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Old 03-17-2018, 08:30 PM   #1
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Bilge Pump Failure

I installed two Johnson 2200 GPH bilge pumps 1 1/2 years ago when I did a major refit of all the systems on my Allweather. Today I went out in the boat for a short trip to try out my new cell phone booster, it worked great. At one point I thought I would test the on-off-manual switches on my bilge pumps. I have a dry bilge and neither pump has ever come on by itself because of water. Except when I initially installed the pumps and tried them out using a garden hose. When testing today one pump ran fine but not the other. Upon investigating I found the bad one had blown a fuse.I put another fuse in and blew it again. I fiddled around a bit while drifting and couldn't figure it out, everything looked good. When I got back to the dock I snipped the wires on the pump and removed it. I saw right away that the impeller would not spin using just my fingers. I saw that there were screws around the top of the pump so I removed them, and pulled off the top. I could see the top of the motor and there was a lot of corrosion and there was water in with the motor. The water had to have gotten in there when I installed the pump and tested it a year and a half ago.

I suppose I got a faulty pump. I should have bought Rules I guess. The 2 Johnson pumps and float switches are mounted 4-5 inches from the bottom of the bilge. I have a manually switched Whale diaphragm pump and 2 way valve with pickups in both sections of my bilge and that works great for spilled water or washing.
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Old 03-17-2018, 11:18 PM   #2
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Johnson pumps are good, I would contact them and show them photos, especially if you have the bill.
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Old 03-18-2018, 05:34 AM   #3
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Johnson bilge pumps seem to be on par with Rule, although that's not saying much.

It was a good idea to manually test run your bilge pumps just for a few seconds, even if dry. I'd suggest doing it every month at least.
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Old 03-18-2018, 06:29 AM   #4
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It's a good idea to manually test the pumps every so often and put enough water in the bilge once a year to test float switches, pumps, and that the discharge hose is clear.

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Old 03-18-2018, 06:59 AM   #5
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I have "bilge on" indicator lights. Before I make rough crossings I always flip the switches and check and make sure the lights come on. The lights are great, you can tell if the bilge is stuck on as well.
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Old 03-18-2018, 01:12 PM   #6
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Why are your pumps installed 4-5"above the bilge rather than at the lowest point?
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Old 03-18-2018, 01:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swampu View Post
I have "bilge on" indicator lights. Before I make rough crossings I always flip the switches and check and make sure the lights come on. The lights are great, you can tell if the bilge is stuck on as well.
I have the same indicator lights with auto/off/manual switches and I have tested the pumps several times in the last year. I test that they run and that the float switch works, I haven't tested with water since initial installation.

Aquabelle,
I regard the 2 2000 gph pumps to be emergency pumps. My boat is small and the 2 bilge areas are quite small also. The amount of flooding required to trigger the pumps is really not too much even if they are raised up. I have a dry bilge but I like that the pumps are high and dry and out of the mess that a bilge area can be prone to. My theory is that when they are really needed they will work.

As I mentioned in my original post I have an electric diaphragm pump also mounted high and dry but with pick ups in each of my 2 bilge areas. This pump is not high capacity but it is not easily clogged and it sucks up water down to 1/4" or so. I have a valve that allows me to switch between the 2 bilge areas and I can see if there is any water flowing when I turn it on as the semi clear hose runs where I can see it. It is not automatic but I check it regularly to see if there is any water. Yes I do actually look in my bilges also.
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Old 03-18-2018, 02:05 PM   #8
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By the way. West Marine has a great price on a Gold model 2000 gph pump right now. It is only good for the rest of today though. I ordered one. $110
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Old 03-19-2018, 01:57 AM   #9
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2000 gph 12 volt pumps start at $30 on ebay. Chances are they're all made in the same Chinese factory. Just different labels.
I have a private dock on the Oregon coast where I winter. I have a 5 year old Seaflo 2000 gph I use to bail the small boats after it rains. A bilge pump is faster and pumps lower than most other pumps. The pump is used almost daily in the winter and has outlasted "US" brands. It looks exactly like the Rule it replaced.
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