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Old 09-17-2015, 08:24 AM   #1
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AC condensation to bilge or shower sump?

My 36 MK II project is crawling along. I found an outfit that would do a complete refit over the 2 years I have to work with. However their price of well over $200,000 was just a bit outside of what I am willing to put into a 40 year old boat! It appears my best choice is finding and hiring individual contractors. First up was an HVAC guy I have used for years. $7k price estimate for two zone system with each unit installed in the hanging lockers forward and aft. The price seems reasonable since I am confident he will do a very good job. The only question he had was if Gulfstars have a wet bilge or not. If so the condensation can drain there and be dealt with by the pumps. If not then the condensation should drain to the shower sump (difficult to do with forward unit). The boat has been on the hard since I've owned it and the bilge is dry. Where do others have the condensation drain to?
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:49 AM   #2
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Funny, I'm thinking about putting in a sump pump and connecting the drains from the condensers to it along with the shower. Everything drains into the bilge and its a mess. Just don't like a wet bilge.
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:58 AM   #3
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I drain both of mine to the shower sump. Works fine, bilge is dry. There are also small sumps available that can pump from one AC to the shower sump if you can't get a reliable gravity drain to go that far.
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:01 AM   #4
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Pump or drain them over board. You don't want it in your bilge.

I'm kind of surprised you A/C guy would even suggest draining them into the bilge if there are other reasonable ways to route them over board.
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:09 AM   #5
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Just to play the other side:
We have wet bilges. It got a little funky in the spring before we used the ac a lot but once they started up for the summer, the fresh, changing, water actually helped to keep the odor and funk down. Our bilge pump would go off about 3 or 4 times a day with the ac on so the water never really sat
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:10 AM   #6
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That being said, I'd much prefer a completely dry bilge if it was possible
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:15 AM   #7
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Never in the bilge and direct outside via thru hull if at all possible unless you want to have a stinky boat.
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:46 AM   #8
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Have a shower sump pump installed to catch the condensate then pump it overboard, I did this for my a/c and has worked fine. The amount of water in my bilge to activate the pump is a lot. That is a lot of water to have in a normally dry bilge. Water in the boat is a bad thing.
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:56 AM   #9
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I know at one time I saw they had this venturie device that would suck up condensation and discharge it within the raw water line, has anyone seen that or knows if it would work, I think I saw it on Mermaid Air website sometime ago, just a option, but also recommend sump as best method.
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlinmike View Post
I know at one time I saw they had this venturie device that would suck up condensation and discharge it within the raw water line, has anyone seen that or knows if it would work, I think I saw it on Mermaid Air website sometime ago, just a option, but also recommend sump as best method.
Both of our Cruise Air units have the venturi/slurper device plumbed into the discharge line. Been working great for ten years.
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:16 AM   #11
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If the units are above the waterline just put in a small thru hull fitting and drain overboard. We have one for the aft unit but the forward unit sits below the water line and drains into the bilge. I understand the venturi units make a slurping noise which could be annoying.
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:53 AM   #12
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I understand the venturi units make a slurping noise which could be annoying.
The salon AC unit on our boat is under the built-in seating. Zero sound from the slurper...ever. Same for the one in the aft cabin as long as the closet door is closed (unit is on the floor of the closet)....and even then only if the unit is turned off while the salon unit is on. (Both units are supplied by one cooling pump, so water circulates when the salon unit is on and the aft cabin unit is off). The slurp sometimes occurs when the condensation tray is out of water. If the unit is on, the hum from the compressor and fan cover it up. In any event, keep the closet door closed and it's undetectable. Noise is a total non-issue unless the AC unit is installed out in the open. Unlikely.
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Old 09-17-2015, 11:09 AM   #13
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Our forward AC is plumbed to the shower sump in the forward bilge (which is dry, as is our mid-bilge). Our saloon AC is plumbed directly overboard.


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Old 09-17-2015, 08:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Bill11 View Post
Pump or drain them over board. You don't want it in your bilge.

I'm kind of surprised you A/C guy would even suggest draining them into the bilge if there are other reasonable ways to route them over board.
Bill, I've been dealing with this guy for years. He will work me in next day when I have need so I trust him. His preference is not bilge but he has a Marine Trader and says they are so wet in the bilge it makes no difference. But he wasn't sure if Gulfstars had the same wet bilge issues. He recommended shower sump but I thought I'd check here. I'm leaning towards direct overboard discharge thanks to all the replies/feedback.
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:28 PM   #15
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For those on the thread who have wet bilges, where is the water emanating?
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:34 PM   #16
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My bilge is dry until I turn on my secondary 10k BTW unit that dumps into the bilge. I do really like the setup on my 36 and I welcome your guy to meet me to see how it is installed. I have a VERY old cruisair 16k split system that sits in the engine room and a 10k all in one Marine Air that is is a saloon locker on the port side. The split has an evaporator up forward and one that divides between the saloon and aft stateroom. Each have their own overboard drains.
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:47 PM   #17
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Hank, his installation ideas off the top of his head were quite similar to how your boat is set up. When you get on my boat tomorrow you'll notice that other than me having twin beds in the aft cabin they are almost identical. He suggested two all in one units. 16000 btu in the hanging locker in the aft cabin vented similar to yours. Then a 12000 btu combi in the locker in the forward birth. The vent for that one will be where yours is as well as one for the forward cabin. Both units will have "Smart Start" so my 4.4kw generator can handle them.
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