Permanently installed oil change pump: which one? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-08-2018 Thread Starter
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Permanently installed oil change pump: which one?

About 10 years ago, I installed an electric oil change pump. It worked close to perfectly, oil change consisted of turning a valve, putting the end of a hose into a container, switching on the pump and watching the oil flow into said container.

Until now. The pump just stopped working. After I got it out (took me a couple hours in the 'cave') I found that it has some intermittent electrical failure. I forgot where I bought it but it actually looks quite reasonable: it is a rather solid-looking permanent magnet motor flanged to a standard impeller pump. The problem is that when I take it apart and re-assemble it it works. That is, until I knock it hard enough and it stops working again. I don't want to put it back in (which will surely take another couple hours) and have it fail again. So I am looking at replacing the pump.

My question is, what to replace it with. One seemingly obvious solution are the inexpensive 'oil extractor' pumps that are sold for people to make oil changes on their cars by sucking the oil out through the dipstick. They come with the hoses for this and the connector clamps to the battery (none of which I would need) and are very inexpensive. The cheapest I found are well below $20.- for example this one https://www.ebay.com/p/Oil-Diesel-Fu...d=401153757059 One would think that this is exactly the task I need them for (pumping out used oil) but are they any good? I surely like the price but I don't want the thing to work a couple times and then fail, and having me spend another half day in the 'cave'. Does anyone have experience with these things?

Also, they come at different price levels. The low end are the ones like in the link above. Here is one for twice as much (still cheap) https://www.amazon.com/Extractor-Ele.../dp/B00N117WMO If you want a brand name (Johnson pumps), here is one for about $100.- https://www.hodgesmarine.com/Johnson...jqeniramsegdoh Are they quality differences between them? I rather pay $100.- if it works than $20.- and next year I am tearing everything apart but if they are just the same thing I would rather pay less than more.

Then there are the pumps that are made for permanent installation, rather than temporary. This one actually looks very close to what I have now: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Boat-Marine....c100752.m1982 With a little luck even the mounting holes might line up.

Again, I am overwhelmed by these different pump types. Help?
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-08-2018
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Re: Permanently installed oil change pump: which one?

We have Reverso pumps on all 3 of our diesels. They are 20yrs old and still working fine.

Mark

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Re: Permanently installed oil change pump: which one?

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We have Reverso pumps on all 3 of our diesels. They are 20yrs old and still working fine.

Mark
Thanks, Mark. Yes, I saw the Reverso pumps but they are surely on the pricey side. The cheapest I found was close to $300.-

If this is what it takes, so be it. But I wonder whether one of the other alternatives could do the job of pumping a gallon a year from the oil pan to a container two feet away...
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Re: Permanently installed oil change pump: which one?

Yes, they are expensive. They were standard equipment from the manufacturer on our boat. I think jabsco or Johnson make a less expensive impeller pump for oil. The one in your link didn't seem for oil.

On a previous boat, I put a fitting in the oil pan drain with a length of fuel hose connected to it with a valve on the end. For oil changes, I connected one of those brass hand pumps to it for emptying.

Mark
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Re: Permanently installed oil change pump: which one?

I used that exact extractor you're linking to on Amazon, Mast (the yellow one). It was loud and slow, but very effective - and cheap. For something you only do every few hundred hours, I don't think it's worth installing an expensive, built-in unit.

Another thing to consider is the story of the boat from FL (Second Chance?) that was abandoned just before Irma hit. He couldn't get into Charlotte Harbor in time because he lost his engine - because it pumped out all its oil from its permanently installed oil transfer pump/hose.

Sometimes apparent convenience can bite you.
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Re: Permanently installed oil change pump: which one?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Yes, they are expensive. They were standard equipment from the manufacturer on our boat. I think jabsco or Johnson make a less expensive impeller pump for oil. The one in your link didn't seem for oil.
Well, it is listed as "Pump Oil Change Gear Pump Kit" and it comes "Complete with oil dip stickextraction tube" so I suppose it should work for oil...

