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Old 11-09-2011, 07:46 PM   #1
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Dump the Sump?

I have what I assume is a typical grey water system with the shower draining to a sump in the bilge with a float switch/pump. The pump is a bilge pump which never gets the sump completely empty -- always an inch or so of water left to give that wonderful wet bilge smell when you open the door after several days away. I have seen shower drain pumps advertised for in-line installation with no need for a sump. They can be wired either automatic or manual, will pump air/water combination, don't need a filter and will run dry without damage. This would keep the shower drain a closed system without standing grey water.*

Is there any reason this should not be on my boat?

Thanks,

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Old 11-09-2011, 08:21 PM   #2
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Dump the Sump?

If your pump is above the shower sump it will never get all the water out because when the pump shuts off any water in the hose between the sump and the pump will run back into the sump. (I bet Shakespeare wished he'd written that sentence).

If you can raise the shower sump higher than the pump that will help solve the problem but that may not be practical in your boat.* You can use a small wet-dry shop vac to pull the last bit of water out of the sump but I would imagine that's a pain.* We use this method*to*remove the water that's seeped into bilge over a few month period but we wouldn't want to do it after every shower if we had a bilge sump like yours.

If you are going to eliminate the sump and go with a pump between the shower drain and the through-hull, a popular pump for this is a Whale Gulper.* Our boat has a unique pump similar to the type used to pump blood in which the liquid being pumped never comes in contact with the pump itself.* It was installed by a previous owner, and the advantage is the thing will move wet dirt without stalling or clogging.* But if we didn't have this we'd probably use a Gulper.


-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 9th of November 2011 09:36:20 PM
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:51 PM   #3
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RE: Dump the Sump?

A previous owner put the house bank directly above the sump, making access damn near impossible. I have been able to service the pump and have used a shop vac more than once when I knew the boat would be closed up for a while. However, I'm all for the K.I.S.S. approach, and it seems like eliminating the sump from the circuit should simplify things. Everything else is virtually the same -- the water drains down and gets pumped out. You just eliminate a big, wet box.

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Old 11-09-2011, 08:56 PM   #4
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RE: Dump the Sump?

You'd proably want to use a diaphram-type pump for this rather than an impeller pump. That way the pump could continue operating even if no water is running down from the shower for a bit. And you may want some way to make sure shower-takers remember to turn the pump on when they start the shower or the water will quickly back up in the hose behind the pump and flood out into the shower area.
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:39 PM   #5
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RE: Dump the Sump?

The solution to the problem is SO simple that it's no wonder it hasn't occurred to any of you: just maintain the sump. And it's so easy that even men can do it:

Raritan C.P. is a bio-enzymatic cleaner that Raritan markets only as a toilet bowl cleaner...but it's also the best sump and drain cleaner on the planet...'cuz it not only destroys odor on contact, but the enzymes in it "eat" hair, soap scum, body oils, dirt, cooking grease and all the other stuff that turns sumps into smelly primordial soups. And it doesn't even require any manual labor to keep sumps and drains clean, sweet smelling and running free.

Once a week run enough CLEAN water down the shower drain to flush out the sump...then, squirt 2-3 oz of C.P. down the shower drain when it can stand at least over night...it can stay in the sump for a year without harm, so use it just before closing up the boat if that works for you. That's it...all there is to maintaining the sump.

C.P. will also keep your sink drains clean and smelling good...close the seacock, add a couple of oz. of C.P. then fill the drain with clean water.

And btw, C.P. is also an outstanding bowl cleaner that's safe to use with any tank product or treatment device.
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:01 PM   #6
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Dump the Sump?

You all just gave me an idea. I've got two of those little pumps used for changing oil that come on the jug that receives the oil out of the crankcase through the dip stick. I do'nt think it will keep up w the flow from a shower head but it may not need to. Lets say I hop in the shower and turn on the pump. I turn on the water and wet down good. I turn off the water and soap down. Just about the time I finish soaping down the pump catches up and then turn on the water again and rinse. Even if the pump dos'nt quite keep up it's fine as I let the pump pump out the 1/4 to 1/2" of water in the shower stall. Sometime during my drying off the shower stall gets 100% of the water pumped out and I'm done. Like Marin says a cup full may/will come back in (up through the drain hole) but a few seconds w a sponge should take care of that. Only problem I see is how to route the discharge. And every time the pump goes TU I've got to spend $130. on a new oil changing system. Do'nt know where to get those pumps separately. What do you folks think of my spur*of the moment idea?*

Sorry Mistress I was'nt thinking about you and had to go back and edit the "guys" out of my text. And reguarding the discharge of my sump pump I'll run it up high enough to keep from sinking my boat *...even a man can do that too.







-- Edited by nomadwilly on Wednesday 9th of November 2011 11:10:34 PM
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:19 PM   #7
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RE: Dump the Sump?

Eric, I'm thinking one of those little pumps might make*a good anchor.

