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Thread: Bilge Pump Discussions

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Asst. Vice Commodore, NorthEast Fleet, Commander Division (Ret.) Brightwaters, N.Y.

    Bilge Pump Outlet

    Where is the preferred place to run the hose from the bilge pump?

    I sure dont want to cut a new hole in the hull for it.

    Options considered so far:

    1) Sink drain plumbing

    2) Cockpit

    3) Outboard motor lazarette

    Assume an appropriate anti-siphon loop/ check valve on the hose.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    McHenry, IL, but sail out of Racine WI
    Brings back memories.

    I have two outlets so you can take your pick.

    My Rule 3600 gph bilge pump outlet, located at the bottom of the bilge, has a 1 1/2" flexible hose going back under the aft flooring and passing upward through the gap in the flooring under the cockpit at the rudder shaft, then up as high as I could get it passing to the side of the cockpit into the starboard lasarette, through the motor lassarette bulkhead, and then a sharp 180 degree bend down passing underneath the aft lasarette floor and through an outlet fitting mounted through the hull alongside the outboard motorwell. The outlet is only a few inches above the water, but, because it is facing downward, it is concealed and doesn't hurt the asthetics.

    Originally I had a check valve at the highest point, just underneath the aft part of the cockpit seat where the hose passed through to the aft lasarette. I was then advised, told, read, etc. that there MUST NOT BE A CHECK VALVE in the bilge pumpt line. The check valve can, and does get plugged just when you need the pump. A check valve, I have been told is an ultimate NO NO and can be very dangerous, according to those that allegedly know.

    What I did instead, after I had removed the check valve (incidentally, I might mention, a 3" rigid plastic tube fitting replaced it going through the bulkhead and connecting the sections of hose on either side of the bulkhead), was to pierce a small hole in the upper side of the hose in the aft lasarette just forward of where it goes through the bulkhead, and insert a small piece (1/4") of clear flexible tubing into the hole. That is the anti-siphoning device. When the pump is on, a little water comes out, particularly at start up, but the clear hosing is bent at about 90 degrees so the water passes just under the aft deck and is directed to the side of the motor well so nothing gets wet. Any water that comes out drains out the motor well drain holes discussed below.

    The other drain is for a Whale Gusher hand pump. The outlet for that is a 1 1/2" hose that also passes high through the aft lasarette bulknead and drains to the bottom of the aft lasarette.

    I have drilled two holes at the forward end of the motorwell that drain the aft lasarette at the bottompart of the lasarette, a few inches forward of the bulkhead. So when I hand pump, the water goes into the aft lasarette through a hose. The draining of the lasarette is separate. As long as it drains faster than I pump, I'm OK. For anti siphoning, I rely on the Gusher's valve action.

    Hope that gives you an idea or two.
    Last edited by Theis; 01-16-2002 at 03:43 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Rochester N.Y.
    On my ariel I just ran the hose up to the bilge to the first inspection hole in the floor and when in use hose is put in sink.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    McHenry, IL, but sail out of Racine WI

    bilge pump outlet

    In earlier years I did much the same thing with a Thirsty Mate, and never had a problem. I still carry a Thirsty Mate.

    However, my experience is that when the boat is really in trouble, or you come to the boat while it is at the dock but up to its gunwales, the last thing in the world you have tme to do, or want to do, or can do is to arrange the bilge pump exit hosing. I believe that standard safety practice is that the bilge pump be operable from the cockpit - totally.

    Unless there is some way to secure or to hold the drain hose in the sink, my experience is that hoses flop around and will eventually make a mess in the cabin, pumping water back into the bilge.

    The sink drain hose is not large enough for a decent sized bilge pump. Even using a Thirsty Mate to pump out the bilge, I fill the sink and have to stop while it drains. A bilge pump requires 1" to 1 1/2 inch hosing more or less straight through

    You might want to consider, putting the hose into the cockpit, rather than the sink, because the cockpit drain hose is larger capacity and there is a bigger plenum.

