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Old 12-24-2012, 11:01 AM   #1
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water system accumulator

Greetings,

I recently had to replace my fresh water distribution pump and was wondering about whether or not I need to 'bleed/charge' my accumulator?

Happy Holidays
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Old 12-24-2012, 11:03 AM   #2
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You shouldn't need to. It will just re-charge when the pump comes up to pressure.
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Old 12-24-2012, 11:28 AM   #3
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I didn't need to bleed mine. But you will have some air in the system which will bleed off at the faucets.
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:46 PM   #4
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Greetings,

I recently had to replace my fresh water distribution pump and was wondering about whether or not I need to 'bleed/charge' my accumulator?

Happy Holidays
No, you do not.
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:10 PM   #5
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....was wondering about whether or not I need to 'bleed/charge' my accumulator?
We've never had to with ours. However our current pump developed an odd problem a few years ago which is annoying but would take too long to describe here. But if in the end we decide to replace the pump we will do so with one of the newer and quieter demand-driven pumps that do not require an accumulator tank in the system.
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:17 PM   #6
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We've never had to with ours. However our current pump developed an odd problem a few years ago which is annoying but would take too long to describe here. But if in the end we decide to replace the pump we will do so with one of the newer and quieter demand-driven pumps that do not require an accumulator tank in the system.
My boat came with one of those "newer and quieter demand-driven pumps that do not require an accumulator tank in the system". The PO replaced it after about four years and I replaced it not long after I bought the boat which would have been four or five years later. My replacement failed a few months ago. These pumps start and stop every time you draw water, no matter how small an amount. If you just turn the faucet on slightly, the pump chatters as it turns on and off. I believe that's why they failed.

I replaced my replacement with a standard pump and accumulator tank. It's much quieter as the pump only comes on after most of the water in the tank has been used and it runs until the tank is refilled (repressurized). For just a quick hand washing, the pump may not come on at all. It's quieter and I expect much longer life from the pump.

The pump/acumulator tank system mimcks the system used if you have a home and private well, just on a smaller scale. It's a better system.
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:58 PM   #7
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Depends on how your system is set up and where the accumulator is. I've seen systems where the accumulator wouldn't do anything to keep the pump from running.

I'm dying to try one of the newer pumps but an accumulator and an old style (read way more inexpensive) pump may keep me happy.
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:10 PM   #8
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Perhaps the success of the demand regulated pumps depends on the make and the installation. We've been on a number of boats that have them, including several GBs and have been very impressed by the virtually silent operation and excellent response to the demand, be it high or low.

One fellow we know with a GB42 woody replaced a Shureflow pump/accumulator setup identical to ours with a demand regulated pump (don't recall the brand) and his only complaint was that because the pump was virtually silent in operation he couldn't tell if it was working. The fact water came out of the taps should have been a clue, I would have thought.

Anyway they're used to the no-noise operation now and love it, particularly when they have guests on board. When a guest runs the water in the forward head at oh-dark-thirty in the morning there is now no pump noise in the rest of the boat.

I have no idea if these installations are always silent like this-- from Ron's post I guess they aren't. But based on what we've heard-- or not heard-- on the boats we've been on that had them we've been very impressed and figured that's the route to go if we elect to replace the pump we have now.

I agree with psneeld that the conventional system is fine and is certainly less expensive. If we decide to make the effort to figure out the "mystery" with our current pump and can resolve it we have no problem with continuing to use it. Its noise is not an issue for us. But if we decide to resolve the pump's quirk by getting rid of the pump we'll replace it with the demand regulated type based on what we've observed.
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:14 PM   #9
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Depends on how your system is set up and where the accumulator is. I've seen systems where the accumulator wouldn't do anything to keep the pump from running..............
It has to be installed correctly (as in the instructions). That would be water tank(s), filter, pump, accumulator tank, then cold water outlets and water heater inlet.

The tank has a bladder with pressurized air on one side and the potable water on the other side. The pump puts water into the tank, compressing the air until the pump reaches it's cutoff pressure. When you draw water, it comes from the tank until the pressure drops to the point where the pump kicks in. Shut the water off and the pump runs untill the pressure is built back up.

If the pump runs every time you draw water, even a pint or two, either it was installed wrong (and it never worked), it has lost its air charge (12 PSI for my boat tank), or the bladder is punctured.

