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1979 C&C 30 Mk I - 2QM15
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've got a cold water only freshwater system that has two connected tanks (one under the v-berth, the other on the starboard bench). There are two basic single lever whale faucets (one in the galley and one in the head). I currently have a fixed manual switch near the companion way door that turns the water pressurization pump on and off. And I have two basic annoyances that I'd like to correct:

First is that the electric water pump is bolted directly to the below decks transverse bulkhead between the cockpit and the cabin. This dry 30 year old plywood board acts like a huge drum head further amplifying an already noisy Jabsco pump to an incredibly loud roar anytime the pump is turned on. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I could isolate/deaden the vibration being given off by the pump to reduce its operating volume? Alternatively, don't they make quiet marine water pumps?

The second issue is that I'd like to make the faucets just turn on when their levers are turned rather than having to flip a separate manual switch. One option is replacing the faucet with one that has a built in electric switch like this one:

Shurflo Electric Faucet

But this is limits me to only using that 1 faucet and means I don't have the choice of using any of the other 500 styles of non-electric marine faucets out there. I've seen in-line electric pressure switches, but I haven't found a discussion as to what these are for or how they work. So I don't know if they would do anything to resolve the issue I'm trying to fix.

What other options do I have based on the water system I've described?
 

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I may be missing something but your system sounds like the basic setup I have had on my last few boats. Does something bad happen if you just leave the water pump switch on with the faucets off ? That is the normal setup. Turn on the water pressure switch when you come on board and off when you leave. When you want water you then open a faucet and out it comes. What am I missing ?
As for the sound you can dampen the mounting with rubber, surround it with sound blocking material etc... Also you can install an air pressure regulated tank to hold keep the pump from running every time you take even a little out. I can't think of the name of that tank....duh :eek:
 

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1979 C&C 30 Mk I - 2QM15
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172 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I may be missing something but your system sounds like the basic setup I have had on my last few boats. Does something bad happen if you just leave the water pump switch on with the faucets off ? That is the normal setup. Turn on the water pressure switch when you come on board and off when you leave. When you want water you then open a faucet and out it comes. What am I missing ?
Maybe my system isn't configured/installed as it should be... It's apparent that the previous owner installed this new pump from the new wiring and pump. But when the pump is turned on (with the faucets off), it LOUDLY stays on and runs continuously until the switch is turned back off. It doesn't pressurize the lines and then shut itself off.

I'll look again, but from what I saw, it only appears to have the on/off pump switch in the circuit. There's nothing in the wiring that would give it the ability to shut itself off unless the pump itself is supposed to be able to sense when the lines are pressurized.
 

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What Christyleigh can't remember is the accumulator tank. This keeps the system pressurized and stops pump cycling - you can draw a cup or more of water without the pump turning on. It sounds like the previous owner installed a pump without pressure switch. I'd replace the pump with a new one. As to vibration try to mount the pump on a more solid piece of joinery - soft mount it by bolting the pump to whatever with rubber between it and the mounting point.
Brian
 

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As Brain suggested I'd replace the pump with one with a built in pressure switch. They can be had for about $60 and up and may also be substantially quieter.
Bill,
 

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Check the Web

For simple questions about freshwater systems, go to:

West Marine: West Advisor

For several others tips on boating, check also West Marine: Home Page and search for "west advisor". Although sometimes biased by specific products/technologies, this is a good site to start with, as you might clear mostly your questions.
 

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If you do install a new pump with a pressure switch, do not hardwire that and remove the manual switch because if you do the pump wil go on and stay on whenever your water tank gets close to empty.

There will not be enough water available to the pump for it to attain cut-out pressure so it will just keep churning away.
 

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To get the noise out of the pump, I used a softish rubber block, drilled and countersunk it from one side to bolt it to the bulkhead, drilled and countersunk in from a different spot and glued bolts (with nice big flat washers) in to mount the pump to the rubber block. The point is making sure there is no actual physical "bolt" connection between the pump and the bulkhead.

That will stop noise transferring to the bulkhead and that constitutes 75% of what you hear.

