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Old 05-09-2018, 07:21 AM   #1
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Cleaning bilge/sump pump

Yesterday I was cleaning my bilge/sump pump and was wondering how often you guys are doing this and what are you doing to keep it clean?

I remove the pump every year at haul out to clean it and reinstall it before splashing but it is quite a dirty job.

L
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Old 05-09-2018, 07:38 AM   #2
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I must ask where is the dirt and gunk coming from my bilge is medically clean
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Old 05-09-2018, 07:54 AM   #3
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I wonder where it all comes from as well, but as they say shite runs down hill.

I try to do it more than once a year.

It certainly makes my bilge pump and switch more dependable if I remove the pistachio shells, dog hair, dropped bolts, and champagne corks that are swimming in the concoction of sea water, red wine, leaked oil and spilled diesel.
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Old 05-09-2018, 07:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaston View Post
I must ask where is the dirt and gunk coming from my bilge is medically clean
Well my aft bilge is used also as sump for the shower so the gunk. The same pump is used for water coming from the shaft seal and for the shower.
I want to modify that so these two are separated so there will be no more dirty job but did not find a way yet (more to come).
However the same would apply to the shower pump as I guess it will require cleaning at some point.

L
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Old 05-09-2018, 07:56 AM   #5
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Greetings,
Mr. L_t. My question as well. Where is the merde coming from? Since you're on the hard right now, maybe this is a good time to move "Clean bilges" to the top of your to-do list. I've not had to actually remove my bilge pump(s) to clean them for the longest time. I DO check them for operation on a very regular basis by putting water from a hose into the bilge and letting it run for a bit as well as lift the float switch to assure it's proper triggering. I do the same with the high water alarm.

The regular regime with the hose both checks the pump AND rinses out the bilge if any "furries" happen to be growing.

Edit: Just saw your post...Yup, clean out your sump more often and the gunk won't build up OR convert your shower to a wine cellar and bathe in the river...

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Old 05-09-2018, 08:34 AM   #6
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I kept my sumps maintenance free by running distilled white vinegar through them on a regular basis. We lived aboard full time for several years, so heavy use from showers and sinks (including galley). We also had full size Rule 2000 bilge pumps in them, primarily because they acted as quasi-highwater backups, but that also served to move content through pretty quick. We did have mesh screens to catch hair and kitchen stuff at the respective drains.
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Old 05-09-2018, 10:58 AM   #7
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my aft cabin sink shower and sump run to a large drop in basin at the base of the steps it has a small bilge pump with the controls in the head. it looks easy to install .three for one. I will take pic this weekend if you want one.

I have some water that has accumulated around the shaft log at the engine room bulk head . the next time I have the shop vac handy I'm going to remove it and see how long it takes for it to build back up.
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:06 PM   #8
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I have a separate shower sump and I have cleaned it out once, after buying the boat. I'm really not happy with the shower sump and want to replace it with something better but it stays reasonably clean. After the showers are done for the say I squirt a little Raritan C.P. into the shower drain. It breaks up the hair and goo from the drains.

The other thing that helps a lot is that we never allow bar soap in the shower. Liquid only. This reduces the amount of soap film, scum, etc... that can build up in the drain and sump.
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:15 PM   #9
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The other thing that helps a lot is that we never allow bar soap in the shower. Liquid only. This reduces the amount of soap film, scum, etc... that can build up in the drain and sump.
I'll tell my wife no bar soap.
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:37 PM   #10
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I have a sump for my shower (which I would like to someday eliminate) which also takes care of AC condensate. Since I started using a hair trap at the tub drain the sump doesn't get nearly as messy.

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Old 05-09-2018, 02:47 PM   #11
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My bilge sump (think Willard people call it a “well”) has a rust problem because I use pipe reducers on the end of the sump hoses. My “well” has a bright rust color that is caused by the inside not being galvanized.
The boat dosn’t leak a drop so I throw down several gallons of fresh water to slosh around for a time and then pump it out w the bilge pumps.
Of course I could buy sump ends made of bronze but $$$.
I’ve thought of a stiffer hose.
Any more Ideas?
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Old 05-09-2018, 05:52 PM   #12
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I clean my bilge in the spring. I've had good luck just filling water up to the scum line and throwing in some bleach. Leave it for a few days, then when you come back, most everything is pretty clean.

Drain it (This drains into sandlot during storage) and use a little soap and water and a tough bristle brush with a decent handle to get anything that is left. Rinse and drain again, then wet vac anything that didn't drain.

I've done the same with bilge cleaner with similar results.
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Old 05-09-2018, 05:52 PM   #13
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I clean my bilge in the spring. I've had good luck just filling water up to the scum line and throwing in some bleach. Leave it for a few days, then when you come back, most everything is pretty clean.

Drain it (This drains into sandlot during storage) and use a little soap and water and a tough bristle brush with a decent handle to get anything that is left. Rinse and drain again, then wet vac anything that didn't drain.

I've done the same with bilge cleaner with similar results.
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:09 PM   #14
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Amazing what a bottle of DAWN can do in a dirty bilge
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:42 PM   #15
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Lou, here,and presumably there, you can buy a plastic shower sump box containing everything, inlet and outlet,filter, pump and autoswitch. Of course you still have to find a place for it,but no more soap and body stuff in the bilge.
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:54 PM   #16
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Doesn’t work on all boats, but two well placed oil absorbent sockets can keep a lot of scum and debri out of a bilge pump.
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Old 05-09-2018, 07:56 PM   #17
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1-2 times a year on the Bilge water and dawns soap. the showers more often but add a gallon of white vinegar.

I have 3 bilge pumps I replace one a year keep the newest 2 as spares
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:59 PM   #18
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We have two of these on our boat, one for each shower. https://www.westmarine.com/buy/rule-...11_331_001_508
They also take care of Airconditioner's condensate and the drain from the anchor chain locker.
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Old 05-09-2018, 10:48 PM   #19
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We have two of these on our boat, one for each shower. https://www.westmarine.com/buy/rule-...11_331_001_508
They also take care of Airconditioner's condensate and the drain from the anchor chain locker.
same ones we have
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Old 05-10-2018, 06:59 AM   #20
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Thank you all for your input.
Mr RTF I wish I had enough space for a wine cellar like this one, it would make me drooling lol
Good advices about cleaning products like white vinegar or dawn. I will try this season and see the result. Problem is that even after pumped overboard the bilge still contains around 1 inch of water and this is where gunk accumulate so I will rise more often.
About sump box dedicated for the shower, this is exactly where I want to end, however the space/shape does not allow me to fit a box like this. I guess I will need to build something custom.

Thank you again.

L
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