    Just some thoughts.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    San Rafael, CA

    Pumps on a 'pull board'

    I have two Shurflo* submersible bilge pumps that are going to get mounted to a leftover piece of 3/8" polycarbonate that will be positioned nearly vertical in A338's tiny narrow sump - which is right at the end of the glassed over encapsulated ballast under the bridgedeck.
    I will, like others have done, put the tiny 3.75Amp 1000 pump at the bottom of the board and the humongous 8Amp 1500 pump about 9 inches above it.
    As you know, the theory is that the little one will do 99% of the work and take care of piddlly stuff - and is cheaper to replace. The big one supposedly will move a lot more, more rapidly, and probably no where near enough in a real crisis.
    There is room in the sump, barely.
    The Shurflo pumps are modeled differently as to where the outlet hose is oriented.
    But I think there is a way to get both hoses pointed aft while attached to the pull-board.
    And there are no intuitive attachment points on the pumps for mounting.
    It's possible that hose clamps could be used to strap the pumps to the board.
    Each strainer can be attached to something flat underneath, but disengaging the two spring latches that hold the strainer on to the pump body is a problem - even on the midget.
    Therefore designing someway that both pumps can be pulled up out of the sump is necessary.
    While this sounds right, doing it with attached hoses and wires is a problem.
    There can't be any swags in the hose as that limits 'head', so there isn't a possibility of extra hose length that would allow the pump array to be brought into a convenient position - like for unscrewing hose clamps, or clearing the strainers. And also for plain open access to the sump for cleaning.

    I had to go with WaterWitch electronic buttons because there is no room for float switches in the sump OR on the board.
    Anybody have success with WaterWitch?

    Both pumps have 1 1/8" ID hose outlets.
    It's a bit of an odd size and limits choices. At least I found that to be the case with Trident hose, your better known marine hose.

    I ordered a custom length of Trident 1471180 Bilge/Livewell hose from pyacht. Clear with spiral black reinforcement. 1/8" wall.
    I choose this because of the warranty and the specs said "no cuffs required."
    When I opened the well SEALED shipping carton I was literally bowled over by the pungent, sweet, chemical smell!!!! Talk about Haz Mat!
    Vinyl (PVC) hose, if it smells, is outgassing toxiins.
    These are plasticisers called phthalates and have been poisoning people for years.
    Phthalates mimic hormones and infiltrate our endocrine system.

    So I wrote a letter to Mr Shields at dnshields@tridentmarine.com over a week ago. Asked him why would I put this crap down inside my boat?
    I don't expect a reply.

    If he did he would point out Trident has an alternative polyethylene hose of 1 1/8" ID that has cuffs every foot or so. Probably could have dealt with that. P. is relitively benign and probably has no odor at all.
    Recommend you look into it.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______________________________
    *Shurflo - Rule - Whale - Attwood - Jabsco -Johnson - Seachoice.
    I went with Shurflo because there seems to be less !%^#$@!! about this brand on the web.
    Maybe all these submersibles are 'throwaway' pumps, as one cruiser called his (Rule) pumps,
    but Shurflo has a good warranty and forum-talk dependability.
    Seasonal maintenance for the cruiser includes replacing ALL his bilge pumps. Not in my budget!
    Dependable is a good word for a pump that lives half forgotten in the bowels of a boat.

    If this installation works out, I'll carry spares of the 3-year Shurflo 1000 (355-100-00)
    It takes at lot less water to sink a small boat like the Ariel. So getting it out really is a matter of efficiency and speed.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______________________________
    Forespar has a Marelon 1 1/8" vented loop (#903009). 1 1/8" barbed thru-hull (#906070)
    Don't think Defender has these. VISA order direct from Forespar, 1-949-858-8820.
    There is a brief 'Vented Loop' tutorial in Forespar's Tech Tips.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______________________________
    I think I will exit the large bilge pump HIGH UP through the topsides (not sure where yet - as ready access to the hose on the thru-hull fitting is extremely important imco. Vented loop access also! But I'm seriously presuaded that the bottom pump can exit into the cockpit under the seat - with no anti-siphon needed. This would allow a relatively short hose and a visual on what's happening.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______________________________
    way later EDIT (10/11) finally got pictures - if you go to ebb's photo gallery page
    there is a photo of the pull board and some of its installation in the bilge: post #387
    Last edited by ebb; 06-02-2014 at 09:25 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    San Rafael, CA

    Bill Shields - President of Trident Rubber Inc - replys

    Dear Mr Borregaard,
    First I wish to apologise for the delay in responding to your email of 16 Dec.2010.
    This was forwarded to me while I was out of the country, but I didn't see it till this past Wednesday.

