Bilge Pump Questions

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Bilge Pump Questions

Postby aculverwell on Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:13 pm

Hi folks, two bilge pump related questions for the brain trust:

1) I spent part of last weekend replacing bilge pump #1 (the one underneath the shaft) on my R31 because it had broken completely loose and was no longer attached to the hull. All 3 of the plastic footing tabs that are used to screw the pump down had broken off-- in addition both plastic tabs that can be used to screw down the electronic sensor had also broken off. (Editorial opinion... Johnson Pumps should use a better grade of plastic in these areas of the pump). I was surprised that the pump could have broken loose since as far as I know nothing has banged into the pump and it is in a very protected area (and consequently very hard to replace!). So Question #1-- is this a common problem? Anyone else have a similar issue?

2) Bilge pump #2 (the one furthest forward in the engine compartment) appears to have two different sensors attached to it. (Bilge pump #1 only has a single sensor). Question #2-- does anyone know the reason that there would be 2 sensors on this pump? Perhaps one is electronic and the other a float switch?

Thanks!
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Re: Bilge Pump Questions

Postby Connerkip on Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:16 pm

I believe the second switch is the sensor for the high level alarm.
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Re: Bilge Pump Questions

Postby bill46 on Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:21 pm

I had same thing, pump under shaft tabs broke. Second sensor on fwd one is high water.
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Re: Bilge Pump Questions

Postby aculverwell on Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:23 pm

Thanks! Good to know that the 2nd sensor is the high water alarm. I was wondering where that was...
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Re: Bilge Pump Questions

Postby Aadudley on Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:09 pm

Just fixed the same #1 pump on our 25sc. Both the sensor and the pump were broken same as yours. My solution was to drain out, clean, and dry the bilge. We then used 3M marine adhesive to the base of the pump/bilge as well as on the sensor and side of the pump. Very tight place to fix but it is now solidly in place and working fine. Good luck if you have big hands and don't enjoy laying down into the bilge area for a few minutes.
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Re: Bilge Pump Questions

Postby Tug Travelers on Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:42 pm

I also have an R31 and yes I had the same problem. A bear to get to hanging upside down off the back of the engine. Mine is marginally in there. I think there are 2 screws holding the pump in.

Has anyone else had a problem that the bilge pump under the stuffing box will not pump water. What I have found is it appears that the one way valve on the starboard stringer seems to dry out and stick in the closed position and prevent water from getting past it. This sort of defeats the purpose of the bilge pump. My latest attempt at a fix is to put a little grease on the flapper valve to hopefully prevent it for sticking shut.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks,

John
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Re: Bilge Pump Questions

Postby Red Raven on Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:43 pm

Tug Travelers wrote:Has anyone else had a problem that the bilge pump under the stuffing box will not pump water. What I have found is it appears that the one way valve on the starboard stringer seems to dry out and stick in the closed position and prevent water from getting past it. This sort of defeats the purpose of the bilge pump. My latest attempt at a fix is to put a little grease on the flapper valve to hopefully prevent it for sticking shut.


This happened to me just yesterday. The pump ran and ran but nothing came out. A little air pressure applied to the bilge pump thru hole on the side of the boat and it starts a pumping! You can even do this with your mouth! Don’t ask me how I know. ;)
Curt and Tracy Johansen
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Re: Bilge Pump Questions

Postby nzfisher on Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:42 pm

You might try a 5 gallon bucket of warm soapy water poured in the Bilge carefully to avoid getting water where it is not supposed to go. That seems to work on my boat. I do it once or twice a year.
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Re: Bilge Pump Questions

Postby knotflying on Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:46 am

The bilge pumps and sensors require periodic maintenance. You should remove the pump cartridge and make sure there is no accumulation of debris restricting the impeller. The sensor should be cleaned with simple green of similar product to remove any oily film. The check valve, maybe once a year, should be disassembled and checked for integrity.
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Re: Bilge Pump Questions

Postby trailertrawlerkismet on Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:00 am

I had my stern bulge apart yesterday. I found hair and plastic wrapped around the little impeller. This had caused the pump to not work properly and would not work. Because of that it’s dedicated spade fuse blew and the only way the pump worked was with the dash on/off switch....which dies help if a problem develops when you’re not on the boat. Moral of the story is clean n inspect on a regular basis. I’ve not had any trouble with a bulge pump breaking loose but good to know what to look out for.

