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Old 03-29-2016, 01:50 PM   #1
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My bilge pump sucks...

Actually, it doesn't suck enough!

In my quest for a completely dry bilge, I recently rerouted the AC drains from the bilge to the shower sump and to a separate sump I stalled. That solved that problem!

I recently washed the chain off in the chain locker, and all the water drained right to the bilge-- I didn't expect that but maybe that's normal. My problem is my bilge pump does not get all the water out. It leaves about 1/2" of water there and that drives me crazy.

Is there a better pump that would suck it all out? Maybe install a secondary pump? I've been use the wet vac to get it all out but that's getting old.
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Old 03-29-2016, 02:15 PM   #2
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Mine does the same thing except it sucks all the water out , shuts off and water that's left in hose drains back into bilge . I thought about a check valve close to the pump on discharge side but most everybody here on TF says that's not a good idea .
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Old 03-29-2016, 02:16 PM   #3
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Maybe you should wire your wet vac to a bilge pump switch.

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Old 03-29-2016, 02:23 PM   #4
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There is a company that makes a pump that pumps down to almost nothing but not quite dry. Can't find it now.

Unfortunately I think only a vacuum can get it perfectly dry.
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Old 03-29-2016, 02:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Maybe you should wire your wet vac to a bilge pump switch.

Ted



Quote:
Mine does the same thing except it sucks all the water out , shuts off and water that's left in hose drains back into bilge . I thought about a check valve close to the pump on discharge side but most everybody here on TF says that's not a good idea .
Yeah I get some water drainage back into the bilge when the pump shuts off also. So check valves are a nono huh?
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Old 03-29-2016, 02:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post





Yeah I get some water drainage back into the bilge when the pump shuts off also. So check valves are a nono huh?
You could rig a tiny bilge pump with a check valve and on/off switch so you could get more but still not all out.

This pump would be in addition to your other 6 rated at 20,000 gph
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Old 03-29-2016, 02:39 PM   #7
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You could rig a tiny bilge pump with a check valve and on/off switch so you could get more but still not all out.

This pump would be in addition to your other 6 rated at 20,000 gph

That's kind of what I was thinking. Maybe a diaphragm pump?

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I suppose I could ghetto-install something like this and set it on top of the shower sump I installed in the bilge and drain it into that. 😳

My bilge is gettin busy...
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Old 03-29-2016, 02:43 PM   #8
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Mine does the same thing....always a few cups of water there that cannot evacuate with the bilge pump. I bought a cheap water blaster that I use to suck the last ounces of water and spray it into a plastic can. Just a few pumps worth and a sponge finishes it off. Since I have dripless logs, I expect a completely dry bilge, but some gets in from rain and condensation through the laz hatch.
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Old 03-29-2016, 02:43 PM   #9
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I added a check valve in an old boat, it still drained back. Just slower.

I wait for it to drain back and shop-vac it out, then the bilge stays dry till the next time.
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Old 03-29-2016, 03:19 PM   #10
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My Trojan rope locker drained into the bilge so I glassed the bulkhead and closed up the bottom of the rope locker. Then I put a drain hole at the bottom of the rope locker through the hull and covered it with a clam shell facing down and aft. That stopped the water from the anchor rode from getting into the bilge. You just have to address each entry point in turn. The best solution is to keep the water out to begin with. There are very few pumps that will get all the water out due to loss of suction as the water gets low. And then as mentioned, the water drains back down into the bilge from the discharge hose. I used a Whale remote pickup pump to evacuate most of the water. It has a check valve built into the pump. I used it just to get the residual water out of the bilge. I had the major pump mounted a little higher without a check valve.
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Old 03-29-2016, 03:36 PM   #11
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I think this is one of the companies you guys are talking about...

Dry Bilges are possible!

It uses a vacuum line to various points to suck out the last bits of water and keep it dry.

I think the cause for the residual water is back-flow, when the bilge pump shuts off, any left over water in the drain line runs back into the bilge. Usually this isn't a problem though. PSNELD's suggestion seems to be a good one by putting a tiny bilge pump deeper with a check valve, just to get the first & last water pumped out. The check valve would be just outside the pump on the exit line, so minimum back-flow. That would be cheaper than the vacuum systems...

I was on a boat at a boat show and heard a sucking sound. The sales guy said it was the vacuum system checking each shower bilge for residual water. I would want that put on a timer so it wasn't doing it every few hours...
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Old 03-29-2016, 03:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
You could rig a tiny bilge pump with a check valve and on/off switch so you could get more but still not all out.

This pump would be in addition to your other 6 rated at 20,000 gph
I know a guy that did that in his Catalina 400. He used a small pump with a small line with a check valve. It was plumbed with an anti-siphon loop into his galley sink drain line. He kept that sink drain thruhull open. He used a water sensor switch very low in the bilge and had the hose of the small pump right at the bottom of the bilge.

The hose was very small diameter and was able to remove the small amounts of water that his regular bilge pump wouldn't get. Definitely you should never use a check valve in your regular bilge pumps.
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Old 03-29-2016, 03:46 PM   #13
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Here is another bilge suction system...
- Boat drying system; automatic, reliable, and affordable.
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Old 03-29-2016, 04:08 PM   #14
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Use a Sealand/Dometic diaphragm pump. Install a foot on the suction hose that draws from the very bottom of your bilge.

Bosworth makes a foot that works great for this.

Bosworth Co-Diaphragm Pumps: Hand, Foot & Electric; Y-Valves
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Old 03-29-2016, 04:18 PM   #15
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Jabsco makes a series of diaphragm pumps for this purpose, for those who aren't so anal about it that they have to have one of the $$$ "dry bilge systems". For instance:

Jabsco 36960 Series Diaphragm Bilge Pump

Personally my feeling is "it's a boat; water happens".
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Old 03-29-2016, 04:24 PM   #16
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I could never understand the desire for a perfectly dry bilge. Sounds to me like the hunt for the Holy Grail.
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Old 03-29-2016, 04:56 PM   #17
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Having had a wooden boat for 23 years, I find the small amount of water left in the bilge pump sump comforting and nostalgic.
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Old 03-29-2016, 05:02 PM   #18
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I could never understand the desire for a perfectly dry bilge. Sounds to me like the hunt for the Holy Grail.
I don't even try. With 3 screens to clean (AC/generator, water maker and engine), changing water maker pre-filters plus the shaft packing. I keep adding enough water so it never gets stagnant to smell and the bilge stays pretty clean.
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Old 03-29-2016, 06:12 PM   #19
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I could never understand the desire for a perfectly dry bilge. Sounds to me like the hunt for the Holy Grail.
On my boats, the bilge water flows to a small area near the bow. It's a simple process of rolling back a small section of carpet and opening a 12 inch wooden hatch. I might only check it once a week on a longer trip unless I suspect something. If I see water on a dry trip, I'll be looking for a leak.

I've also noticed less "boat smell" since I've made drying it more regularly.

Unlike dwhatty, I find it reassuring when it stays dry.
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Old 03-29-2016, 06:15 PM   #20
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Greetings,
" It leaves about 1/2" of water there and that drives me crazy. "

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