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Need advice regarding new raw water pump for air conditioner (1989-3288)-gctid391740

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  • Need advice regarding new raw water pump for air conditioner (1989-3288)-gctid391740

    Hello folks,

    In 2010 the Cruisair PML500 raw water pump that services my air conditioner died in the middle of our Christmas in July trip when the average daily temperature was about 150 degrees in the shade. Some friends were joining us and the male half happened to be a fellow boat owner and engineer who when I told him about the problem, promised to put his engineering skills to use and said we could rig something up until I bought a new raw water pump (we were on an island at the time). So, my buddy arrives with some fittings, clamps, and a $35.00 Harbor Freight Marine utility pump. We ran power to the pump (it is DC powered) from the macerator pump power supply in the cave and the pump got us through that week, reliably providing fresh water to the A/C system for four straight days. Of course, I realized that this was a temporary solution and that at some point I needed to bite the bullet and purchase a pump designed for the purpose, right? In other words, replacing a $300-400 pump with a $35.00 utility pump is too good to be true, right?

    Ok, it's confession time. That little pump has been supplying raw water to my air conditioning system for two full years now. There! I said it! What was intended to get me throuh a few days, actually has served reliably as my primary raw water pump for the air conditioning system for two full years. Last year at Christmas in July the air conditioning ran for 7 straight days, 24 hours a day, and that $35.00 pump ran just fine the entire time. There will be those who may not believe it, but I really did replace my $300+ air conditioner raw water pump with a $35 habor freight DC powered marine utility pump. AND, it has worked well for two full seasons, going on a third, and I use the air conditioning almost every trip. I estimate that this pump has run for roughly 1900-2000 hours.

    The little pump that could is still working just fine, by the way. I haven't used the A/C yet this season, but I fully expect that pump to fire up again, and yet I know, it can't last forever. It must be too god to be true. And so, I've decided to permanently resolve the situation. For the cost of a new marine air conditioner pump, I suppose I could simply buy 10 Harbor Freight Marine utility pumps which at a rate of one failure every two years should get me about twenty years of service (just kidding... sort of). Or...two years after the failure, I could, well, just buy the right pump for the job.

    I've been looking at actual replacements for my pump (a cruisair PML500L) which are in the mid two hundred to mid three hundred range or some other options. What advice do I need? Well, it appears as though March has the actual replacement pump for my system which is liquid cooled pump. MarinAire makes a pump (MAP500KT) that is air cooled, but also substantially cheaper. Anyone have any experience in this area? Someone educate me here, does it matter whether I buy a water cooled or an air cooled pump? It is located in the cave, by the way.

    In the context of a guy who has used a $35 harbor freight utility pump for two years to run his air conditioner, anyone have any recommendations on a replcement primary question being, should I stick with a pump that is an actual replacement for the PML500L or can I be a little more creative than that (but less creative than the current solution).


    Warren Price

    Victorie1989 Bayliner 3288

    US Marine 225's

  • #2
    This the raw water pump I have on my 3270:

    Works with my 12000 BTUs Mermaid A/c.

    Approx 100$.
    CapMartin, Montreal QC
    "Belle de Dalhousie"
    1986 3270 SOLD
    Volvo BB225B