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Old 04-30-2017, 09:49 PM   #1
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shower water into the bilge??

I was getting what I thought was an inordinate amount of water into the forward bilge. I was concerned that I had a leak but when the boat (40' Kha Shing trawler) was hauled I noticed no water leaking out...so I pumped it out and discovered that the aft shower water was draining into the forward bilge. I assumed the shower would drain overboard, but no. Does anyone think this is as it should be? If not, what should I do?
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Old 04-30-2017, 09:56 PM   #2
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A very common arrangement. Have you not heard the pump cycling while you're in the shower?

The only downside is that over time your interior can take on a soapy smell, but your local chandler certainly sells a liquid agent to cope with that.

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Old 04-30-2017, 09:59 PM   #3
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I think the preferred arrangement is to drain the gray water into a contained sump and pump it overboard from there.
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Old 04-30-2017, 10:03 PM   #4
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With the base of the shower below water level, its not going to drain overboard without getting pumped. I assume your forward bilge has its own bilge pump. If not, it should; -otherwise you'll soon be up to your knees in dirty shower water.
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Old 04-30-2017, 10:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
I think the preferred arrangement is to drain the gray water into a contained sump and pump it overboard from there.


This is the most common design. Get a grey water pump unit. It comes with the pump, float and tank.
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Old 04-30-2017, 10:15 PM   #6
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It appears that you've just joined our merry little band...welcome aboard!

You'll only wish it were just a soapy smell! Shower water is full of soap scum, body oils, dirt and bacteria that can turn a wet bilge into a primordial soup that can make a whole boat smell like a swamp or even a sewer...and just pouring some kind of cleaning product into it and calling it done does about as much good as just pouring dish soap into a sinkfull of dirty dishwater and expecting to have a clean sink.

The solution: install a sump and sump pump to catch the shower water and send it overboard. If your central air conditioning condensate (assuming you have central heat/ac) also drains to the bilge, route it into the sump too. However...if your shower stall is above waterline, you can just route the drain to an above-waterline thru-hull and send it overboard. Do the same for your ac condensate drain.

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Old 04-30-2017, 10:15 PM   #7
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard.
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Old 04-30-2017, 10:45 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=[B]marklv;548942 the aft shower water was draining into the forward bilge. [/B]

First of all hello & welcome.

Not sure from your description above, but I am assuming the boat has two bilge pumps. If this is correct why is the aft bilge pump not removing the grey water.I can only assume you:
a) have no aft bilge pump
b) the aft bilge pump is not working
c) the boat has a dedicated channel for draining the water to the forward pump

If the aft pump is not working obviously that needs to be rectified & if you only have one bilge pump, I would seriously look into putting a second one in, together with the system Peggy(HeadMistress) has described for dealing with shower water.

Good luck
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
I think the preferred arrangement is to drain the gray water into a contained sump and pump it overboard from there.
It definitely is the preferred arrangement, but my shower is also plumbed to empty into the bilge, and it works well. I have puzzled many times over how to set up a dedicated tank, float activated pump, and way to discharge it out through a dedicated through-hull, and it would be all just too complicated. Because, as with the nightmare I suffered installing a holding tank etc, my boat was never designed to work that way.
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:21 PM   #10
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Welcome Mark... I recommend: Do install a sump-pump system for your shower. You will be glad you did, especially if/when your shower gets used often.
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:37 PM   #11
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Chandlers sell a ready made prewired plastic box with inlets, filters to catch hair etc,a small 12v bilge pump with automatic switch (usually the flipper kind) and an outlet.
Unless you have an old IG where all grey water gets piped to an OEM box of similar design. You need one.
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Old 05-01-2017, 01:01 AM   #12
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You definitely want a sump on the shower. The water from the shower can get smelling as bad as a holding tank over time.
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Old 05-01-2017, 01:20 AM   #13
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Shower water in a wood boat causes rot. I don't know the chemistry, just the results.
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Old 05-01-2017, 01:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter B View Post
It definitely is the preferred arrangement, but my shower is also plumbed to empty into the bilge, and it works well. I have puzzled many times over how to set up a dedicated tank, float activated pump, and way to discharge it out through a dedicated through-hull, and it would be all just too complicated. Because, as with the nightmare I suffered installing a holding tank etc, my boat was never designed to work that way.
Here's your solution!

