Bilge pump that's not a bilge pump

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DaveC426913
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Bilge pump that's not a bilge pump

Post by DaveC426913 » Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:08 pm

I've given up on the sailor's adage 'better to stop the leak than rely on a bilge pump'. Water gets in and it sits and moulds. I've come to terms with that.

I've looked around at standard bilge pumps and they're not suiting my needs.
  • I can't/won't mount it permanently, since I need to move it around to the various bilges in a Mac (at least port and starboard, which are not connected).
  • I don't really need an auto setting. I'll just run it for a minute or two when I step on.
  • If it's not mounted, then I won't/shouldn't wire it up directly to a switch on the panel.
  • I probably will mount it on my port side, pulling from under the battery, but I'll make sure it's trivial to use elsewhere.
I realize I might really just need a small portable switched pump with an in and out hose on the ends. I wonder if something from an aquarium store might suit me better.


Alternately, I could permanently install the pump but run a hose to *each* bilge with a splitter valve.


How have the rest of you handled bilge water?
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Russ
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Re: Bilge pump that's not a bilge pump

Post by Russ » Fri Apr 09, 2021 3:14 pm

You could get one of these and suck the water out and squirt it overboard.

https://www.amazon.com/Stream-Machine-Q ... B000F32SM0

Image

(posting fixed by Admin)
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Re: Bilge pump that's not a bilge pump

Post by chipveres » Fri Apr 09, 2021 4:12 pm

https://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/ ... ?dept=1215

Lists a couple of pumps near the top of the page that should do your job.

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Jimmyt
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Re: Bilge pump that's not a bilge pump

Post by Jimmyt » Fri Apr 09, 2021 6:17 pm

DaveC426913 wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:08 pm
I've given up on the sailor's adage 'better to stop the leak than rely on a bilge pump'. Water gets in and it sits and moulds. I've come to terms with that.

I've looked around at standard bilge pumps and they're not suiting my needs.
  • I can't/won't mount it permanently, since I need to move it around to the various bilges in a Mac (at least port and starboard, which are not connected).
  • I don't really need an auto setting. I'll just run it for a minute or two when I step on.
  • If it's not mounted, then I won't/shouldn't wire it up directly to a switch on the panel.
  • I probably will mount it on my port side, pulling from under the battery, but I'll make sure it's trivial to use elsewhere.
I realize I might really just need a small portable switched pump with an in and out hose on the ends. I wonder if something from an aquarium store might suit me better.


Alternately, I could permanently install the pump but run a hose to *each* bilge with a splitter valve.


How have the rest of you handled bilge water?
Incidental bilge water: large amounts - wet vac; small amounts - towel or sponge
Hole in boat bilge water: Rule 1100gph automatic pump mounted just aft of cabin ladder

Pumps are problematic for incidental water in our boats because they have no sump, and, as you point out, the bilge is somewhat compartmentalized.

A centrifugal bilge pump will pump out small debris but won't pump when the impeller isn't submerged.

Some small positive displacement pumps will allow you to use a suction hose, and won't suffer the backwash that is typical with centrifugal bilge pumps at shutdown. However, some won't tolerate debris in the water. The diaphragm type with duckbill or trivalve checks will tolerate debris fairly well.

All of that to say, getting the right portable pump that you can use a suction hose on, and that will self-prime, is a bit of a challenge. But, a wet vac is guaranteed to work. :wink:

Good luck. Hope you can find a solution that suits you.
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DaveC426913
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Re: Bilge pump that's not a bilge pump

Post by DaveC426913 » Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:26 am

Russ wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 3:14 pm
You could get one of these and suck the water out and squirt it overboard.
Yeah, I've got one of these. It's what I use now, Too unwieldy and messy for routine work.
Image
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Re: Bilge pump that's not a bilge pump

Post by DaveC426913 » Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:31 am

Jimmyt wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 6:17 pm
Incidental bilge water: large amounts - wet vac; small amounts - towel or sponge
Hole in boat bilge water: Rule 1100gph automatic pump mounted just aft of cabin ladder

Pumps are problematic for incidental water in our boats because they have no sump, and, as you point out, the bilge is somewhat compartmentalized.

A centrifugal bilge pump will pump out small debris but won't pump when the impeller isn't submerged.

Some small positive displacement pumps will allow you to use a suction hose, and won't suffer the backwash that is typical with centrifugal bilge pumps at shutdown. However, some won't tolerate debris in the water. The diaphragm type with duckbill or trivalve checks will tolerate debris fairly well.
Thanks. Yeah. It's not a simple task to find the right gadget. I'll keep this list handy.

Small pumps are preferred, but seem to support 1/8" tubing, which will get plugged.
A pump with a large enough tubing also seems to be a large pump.

Jimmyt wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 6:17 pm
But, a wet vac is guaranteed to work. :wink:
True. Of course, it's as big as a crewman...
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Re: Bilge pump that's not a bilge pump

Post by DaveC426913 » Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:38 am

What about one like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Allnice-Submersi ... 7SRRYNGP/

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Re: Bilge pump that's not a bilge pump

Post by Jimmyt » Sat Apr 10, 2021 5:28 pm

DaveC426913 wrote:
Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:38 am
What about one like this:
The word "submersible" tells me you may have trouble priming it if you put a suction hose on it. It appears to be a small centrifugal pump. Once you get it primed, it will pump until you get a gulp of air when the level gets low.

