Author Topic: Electric Bilge Pump Access?  (Read 1101 times)

Offline Jeff

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Electric Bilge Pump Access?
« on: April 11, 2016, 04:50:13 PM »
For HC owners, I'm wanting to check my electric bilge pump hose connections, filter, etc but I find access to it really challenging. The motor works, but it appears to not be drawing fluid out (as it normally does). It changed after launching and may have shifted? I can follow the power lines down and pull on it - it seems the pump is not attached to hull and perhaps can be pulled up to inspect and clean, then drop in again if hoses allow. But before I try this and perhaps create more issues thought I'd see if others have figured it out! Thinking intake is blocked or hose is loose... Any suggestions? Thanks, Jeff

Offline rbh1515

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Re: Electric Bilge Pump Access?
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2016, 02:59:03 PM »
Jeff,
I have a HDC, and access into the bilge looks tight.  I'm not sure if I ever have any water in the bilge...would be nice if I didn't!  One of the things I want to do this year is see if I can crawl down and look in there!  Do you get much water in your bilge?
rob
2015 Horizon Day Cat, Waters End

Offline Subsailor637

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Re: Electric Bilge Pump Access?
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2016, 10:41:09 PM »
Rob, I can't remember if you have the diesel or an outboard.  If diesel then I would suggest you do get some water via packing gland for shaft seal. On my HC (with diesel) the bilge pump is aft of the engine.  I can see it but wouldn't want to have to shimmy down there to change it out
Subsailor637 ComPac Horizon Cat

Offline Jeff

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Re: Electric Bilge Pump Access?
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2016, 11:05:07 PM »
Hi Rob, I don't get much water. I have a diesel and I think a little might come likely from the stuffing box dripping over time. I pump a maybe a cup of water out periodically. But The through hulls are always dry. Jeff

Offline Jeff

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Re: Electric Bilge Pump Access?
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2016, 11:10:13 PM »
Agreed Subsailor - but I read its standard maintenance to be able to check them periodically to make sure - everything else is thought out, I should think it is serviceable

Offline Subsailor637

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Re: Electric Bilge Pump Access?
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2016, 12:20:13 PM »
Jeff,  if the pump is not attached to the hull in some fashion then I would suggest it is a mistake at build.  Heeling or broaching waves could easily tip it or move it out of proper placement.  You might want to call down to Hutchins to confirm attachment etc.  I had a 36 Carver Aft Cabin motor yacht and two of the thee bilge pumps were extremely hard to get to.  For the forward one, there was a floor hatch but the pump wasn't under the hatch; it was actually tucked back 5' under the floor so I had to lay down, slide into the bilge, support myself on my forwent and have someone hold my legs.  The aft pump was under a settee so again I had to hang vertical to get to it.  Builders build around systems with little regard for maintenance or replacement afterward.  As I said, I can see the pump but I would have to squeeze behind the engine and under the prop shaft.  Can be done but not fun
Subsailor637 ComPac Horizon Cat

Offline rbh1515

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Re: Electric Bilge Pump Access?
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2016, 06:18:29 PM »
I have an outboard on my HDC.  So, I presume it's dry, but have never checked.
ROB
2015 Horizon Day Cat, Waters End

Offline Jeff

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Re: Electric Bilge Pump Access?
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2016, 02:44:57 PM »
I talked with Com-Pac who clarified the bilge pump is a Rule 500 automatic and it is not attached to the boat. To access you follow the hose down. It makes sense its not attached because it sits at the bottom of the deepest wedge of the bilge. There is no way you could un-click an attached pump. Because it is in a narrower and deep trough it generally stays put. But my last launch must have moved it. Now I understand the "symptoms" I experienced. On manual override, the pump motor ran when I tested it before going out. But the sound was just the motor and no suction noise where you can tell water is moving through the hose. On automatic, it started up after a second and made the same noise. From this I figure it was laying such that the sensor was telling it to pump but the base / impeller was not fully submerged.
I reached down and holding the lowest point of the hose I could reach, I re-oriented the pump. To help it stay in place, I placed a bit of tension on the hose to push the pump against the hull by moving the upper hose about 3" aft and attaching it by zap strap to the bulkhead. I included the electrical wires in the zap strap so they sit well away from the shaft. And that has fixed the problem. There is always a bit of water in the bottom because the hose goes straight up about 3 feet before dropping down again toward the transom. That few cups of water will slide back after the pump stops. It is not enough water the cause the pump to cycle in automatic mode. From what I've read the bit of water in the bottom also helps keep the pump primed as it is not self priming. The downside is it makes the small amount of water sludgy if not flushed regularly and promotes the sloughing of that grey paint. Hope this is helpful info. Jeff

Jeff

Offline Subsailor637

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Re: Electric Bilge Pump Access?
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2016, 07:01:09 AM »
Thanks Jeff.  That is very helpful.  I would have thought a brace to keep it in place would have been used.  Now that I know that's not the case I'm going to check the position before and after every sail.  Really don't want to leave the boat (since I have the diesel) without knowing the bilge pump is going to function!
Subsailor637 ComPac Horizon Cat

Offline rbh1515

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Re: Electric Bilge Pump Access?
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2016, 03:48:42 PM »
I'm planning on crawling down and looking at the bilge on my HDC this weekend (hope I don't get stuck) to see whats down there.  I can kindof see a bit of the bilge and it looks dry.
Rob
2015 Horizon Day Cat, Waters End

Offline Jeff

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Re: Electric Bilge Pump Access?
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2016, 02:18:02 AM »
Hi Rob - how did it go? I'm curious. Were you able to get in there to have a good look?

Offline rbh1515

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Re: Electric Bilge Pump Access?
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2016, 08:39:20 AM »
Hi Rob - how did it go? I'm curious. Were you able to get in there to have a good look?

The weather was beautiful and went sailing instead!  Maybe this weekend.
Rob

2015 Horizon Day Cat, Waters End

Offline rbh1515

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Re: Electric Bilge Pump Access?
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2016, 01:31:30 PM »
Well, just looked at crawling back there...no way, way too tight.
Rob
2015 Horizon Day Cat, Waters End

Offline Craig

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Re: Electric Bilge Pump Access?
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2016, 01:45:17 PM »
It is very tight. I have the diesel and had to replace the pump. It is not fastened down but is wedged rather tightly and stabilized by the wires and hose. Having done it once I am ok with the configuration. I get very little water into the bilge(the next few days will be the test as we are expecting a tropical system with lots of rain). Pump seems to be doing its thing as when I run it manually virtually no water is pumped overboard and the pump is essentially spinning free(just the gurgling of residual water). By the way I have access panels next to the diesel which helps with access to the bilge/pump.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2016, 04:44:26 PM by Craig »
Craig, Horizon Cat "Kailani"  Punta Gorda, FL