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  • 1 Post By Minnewaska
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Old 01-13-2013
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Electic Bilge Pump Installation

I have a 1984 C&C 35-3. It currently has two maunal diaphram bilge pumps. One in the cockpit and one under the port settee. I have several questions regarding upgrading this system. First of all, will this require a new thru hull? Can an electic pump be installed through the same thru hull as the manual and preserve function of the manual one as a back-up? The main pump now runs from the keel sump through corrugated hose and probably 4' static head. From everything I've read this corrugated hose should difinitely be replaced with a smooth one. The previous (and only) owner seem to do fine with this set-up during 28 years on a mooring and raced at least 10 Chicago-Mac races with it - so I believe it's up to the task of my coastal crusing requirements, but I would prefer the ease and piece of mind of an electric pump. As I will also be on a mooring and am assuming this will draw between 6 and 8 amps so I'm also concerned about coming back to dead batteries after an extended period away from the boat. Thoughts and recommendations about how others have handled this??
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Old 01-13-2013
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Re: Electic Bilge Pump Installation

Hillenme,

The 6-8 amp draw is only when the pump is actually running -- if you are taking enough water onboard that would lead to draining your battery bank, you have more pressing issues than a new bilge pump. With a modest 450 a/h bank (4 x Trojan T-105, eg) you would have to have the pump running for over 25 hrs to draw you down under the recommended limit of 50% discharge.

You can get creative with the plumbing, installing a Y-fitting so that both the electric pump and the manual pump use the same through-hull -- but I probably wouldn't do it myself. If you do elect to do it, make sure the Y is close to the t/h on the downhill side of your hose runs. Don't forget to install an anti-siphon loop in the hose from the electric pump.
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Old 01-13-2013
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Re: Electic Bilge Pump Installation

We both have the same boat although I dont think yours is a keel centerboard model. Is it a shallow bildge like ours?

1.We have a manual bilge pump connected to a strum box with smooth hose led back thru the engine comapartment beside the port engine bed side to a thru above the waterline, but below the transom on the port side.

2.In addition we have a rule electric pump with intergral switch...smooth hose led through the engine compartment on the starboard side of the engine bed. It originalyl emptied through the thru hull which served as the vapor releief for a second propane tank compartment. Because we have two propane tanks and use both compartments we installed another thru hull just for the bilge pump. The elctric pump is run to the battery bank. We also have a spare electric bilge pump as they are fairly cheap.

Because this is a critical systemp to dwater the boat I have two alternative methods in additon to the manual and elctric pump in the bilge.

3.The diaphram pump which serves as the sump pump for the shower pan and empties through a thru hull on the port side near the toe rail is one alternative. I put a T valve fitting in the line and attached 20 ft of easily coiled flexible clear plastic hose and coiled it up under the sink to use in an emegency where the bidge didnt work or water was comming in too fast. You simple tuen the valve from the shower pump to this coiled hose and bring the hose end out of the head and stick it in the bilge.

4.Lastly I installed a brass T Fitting in between the raw water intake pump and the thru hull for the raw water intake for the engine. This on our boats is almost directly under the engine. This screwed right into the thru hull fittting. One of the 'T" has a barb with a hose and goes directly to the raw water pump. The other opening of the "T" facing the salon I screwed in a plug. I have stored a 15 ft length of hose connected to a barb with a threaded fitting. If I needed to dewater the boat quickly as it had a huge hole, I would throw the lever on the stop **** to the intake of the outside water. Take out the plug, screw in the fitting connected to the hose and then turn the engine on and let the engine be the pump as it would draw the water in the boat though the raw water pump. This is also how I run antifreeze through the raw water side of my engine when I go to winterize at the end of the season. The hose pulls the antifreeze out of a bucket easily through the raw water cooling in the engine.