I'm not real clear on the amount of water you're talking about though.

They make some fairly small shop vacs, but if you don't have shore power, that wouldn't do.
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Re: Bilge pump that's not a bilge pump

Post by DaveC426913 » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:16 am

Jimmyt wrote:
Sat Apr 10, 2021 5:28 pm
The word "submersible" tells me you may have trouble priming it if you put a suction hose on it.
I don't follow. I think submersible means it's water tight. It doesn't seem to have a "grill" input.
Jimmyt wrote:
Sat Apr 10, 2021 5:28 pm
It appears to be a small centrifugal pump. Once you get it primed, it will pump until you get a gulp of air when the level gets low.
True.
Jimmyt wrote:
Sat Apr 10, 2021 5:28 pm
I'm not real clear on the amount of water you're talking about though.
I get a troubling 2-3 inches in the bilges after rains.
Jimmyt wrote:
Sat Apr 10, 2021 5:28 pm
They make some fairly small shop vacs, but if you don't have shore power, that wouldn't do.
I'm looking for something more self-contained.
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Re: Bilge pump that's not a bilge pump

Post by Starscream » Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:49 am

That's a lot of water after it rains.

I would find and fix those leaks before adding a pump. Even the best bilge pump will leave a bit of water in the bilge and ... mold.

That much water is a major leak, and should be fixable.

A pump addresses the result of the problem...tracing the leaks could make the problem go away. Then you could just have a normal bilge pump for emergencies.

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Re: Bilge pump that's not a bilge pump

Post by Jimmyt » Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:12 pm

I get a troubling 2-3 inches in the bilges after rains.
Yikes! I'm with Starscream. I'd be looking for the leak.

But, if you have enough depth to get over the pump inlet level, and you put all of your hose under water, the pump you are considering should prime. Once it's primed, you should be able to move the hose around and get most of the water out - if you keep the hose end submerged.

It will floodback when you shut it off, but you can put your thumb over the suction hose and let it floodback in a bucket.

You are correct regarding the basic meaning of submersible. But submersible in combination with that inlet and outlet configuration also indicates to me that it likely won't self-prime with any significant suction lift. But, you don't want to mount it, so you can figure it out after it shows up.

I might go with something like this if I were going to ignore the source and just pump out the water. It can be mounted out of the water and will self-prime at up to 10 ft suction lift...

https://www.hodgesmarine.com/whabp2052- ... gL_RvD_BwE
Last edited by Jimmyt on Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Bilge pump that's not a bilge pump

Post by DaveC426913 » Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:13 pm

Jimmyt wrote:
Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:12 pm
Yikes! I'm with Starscream. I'd be looking for the leak.
I went the entire summer with a dry bilge, even after regular outings where I pinned the tilt-meter. I think the water comes with rain. I have a gap above the hatch and the prevailing weather blows right into my cockpit at my slip.

I've given up thinking I can reliably eliminate all sources of ingress.
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Re: Bilge pump that's not a bilge pump

Post by Jimmyt » Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:29 pm

Sorry - didn't mean to give the wrong impression. Just trying to help.

I have a buddy with a potter that he leaves in the water a lot. He has a canvas cover for his hatch that blocks the wind/rain from blowing in. He just secures it after sailing as his last task before leaving the boat. You could probably try a small tarp tied over the hatch area to see if it improved any.

You can almost throw a cat through the gap at the rear of my hatch. I might have the same issue if I left my boat out in the weather... :|
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Re: Bilge pump that's not a bilge pump

Post by opie » Mon Apr 12, 2021 5:01 am

Dave,
I understand your frustration. I just had to submit one more theory for leaks that happened to me and was hard to find.
My boat, at sometime, hit something hard on the rub rail. There was nothing to indicate the joint was crushed underneath. The rub rail was intact. Upon removing the rub rail, it was apparent that water could run into my boat.
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Re: Bilge pump that's not a bilge pump

Post by Starscream » Mon Apr 12, 2021 5:27 am

The X is possible to waterproof if you just break it down into bite-size bits.

It's easy to caulk the rub-rail and eliminate that source.

I recently found out that many X's leak from the cockpit lockers: there's a gap between the locker wall and floor that could almost hold Jimmy's cat. Easy to fill with silicone. Actually, I re-drilled the drain hole on one side, since it was put in so low down by the factory that it was almost an inch below the locker floor level. Your cockpit oriented-to-the-wind arrangement, and the amount of rainwater, kind of match up to this source.

Simple to re-bed the chainplates with new rivets and sealant.

A self-gripping gasket can be installed on the hatch, or even a simple flap could be fabricated. My X has a gap there too, but the hatch slides far enough back that it overlaps the washboard and is relatively water resistant.

The motor cable entry is a big culprit too, and totally exposed to the weather you describe.

You've probably done all this already, I just want to encourage you to keep tracing the leak instead of living with water and mold in the bilge. Your boat your rules of course.

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