A new pump will also help but mounted directly to the bulkhead even a new pump will still be noisy.
 

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What I would do...

1) Buy a new pump with a pressure switch built in.
2) Install an accumilator tank.
3) Install a valve(s) so I could determine which tank was in use (this could be used to help balance the boat vs water forcing you to heel greater).
4) Keep old pump and use it as a washdown pump (probably its intended purpose).
5) If new faucets are needed, I'd buy them from the hardware store vs the same thing from a marine store at a much higher price.

I think you'll find the new pump already has "rubber feet" to help dampen vibration. However, any pump will still be loud when running. Relocating the pump would probably be best, or insulating around it might make it tolerable.

I'd guess the PO went cheap instead of doing things right!

Whatever you do, make sure the electrical power to the pump is OFF when you leave the boat. Several years ago when I was off fighting a war somewhere, I left my son to look after my boat. Although I left specific written instructions on how to take care of the boat, he didn't quite understand. I returned to find the 12v system switch ON, water pump switch ON, both battery banks drainded (and batteries shot), and battery charger fried. He thought the dehumidifier was running but it turned out to be the pressure water pump. After new batteries and charger, I tried the pump and was surprised it still worked! My best guess is it must have been running for a day or two straight, completely dry, before it took out the batteries and charger.

Hope the project goes well for you. You may want to consider installing some sort of hot water heater while you're tearing appart and fixing the fresh water system. It sounds like you've got a very good start in having dual tanks.

Skipper, J/36 "Zero Tolerance"
 

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1979 C&C 30 Mk I - 2QM15
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Discussion Starter #10
1) You may want to consider installing some sort of hot water heater while you're tearing appart and fixing the fresh water system. It sounds like you've got a very good start in having dual tanks.
Skipper, J/36 "Zero Tolerance"
I'm not planning on adding anything to the boat that will only work while tethered to shore power, (I don't have a genset and my engine is raw water cooled). So since I'm going to be installing a propane locker/system (and a carbon monoxide detector), for a propane stove. I'm currently also researching the possibility of tying in a tankless propane water heater to handle my hot water needs.
 

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1979 C&C 30 Mk I - 2QM15
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172 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Install a valve(s) so I could determine which tank was in use (this could be used to help balance the boat vs water forcing you to heel greater).
Skipper, J/36 "Zero Tolerance"
There's already a valve in place that can be used to block off the bow from the starboard tank. I haven't diagrammed it out yet, but it appears that when I shut off that valve, it just removes the starboard tank from the system altogether and everything pulls from the bow tank.

As far as boat balance is concerned, I think C&C must have factored the starboard tank into the design. Because with the tank empty and the old starboard side alcohol stove removed. The clinometer I installed shows just a slight list to port. But filling the starboard tank brings it back to zero.
 

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I like the sound the pump makes as it runs. That way I always know how muchis being used by guest. It's kind of like a spy, so I can tell them to slow down on the use........i2f
 

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Hot water

This is really off-topic from the original post, but should help backcreeksailor as he is the originator of all this.

I have a propane tankless/instant hot water heater and I love it! I doubt it's original equipment and the manufacturer no longer exists. I live aboard and go through 1.5 gal of propane per month (includes all hot water use and cooking).

What I'd do differently in the installation is have the thing vent outside. A fume detector along with CO2 should keep you safe. Make sure your propane locker vents overboard. A bilge blower isn't a bad idea either. If you ever do smell propane, do not turn on or off anything electrical, open all hatches and let the boat vent very well. Propane sinks and is very dangerous.

You should consider installing an electrical propane switch. Otherwise, you'll need to have a manual switch installed in such a way that you can shut off the propane to the stove/water heater in the event of a fire without getting burned in the process.

I hope this helps...:)

Skipper, J/36 "Zero Tolerance"
 

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This is really off-topic from the original post, but should help backcreeksailor as he is the originator of all this.

