quite right. Anyway, you guys are the best.
Thanks,
Sailhog
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Old 06-20-2007
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You must have used it to drain your water tanks uh?
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