    We appreciate your choice of Trident Marine XHD Bilge & Livewell Hose (#147-1180) for use in one or both applications on your sailboat.
    I trust that you be be comforted to know that this and our other PVC hoses contain no "DEHP, BBP, DIDP, DaDP" or any other dirivatives or phltalates that are listed or known (domestically and internationally) to cause toxicity in humans or the environment.
    Therefore, there is no reason or requirement to place warning labels on these hoses.
    In regards to your concerns, I respectfully refer you to the web site **
    for further information on this subject. I found it very informative.
    Please accept my assurance that the quality and safety of our products are our highest priority, and are the base upon which we have built our business and reputation.

    Like many other materials used in hoses (rubber comes to mind easily), new PVC hoses typically have a distinct plastic odor which does not indicate toxicity.
    The odor generally disapates relatively quickly in use.
    This hose is very widely used throughout the boat building, repair yard, and consumer markets, and this is the first odor complaint that we have received in our 25 years in business.
    While I believe this hose was the better choice for your application, if you and/or your crew find the odor to be unduly offensive, you may return it to Trident (alog with proof of purchase).
    We will replace it with the cuffed polyethylene bilge hose. at no charge.

    Best Regards and Happy New Year,
    Bill Shields - President
    Trident Rubber Inc.
    585 Plum Run Road
    Canonsburg, PA15317

    [** "The Phthalates Information Centre Europe is an initiative of the European Council for Plasticisers and Intermediates (ECPI)"
    It looks to me like Bill Shields' "very informative" reading material is generated straight out of the plastics industry. So, as usual, it's not WHAT the words say but WHO is saying them.
    AND so often, what is left out - what is not said.]
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ______________________________
    flipping on a simple search of the web:
    "Dangers of PVC (#3) Plastics, March 18, 2005
    According to the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice PVC production fuses vinyl chloride molecules with toxic metals such as lead and cadmium, which are added as plasticizers and stabilizers.
    Because of the chemical properties of chlorine, the by products of PVC production tend to be far more toxic, more persistent in the environment, and more likely to build up in the food supply
    and the bodies of people
    than otherwise similar chemicals that do not contain chlorine.
    PVC is the only major plastic that contains chlorine, so it is unique in the hazards it cretaes.

    In use, the toxic substances added to soften or stabilize the plastic do not bind to the toy, bottle or other product and are therefore prone to leaching. When your child or pet chews on a plastic PVC toy, for example, they can be ingesting these chemicals. One such chemical, DEHP, has been designated a "probable carcinogen" by the EPA."

    I looked, maybe not persistantly, for an MSDS on the Trident PVC hose.
    Perhaps it isn't required by the EPA. And to be told that in 25 years nobody has complained of the odor must show how COMPLACENT the proletariat has become - how NUMB we have become to the toxins in our lives.
    That there are no 'warning labels' on PVC hose
    may be more due to corporate ethics and an ineffectual and politicized EPA
    than a "typical distinct plastic odor" (read common unregulated chemicals) that we accept as mildly annoying perfume. Or even find sexy as the smell of a new car interior.

