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Old 07-16-2008
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Question bilge pump not working

I'm back with a problem--bilge pump on a cape dory 27 (on the side of cockpit area) doesn't seem to suck any water unless you pump handle like a maniac. Any suggestions are where to start looking for a remedy and does anyone know if you can replace unit? thanks as always
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Old 07-16-2008
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Would help if you said what make/model pump it was. In any case, you might be able to rebuild it. If it is a diaphragm-type pump, the diaphragm might have a small hole in it.
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Agree - check the diaphragm. They eventually will break down in Summer heat and usually can be replaced. You must have an air leak somewhere.
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My manual bilge pump looks more or less like the one in the picture. The diaphram develops small cracks and can't hold suction. There's a re-build kit that's pretty easty to install.


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Check the hose running to the bilge. Mine has a couple of small holes in it that made the pump act like yours. Duct tape works untill i buy a new hose.
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You also may want to check the hose intake in the bilge, some folks put a piece of screen on it that can clog.
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The check valve (really just a rubber flap) in mine broke off which prevented it from drawing a prime. I plumbed a check valve into the line to replace it and the pump works fine.
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Diaphragm pumps have rubber flappers on the inlet and outlet side of the round bit (called check valves).

If you can't find any obvious problems with the hoses, it's very possible some rubbish has got though your filter and jammed under one of these - it doesn't take much. You'll have to take the diaphragm off to check it (just undo the hose clamp), but make sure you put it back nice and tight or it won't seal.
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My vote is that the valves are bad. Buy a rebuild kit which will inlcude those. Had to do this last year with my Whale 10 when it started acting exactly as you describe. Valves were toast.
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Old 07-17-2008
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Yeah I'm with jimsCAL on this. The valves in these whale type pumps harden and don't seal properly.

The symptoms you mention would have me looking at the valves first.

Andre
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