No raw water flow after attempt to winterize - What happened - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 20 Old 01-09-2008 Thread Starter
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No raw water flow after attempt to winterize - What happened

OK...I decided to be "smart" and run some propylene glycol (pinkstuff) through the raw water intake.

Before I did I started the engine and confirmed water flow. Stopped the engine, disconnected the intake hose (after turning off the seacock of course) and put it into a bucket of PG.

I started the engine expecting it to pull the pinkstuff in but it didn't. So after another try I reconnected the hose to the seacock (and turned the seacock on!). I started the engine to see if water would flow and it didn''t.

So what has happened? It sounds like there is an airblock or something. I didn't know that was something to worry about and don't know how to bleed the air out of a raw water line. If it's not that, I guess my raw water pump just happened to fail at that particular point.

Any ideas?....what should I try next?

Thanks all!

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post #2 of 20 Old 01-09-2008
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Cool

It could be that the lift pump did in fact fail at that exact moment however it probably (hopefully) isn't the case. Once the siphon is broken a fair amount of air will enter the system but remember that your raw water inlet and the lift pump are usually below the boat's waterline. (depending on boat model, etc.) so now you just have a bucket of fluid with no pressure to reprime the pump.

How long did you let your engine run before shutting it down? When is the last time you replaced or inspected your raw water pump? Supplying the fluid to the engine under a standing fluid column (gravity feed) should reprime the pump.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
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post #3 of 20 Old 01-10-2008
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Check to see if you let air into any hose between the seacock -> strainer -> pump. If so prime it all with pink stuff, cap the end of the hose, put it into your bucket of pink then uncap it.

It could be a crazy coincidence that your pump failed at this same time, but that seems unlikely.
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post #4 of 20 Old 01-10-2008
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Pamlico-

It sounds like you airlocked the raw water side of your cooling system. One thing I have for just such a situation is a four gallon plastic bladder with a hose fitting on it. This way you can fill the bladder with anti-freeze and mount it high enough that the antifreeze will flow down into the engine's raw water side and "prime" the raw water pump. They sell these at WM... which is where I got mine.

Be careful not to run it for very long since you can damage the raw water impeller. Globe supposedly makes some impellers that don't get as easily damaged by being run dry, but I've heard contradictory reports on their quality. Also, not having water in the raw water side is bad for the cooling system.

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post #5 of 20 Old 01-10-2008
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Yes, it happens all the time. Prime the pump.
If I let the old ship dry out against the harbour wall, it will noit draw raw coolant again unless I disconnect the water feed to the pump, let it pee into the boat, then connect it again.

Once the pump is primed, it works for years again, until the ship is dried out again, anyway.

Rockter.
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post #6 of 20 Old 01-10-2008 Thread Starter
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I love Sailnet. I went to bed and woke up with several right-on posts. Thanks guys. SD, I think I will go buy one of those things. Then after the job is done fold it up and use it as a spare water carrier for a trip.

Rockter..I didn't try intentionally draining the remaining water in the line either and should probably do that.

It just didn't sound likely that the raw water pump or impeller failed coincidentally at the moment I had this happen. Possible, but not likely.

My luck would never have the raw water pump fail at the dock. It would be more likely to happen at an inlet with a 2 knot tide flow,a rock jetty on each side, and the sailcover zipped up. (And my wife asking me if I turned the seacock back on)

Thanks again!

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things y%^&*.....oh never mind. 90% of the people on sailing forums already use that as their signature! I'm not a conformist.
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post #7 of 20 Old 01-10-2008
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Pamlico,

The same thing has happened to me more than once. I've always had good luck by just reconnecting the hose to the through-hull seacock, then opening the sea-**** and letting the water pressure slowly/gradually re-prime the line. Sometimes it takes a half-hour to an hour, during which time I move on to other boat chores. It's less pro-active than the other approaches described above, but it doesn't require any additional tools/equipment either. (We have a soft rubber impeller on our raw water pump, so I can't say this method would work in all cases).

Once you get the hose/pump re-primed, be careful as you remove it again that you do not let all the raw water dump out of it. Try to hold your thumb over the end of the hose as soon as you pop it off the sea-****, then immediately put it into your anti-freeze bucket (which you should get ready/handy before removing the hose). Good luck!
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I see you've met my friend Murphy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pamlicotraveler View Post
...My luck would never have the raw water pump fail at the dock. It would be more likely to happen at an inlet with a 2 knot tide flow,a rock jetty on each side, and the sailcover zipped up. (And my wife asking me if I turned the seacock back on)

Thanks again!
BTW, I'd really recommend you check the raw water impeller for damage. Just in case...

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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #9 of 20 Old 01-10-2008
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If you run the pink stuff thru the strainer, and your strainer is clear you have a visual check on the air lock, the strainer should be full of pink stuff.

If not, follow John's method and just reconnect and let nature take over, when the strainer is again full of raw water re do the hose to the bucket, this time keeping the hose full of water or funnel in pink stuff), cap it an stick it in the bucket.

BTW - I have a 12v pump I use and flush my coolant system of raw water in theory every time I sail to cut down on corrosion. In practice it's not so often as I'd like. I use the same 5 gallons of pink stuff all summer long, then replace it when I winterize. It's easy for me as the WB 30 has nice easy to get to hose fittings (for draining) and so does the raw water sea ****. (to pump into).
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post #10 of 20 Old 01-10-2008
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Raw water (impellor) pumps are self-priming. I'm sure others here have primed the system to get it to work, however, that indicates that either the pump is problemmatic or the impellor is damaged. These pumps should never require priming unless something else is wrong.
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