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Old 07-06-2018, 07:32 PM   #1
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Shower Sump Pump Mystery

Our master sump pump just stopped pumping a few days ago. I finally got the time to have a look at it. First I checked out the guest sump pump and it too is not running on auto mode. The guest has an "override switch" next to it and when I throw that the pump runs fine. The master does not have an override. I checked the connections and both wires are well connected and have power based on my meter.

Now I am not the greatest guy around electrics, preferring to let the pros do all of that, but I have switched out bilge pumps because they are just switching like for like.

I had a spare bikge pump so put that on the master sump - still nothing.

There are the black and brown bilge pump wires and a third blue wire joined up stream to the black.

So what is the function of the blue wire and secondly, any suggestions as to where the fuse for the sump pumps may be - the bilge pumps are fused at the pilothouse spring switches.
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:25 PM   #2
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Have you checked the float switch in the sump? I'm assuming in the normal mode a float switch turns the pump on and off. A few pics of the pump and sump could be helpful.

Ted
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:56 PM   #3
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Have you checked the float switch in the sump? I'm assuming in the normal mode a float switch turns the pump on and off. A few pics of the pump and sump could be helpful.

Ted
No float switch, internal float.

And both the sump pumps are acting the same!
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:58 PM   #4
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Are you saying that there are no breakers for the sump? If not then you probably need to start following the wiring until you come to a breaker or fuse. It sounds like you donít have power to the auto switch or like mentioned above the float switch has gone bad.
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Old 07-06-2018, 09:11 PM   #5
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Are you saying that there are no breakers for the sump? If not then you probably need to start following the wiring until you come to a breaker or fuse. It sounds like you donít have power to the auto switch or like mentioned above the float switch has gone bad.
Each sump pump has a breaker and the breakers are showing green.

I'm thinking to get a new pump and install it to see if there was an issue with the replacement that was in inventory.
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Old 07-06-2018, 09:30 PM   #6
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If I understand correctly your pumps run fine in manual mode (force run) but not auto mode (float switch).
From what you describe I would say that the auto mode blown a fuse OR the auto mode wire has been disconnected. Where is the fuse depends on your setup but I would be surprised if it was not with other fuses.

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Old 07-06-2018, 09:39 PM   #7
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Could be a wiring issue, I had a sump pump which would only operate on "ON",not on "AUTO". Checking and splicing in some fresh wire replacing some damp affected wiring fixed it.
Unless of course you have a Lucas 3 position switch, with Off/Dim/Flicker settings.
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Old 07-07-2018, 06:42 AM   #8
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No float switch, internal float.

And both the sump pumps are acting the same!
If the float switch is part of the pump, I would remove the pump to see if you could manually activate the float (probably turn the pump upside down). If the pump runs, you know it's something relative to the float.

Ted
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Old 07-07-2018, 09:11 AM   #9
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I'd say a blown inline fuse somewhere on the + line to the auto or float function.
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Old 07-07-2018, 09:55 AM   #10
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If both sumps do not work on auto, then I doubt it is a pump issue, but rather a missing voltage on the auto side. I would get a volt meter and start chasing the auto side and see where you have voltage or not.
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Old 07-07-2018, 12:03 PM   #11
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OK, mea culpa.

We are having an extra day at anchorage in Hampton thanks to TD3. So I walked the mile to the hardware store and bought a selection of butt connectors so that I could try the simple first and reset all the wiring.
Wandering back I asked myself why I was assuming that it was the same issue rather than just a coincidence. We hardly ever use the guest shower and all of the AC units drain in there. We only noticed it wasn't pumping when we switched to showering there when the master stopped working.
I called my wife and asked her to put some vinegar, baking soda and hot water in there and let it sit until I got back. When I got back I added more hot water, and after the while the pump went off automatically. So that was just a gummed up issue. We will do weekly repeat while we are cruising.
So back to the master. I took off the lid to the sump pump which was full. To see what was going on I had to manually empty the stagnant water out of there. Then soak up the rest with a rag. And there was the switch laying at the bottom of the sump in two pieces.
So nothing to do with the power/fuses, just a busted and gummed up switches.
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Old 07-07-2018, 12:06 PM   #12
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I hate it when I look past the easy fix and make it more complicated than necessary. But I have done it many times... Glad you found the problem.
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Old 07-07-2018, 02:28 PM   #13
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OK, mea culpa.