If only we had someone to test it.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:09 PM   #8
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RE: Dump the Sump?

Me being lazy and cheap I'd give Peggie's idea a try first. If you are determined to get rid of the sump, a Whale Gulper or one of the Jabsco diaphram pumps would be the right type of pump to use. Most of those oil change pumps are impeller type pumps that don't like to run dry. Remove the sump and mount the diaphram pump in it's place. Connect the drain hose from the shower to the intake side of the diaphram pump. Connect the discharge hose to the discharge side of the pump. Just turn the pump on each time you turn on the shower. It won't be quite that easy as I'm sure pump sizes and hose sizes won't match but you can figure it out. Your shower head probably puts out 2-1/2 gallons per minute so your diaphram pump and hoses need to move at least that much. This will probably make more noise than the little bilge pump in your sump. Those little impeller pumps can be even louder than a much bigger diaphram pump.
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:51 AM   #9
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RE: Dump the Sump?

After going through two different brands of shower sumps, with continual maintenance, replacement of pumps, switches, and the inevitable cleanup when they failed, I tossed mine and put in a whale diaphragm pump. Luckily, the Krogen came with switches at each shower for a pump, so the installation was really easy. I'll never have another shower sump with a float switch again.
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Old 11-10-2011, 06:20 AM   #10
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RE: Dump the Sump?

Eric- quick note on the Jabsco oil change pump. I was able to disassemble and clean my pump out and revive it a few times. Unfortunately on my last attempt I lost one of the two springs inside and was never able to match it locally and found out neither the pump nor the parts are available separately. I saved my old tank/ pump in case my new one ever needs parts. OK- sorry for getting off subject. And Peggy, a great big THANK YOU for sharing your knowledge with us on the forum!!
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:20 AM   #11
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RE: Dump the Sump?

Order it directly from Raritan, Carl... their list price is about $12/22 oz bottle...vs. WM's whopping $17.95 on the shelf in their stores...plus shipping, if you have to order it. Otoh, a you prob'ly already have a manual dinghy bailer and bucket and/or a shop vac...you prob'ly wouldn't need the C.P. if you just use 'em a bit more often.

I would eliminate the gray water tank if I were you and reroute the drains to go overboard...'cuz there's no environmental reason to hold gray water and, unlike sumps, gray water tanks are a nightmare to maintain. Food particles can take MONTHS to dissolve, accumulating as sludge...soap scum, body oils and cooking grease (even the little bit of olive oil in the salad dressing is "cooking grease") put a "skin" on the surface that prevents any aerobic breakdown. The only easy way to maintain a gray water tank is a complete thorough flush-and-rinse at least once a month.
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:28 AM   #12
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RE: Dump the Sump?

There are all sorts of effective shower sumps you can buy as a package. The other issue is where do you pump it to and at what cost? If possible, maintaining a dry bilge is an advantage. It is a good first line of defense to pick*up leaks and drips that require immediate attention. Shower water masks these potentially serious problems.
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:45 AM   #13
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Dump the Sump?

Apparently you don' t have a sump...instead, water stays in the shower pan (iow, you're wading in your shower unless you've installed a grid) till you turn on the pump--most likely a small bilge pump--to dump it. Same thing I had on my Trojan F32. No need to re-rig it, but you might consider running some C.P. through it every week just to keep the pump clean and free from any hair etc.

*

To answer your question, "what is a sump"...it's a well or pan or some type of container installed in the bilge into which the shower drains passively. A pump--can be the same type of pump you have--pumps it out. That pump can either be manually activated by turning it on or can have a float switch.** You can see what a sump looks like if you just search for "shower sump" in any of the marine catalogs.


-- Edited by HeadMistress on Thursday 10th of November 2011 11:48:37 AM
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:57 AM   #14
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RE: Dump the Sump?

Peggy, I had the same pump (manually operated)*in my T36 woodie as you had in your T32. A teak grid was on the floor so my feet weren't bathed.
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Old 11-10-2011, 03:09 PM   #15
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RE: Dump the Sump?

Quote:
sunchaser wrote:
There are all sorts of effective shower sumps you can buy as a package. The other issue is where do you pump it to and at what cost? If possible, maintaining a dry bilge is an advantage. It is a good first line of defense to pick*up leaks and drips that require immediate attention. Shower water masks these potentially serious problems.
*Showers and sumps should drain overboard, never into the bilge! In fact, the whole point of installing a sump is to keep the gray water OUT of the bilge.* Builders will route shower drains into the bilge to cut costs, but just about everyone who has that setup (and/or an icebox that drains into the bilge) installs a sump or wants to.

If the shower is above the waterline and therefore can drain directly overboard via an above waterline thru-hull (same as sinks do), no sump or pump is needed. But if the head is below waterline on a boat, the shower pan will be too...so keeping the shower water out of the bilge requires either the kind of arrangement superdiver has has or a sump...with a sump pump that works like a bilge pump: it pushes the shower water up and out of a thru-hull that IS above waterline.
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