4 different independent ways to dewater the boat
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Old 01-13-2013
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Re: Electic Bilge Pump Installation

One simple way to get the water overboard is to replace the tailpiece on one of your sinks with a "Branch Tailpiece For Dishwasher" and connect the discharge of the pump to discharge for the dishwasher waste. On many boats this will allow the discharge hose on the pump to be shorter and the height of the lift less. Both increase pump performance. A branch tailpiece is less then $4.00 at Lowe's or HD.
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Old 01-13-2013
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Re: Electic Bilge Pump Installation

In owing J24s going back to 1981 and electric pump was against class rules due to worries about moving water ballast

The only way for a J24 to leak is rainwater down the mast and in the worst it ever got after and epic rain/hurricane was about 8 gallons

Fast forward to 2012 i have a Cal 29 with two electric bilge pumps one in the low section of the bilge (its great having a boat with a real bilge ) on battery A

And one in a high section of the bilge on battery B which prevents the second pump from ever getting wet unless something really bad has happened

Both pumps go to separate above the waterline through hulls with anti-siphon loops and valves (because when the boats heeled over they go underwater )

I am somewhat still at a loss as to how boats leak other than rainwater down a keel stepped mast or a bit from from the shaft log

The only time my pump runs is from the ice box melting

I also have the large collection of manual pumps and buckets and in my experience your only going to keep up with a fairly minor event IF the two good size electric pumps both fail
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Last edited by tommays; 01-13-2013 at 06:10 AM.
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Old 01-13-2013
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Re: Electic Bilge Pump Installation

Couple of adds to advice above.

I would not branch the bilge pump to the sink drain, as these are typically underwater when heeled. Both siphon and backpressure can be an issue.

You could combine the outlet with the manual, but if either hose breaks, it seems neither would work. That would defeat the purpose of having both.

I prefer pumps with a separate float switch, as I find that is the first part to go and its easier to troubleshoot, if you can manually pull the switch. Integrated switches are not a violation of anything in my book and are sometimes necessary due to space limitations. Just prefer separate.
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Old 01-13-2013
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Re: Electic Bilge Pump Installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by hillenme View Post
I have a 1984 C&C 35-3. It currently has two maunal diaphram bilge pumps... First of all, will this require a new thru hull?...Thoughts and recommendations about how others have handled this??
I am in the process of installing a second automatic electric bilge pump on my boat. According to Boat/US recommendations, a boat your size should have two automatic electric pumps. As the thru-hulls will be located above the waterline and you want a fail safe system, you should have two separate thru hulls, probably best located on the transom, with anti-siphon loops at a higher point, perhaps under the cockpit seats toward the centerline of the boat, as close as you can position them to the pumps.

The corrugated hose decreases flow by as much as 30%. That may or may not matter, depending on the pump's rated flow and the diameter of the hose. My new Rulemate 750 pump will be installed with a 3/4" hose, so I doubt the hose type makes any difference.

On an attempt to clean the bilge out with a marina garden hose at nearly full volume this past summer, I was reassured by the fact that I was not able to accumulate water in the bilge as fast as my existing Rulemate 750 pumped water out. With a second Rulemate 750 working, I will have bought additional valuable minutes to locate and deal with a potential sinking situation (blown PSS shaftseal, rudder post failure, blown seacock hose, etc.) at sea.

My second pump will be connected directly to the battery bank with a Rule switch and a fuse, bypassing the battery switch and electrical panel.

In the marina, the greatest sinking danger would be due to a failure of my batteries before my next visit to the boat. My hope is my solar panel will keep the battery bank recharged sufficiently to keep my boat afloat in the event of a leak between visits.

Last edited by jameswilson29; 01-13-2013 at 09:11 AM.
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Re: Electic Bilge Pump Installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Couple of adds to advice above.

I would not branch the bilge pump to the sink drain, as these are typically underwater when heeled. Both siphon and backpressure can be an issue.

You could combine the outlet with the manual, but if either hose breaks, it seems neither would work. That would defeat the purpose of having both.

I prefer pumps with a separate float switch, as I find that is the first part to go and its easier to troubleshoot, if you can manually pull the switch. Integrated switches are not a violation of anything in my book and are sometimes necessary due to space limitations. Just prefer separate.
I have the same exact boat as the OP. The bilge is very shallow on our boats and I have tried the float switch as I agree it is better in terms of isolating, but our bildges are to shallow for them to work well.

Dave
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Old 01-13-2013
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Dave, correct i do have fixed keel model. The sump is quite deep at it's lowest point. The second bilge pump empties with sink in the head, so the run is incredibly short, but it is below the water line. my guess is that it was installed only to comply with off shore racing rules requiring a pump below.
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