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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Bilge pump preference
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Thread: Bilge pump preference Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-18-2010 01:49 PM
morgan3 What about maintenance?? I have a RULE 5 year 3700 and a wooden boat....it's getting a work out now.

I have it disconnected and am cleaning the bilge.....is there anything I can/should do to the pump? Is there anything to clean/inspect?

Thanks,
morgan
01-29-2010 11:12 AM
jarcher I have a Rule "fully automatic" I think it is called. It comes on every several minutes and if it senses load on its impeller it keeps pumping. Works very well, and I like it because there is no float switch to fail.

However, this is best if you have shore power or some other system of charging your batteries when you're not sailing. After a few weeks it will lower your battery.
01-28-2010 10:43 AM
sailingdog Just FYI, you may already have the hoses for the bilge pumps installed ... they were already installed with the wiring on s/v Felix IIRC, and all Frank did was add the pumps and wire them to switches.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
Believe it or not, there is no bilge pump installed on production Gemini's.

The shower sump pump (250gph) has a T valve in a locker on the port hull and hoses that extend to each hull; you can uncoil the hose and use it to vacuum out any loose water that makes it into our 4 inch deep bilges. The pump drains via a t valve in the head's sink drain.
Fortunately Gemini's are dry boats.

I keep promising myself that some day I'll install a real bilge pump but running a hose to topside is going to be a real problem. For now I have a 1500 gph Rule wired to a 12v plug that has a hose long enough to reach my cockpit as a just in case (there is a 4 ft head for those that are interested). I also use this for anchor washdown, just throw the pump overboard, plug it into a 12v plug in my anchor locker and use the hose end to spray away mud. It's not fresh water but it's better than nothing.

BTW the Ocean Cat A certified version of the Gemini has a manual pump in the lazerette, switchable to either hull and a 1500 gph electric pump in each hull. They can't retrofit the installation once the hull liner is bonded in which is why I'm having a hard time figuring how I'll route the hoses.
I may just go with a check valve and a hose to the centerboard slots, but if the check valve fails my boat would sink about 2 feet.
01-27-2010 08:42 AM
rjfortuna Hi there Maine Sail. I have a small ranch in east texas and am looking to pump water, using a 12v pump and solar panel setup out of a creek from mid sept to november. I am needing to do this in dry years, I have a seasonal creek, which is about 22' deep and will need it to work when the season is dry and there is not much water moving in the creek. Do you think a 12v vein pump would do this or do you have any suggestions? I was thinking of using my 45 w of solar panel's coupled to a diesel truck deep cycle battery, 12 v float switch and one or 2 pumps (1000 gph or so), with flotation riding on a pipe concreted into the bottom of the creek with a larger ID pipe riding on the other pipe.

Any suggestions for me please? You are obviously a man that knows his pumps. No issues here in texas in removing water from a creek for irrigation of livestock.

Thanks RJ
12-10-2008 11:01 PM
nightowle
water line through hull

thanks for the input. Just to clarify, my sink through hull is just above the water line and is only sitting under water when the boat is heeled on a port tack. And yes, I meant to say I'd use a y valve and wasn't intending a pure 't'. Given that my boat has no automatic pump right now, I thought I'd go ahead and take advantage of the hole that is above the water line, and then remedy this properly when I next have the boat on the hard. I just haven't decided if I should add a through hull midship just below the toe rail, or extend a pipe all the way to the transom. The only existing holes at the transom are also just above the water line for the scuppers.
12-09-2008 09:18 AM
Maine Sail
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightowle View Post
QUOTE:


Mainsail: I wanted to ask you about having the discharge close to the waterline. I will be installing a Whale pump that is designed for shallow bilges. I'd like to 't' into the sink discharge through hull which is only about 4 feet from where the pump will be and I'll avoid having to create another hull opening. Will I still need to put high loop in the discharge hose even if the pump has a check valve?

Thanks

I never like to tee into a below waterline anything for a bilge pump and I also never recommend a sink.

#1 Below waterline fittings can become clogged and or have the flow reduced by sea growth.

#2 When you leave the boat one should always close the seacocks. If you close the seacock the bilge pump will just fill the sink and over flow back into the boat.