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On a previous boat, I put a fitting in the oil pan drain with a length of fuel hose connected to it with a valve on the end. For oil changes, I connected one of those brass hand pumps to it for emptying.

Mark
Unfortunately this is impractical. Even if I could get to the oil pan drain (buried under 500 pounds of Atomic 4), it would not drain all all oil since the motor is installed at an angle and the oil sump is shared with the reversing gear, which is lower than the motor oil pan. At least I think it is, I am not going to un-install the motor to check
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Re: Permanently installed oil change pump: which one?

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I used that exact extractor you're linking to on Amazon, Mast (the yellow one). It was loud and slow, but very effective - and cheap. For something you only do every few hundred hours, I don't think it's worth installing an expensive, built-in unit.
That's good to know, I certainly like the price point. I might still install it since all the other connections are already in place. And when it is bolted down I will know where to find it

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Another thing to consider is the story of the boat from FL (Second Chance?) that was abandoned just before Irma hit. He couldn't get into Charlotte Harbor in time because he lost his engine - because it pumped out all its oil from its permanently installed oil transfer pump/hose.

Sometimes apparent convenience can bite you.
Bummer!

In my installation there is a ball valve before the pump. Since I change my oil at a maximum twice a year, I actually tie this down in the locked position so that not someone accidentally opens it. So I am not too concerned about that possibility but thanks for the warning.
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Re: Permanently installed oil change pump: which one?

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That's good to know, I certainly like the price point. I might still install it since all the other connections are already in place. And when it is bolted down I will know where to find it
Replying to my own post -- I know bad form.

First, thanks again (now also 'officially') to Smack for the first-hand report of the cheapo pump. I ordered one, it came on Friday and yesterday I went to the boat and put everything together again. This pump has no way to install it so after some contemplation I decided not to do it. Instead, I re-installed everything else: oil filter, pressure sensor, ball valve, board on which all is supported, plus all the electrical connections I had to disconnect in order to get to this. Then I attached the hose which originally came from the pump to the saloon directly to the ball valve. And used my new pump to do the oil change.

It worked great! Took just a few minutes. The specs on the pump say it should be much longer but this is probably because it is supposed to suck through the tiny dipstick hose while I have 3/8" hose all the way. Not too loud, either, maybe I have a different model? The oil was quite black so I decided to do another oil change after running the motor for 5 minutes.

Oh, and with some mixed anticipation and trepidation I also tried if I could suck out any oil through the dipstick after I had emptied it though my installation. Mixed feeling because while it would be a nice and simple solution, it would be a bummer if all my work would have been for nothing and I could have done oil change with just a stupid pump and a glorified straw. Well, I can report that no oil came out so my installation extracts more oil. Or at least as much, but faster.

I like this a lot. Now the only moving part that is installed permanently is the ball valve. If the $20.- pump gives up the ghost, no in-cave surgery will be required to replace it, just a click on the Amazon web page.

Thanks again to Smack for this suggestion!

The one thing that is still not done is that I would like to have a quick-connect on the pump end of the hose. I used to have a brass plug that I could unscrew to seal it but that clearly does not work. I used a hose clamp yesterday which works fine and would surely be acceptable for something done once or twice a year but I would like a neat solution to avoid residual drips out of the hose.

Something simple should work, there is obviously close to zero pressure so nothing difficult. I am thinking of using air connectors, they are dirt-cheap and I may even have some lieing around. Any concerns with that?
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-13-2018
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Re: Permanently installed oil change pump: which one?

Whenever possible I've installed electric oil change systems in the boats I operate. A few valves and you can drain and/or fill the engine in a half a heartbeat. Jabsco makes a nice reversing pump (a little pricey) just for the purpose and if one doesn't want to do the plumbing, they also sell manifold systems to go with it.
However, just about any quality flexible impeller pump will do the job. In this application you don't need to spend the money on a continuous duty pump, so that helps. The BIG deal is the impeller. For fuel oil or engine oil, you need a nitrite impeller, I believe. Easily available, but not commonly in pumps not assembled (and priced) for fuel/oil handling.

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