Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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I wouldn't plumb it into the existing discharge, unless you have some sort of high loop in the line going to each pump. Otherwise, the water could easily back up and then flow back into the bilge via the other hose and pump. You could also use a check valve in each line, but I'm not a big fan of check valves since they reduce the pump's output somewhat.
Having multiple electric bilge pumps is usually a good idea. My preferred setup is having two separate switches and two outlets....with the one switch set as low as possible and the second a few inches higher than the first.
The first switch is connected to a very small pump, with a narrow hose. This is the "maintenance" pump, and keeps the bilge dry of any water that occurs as the result of normal operation of the boat, including drips from the stuffing box and such. The smaller pump and hose reduce the electrical load and how much water can back flush in to the bilge when the pump shuts off. This one has a bilge pump counter on it... so the rate of leakage over time can be checked.
The second pump is a much higher capacity pump with a much larger diameter hose. This is the "emergency" bilge pump and is for helping deal with larger leaks. This pump should have redundant backups IMHO, including, ideally, two manual ones—one in the cabin of the boat, and one operable from the cockpit of the boat.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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