#3 Sink drains especially can become clogged with food, hair, tootpaste and other gooey items that when mixed with aquatic life begin to reduce the ID of your plumbing and reduce flow or increase head pressure.

#4 I never advise the use of tee's. Always use a Y adapter if you absolutely, positively must share a line. I hate to ever see a bilge pump on a shared discharge.

#5 I stand by what I said about check valves they do nothing but add a potential failure point.. They are notorious for not opening and causing the pump to cavitate, not move any water and killing batteries..

It's your boat but please do think through all the possibilities.. and yes you still need a high vented loop!!!
12-09-2008 08:45 AM
chucklesR Believe it or not, there is no bilge pump installed on production Gemini's.

The shower sump pump (250gph) has a T valve in a locker on the port hull and hoses that extend to each hull; you can uncoil the hose and use it to vacuum out any loose water that makes it into our 4 inch deep bilges. The pump drains via a t valve in the head's sink drain.
Fortunately Gemini's are dry boats.

I keep promising myself that some day I'll install a real bilge pump but running a hose to topside is going to be a real problem. For now I have a 1500 gph Rule wired to a 12v plug that has a hose long enough to reach my cockpit as a just in case (there is a 4 ft head for those that are interested). I also use this for anchor washdown, just throw the pump overboard, plug it into a 12v plug in my anchor locker and use the hose end to spray away mud. It's not fresh water but it's better than nothing.

BTW the Ocean Cat A certified version of the Gemini has a manual pump in the lazerette, switchable to either hull and a 1500 gph electric pump in each hull. They can't retrofit the installation once the hull liner is bonded in which is why I'm having a hard time figuring how I'll route the hoses.
I may just go with a check valve and a hose to the centerboard slots, but if the check valve fails my boat would sink about 2 feet.
12-09-2008 07:52 AM
Joesaila
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Don't forget high water alarms. WatchDog Water Alarms (LINK)[/URL] alarms on my boat and they are very, very loud similar to a smoke detector and they can be heard over the noise of the engine! I have one three inches off the bottom of the bilge, one in the engine compartment and one in the head.
Thanks for the tip Maine Sail! I didn't know about water alarms and will get one for the boat and my basement. Inexpensive too via Home Depot. And the smooth hose makes sense too.

Thanks Pamlicotraveler for the tip re Ultra Safety Systems. I use Rule but will grab one of those switches! ...good post!
12-09-2008 07:35 AM
Shortman
yes, high loop

I'll chime in on the question to Maine Sail. Yes high loop, because if the check valve fails, you gonna have a wet boat.
Practical Sailors sister publication, Power Boat Reports, tested a bunch of pumps and reported data on much of what Maine Sail is talking about 20 Electric Bilge Pumps Tested
I do have a check valve because the discharge line is Tee'd into the shower sump line and then the single line has a vented loop. I will probably give it it's own vented loop then tee the lines right before the thru hull.
One of my main interests in the original question is the switching. Integral within the pumps certainly seems less to maintain. The electronic ones would seem to offer better reliability.
12-09-2008 05:56 AM
nightowle
pump placement question for Mainsail???

QUOTE:

- If the discharge outlet is close to the waterline you must use a high loop in the discharge hose to prevent siphoning. It is advised to add a siphon break at the highest point to ensure it won't siphon. Even with a high loop a bilge pump can still siphon without a siphon break. I have been on more than one boat that self siphoned when under sail and power.

- Do not succumb to the temptation of using a "check valve" with a centrifugal pump. If you have 5' of height, in a 1" hose, the pump will more likely than not cavitate before it can throw open that check valve with that standing water behind it..

Disclaimer: Many years ago I used to sell a line of submersible pumps to the plumbing and well supply wholesale distribution channels.[/QUOTE]

Mainsail: I wanted to ask you about having the discharge close to the waterline. I will be installing a Whale pump that is designed for shallow bilges. I'd like to 't' into the sink discharge through hull which is only about 4 feet from where the pump will be and I'll avoid having to create another hull opening. Will I still need to put high loop in the discharge hose even if the pump has a check valve?

Thanks
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