I'm glad it was a simple and fix, and even more glad that you found it yourself.


FWIW, I squirt some Raritan C.P. down the shower drain at the end of any day that the shower was used. Seems to help with the shower sump.
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Old 07-21-2018, 11:36 AM   #14
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On my Grand Bank 42, I got tired of dealing with the shower sump issues like cleaning hair and gunk out of the centrifugal bilge-type pumps and the cylindrical screen in each box. The air conditioners drained directly overboard rather than into them; so no automatic mode was needed. I finally ripped out the boxes and replaced them with Whale diaphragm pumps with manual-only switches. The Whales do not suffer the clogging the centrifugals did.

On my Mainship, the air conditioner pan is below the waterline and drains into the shower sump which had on of those useless small centrifugal bilge pumps and the usual plastic cylindrical screen. Opened box and ripped out the screen and pump; installed a Whale pump atop the box with its intake hose leading down into the bottom of the box; Whale pump connected to the flipper switch which was left in the box. Voila!
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Old 07-21-2018, 12:52 PM   #15
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I think that's how they're setup on my Eastbay. Two sumps with float switches inside them being emptied by what I think are Rule Gulper pumps.

I'm not sure why my setup has two separate sumps, as that seems like overkill. Port galley, head sink and shower go into one. The starboard head sink and shower go into the other. Each with their own separate pump and through-hull.

I'll have to check what kind of filtering is present in mine.

What I do miss is not having a sink out on the cockpit. Apparently most other 47FB have a sink back there. Mine's hull #2 and lacks it (along with not having the port closet and smaller day head). It's on my list of things to add. It's great having a direct over-board sink for stuff like rinsing dishes. Sure, a screen at the sink drain is good but eventually enough small bits get past it to make the tank get nasty.

(edit) Yep, it's two Gulper 220 pumps.
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Old 07-29-2018, 08:50 AM   #16
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Want to do away with sump box cleaning ? Look into Whale pump products ... Gulper with multi port ...pumps everything overboard
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Old 07-29-2018, 09:23 AM   #17
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How does it handle the slowly accumulating air conditioner condensation piped into the current sump box I have? Is there an automatic sensor?
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Old 07-29-2018, 10:08 AM   #18
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The Whale has a sensor, but the accumulation capacity is quite small so you may see it short cycle a lot. You could fix that with a small siphon tank - this would fill with condensate before pushing over the siphon, then the Whale would empty it.
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Old 07-29-2018, 10:18 AM   #19
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Want to do away with sump box cleaning ? Look into Whale pump products ... Gulper with multi port ...pumps everything overboard
Just did this. A Whale Grey Water IC 2-inlet manifold going to a Gulper. Replaced the old shower box / small bilge pump / float switch and a Jabsco shower pump. Now, two showers and three sinks are all handled by the Whale.

My last remaining issue is keeping the drain hose from the sinks to the pump clear. It always drains slowly, especially after brushing teeth or shaving (because of the extra stuff - toothpaste and shaving cream foam). I'm pretty sure it's just "gunked up" after years of soap / toothpaste / shave cream / whiskers / etc.

Does anyone put something down their sinks regularly to keep the drain hoses clear? I'd love to know the secret!
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Old 07-29-2018, 12:16 PM   #20
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The Whale has a sensor, but the accumulation capacity is quite small so you may see it short cycle a lot. You could fix that with a small siphon tank - this would fill with condensate before pushing over the siphon, then the Whale would empty it.
Without the added complexity of now two auto switches, my mounting to Whale atop the original box with its float switch still seems like a better idea for handling ac condensate as well as shower and head vanity drains in my smallish boat.
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