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Old 10-06-2018, 05:27 PM   #1
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shower drain and sump

So I have a Prairie 29.

I was planning on installing a shower sump and pump the grey water overboard. Right now it drains into the bilge and I really do not like that gunk collecting in the bilge and pump and all.

Looking at the shower drain today, I removed the silver cover/strainer. Expecting a clear drain into the bilge.

I found a 3" deep whole draining the water into a square (about 3" square) that is attached to the underside of the drain area. I assume the water makes a 90 degree turn in this area and then somehow into the bilge. This something is attached as there is a seam of caulk or some substance "sealing" this attached area to the bottom of my drainpan.

Problem: there seems no way to get to the underside of the drainpan. No access from the bilge areas from any access hole in my floor. NO access in the head area. No way to get down into the drain area to see what is happening and how to attach a possible sump pump to this drain.

So, any advice? Anyone seen anything like this and knows what to do?

Sort of flabbergasted at this. But will figure the right way through it as we boaters do!

Tim
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Old 10-06-2018, 05:33 PM   #2
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My guess is you'll have to drill a hole in the 3" square and epoxy in a hose fitting or plastic pipe. Another possibility is to remove the 3" square. Another sign of the quality in present day yachts.
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Old 10-06-2018, 06:47 PM   #3
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Is your shower pan above or below the waterline?
The square "mini sump" could be cleaned with a toothbrush or blasting with a pressure washer.
Some trawlers have shower and sinks well above the waterline. Any problem then having them drain by gravity directly out the thru-hull?
I agree, you don't really want the shower draining into the bilge.
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Old 10-06-2018, 07:16 PM   #4
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Lets try this again. on our prairie inside that little square box is a 500gph rule bilge pump that we turn on with a switch when we shower. the pump discharges over the side. hope this helps pm or call me and i can take pictures of it for you


Quote:
Originally Posted by kokopelliTim View Post
So I have a Prairie 29.

I was planning on installing a shower sump and pump the grey water overboard. Right now it drains into the bilge and I really do not like that gunk collecting in the bilge and pump and all.

Looking at the shower drain today, I removed the silver cover/strainer. Expecting a clear drain into the bilge.

I found a 3" deep whole draining the water into a square (about 3" square) that is attached to the underside of the drain area. I assume the water makes a 90 degree turn in this area and then somehow into the bilge. This something is attached as there is a seam of caulk or some substance "sealing" this attached area to the bottom of my drainpan.

Problem: there seems no way to get to the underside of the drainpan. No access from the bilge areas from any access hole in my floor. NO access in the head area. No way to get down into the drain area to see what is happening and how to attach a possible sump pump to this drain.

So, any advice? Anyone seen anything like this and knows what to do?

Sort of flabbergasted at this. But will figure the right way through it as we boaters do!

Tim
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Old 10-06-2018, 08:47 PM   #5
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Sounds like a rough life for a pump. I'd carry a spare.
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:55 PM   #6
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I would shower in marinas and jump overboard for a bath.
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Old 10-06-2018, 10:33 PM   #7
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There's a thread here about jumping overboard. Take an extra nutria or two along to test the water first. Electroconvulsive paralysis drowning or some such mystery death results.
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:00 AM   #8
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Water in the bilge is no problem, the shower is in its tray to make hair and other debris easy to clean out.


Perhaps a debris screen is missing?
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:18 AM   #9
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So IF it is a pump, it does not work.

If there is a tray or screen to clean, no way to get to it.

I desire to shower in my boat and be as self-sufficient as possible, so I really want to fix what I have and make it work.

I am blind to what i have. I cannot get under the showerpan to even touch the pump (if it is a pump).

So, anyone know of any access to underneath the pan?

Thanks.

Tim
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Old 10-07-2018, 09:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kokopelliTim View Post
So IF it is a pump, it does not work.

If there is a tray or screen to clean, no way to get to it.

I desire to shower in my boat and be as self-sufficient as possible, so I really want to fix what I have and make it work.

I am blind to what i have. I cannot get under the showerpan to even touch the pump (if it is a pump).

So, anyone know of any access to underneath the pan?

Thanks.

Tim

ill go down to the boat today and take a picture of our pump an look under the access hatch and see if you can get to it from there in the v-berth and as for pump going bad I replaced it once in 20 years and that was only because it was beginning to squall it still pumped fine and to my knowledge has never plugged up. In the summertime lots of time we will just shower off the back of the boat with the transom shower!
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Old 10-07-2018, 11:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kokopelliTim View Post
So IF it is a pump, it does not work.

If there is a tray or screen to clean, no way to get to it.

I desire to shower in my boat and be as self-sufficient as possible, so I really want to fix what I have and make it work.

