My kingdom for a good bilge pump and an honest manufacturer! - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 24 Old 10-13-2009
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Here is a simple problem I have run into more than once troubble shooting these pumps.

They will run backwards if wired that way.

A new pump, just installed by the owner, running hard but not pumping any water just because it was wired wrong.

Just swapped the wires and it pumps like it should.

Just a thought.

Rick
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post #12 of 24 Old 10-13-2009
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I have a Johnson "L-Series Heavy Duty Bilge Pump Max GPH: 1600 (100L/min)".
The rise from the bottom of the bilge to pump discharge is about 6' with a slightly higher point in the loop going upwards to 7'. There is no check valve other than pump's own.

I tested it during installation (really common sense to avoid having it tested when something hits the fan), and it worked great - sucked out a few buckets of water in seconds (I estimated real GPH to be about half of stated, which is in line with the user guide figures based on the rise and the check-valve).

Never had to actually use it (nothing leaks) but that's one pump that works as advertised. FWIW.
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post #13 of 24 Old 10-13-2009
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13.6 volts is the voltage you get when the engine is running and the batteries are charging.
I have a Rule bilge pump but don't use it as a rule (Lol). I have a Henderson Mk5 hand operated bilge pump that is 33 years old and still works fine

Last edited by cacique1977; 10-13-2009 at 04:46 PM.
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post #14 of 24 Old 10-13-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brak View Post
I have a Johnson "L-Series Heavy Duty Bilge Pump Max GPH: 1600 (100L/min)".
The rise from the bottom of the bilge to pump discharge is about 6' with a slightly higher point in the loop going upwards to 7'. There is no check valve other than pump's own.

I tested it during installation (really common sense to avoid having it tested when something hits the fan), and it worked great - sucked out a few buckets of water in seconds (I estimated real GPH to be about half of stated, which is in line with the user guide figures based on the rise and the check-valve).

Never had to actually use it (nothing leaks) but that's one pump that works as advertised. FWIW.
Brak,

Remove that check valve before it causes you a real problem. Johnson usually uses those rubber flappers that get sticky and then fail to open when you really need it most. It's no surprise it tested when new but let 15 feet of water in a 1" hose sit on it, in a bilge for a while and it will eventually stick shut and the pump will just cavitate.

A boat yard I worked in used to charge customers big labor bills to fix their non-operating/non-pumping bilge pumps. All we did was throw away the check valve and they were back in business..

A check valve on a centrifugal pump is a safety hazard IMHO. I have seen them fail and stick shut on even the biggest and baddest Rule's & Johnson's... Do your battery bank a favor and ditch it...

______
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post #15 of 24 Old 10-13-2009
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What is needed here is a good class action lawsuit. Using a voltage specification that would only happen if the boat were attended and the engine running, for a device that many would consider a safety device is a case of fraud in my book. They could go after the shop vac manufacturers too. Calling a vacuum 6 HP when the most you can get out of a wall receptacle is about 2 HP is a first class fraud!

To make matters worse, how many people here understand that centrifugal pumps operate under a square law? That is, the difference in pump speed from 13.6 volts down to 12 volts is about 12% while the drop off in performance is about 22%! Then to add to the difficulty in selecting a pump is that no one seem to provide a pump curve, like ALL industrial centrifugal pumps are supplied with! I work with pump curves every day. Looking at pump curves lets you know exactly what the pump is capable of. Without it you are just plain guessing.

Gary H. Lucas
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post #16 of 24 Old 10-14-2009
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Well, the next time I am down there

Sticking due to water standing in the hose isn't a huge hazard for my boat because there isn't any water in bilge pump hoses - unless it manages to enter from the other end.

That said, I do think that check valve serves little purpose and it probably is not a bad idea to get rid of it.

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Brak,

Remove that check valve before it causes you a real problem. Johnson usually uses those rubber flappers that get sticky and then fail to open when you really need it most. It's no surprise it tested when new but let 15 feet of water in a 1" hose sit on it, in a bilge for a while and it will eventually stick shut and the pump will just cavitate.

A boat yard I worked in used to charge customers big labor bills to fix their non-operating/non-pumping bilge pumps. All we did was throw away the check valve and they were back in business..

A check valve on a centrifugal pump is a safety hazard IMHO. I have seen them fail and stick shut on even the biggest and baddest Rule's & Johnson's... Do your battery bank a favor and ditch it...
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post #17 of 24 Old 10-14-2009
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For a deep-bilge application (and mine is very deep), I've found over the years that the Flojet (NOT Shurflo) bilge pumps work very well and are quite reliable. They are now owned by ITT, which has raised their price, but so far they haven't tampered with the excellent design.

These pumps have a quad diaphram (four diaphrams) and can run dry if necessary without damage. Nice, compact design, with a unique locking arrangement for the assorted size and type inlet/outlet nipples which come with them. Price now is about $110 from Defender:
http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|51|299222|84462|315209&id=151003

These pumps require an external bilge pump switch. This switch can be of any type and, as has been noted elsewhere on this Board and others, can be the weak point of any bilge pump setup. I've gone thru several designs, and have finally settled on the Ultimate Switch Junior and Ultimate Switch Senior with high water alarm. These are pricey, but about the best switches available. Guaranteed for 5 years, many have gone over a decade without failure. I've just installed one of each, after both of my electronic switches (5 and 7 years old, respectively) failed within one week of each other.

So, to answer your question re: are there reliable bilge pumps out there, the answer is YES. But you have to pay a little and work a little and sweat a little.

Also, my pilot friend, you really need to TEST the setup by filling your bilge with a hose to see how well the pumping setup works! Last thing on your pre-flight checklist :-)

Bill
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post #18 of 24 Old 10-14-2009
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While that looks like a great pump for keeping the bilge dry at 5 GPM what are you going to use if you have a bigger issue to keep ahead of ?

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post #19 of 24 Old 10-14-2009
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As a slight aside, my plan for a "big issue" was always to disconnect engine intake hose and drop that in the bilge. Between that and about 10-15 effective GPM for the real bilge pump, there is some leeway to do stuff (or panic, as the case may be ).
Fortunately, haven't had to test that so far.
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post #20 of 24 Old 10-14-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommays View Post
While that looks like a great pump for keeping the bilge dry at 5 GPM what are you going to use if you have a bigger issue to keep ahead of ?
360 GPH is probably far better performance than most people are getting with your basic 1500 GPH centrifugal Rule, Attwood or Jonson pump, in the REAL WORLD, when voltage, head loss and check valves are considered.

What do you do when a centrifugal pump just sits therte and cavitates and does NOTHING as the OP's does? I'll take 360 GPH over 0 GPH any day of the week...

______
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