Jim
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Re: Bilge Pump Questions

Postby Bosn Mate on Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:16 am

To add to bilge pump issues, this was the first week I had Tingira in the water so except for sea trials, she has not been used. During this brief time, I have had the following issues:

1. Aft Bilge Pump - Would not turn on in the automatic mode. Spoke to Ivan Guzman of Ranger Tugs who diagnosed the problem as incorrect fuse size (7.5 AMP vs the 5 AMP installed). Switched the fuses and problem solved.


2. Aft Bilge Pump (Again) - Within hours, it periodically sounds like a loud seagull cry. I know the pump is clean as I pulled it out and inspected. Doesn't make the sound in the manual mode.


3. Shower Sump Pump - Came in the morning and found it on. Suspect it had been on all night as the batteries were low and pump very hot. After inspecting, it continued and I had to pull the fuse. The shower was never used.

I have contacted my Dealer and Ranger Tugs regarding resolution as this equipment should not be failing with such limited use.
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Re: Bilge Pump Questions

Postby trailertrawlerkismet on Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:18 am

Boss Mate: I had the same issue on our R29S with the shower sump. First try taking the top of the sump off and cleaning the pan, float, etc. if that does not work get ahold of the Rule Company to explain the problem. I did this and was sent a new float to install and it all seems to work fine over the last 3 months. Also check all of the shrink wrap connections on the sump pump itself to make sure there are no loose connections.

Keep us posted.

Jim
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Re: Bilge Pump Questions

Postby tugnnaweigh on Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:47 am

Yep, somebody might have put in the wrong fuze or it came with the wrong one or it came with the right one and the one in now is wrong, which are all strong possibilities in this wide wide world of boating. If you follow Ronalds teachings and need to trust but verify check the amperage draw spec on the pump and ensure it’s currently fused to 1.5 times that which is standard. Most likely the advice from RT is spot on.
Here something moving is rubbing against something that doesn't. This is actually a very fortunate turn of events as it will cure itself when the moving part wears down, one of the rare rare times a boat “self repairs” so count yourself lucky. Different bird species noises will appear as this takes place so you’ll know when success is on its way.
Sump pumps are troublesome, look up “sump pump” in the ‘Nuts for more on this. Many folks just keep this fuse out unless showering, I do.
Keep in the forefront of your mind none of these are equipment “failures” No No; the bar for declaring failure in boating is far far higher than this. This is just equipment “breaking in, getting to know each other, acquainting you with this thing called boating, trying your patience, helping you fall off the wagon, testing your DIY skills, raising your blood pressure, getting the look, finding out if boating is really for you” etc. etc.

Failure is that shower pump burning your boat to the waterline; failure is that bilge pump letting her slip below the surface, these are failures.

So gentle boater take heart, you’ve begun your boating journey and if she’s afloat and not aflame, available and ready for you and yours to step aboard and begin that days adventures then you’re what’s known in boating as “shipshape” and don’t forget to hold yourself ready to fix whatever comes up next and it and more will on this you have my personal guarantee!

And in all sincerity, this is where Ranger really really shines, service after the sale, as you’ve already found.
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Re: Bilge Pump Questions

Postby ixlr8 on Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:34 pm

Bosn Mate wrote:3. Shower Sump Pump - Came in the morning and found it on. Suspect it had been on all night as the batteries were low and pump very hot. After inspecting, it continued and I had to pull the fuse. The shower was never used.

We had 18 hrs on our 2018 27OB and had the shower sump pump come on when I turned the battery switch on. Shower has never been used, pulled fuse, dealer replaced pump next time boat was at the shop. These cheap junk pumps are failing too often!!
Jim
2018 RT-27 OB Claret Red "Maggie"
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Re: Bilge Pump Questions

Postby knotflying on Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:35 am

I for one think the float setup in the shower is a problem, especially on some of the vessels that use the same sump for the air conditioner condensate. On my 27 as many other models the sump is used only for the shower. I rewired mine to turn on when needed with a spring loaded switch. There have been too many occasions when that float sticks. I suspect it is a function of crud from the shower and/or excessive jostling when towing over the road.
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