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    Bilge pumps. Manual vs auto

    I have 3 bilges. Fwd, mid, and aft. Each bilge has 2 bilge pumps. One small one which is manually activated and one bigger pump with a float switch.

    I'm trying to understand why I have 3x small manual pumps. They're original equipment so someone thought this was necessary.

    All the small pumps are original to 89'. They work but I'm thinking it's time to replace them for peace of mind.

    I'm leaning to using automatic pumps with a similar gph rating. Is there any reason why I would want to keep these pumps manual?
    Current boats: 1989 Bayliner Avanti 4285 & 1986 Catalina 30 Sailboat
    Past boats:
    1979 Catalina 30
    1997 Bayliner 2855
    1996 Bayliner 2855
    1990 Bayliner Avanti 2955

    #2
    My thinking is that the automatics are there for just in case, like an overactive stuffing box, where the manuals are there for normal “maintenance” bilge water reduction. IMO, I’d keep the manuals manual so you keep your discipline, and add a bilge alarm for when the automatic can’t keep up.
    P/C Pete
    Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
    1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
    Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
    MMSI 367770440

    Comment


      #3
      As Pete posted the manual pumps are for when either the automatics will not keep up or for when they fail.
      The idea of an automatic not keeping up is pretty rare unless there is a major issue, but pumps and float switches failing does happen.

      A manual pump will dewater a bilge to a lower level than an automatic with a float switch, making pump maintenance easier.

      KEVIN SANDERS
      4788 DOS PECES - SEWARD ALASKA


      Whats the weather like on the boat
      https://www.weatherlink.com/embeddab...59665f4e4/wide


      Where am I right now? https://maps.findmespot.com/s/2R02

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by ksanders View Post
        As Pete posted the manual pumps are for when either the automatics will not keep up or for when they fail.
        The idea of an automatic not keeping up is pretty rare unless there is a major issue, but pumps and float switches failing does happen.

        A manual pump will dewater a bilge to a lower level than an automatic with a float switch, making pump maintenance easier.
        There's a 98% chance that I will not be on board to activate a manual bilge pump if an auto did fail. They wouldn't be helpful in that case. The boat spends the majority of its life without anyone on board. That's partially why I was leaning to using auto pumps.

        It's a good point that the manual pumps will drain the water level lower.
        Current boats: 1989 Bayliner Avanti 4285 & 1986 Catalina 30 Sailboat
        Past boats:
        1979 Catalina 30
        1997 Bayliner 2855
        1996 Bayliner 2855
        1990 Bayliner Avanti 2955

        Comment


          #5
          IMO I’d update your old manual pumps with new ones and add a separate float switch that receives its power from an uninterruptible circuit. Doing this leaves you better protected while your away from the boat with everything turned off and it gives you the ability to manually override the float switch from the helm if needed. I’d do the same with the secondary pumps as well.
          You can also add a light or alarm to the helm circuit(s), this could notify others nearby at the marina in the event there’s a problem.
          Dave
          Edmonds, WA
          "THE FIX" '93 2556
          Carbureted 383 Vortec-Bravo II
          The Rebuild Of My 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
          My Misc. Projects
          https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

          Comment


            #6
            Yeah all the pumps are on emergency power. They can't be turned off without removing the batteries or cutting the wires.

            I've built/designed bilge monitors. It reports auto bilge pump status and run time to my cell phone.


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            But the manual pumps are currently only controlled from the helm.
            Current boats: 1989 Bayliner Avanti 4285 & 1986 Catalina 30 Sailboat
            Past boats:
            1979 Catalina 30
            1997 Bayliner 2855
            1996 Bayliner 2855
            1990 Bayliner Avanti 2955

            Comment


              #7
              WTF

              Comment


                #8
                Do you close your through hulls when you leave the boat? Doing that greatly reduces any chance of an over accumulation of water in the bilge.
                P/C Pete
                Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
                1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
                Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
                MMSI 367770440

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by infy View Post
                  I've built/designed bilge monitors. It reports auto bilge pump status and run time to my cell phone.
                  But the manual pumps are currently only controlled from the helm.
                  Sounds like you’ve got a great monitoring system in place. As long as your replacing the OEM helm controlled pumps why not add float switches while your in there, sure wouldn’t hurt any...
                  Dave
                  Edmonds, WA
                  "THE FIX" '93 2556
                  Carbureted 383 Vortec-Bravo II
                  The Rebuild Of My 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
                  My Misc. Projects
                  https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by infy View Post

                    I've built/designed bilge monitors. It reports auto bilge pump status and run time to my cell phone.
                    I am a HUGE fan of remote monitoring of your boat, wether on shore or in a slip.

                    I know within seconds if bilge water rises, or any number of other things happen on the boat.

                    I have a friend that had a quarter million in damage to his boat, a total constructive loss... while the boat was on dry land this last winter. A loss that could have been avoided if he had active monitoring.

                    Last fall he had his boat hauled to get some springtime work done. He thought might as well be on the hard and in the spring he would have some work done. Part of that work was to improve his cockpit drain system so that none of our rain water seeped into his bilge.