Whale Marine - Products

We had a sump system for the aft shower, and got sick and tired of the quarterly dive into the box to remove hair that was clogging the system. I removed the float switch sump system and installed the Whale pump system.

The sensor replaces the drain in the shower, and the rest is plug and play. No sump, direct discharge overboard, and zero clogs.
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:17 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pau Hana View Post
Here's your solution!

Whale Marine - Products

We had a sump system for the aft shower, and got sick and tired of the quarterly dive into the box to remove hair that was clogging the system. I removed the float switch sump system and installed the Whale pump system.

The sensor replaces the drain in the shower, and the rest is plug and play. No sump, direct discharge overboard, and zero clogs.
Yes, thanks for that reminder. I was aware of the Whale Gulper type pumps, but this set-up has taken it a step further and made it a complete self-contained unit, and not needing a sump box means it would be quite easy to install by blanking off the existing drain to the bilge, siting it under the shower grid, and just routing the outlet into the sink drain, which is above the water line. If we used the boat more, overnighting and had more showers, (which we well might, as it refuses to sell), that would be the way to go, without a doubt.
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:27 AM   #16
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I have my shower dumping the water in the aft bilge and the bilge pump throwing it overboard and I just look forward to install a sump box with its own pump. It is a really dirty job to clean the bilge at the end of the season to winterize the pump. Moreover the pump itself become dirty and clogged with soap residues and scum. I sent more than 2h to remove the pump and tear it apart in pieces to clean it. I would prefer to keep it clean to be sure it will work in case of emergency instead of see it clogged with a hair ball the day I need it. My only concern is that it may be difficult to fit a sump box when space was not designed for it.

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Old 05-01-2017, 07:37 AM   #17
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I think the preferred arrangement is to drain the gray water into a contained sump and pump it overboard from there.
That is correct. Another way is with a dedicated pump that is turned on when taking a shower and turned off when the shower pan is empty. That is what I have.

Draining shower water to the bilge is a bad idea and should be corrected. What happens when the soap scum and hair clogs the boat's primary bilge pump? It won't be pretty. And if your bilge is constantly wet, how will you notice if you have a "real" leak?
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:54 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou_tribal View Post
I have my shower dumping the water in the aft bilge and the bilge pump throwing it overboard and I just look forward to install a sump box with its own pump. It is a really dirty job to clean the bilge at the end of the season to winterize the pump. Moreover the pump itself become dirty and clogged with soap residues and scum. I sent more than 2h to remove the pump and tear it apart in pieces to clean it. I would prefer to keep it clean to be sure it will work in case of emergency instead of see it clogged with a hair ball the day I need it. My only concern is that it may be difficult to fit a sump box when space was not designed for it.

L.
Then one of these, which Pau Hana suggested above, would obviously be your answer also...as I have a similar issue to you.

Whale Marine - Products
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:01 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by BruceK View Post
Chandlers sell a ready made prewired plastic box with inlets, filters to catch hair etc,a small 12v bilge pump with automatic switch (usually the flipper kind) and an outlet.
Unless you have an old IG where all grey water gets piped to an OEM box of similar design. You need one.
And just adding to Bruce`s post,

The grey water sump on our IGs collect discharge from the basin and the shower. A panel switch allows it to be run on auto or manual. Auto is controlled by a float switch in the box. If you happen to be somewhere where you don`t want grey water to be pumped out, setting the switch to manual prevents any pump out till later. The box is large enough capacity to hold maybe a couple of quick showers. The ready made ones from the chandler (that I have seen) don`t have any holding capacity.
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:33 AM   #20
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Google, "shower sump pump box" you will find many sizes, makers and prices.
We have two on our boat. The pump on the most used one failed after about 10 years. bought a replacement pump, now works fine.
The box under the fwd. shower also handles the water from the anchor locker drain.
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