I had this type of system in my home for over twenty years.
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:17 PM   #10
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If the pump makes more noise than you would like, it needs to be isolated from the boat structure somehow. Rubber bushings are one way. It makes almost no noise until you attach it to a sounding board.

BTW: My new pump (Jabsco) was about the same price of the pump it replaced (FloJet) but of course I had to spend $70 or so on the tank and another $20 or so on fittings to rearrange the plumbing.
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:07 PM   #11
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It has to be installed correctly (as in the instructions). That would be water tank(s), filter, pump, accumulator tank, then cold water outlets and water heater inlet.

The tank has a bladder with pressurized air on one side and the potable water on the other side. The pump puts water into the tank, compressing the air until the pump reaches it's cutoff pressure. When you draw water, it comes from the tank until the pressure drops to the point where the pump kicks in. Shut the water off and the pump runs untill the pressure is built back up.

If the pump runs every time you draw water, even a pint or two, either it was installed wrong (and it never worked), it has lost its air charge (12 PSI for my boat tank), or the bladder is punctured.

I had this type of system in my home for over twenty years.
I know it's hard to believe but not every situation is convenient enough to follow some generic manufacturer's drawing board installation instructions.

Sure it can be done...but many times it's just not practical....at least in my real world of working as a marine tech on boats.
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:16 PM   #12
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I know it's hard to believe but not every situation is convenient enough to follow some generic manufacturer's drawing board installation instructions.

Sure it can be done...but many times it's just not practical....at least in my real world of working as a marine tech on boats.
You make no sense.

If you're going to buy a product and not install it correctly and then complain that it doesn't work as expected, you might as well save yourself the trouble and money and not install it in the first place. Even in the "real world".
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Old 12-25-2012, 06:31 AM   #13
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You make no sense.

If you're going to buy a product and not install it correctly and then complain that it doesn't work as expected, you might as well save yourself the trouble and money and not install it in the first place. Even in the "real world".
Try reading more than just one post at a time.

Read my post 7.

Then see who makes sense.

Depending on where the accumulator is place (because of boat design limitations)...sometimes a water feed line or two that is close to the accumulator/pump will still reduce the pressure enough to kick the pump on. Not supposed to...but sometimes they do.

As I said...it's the system I may go with and by the way... no one was complaining....just stating reality as opposed to the instruction manual version showing the newer pumps may have advantages too...

For a guy who doesn't like other people argueing...
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Old 12-25-2012, 07:58 AM   #14
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I have a Jabsco accumulator very similar to the one in Rwidman's picture and I agree that it is a much sounder engineering approach than "the pumps that don't need one". They must be pressurised when installed using the Schrader-type valve on the top and a hand pump or small compressor. I find pressurising to be a bit of a PITA as the reservoir is so small that it is easy to loose part of the charge when removing the hose afterwards. A small domestic accumulator mounted remotely would solve my problem and is on my to-do list. Does anyone have experience with the larger Jabsco accumulator tanks? Are they anythng special, or just domestic accumulators with Jabsco labels?
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:45 AM   #15
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We have a large accumulator tank, and love the way it operates. When I get back to the boat, I can follow up with manufacturer info and size data.
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:05 AM   #16
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You can always find room for a domestic bladder type pressure tank. Save money, reduce pump starts and minimize the rate of pressure swings. The larger the tank, the better the system performs.
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:10 AM   #17
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Size matters when it comes to accumulator tanks and plumbing in general. Bigger often is better to a point. 2 to 5 gallons(tank volume, not fluid capacity) should be more than adequate for a majority of boats on this forum. Larger boats or if you live aboard may appreciate more but not much larger IMO.

Your normal usage plays a role in sizing too. Low usage folks will feel the smaller size(1 - 2 quart) is just fine. Those who use more will be happier with a larger tank size. There is no real one size fits all in this area IMO. YMMV
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:18 AM   #18
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Bigger the better. There is a reason they build these things ....
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:25 AM   #19
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Didn't see your post above mine until just now. I agree with you Rick, note the second sentence in my above post. I'd opt for a 50 gallon if I had the room but some of these lazarettes and engine rooms get kinda crowded.
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:35 AM   #20
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You can always place multiple smaller tanks in different locations. A tank at each end of the "water main" will reduce line losses as well as increase surge capacity.
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