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Old 12-23-2015, 12:55 PM   #1
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Chain washdown pump capacity?

We had to leave with our new/old trawler before we could get a dedicated chain washdown system installed. After trying to use a hose run from the aft FW spigot (is that ICW mud ever tough!), a washdown system has moved way up the list. We might as well have been peeing on the chain.

What GPM and pressure should we be looking for to blast that mud off? I see systems from $100 to $1000. Is this one of those things like bow thrusters where bigger is always better an we should just spend till it hurts or is something like 4 GPM reasonable?

I would also appreciate any opinions on the reliability of the various pump makes. Our berth is right aft of the chain locker so we need to have clean chain and an inop washdown pump would be a real pain.
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Old 12-23-2015, 01:18 PM   #2
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I think this is one of those areas where you can never have too much. Here's a 190 GPM hydraulically driven anchor washdown, and we still need to pause the windlass and let the water jet work on the mud when it's really bad.
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Old 12-23-2015, 02:37 PM   #3
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More is better. Both pressure and volume. But plenty of pressure is probably more important with sticky mud.

One thing you can do till you get a wash down system set up, is before you start to pick up you anchor and rode is to back down on you rode till it comes right. That will lift the chain off the bottom and can help break free some/much of the mud before you haul it all in.
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Old 12-23-2015, 03:46 PM   #4
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Anyone use a Jabsco, Shurflo, etc. freshwater pump as a saltwater washdown pump?
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Old 12-23-2015, 03:55 PM   #5
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I use a pro-blaster Shuflo saltwater washdown pump. I think it is 4 gpm at 50 or 60 PSI but not sure.


With one of those mini-fire hose nozzles, it does OK...but could be better. If not in a rush it is fine..but if you need to do a continuous pull and can't stop for tougher sections of chain or the anchor....then more would almost be a must.


Mine also supplies my salt water heads so it's all I have for now and for now..good enough.


If the volume is enough, coupling it to a cheap electric pressure washer would all it would take.
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Old 12-24-2015, 09:57 AM   #6
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Do a search on the site here, there have been several lengthy threads on the subject, including a very recent one. Might be a reason why you're not getting a lot of response here
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Old 12-24-2015, 10:42 AM   #7
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Delavan Fatboy. Bout $300. High PSI and flow, bout 7.5 gpm. Roofing outfits use them for roof cleaning. Fine with saltwater, super durable. I've had one in my 31 foot charter fishing boat for 3 years, used extensively for washdown. No problems.
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Old 12-24-2015, 01:42 PM   #8
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I have a groco c-80 with 7.5gpm that works well. I wouldn't want one with a lesser flow rate.
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Old 12-24-2015, 01:59 PM   #9
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Just 8 threads down from this one...

Tips on washdown pump install?

Just 8 threads down from this one...
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Old 12-24-2015, 03:13 PM   #10
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I have a 7.1 gallon per minute unit, but I can tell you from my fireman days it's more about how the nozzle shapes the stream. A good nozzle will almost take your skin off at 60 psi. A poor nozzle won't wash anything away, no matter the flow or pressure.
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Old 12-24-2015, 05:09 PM   #11
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We have 7.1gpm that works most of the time but in anchorages we know are bad, we use a walmart pressure washer with the washdown pump supplying the water. We have used the pressure washer for 7 years...when it dies, we will be buying another.
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Old 12-24-2015, 05:47 PM   #12
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The PO installed one on my boat. I don't recall the size or capacity but it's pretty futile in mud. The advice to get the biggest and most powerful you can afford and install is probably the best advice.
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Old 12-24-2015, 08:45 PM   #13
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I've never done this but I bet a clever person could take high pressure salt water from their water maker for wash down use.

I use stainless steel chain and mud doesn't stick to it like it sticks to galvanized. I know, much too expensive. I got a deal and I only use about 25 feet of chain.
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Old 12-25-2015, 02:04 AM   #14
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I run on a retiree budget and have had adequate service from a 3.5 - 4GPH Jabsco RW pump. I don't have the model info available now, but it runs from amidship to a fwd hose in 1/2 in reinforced clear plastic hose. I lose some pressure from line friction, but it still works fine with a quality brass adjustable nozzle like this.