                    He winterized his boat and did not think much about it until the weather broke this spring. He went to his georgous boat and found it filled with water, literally sunk on dry land.

                    What happened????

                    Power was disrupted to his boat sometime over winter. His bilge pumps ran until the house batteries went dead. Then the boat filled with water from our winter rains and snow.

                    Normally he had a boat watch company check on his boat through the winter months while he was absent, but this year he saved a few dollars since the boat was on the hard and he felt it posed no real risk since it was winterized.

                    He is right now working with his insurance company over the loss.

                    That would not have happened if he had an active boat monitoring system.

                    Right now I am over a hundred miles from my boat but here is the Current status


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                    KEVIN SANDERS
                    4788 DOS PECES - SEWARD ALASKA


                    Whats the weather like on the boat
                    https://www.weatherlink.com/embeddab...59665f4e4/wide


                    Where am I right now? https://maps.findmespot.com/s/2R02

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Kevin, since you have tried several systems, which one are you using now
                      Hino W06
                      St. Louis, MO
                      ”It’s A Wonderful Life”

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Pcpete View Post
                        Do you close your through hulls when you leave the boat? Doing that greatly reduces any chance of an over accumulation of water in the bilge.
                        Funny you say that. I nearly sank the Catalina 30 after plugging an engine raw water line with a bolt and a hose clamp. Looked fine at the time. But leaked past the threads while I was out. Slowly. When I came back a few days later the bilge was overfilling with seawater. It really doesn't take long for a slow drip to turn in to a problem.

                        I (now) always close the engine through hulls since I regularly do maintenance. But there are too many to bother with every time. Some are difficult to access.

                        Originally posted by ksanders View Post

                        I am a HUGE fan of remote monitoring of your boat, wether on shore or in a slip.
                        Absolutely. The peace of mind is such a relief. Knowing the batteries are topped up, shore power is connected, nobody is on-board, bilge pumps are idle...
                        Current boats: 1989 Bayliner Avanti 4285 & 1986 Catalina 30 Sailboat
                        Past boats:
                        1979 Catalina 30
                        1997 Bayliner 2855
                        1996 Bayliner 2855
                        1990 Bayliner Avanti 2955

                        Comment


                          #13
                          What I would like to know is how the quality was from the '89 pumps compared to those made now. I had a fan in the engine compartment of my '89 boat that was rubbing against a steel wire from the hose. It ground the blade roots halfway away and apparently kept blowing the 10A fuse. So the previous owner stuck a 90A circuit breaker in its place. The fan still ran just fine.
                          i still have the original 1989 bilge pumps in my boat.

                          I believe a lot of stuff built back then was better than what we have now. Our fridge is from 1985, so are the oven and stovetop, laundry drier and furnace. Microwave died 2 years ago, a freezer died 5 years ago. When I ran the serial number all it could come up with was made between 84 and 87. And my 250.000 mile Toyota is from 1989...
                          1989 2159 Trophy Hardtop
                          5.8L OMC Cobra
                          2 1/2 year restoration project after "all you need to do is put the rebuilt engine back in".
                          Mountlake Terrace, WA

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Dave nails it here!

                            Originally posted by builderdude View Post
                            IMO I’d update your old manual pumps with new ones and add a separate float switch that receives its power from an uninterruptible circuit.
                            This means that you will NOT be able to cut power to the float switch when the MBSS has been turned OFF.


                            You can also add a light or alarm to the helm circuit(s),
                            When the float switch activates the bilge pump, it also sends power to (safely back-feeds) the out-going-side of the "open" helm switch.
                            This circuit is ideal for a bilge pump counter, or an alarm, to be connected to.


                            this could notify others nearby at the marina in the event there’s a problem.

                            Place a note in clear sight.
                            Click image for larger version

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                            Rick E. (aka RicardoMarine) Gresham, Oregon
                            2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
                            Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
                            Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
                            Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

                            Please, no PMs. Ask your questions on forum.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by cptncptn View Post
                              Kevin, since you have tried several systems, which one are you using now
                              This one is a Samsung Smartthings system.

                              Samsung recently sold the Hub manufacturing to Aeotec, a great company deeply committed to the automation world.

                              The hub utilized Zigabee and Zwave low power wireless communications to thge sensors, which are made by a variety of vendors.

                              What I like is that nothing is proprietary. The Zwave and zigbee wireless standards are open, and manufacturers build sensors dictated by the market needs.


                              For example i wanted to detect high bilge water. There are a lot of leak sensors on the market but i wanted one that could be mounted to a vertical surface with a remote probe.
                              Eotech had a great solution.

                              I wanted to link all the smoke and CO alarms together to set off sirens, and provide notification.
                              First Alert makes a great Zwave compatible smoke and CO alarm

                              The battery voltage alarm comes from my SOC meter to a Eotec contact closure sensor.
                              The shore power and inverter power alarms come from a 120V relay to more contact closure sensors.

                              All off the shelf stuff

                              KEVIN SANDERS
                              4788 DOS PECES - SEWARD ALASKA


                              Whats the weather like on the boat
                              https://www.weatherlink.com/embeddab...59665f4e4/wide


                              Where am I right now? https://maps.findmespot.com/s/2R02

                              Comment

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