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  #1  
Old 05-06-2013
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Yet another bilge pump thread - Flojet ?

Hi All...

My dissatisfaction with my bilge water continues unabated. Currently, I have a Rule 800 automatic, in the sense that it turns itself on periodically, and if it senses load (due to water) it pumps until the load is gone. This feeds a 3/4 inch hose with a check valve.

I know the check valve is bad because it might get stuck. The problem I have is that the hose is about 15 feet long and slopes up from the bilge. So when the pump stops, all the water from the pump comes back. Even a more narrow hose would be too much water.

In general, I am not happy with the pump because it needs a good inch of water to work. That's more than I really want. Other than that, I am happy with it. I like its operating mode and it never clogs.

I don't really want a second pump. The bilge area is small and quite dirty.

Finally, due to the dirtyness of the bilge, I am not sure a mechanical float switch will be reliable.

Today, my check valve did get stuck (while still on the hard) and so i am rethinking. I could just replace the check valve and drive on, but I figure it is worth some thought.

So I am trying to think of a way to reduce the backflow and lower the level.

It seems a Flowjet might do it. The manual is poor (at least what I have found) but it seems that it has a pump that mounts away from the bilge, and a pickup that mounts low. My only problem would be how to control it. Maybe an electronic float switch?

Or, I could live with the 1 inch of water (I have been for years) and maybe just loop the discharge tube fromt he Rule pump? In that case, would the pump be strong enough to pump water through the loop? I would need a tall loop, maybe a foot or more.
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Old 05-06-2013
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Re: Yet another bilge pump thread - Flojet ?

You could try a vented loop as close to the pump and as high above it (and the waterline at every possible angle of heel) as possible. That way, as little water as possible will backflow into the bilge. Remove the check valve.

You really should not have a check valve on the bilge pump. You really should clean your bilge. You really should correct whatever condition(s) is causing liquid to accumulate in the bilge. You really should eat your vegetables, etc.

Seriously, I use either a wet-dry vac (and a small portable generator) or a bucket and a sponge to get the last bit of water/fluid out of the bilge. I am also installing a second automatic bilge pump as a back up.

My bilge is currently clean and dry. It is a constant battle to keep it that way. I check the bilge upon arriving at the boat and before departing, and regularly when underway while cruising.

The bilge is a source of clues to the condition of your vessel. One of the benefits of a clean and usually dry bilge is the ability to determine what is flowing into it (and find potential problems early): is it fresh water from the mast or windows or hatches or deck fittings leaking or is the water tank leaking or is it simply icebox discharge or is it saltwater from the propeller shaft fitting or keel bolts or a thru-hull; is there oil or fuel or coolant leaking into the bilge. Does water accumulate while sailing heeled over, or pounding through waves? Does fluid accumulate while motoring for long periods of time?

As long as you allow the bilge to contain a liquid mass of unknown composition and origin, you are taking a chance with the condition of your vessel.

Last edited by jameswilson29; 05-06-2013 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 05-06-2013
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Re: Yet another bilge pump thread - Flojet ?

I would get rid of the check valve and use a loop. Less resistance in a loop than a check valve. The biggest problems with check valves is resistance not sticking. You do not need a vented loop as those are to prevent a back siphon and as long as your discharge is above the water line like it should be this is not a problem.

And I would say clean you bilges. If they are so bad you do not think a float switch will work they are likely to clog a pump as well. Only excuse for dirty bilges is laziness.

A remote diaphragm pump would get more water out and eliminate the issue with a loop or check valve and get more water out. Yes you can install a float to operate the pump. Lots of boats set up like this. Draw backs are the pumps are more expensive, more like to fail from crap in the bilge (see comments on cleaning your bilges) and in general move less water. On the positive side they get more water out, have built in check valves and will provide better out flow pressure to overcome resistance so less effected by hose length and head hight.
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Old 05-06-2013
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Re: Yet another bilge pump thread - Flojet ?

Quote:
Seriously, I use either a wet-dry vac (and a small portable generator)
Begs the question: why not install something like this perminantly. Maybe a bit smaller motor, but capable of sucking the bilge dry.

Quote:
Only excuse for dirty bilges is laziness.
Don't know about the OP, but, my bilge is almost inaccessible. Its about 3 feet deep, 3 inches wide at the bottom, and directly under my engine. You can see I have some bilge envy issues
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Old 05-06-2013
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Re: Yet another bilge pump thread - Flojet ?

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Originally Posted by Barquito View Post
Begs the question: why not install something like this perminantly. Maybe a bit smaller motor, but capable of sucking the bilge dry.





Don't know about the OP, but, my bilge is almost inaccessible. Its about 3 feet deep, 3 inches wide at the bottom, and directly under my engine. You can see I have some bilge envy issues
A vac has to pull the fluid into a container that is at a pressure lower than atmosphere. You would then have to pump out that container, not a very piratical set up but I have heard of those hating water in their bilge doing it.

Just have to work a bit harder at it. Use a hose with spray nozzle to flush and stir up the water while pumping it out. Use some biodegradable soap as well. It can be done just a PIA and lets face it not a fun job but you will feel better once it is done and you know you have clean bilges. Also if you are getting oil in the bilge find and fix the cause.
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Last edited by sailvayu; 05-06-2013 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 05-06-2013
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Re: Yet another bilge pump thread - Flojet ?

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Originally Posted by sailvayu View Post
Also if you are getting oil in the bilge find and fix the cause.
Much easier said then done.

For those of you who cruise your boats, adding all kinds of stuff that draws power and adds weight and takes up space is a perfectly acceptable option. For those of us who race, it not the best way to go.
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Old 05-06-2013
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Re: Yet another bilge pump thread - Flojet ?

I use a water witch solid state switch and very happy with it. It's been reliable for years now. They won't get fouled by debris in the bilge.

I went with two automatic pumps both with solid state switches. One smaller mounted low with a 1/2 discharge, and a larger capacity pump mounted higher. I used to have a check valve in the smaller pump but I've learned my lesson.

I also have a manual pump operated at the helm.

Note that the solid state switches do draw a small amount of current as they monitor.

You say that you are trying to reduce weight and power consumption, but id think that those diaphragm pumps (flowjet and others) are heavy and draw a lot more current than the rule or whale pumps.
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Old 05-06-2013
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Re: Yet another bilge pump thread - Flojet ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bristol299bob View Post
You say that you are trying to reduce weight and power consumption, but id think that those diaphragm pumps (flowjet and others) are heavy and draw a lot more current than the rule or whale pumps.
Unless the weather dictates otherwise, I turn it off while sailing. At the slip, I'm plugged in.
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Old 05-06-2013
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Re: Yet another bilge pump thread - Flojet ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
The bilge is a source of clues to the condition of your vessel. One of the benefits of a clean and usually dry bilge is the ability to determine what is flowing into it (and find potential problems early): is it fresh water from the mast or windows or hatches or deck fittings leaking or is the water tank leaking or is it simply icebox discharge or is it saltwater from the propeller shaft fitting or keel bolts or a thru-hull; is there oil or fuel or coolant leaking into the bilge. Does water accumulate while sailing heeled over, or pounding through waves? Does fluid accumulate while motoring for long periods of time?
What does it mean when the bilge is always full of empty beer cans?
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Old 05-07-2013
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Re: Yet another bilge pump thread - Flojet ?

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Originally Posted by mbetter View Post
What does it mean when the bilge is always full of empty beer cans?
You are having too much fun and may be a navigational hazard...
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