I have a propane tankless/instant hot water heater and I love it! I doubt it's original equipment and the manufacturer no longer exists. I live aboard and go through 1.5 gal of propane per month (includes all hot water use and cooking).
This isn't necessarily a good idea, and in many cases, you won't be able to get insurance on the boat with an "instant" propane hot water heater aboard. Check with your insurance company before ordering one.

What I'd do differently in the installation is have the thing vent outside. A fume detector along with CO2 should keep you safe. Make sure your propane locker vents overboard. A bilge blower isn't a bad idea either. If you ever do smell propane, do not turn on or off anything electrical, open all hatches and let the boat vent very well. Propane sinks and is very dangerous.
I believe he means installing propane and CO detectors. BTW, opening the hatches alone does very little in the case of propane, and can actually make things worse. Propane is heavier than air, and you need a bilge blower type setup to really effectively vent it from the boat quickly.

You should consider installing an electrical propane switch. Otherwise, you'll need to have a manual switch installed in such a way that you can shut off the propane to the stove/water heater in the event of a fire without getting burned in the process.

I hope this helps...:)

Skipper, J/36 "Zero Tolerance"
Installing a propane solenoid is probably a good idea. Shutting off the tanks when they're not in use is probably a better one.
 

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1979 C&C 30 Mk I - 2QM15
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Discussion Starter #15
This isn't necessarily a good idea, and in many cases, you won't be able to get insurance on the boat with an "instant" propane hot water heater aboard. Check with your insurance company before ordering one.
I haven't actually gone as far as purchasing one yet. But why would a tankless propane water heater preclude getting insurance as long as it's one that doesn't use a continuous pilot light?
 

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I agree - as long as there is no pilot light there should be no problem. The Excel hot water heater has no pilot light and possibly some others too. Interesting though that propane ovens have a pilot light.
Brian
 

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I haven't seen a propane stove or oven on a boat that uses a pilot light. The main problem with using an on-demand propane water heater is that they can be an explosion risk, since they are often left running when the boat isn't occupied.
 

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While my current stove (Force 10) doesn't have an oven pilot light, a friend has a Magic Chef ss gimballed stove with pilot light and I owned a boat with the same stove in the late 80's to mid 90's. The boat I had has since gone to New Zealand and back, still with the same stove, and a Bosch instant hot water heater as well. Vela Yacht Sales (Victoria, BC)
Brian
 

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Call Your Carrier!

I haven't actually gone as far as purchasing one yet. But why would a tankless propane water heater preclude getting insurance as long as it's one that doesn't use a continuous pilot light?
I think a call to your insurance carrier is in order. If I were doing this project, I would ask them (a) would they insure such a setup, (b) if so, do they track brands, (c) if so, which brands have caused the fewest claims, and (d) what would the new price of my insurance be with a tankless propane hot water heater installed.

Once you have gathered these facts, you can make a more informed decision.
 

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1979 C&C 30 Mk I - 2QM15
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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I haven't seen a propane stove or oven on a boat that uses a pilot light. The main problem with using an on-demand propane water heater is that they can be an explosion risk, since they are often left running when the boat isn't occupied.

I would assume that statement could apply to anything attached to a propane system including the stove, if you don't engage the shutoff switch when you button up the boat.

So I still don't quite understand why having an tankless "no pilot" propane water heater would be any more of an insurance risk than a "no pilot" propane stove as long as the propane system has all the proper safety features:

  • All appliances have their own thermocouple shutoffs that sense if the flame has gone out.
  • The propane locker is air tight with the exception of a "lower than the locker" overboard vent.
  • Cabin mounted Carbon Monoxide Detector/Alarm
  • Remote shut off safety switch going to a 12v remote solenoid gas valve.
  • And for the truly paranoid, a completely mechanical spring loaded timer switch that can be used as the only way to turn the propane solenoid gas valve on, which will shut it off automatically after a pre-determined time period of time (e.g. 1 hr, 3 hrs, 6hrs, et...) This is the same type of switch they use on saunas and hottubs, so I would assume they'd be ok for the high humidity environment of a boat too - Intermatic FF6H
 
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