    I doubt that warning labels appear on any of the thousands of products that have been chewed by kids or pets. Nevertheless, the odor emitting from Trident PVC hose is a gas, and while this VOC, Volatile Organ Compound, will reduce after a while - it still is installed in a semi-closed air space. Bill Shields belittles the smell by comparing it with rubber smells.
    However, most synthetic rubber is NOT made with chlorine and heavy metals.
    We take the president of Trident at his word.
    I don't believe there is an evironmentally friendly, or NO VOC PVC, product made by any corporation in this country.*
    ALL PVC PRODUCTS ARE NOT RECYCLABLE. So far as I know - tell me it isn't so!
    Every teething ring and plastic bag and credit card and plastic pipe and bilge hose made of PVC goes to the landfill where it stays for 10,000 years
    and the chemicals continue to leach out and comtaminate our aquifers. Mega tons of plastic fragments contaminate gyres in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____________________________
    *Metaphorically: FISH ROTS FROM THE HEAD DOWN
    Last edited by ebb; 01-03-2011 at 12:19 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Sunnyvale, CA
    I don't trust centrifugal pumps as my primary pump. The primary (pump at the lowest level of the bilge) doesn't need to be large, but it activates most often, and it IMHO needs to be a self-priming diaphragm pump that's insensitive to dips in the discharge line, and not stopped by mud, strands of hair, and other debris that collect there in concentration. There's nothing more discouraging than hearing your pump whirring away, discharging your battery, with no water coming out the discharge. And it's important to be able to actually see the discharge so you know it's working! Therefore, the discharge should be someplace that's visible at any degree of heel and without standing on your head. That eliminates the stern and both sides. There are only two places left: the engine port and the cockpit.

    My primary pump is a Whale Bilge IC Automatic Remote Mounted Bilge Kit. It is expensive, for its GPH rating it uses more current than a centrifugal pump, and pumps only 300 GPH -- but it's reliable (your heart is a form of diaphragm pump). The intake/sensor head is at the lowest point in the bilge. That pump keeps the water level in my bilge to an amount that I can completely remove with three squeezes from a large sponge. The discharge is into the cockpit. Why? That's the shortest length from my mounting point just inside the starboard locker and -- it's impossible to not notice it's running from the cockpit. Water in the cockpit cannot drain back into the cabin because the pump has one-way valves (essential for its operation - just like inside your heart). Yeah, sometimes my shoes and pant legs get wet. I don't have an audible alarm on this pump because it activates frequently and an alarm freaks out my passengers (and disturbs my sleep if a little rain gets inside). I have a timer, a flashing LED, and a timer reset switch. I have seen many implementations of counters on bilge pumps. I have never understood why anyone would use a counter instead of a timer. Did the pump run once for one minute, or once for a week? There's a huge difference!

    I have a small leak from the engine compartment into the cabin that I have spent many hours trying to locate (any clues anyone?) that admits water whenever the water level reaches the top of the engine port - which is just about anytime I was underway with good speed. So, I added a small centrifugal pump in the little well (bilge?) forward of the engine port. It's screwed down to a brick. It too stays very busy. That pump, and my two backup pumps in the bilge, discharge to the engine port. The backup pumps are a Rule 2000 and Rule 3700 pump, that activate progressively as the water level rises. Both have a float switch and an electronic Water Witch switch wired in parallel, and both have wake-the-dead loud alarms. They have never activated except during testing. I strongly recommend testing centrifugal pumps with a garden hose into the bilge -- the slightest dip in the discharge hose or strand of hair will prevent them from working.

    My Ariel has only three through-hulls: the two cockpit drains and the tube for the rudder shaft. I'd eliminate those if I could figure out how. My depth sounder/water speed sensor is mounted to an oak plank that extends from the engine port. The two illegal head through-hulls have been removed and glassed in -- one of the nifty expensive bronze ball valves leaked around the ball seam and nearly sank my boat one windy night in the middle of the Bay - thank goodness for my wetsuit and plumber's epoxy putty that I had to stuff in from the outside. The sink hose has also been sealed since I discovered, after getting pooped offshore, that a full cockpit turns the sink into a secondary cockpit drain, i.e., water shoots into the cabin from the sink.

    Through-hulls below the water line are evil and imperil the boat, and adding them for bilge pump discharges seems like a contradiction in objectives.
    Attached Images        
    Last edited by pbryant; 07-25-2014 at 09:32 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Orinda, California
    Depending on the era when an A-C yacht was manufactured, the factory produced bilges of varying depths. The only constant (almost) was the location of the lead ballast.

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