But it's supposed to suck! - SailNet Community

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Old 07-29-2011
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But it's supposed to suck!

I have an older (78) Newport 30 with a perfectly good reciprocating style fresh water pump, but I wish I could say it sucks...cause it doesn't...and that's the problem. I drained off the water last winter (to prevent freezing) and filled the system with RV antifreeze. Now that I am ready to blow it out, I can't seem to get the pump to live up to its name. I pulled apart the hose to check the check valve (no issue there) and made sure that it didn't have any obstructions in the body that would prevent water from coming through. I have a recently filled fresh water tank...and when I turn on the pump it just whirrs and whirrs, and nothing comes out. I tried priming it a the pump by pouring water into the reservoir and making sure the pump was running the right direction...but it still doesn't suck, or rather pump. Any suggestions, short of getting a new centrifugal pump and installing it?

I feel like I should be singing the old Kingston Trio song about Desert Pete...you know the lyric...you've got to prime the pump, you must have faith and believe...

Skipper, Das Dawg Haus (when my wife lets me)
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Old 07-29-2011
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If, by reciprocating you mean diaphragm pump, and I think you do, they don't just suck they blow!
I had 2 Jabsco diaphragm pumps that were used as bilge pumps on our boat that I never could get working again, even with the 'service kit' ($80+). I know that the recommended usage for this kind of pump is either as a sump pump for a shower drain or a fresh water system but our boat came with this expensive pump ($250) set up as a bilge pump.
I have converted to a Rule centrifugal pump for the bilge that has worked flawlessly for over a year for around $40. See if Rule makes an in-line pump that you could use for your water system.
Even something like this might/could work: Tournament Series Livewell / Baitwell Pump
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Old 07-29-2011
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You mention it is a reciprocating pump. You do realize they have two check valves, one on the intake and one on the discharge? It sounds like you only checked one. The discharge valve is actually more important than the intake valve. If the intake valve leaks a little it just reduces the pumping capacity, but it will still pump in most cases because the water pressure forces it closed. If the discharge valve leaks you suck air into the pump and it air locks.

Gary H. Lucas
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