I am blind to what i have. I cannot get under the showerpan to even touch the pump (if it is a pump).

So, anyone know of any access to underneath the pan?

Thanks.

Tim

Freshwater deck shower. It's what we used to do on my friends half cabin pontoon.
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Old 10-07-2018, 03:47 PM   #12
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Here are pictures of our shower pan and pump you cannot get to the bottom of the square box from the floor access panel and I didnt try it from the thru hull compartment hope this helps
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Old 10-07-2018, 05:17 PM   #13
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Thanks Mike;
It is good to see what other similar boats have.

I do not have the square in the middle of the shower pan as you have.

I just have a silver grill to drain. Then underneath that is the smallish boxish thing we are calling a pump.

I assume your box is factory.

I am going to have to really get on my knees and look around to see if there is any possible way to get underneath the pan.

Even if I installed another pump or hose; I do not know how I would be able to lead it through the firewall/bulkhead separating the engine compartment from the front end of the boat.

I sense a LOT of squirming around, stretching arms into dark places and reaching around things site unseen coming up!

Better get back to the gym and stretch some this week

Tim
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Old 10-08-2018, 07:01 AM   #14
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What I see in the photo is just fine.A nice install.

Remember to simply clean the hair and gunk out at times and nothing will be required.
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:39 AM   #15
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I use my shower all the time. I also clean the drain once a week. Knock on wood, this preventative maintenance has kept my shower drain pump working like a champ!
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:47 AM   #16
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The cabin pontoon I used to go out on had a set up similar to sailormike's. When we would come in from a week, or weekend, outing, all of us pitched in to clean the boat and get it ready for storage. I was stuck mucking the shower sump. I used a small portable shop vac on the floors. I sucked out the shower sump as well. It always seem to hold about a half gallon of water that the bilge pump couldn't get. Unfortunately, the black tank was mounted right under the shower pan and the other tanks,fresh water and fuel, were mounted around it. No straight off the side gravity flow.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:33 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the responses.

So I went back out to the boat yesterday, looked around more, took pics.

I have no access to the "pump" or the underneath of the drain.

I took pics of the drain and a solid showerpan unlike Mike's.

I unscrewed the "pump" and it fell into the space below. I was able to look down there and traced the drain through the firewall to the bilge.

So. My plan: buy a Screw Out Deck Plate / Inspection Port from Defender, install it. cut a hole in the middle to fit a shower drain and attach this drain to the pump I have and connect to overboard.

It will also give me access to this area for the long term.

Comments?
Advice?

Thanks.

Tim
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Old 10-10-2018, 04:35 PM   #18
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I recently had to replace my shower drain with similar access issues. I have no sump but have a 3/4 inch drain line plumbed to a remotely mounted water pump activated by a push button switch in the shower for ON/OFF as needed. The drain elbow cracked and allowed air into the line breaking the suction needed to lift the water to the pump level.

I decided to change the sump pump to use the same model water pump as my freshwater system to provide a spare if needed. I bought a shower drain like this with a 90 elbow to the bottom.



I pre-assembled what I could before installation then installed it incrementally, allowing the sealant on the top half to dry overnight before completing the assembling process on my back, in the blind and with one hand.

Ain't yachting fun?
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Old 10-15-2018, 02:02 PM   #19
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FlyWright seems to have a good system.

I installed a drain in a shower with very little access under the shower pan. I drilled the drain hole, beveled it was a router and connected the hose to the drain before installing it. I was able to fish the hose around until I could grab it near the shower sump. I just glued / sealed the drain in and let it sit for a day before using it.

I also tried to switch to PEX because I thought it would be easier to push it through tough to reach places. The problem was that I couldn't find a place (even in a very populated bay area) that had all the PEX connections, I didn't want to buy the tool so I wouldn't need press to fit connectors etc etc. Plus my water system is 3/8 id copper with flare connections. I finally found a place that still carries those
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Old 10-15-2018, 03:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
Water in the bilge is no problem, the shower is in its tray to make hair and other debris easy to clean out. Perhaps a debris screen is missing?
I agree, my shower ran into a sump pump, that had to then pump it all back up to a through-hull above the water line, about 6 feet in all. Some always ran back down, of course, so it was always mucky. I ripped it out.

I now let it run right straight into the bilge, past a good metal screen mesh that's easily cleaned and grabs everything. My hot water tank makes lots of very hot water, and to flush my bilge I pour a cup of Sunlight into the shower stall drain and run it all through, to de-grease and freshen the bilges. Finally I use my shop vac to keep the main bilge pump area itself cleared of grease and debris.

By doing all of the above I maintain my bilges at the same time, removing needless electrical complexity and pumping infrastructure.
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