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05-21-2013 01:59 PM
Re: Manual water pump priming sucks so much ....

You have a leak, but it's an air leak.

Air is leaking into the system, probably at the diaphram inside the pump. Hence, you lose prime, but no water leaks out of the system.

Here's what I did: Dismantle the pump and soak the diaphram in a light coating of veg oil. It's safe for humans, and often causes the rubber to swell and moisten, and retain its prime.
05-21-2013 01:30 PM
Re: Manual water pump priming sucks so much ....

Most diaphragm pumps are self priming to about 10'. I've used the Shurflo Washdown pumps for everything on the boat (fresh and salt), industrial equipment, construction equipment, etc and they are bulletproof (and relatively inexpensive). You can rebuild pumps but new and reliable works for me.

Edit: disregard, didn't realize you had a manual pump.
05-21-2013 01:25 PM
Re: Manual water pump priming sucks so much ....

Originally Posted by i_amcdn View Post
It looks like this Whale:

I will check the hose (clear) and clamps and go from there.

That model is really common and the same one I have. Around here west marine sells replacements and usually stocks the service kits. Mine was busted on my boat, I never diagnosed the exact problem but after finding the parts kit on the boat and servicing it it worked fine.

It's great that products like this get manufactured so many years later. Mine was original (I believe), to my '79.
05-21-2013 01:20 PM
Re: Manual water pump priming sucks so much ....

It looks like this Whale:

I will check the hose (clear) and clamps and go from there.

05-21-2013 12:59 PM
Re: Manual water pump priming sucks so much ....

My experience based on 4 whale brand manual pumps (holding tank, sink, 2 bilge), is that you should not have to do this at all. My bilge pumps are 3-5' above the bottom of the bilge and have no problem priming at all.

So I'd first figure out what model/brand pump it is and search for a spares kit. If its Whale brand, which is common, you'll find it.

You can always replace the pump also but they are often expensive. I was forced to replace a whale gusher 10 and was surprised to find it was $260. I would have much rather serviced it for $50.
05-21-2013 12:55 PM
Re: Manual water pump priming sucks so much ....

You have a leak. Fix it. You may have to replace hoses and fittings. If you have transparent hoses you should be able to see the water in the hose at the level it returns to when prime is lost. The leak is likely to be at that point.
05-21-2013 12:55 PM
Re: Manual water pump priming sucks so much ....

This thread is worthless without pictures!!!

Actually I think something may be wrong. Go sailing instead
05-21-2013 12:50 PM
Manual water pump priming sucks so much ....

...that I have to lean over, turn my head upside down and suck on the pipe until I hear the gurgles getting closer. When I "feel" the gurgles I start pumping and water flows.

The boat has sat on the hard for over 3 years. Is it possible that some vital part has dried out? Is it worthwhile trying to diagnose and fix or should I simply replace it and go sailing? It is not a life or death matter but I do want it working eventually.

Thanks all.

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