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Santa, generous as she is, gave ma a West Marine washdown pump kit. I guess, me bitching about using a bucket to rinse the anchor chain paid off....
Now, how do I plumb it?
Easiest would be to install the pump somewhere forward and use fresh water from the tank under V berth. Dont like the idea of using fresh water though.
Install a through hull and seacock seems a lot of effort.
Leaving the pump portable, toss an intake hose overboard and unplug/store the pump seems like a lot of work also.

What to do?

Thanks,
Neal
 

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I wouldn't want to use fresh water either..

What's the boat arrangement? is there a head intake or sink drain nearby that you could 'T' into?
 

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Tee into raw water intake and install and plumb into a hosebib fitting on deck to hook a garden hose to easy peasy
If you are talking about the raw water intake for the engine, that might not be a good idea if you want to run the engine and wash the chain at the same time unless your intake is significantly bigger than necessary.
The head might work out or it might put a lot of back pressure on the head's intake system??? Do you have any sink drains that come out below the water line?
A dedicated thruhull would be the way to go when next you haul, and until then the overboard pick up you mentioned might do for a while.
 

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I like the idea of sharing an intake thru hull, if you can manage issues raised above. Most, however, are dedicated, which lowers distance and resistance.

My caution would be the pump itself. Most just don't have the power to do a good job and are more trouble than they're worth. You need one to run like a garden hose off the dock to get mud off the chain and anchor. Many trickle and some you can even sense the pump cycle. Hope Santa brought a good one.
 

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bell ringer
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I'm going to connect my washdown pump to the current head sink drain line. But first I'm going to combine the head intake and sink drain into one so that I can flush the head with fresh water.
 

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1. Separate intake through-hull for the wash down .... these pumps 'rip' at up to 6+ GPM.
2. Install the pump as low as possible in the boat and with intake through-hull / strainer - to - pump hosing as 'close as possible' to increase/maximize 'net positive suction head' for better pumping ability (and to help with priming when the pump's valves eventually become worn).
 

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Firstly, DO NOT PLUMB FRESH WATER TO HEAD INTAKE. You can contaminate your fresh water supply with bad bacteria and make everyone sick!

Secondly; if you T in to the head intake, you may endanger the suction for the head.

I would T in to the head sink drain but do so below the waterline so your pump doesn't suck air. Make sure you double clamp all connections since it's below the waterline. This makes winterizing a breeze since you can close the thru-hole for the drain, pour antifreeze in the sink, and run the wash down pump until it turns pink.

Tod
 

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bell ringer
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I'm not following. Assuming your sink drain is even below the waterline, the air gap back up to the sink would seem to prevent suction.
You close the hull valve, fill the sink with fresh water, pump the head. Since the sink drain and the head are together the sink pumps to the head. Mainly to flush out the line when leaving the boat for a while.
 

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Firstly, DO NOT PLUMB FRESH WATER TO HEAD INTAKE. You can contaminate your fresh water supply with bad bacteria and make everyone sick!
Very important !!!!!!!! any potable water plumbed to any 'toilet' always requires an open 'air gap' so there is NO possible way that retrograde contamination can 'back flow' into the potable water.

I would T in to the head sink drain but do so below the waterline so your pump doesn't suck air. Make sure you double clamp all connections since it's below the waterline. This makes winterizing a breeze since you can close the thru-hole for the drain, pour antifreeze in the sink, and run the wash down pump until it turns pink.
Slightly disagree ... these wash down pumps can easily 'pull' 6" of mercury (vacuum), so youll need 6 to 7 FEET or more of standing water OR they will suck the 'standing water' from that sink drain and then suck in air. Most sink drain lines are far shorter than that 6-7 FEET below the 'waterline'; otherwise, youll need a bothersome & bombproof check valve.
Thats why I suggested a separate through-hull for a wash down pump.
 

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You close the hull valve, fill the sink with fresh water, pump the head. Since the sink drain and the head are together the sink pumps to the head. Mainly to flush out the line when leaving the boat for a while.
Got it. Missed the procedure. Thanks.

We fill the bowl with freshwater from the head faucet and flush it before we leave for any number of days. That does keep the seawater that would sit just below the bottom of the bowl from rotting and stinking. It also gives one good clean flush to the lines that go to the holding tank.

Seawater sits and rots in the intake line and the first flush stinks, but those line have never permeated, so nothing stinks upon return, other than the first flush. I don't love it, but the first test flush to reopen the boat (and I've found heads that suddenly don't work, so I always test flush) eliminates it. A couple of drops of Raritan CP in the bowl before that first fill, nearly eliminates the odor, during that first flush too.

Washdown pumps are used way less often than the heads and the seawater really gets funky in them. Sometimes I can smell it back in the cockpit, when my wife first starts it up, or vice versa.

Often, I find a bucket tossed on an anchor has substantially more force than the sprayer and I resort to it anyway. I left my washdown pump decommissioned all last season for need of a part and didn't really miss it. although, I need a better one.
 

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Mine is teed into the head intake, as well, works fine... However, I'd strongly suggest adding a good quality bronze shutoff valve, as well, to secure the feed line between uses, when sailing offshore, etc...

Mine is a Shurflo... Good quality, but I don't trust those proprietary plastic finger screws for a seawater connection below the waterline. Also, these washdown kits are often sold with a plastic strainer. Again, I don't like those at all if they're gonna reside below the waterline...

A washdown is certainly nice to have, but I still think they are somewhat limited in use, and are usually more effective in cleaning the deck and anchor after it's up... A more effective means of cleaning the chain as it comes up, IMHO, is a simple weighted chain scrubber. Davis used to sell one, but they seem to have discontinued it a few years ago. Hard to understand why, as it was probably one of the most useful products they made...

They called it the 'Gunk Buster', if you ever see one in a consignment shop, grab it... Pretty easy to configure a workable device using scrub brushes or similar, as well...

 

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Mine is plumbed from a previously existing thru hull designed to be the intake for the head. The PO disconnected the head from this (the boat is in a marina, we seldom use the head), connected the thru hull to a pump and hose and fitting on deck.
 
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