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Monday, December 13, 2010

Forward Bilge Pumps Final Testing

Got the forward bilge pumps installed and working reasonable well (I think). Based on comments from the previous test I went with an additional 500GPH pump alongside the 3700GPH pump. The big one is the "crash" pump in case of the real emergency. The small pump is to keep the bilge as dry as possible. The small pump is fully automatic, with integrated solid state switch (RuleMate 500). The big pump has a separate float switch mounted a couple inches higher than the base of the small pump. The idea is, the small pump starts first. If there is too much water to keep up, the big pump starts.

One installation problem was the sump where these pumps are installed is a bit shallow. As water pools in, it starts to spill over (making its way towards the stern of the boat) before the bases of the pumps become submerged, causing them to suck air, losing pumping efficiency. The solution was to install a "dam" (with spillways, you can see it in the video) against the opposite floor support, shaped to the profile of the hull, sealed in with a light duty silicone/polyurethane sealant. This effectively "deepens" the sump. Now these pumps are intended to pump out anything coming from the forward end of the boat. There will be pumps in the aft end, where the lowest point of the bilge exists near the stern tube.

Here is a video of the final test using the remaining water in the tanks.

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