If I was you, I'd pick up an affordable mid-range pump and hook it up temporarily with available hose parts and fittings to see if it'll fit your needs. Use a quality nozzle and account for additional pressure and volume drops due to line loss. But I'm not you and you have lots of differing opinions here to consider.

As an aside, your mud sounds like it's lots stickier and denser than our mud out here. Almost like it's got such a tight seal on the ground tackle that it can create quite a vacuum and cling action when attempting to remove it from the bottom.

I anchor a lot while fishing and I've never put away a dirty rode. I sometimes never have to spray my gear. The longest I've ever spent spraying couldn't exceed 3-4 minutes. Our muck probably loses its grip due to all the contaminants left over from the gold rush era like mercury, DDT and PCBs. (only half-kidding there)

Please report back on your decision and findings. Many of us anchor in similar, but slightly different, conditions. Our experiences vary based upon those variables. It's always good to hear follow-ups on threads like this one. Who knows....you might stumble upon the magic combination that solves the same problem for many.

We don't all operate on the same deep pocket philosophy....but I sure wish I could!!
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Old 12-25-2015, 07:22 AM   #15
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A real fine wash down pump will be expensive so why not combine it with other uses?

A 2 inch Clutched Jabsco with its own seacock and a selector valve will make a fine emergency bilge pump , or fire hose pump as well as do the job of stickey stinkey mud removal.

On a budget a house well pump that can operate off your inverter or noisemaker can be almost as good wiyh less install work.

This is one case where Bigger is Better!
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Old 12-27-2015, 08:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
I can tell you from my fireman days it's more about how the nozzle shapes the stream. A good nozzle will almost take your skin off at 60 psi. A poor nozzle won't wash anything away, no matter the flow or pressure.
Thanks. That may be the best tip from the thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWright View Post
Please report back on your decision and findings.
Santa (relative who works for West Marine) made the decision for us. WM 5.2 gallon Washdown pump kit. 70 psi. I'm going to install it very close to the seacock and then try to run fairly large PVC pipe through the boat to minimize head losses.

I'll let you know how it works.
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Old 12-29-2015, 07:47 AM   #17
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"I'm going to install it very close to the seacock and then try to run fairly large PVC pipe through the boat to minimize head losses."

Please do post the pressure and GPM after its installed.
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Old 12-29-2015, 12:31 PM   #18
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This is kinda off topic, I saw a looper last summer at Grafton harbor on the Illinois River. They were on a I believe 48' gulf star trawler, they were about finished as home was Kentucky. Their wash down pump was mounted near the pulpit a hose for suction was dropped into the water, a short hose with nozzle was hanging from the railing and black and red wires with alligator clips were coiled around the pump. I suspect this was a rush type set-up after they started pulling up a mud caked anchor after starting the loop.


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Old 12-29-2015, 04:53 PM   #19
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It's one of those problems, that seems to be a situation where you can always think of a possible better solution? Sometimes they work and sometimes just adds work?
I often get most of the chain that hangs in the water at anchor retrieved, then dislodge the anchor , haul in a bit and then reverse fairly quickly towing the chain and anchor behind. This seems to get rid of some of the mud, if not all sometimes, just depends on the material you are anchored in.

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Old 12-29-2015, 06:12 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
A real fine wash down pump will be expensive so why not combine it with other uses?

A 2 inch Clutched Jabsco with its own seacock and a selector valve will make a fine emergency bilge pump , or fire hose pump as well as do the job of stickey stinkey mud removal.

On a budget a house well pump that can operate off your inverter or noisemaker can be almost as good wiyh less install work.

This is one case where Bigger is Better!
Good thoughts. We have a powerful washdown pump which runs on mains AC from the generator, it makes short work of cleaning anchor and chain. Means I sometimes need to start the genset specially, but hey, Da Book says run the Onan weekly. You do not want all that mud and muck in the bottom of the anchor well.
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