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Bilge Pump Upgrade Project

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Megabyte

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I was one of the folks who lobbied for a "Projects" section here on ClassicParker, so I'd like to start off with an item that seems to be important to a lot of folks. I figured that if I asked for a projects forum, that I should contribute.

This project was originally done in March of 2005, and was posted first to the ClassicMako web site, where it got a pretty good discussion going.

I later posted this item to THT where it received some interest, and has recently been brought back to the top page with some recent subscribers who are seeing it for the first time
.
Hopefully this may help some Parker owners who are thinking of doing something similar. :)
As time permits, I'll go back through some of my major projects and post them here in the hope that others will do the same with their projects and modifications.

---------------------------

This was my upgrade project for this weekend... Replacement of the factory installed 1500 gph Rule bilge pump and Sure Bail float switch with a 2000 gph Rule "5 year" pump and 20a solid state switch from Material Sciences Corporation.



http://www.msc-emd.com/sensaswitch.shtml

As part of this whole process, I'll also be installing an additional 2000 gph Rule as my backup to the primary pump.

Please excuse the "blue hue" in some of my photos, as the first two days of this project were done under the winter cover. :D



In addition to replacing the factory installed pump, switch, hose, and wiring, I decided to remove the factory installed plastic thru-hull and replace it with a chrome over bronze part.
This is what the factory installed part looked like from the outside prior to removal...



... and from the inside.



Just as what happened to the thru-hull for the forward pump, the rear plastic part snapped off during the removal process.



No matter... after experiencing that from the forward fitting, I was sort of expecting it. ;)

Measure, mark, drill pilot hole, then bore the 1 3/8" hole for the second fitting to be used for the backup pump.



After installation and bedding with 5200, here is the result as seen from the outside...



... and from the inside.



Allow the 5200 to set-up for 24 hours before going any further. (beer time)
Next day... Time to remove the factory installed equipment.
This was before...



... and after (before cleaning).



The primary pump (yellow cable ties) was located in the same spot as the factory pump, and the switch located right next to it.
The backup pump (red cable ties) was positioned next to the primary, and at the lowest point possible in the hull. The switch for the backup is mounted about 1" above the switch for the primary.



The discharge tubing for both pumps was secured using the same route as the factory tubing, times 2.





Since the throat on the Rule pumps would not permit the use of dual screw clamps, I bought the best 316 stainless clamps I could find ($5 each!) to make my connections on both ends.

When time permits, I'll be doing a similar upgrade of my forward bilge pump. That project will entail replacing the factory 360 gph Rule with an 800 gph Rule, 12a solid state switch, new hose, and 316 stainless clamps, all attached to another chrome over bronze thru-hull that was installed last weekend.



Still more to do... :D
When time permits, I'll be installing a high water alarm, also sourced from Material Sciences Corp. The high water alarm will be independent from the pump switches, and is also solid state.
 

cbigma

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Hey Kevin:

I googled the material sciences corporation EMD division that produced the switches you used in your bilge pump project, but can't get to their website anymore. Not sure whether they moved it, or sold the manufacturing unit off or what... :?:

http://www.msc-emd.com

I'm trying to find out what technology is used in the sensor. Is it an exposed metal electrode (stainless) or a field-effect magnetic sensor that has no exposed metal?

If it is a field-effect that activates their switches, is it equally as effective (sensitive) in Salt -and- Fresh water? :?:

I want to use a switch of this type in my forward bilge this year, but I seem to get more -fresh- water up there than salt.

There are a few other popular types of switch out there such as Waterwitch, http://www.waterwitchinc.com/ , but the ones you used seemed to fit nicely in a Parker :lol:

Any thoughts on this? What would you use in your forward bilge if the EMD is no longer available?

Thanks for posting this project Kevin, as you can see, it gave me lots of ideas and inspiration...... :lol:

John
 

Megabyte

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Hmmmmmm... I just did a search for the switch and almost every link to the company was no good. I'm not sure whats up with that...
When I bought my switches last year, I got them direct from the company through their online store.

I believe Bobby (Warthog5) installed the WaterWitch switches in the X-Shark, so you might want to go that route. Solid state switches seem to be the wave of the future, so just like LED lighting, the industry will take awhile to mature.

Good luck with your project and let us know how it goes.
 

J.A. Veil

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Kevin -

Did you ever consider writing a "how-to" book for backyard mechanics or maybe getting your own TV show? Nice work and good documentation.
 

WhalinDave

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Capt. Kevin,
Do you recall the thru-hull sizes for the forward and rear bilge discharges?
I would assume they are the same size as my stock plastic fittings. My boat is not really convenient to travel to so I can measure.
Thanks
 

Megabyte

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WhalinDave... I just looked.... 1 3/8" hole saw (35mm) is what I used for my through-hulls.
 

Megabyte

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WhalinDave":2frl0x8y said:
Thanks Kevin,
I found a good deal on stainless thru-hulls and hopefully, they'll use the same sized holes.
Dave, Be very careful and measure them before you buy.

When I was shopping for mine, Warthog5 found some in stainless, but they took a smaller mounting hole... Not sure why, but it was so.

Since I needed to match the hole I had, the stainless parts were not an option for me so I went with the chrome over bronze that were the same size as the plastic parts.

If you find that the stainless parts are the same size as the plastic, go for it! :)
 

susqking

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WhalinDave":vum5f5bj said:
Thanks Kevin,
I found a good deal on stainless thru-hulls and hopefully, they'll use the same sized holes.
Dave or Kevin,
Where did you find the stainless through hulls. I might have time for one more quick project before I splash her.

Thanks,
Anthony
 

cbigma

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Megabyte":1itfdfe0 said:
I'm impressed! :D They changed their name and took up residence in a new online form and you still sniffed 'em out... Nice Job! 8)

Now,, Two more details if you have time..

1. How do you stand them upright without screwing them down (they look like they need to be "nailed down" to stand upright). Also,, are you OK with the 2"" of water needed to fire the pumps off? I think I'd be forever sitting at 1.5 inches....pissed that I can't cheat and manually lift the paddle, or lever to force a pump cycle :?

2. Tell me again why I shouldn't put a check-valve in-line in the forward discharge hose to keep wave surge from snotting it's way back up into my forward bilge? I have one in there already, is there a reason to remove it?

Thanks again for your input Kevin, Its nice knowing there's a place for us Parker Owners to go and "Sweat the Details" out with others who are willing to share the fruits of their hard work and research. :mrgreen:

John
 

Megabyte

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cbigma":tbgpt8dv said:
1. How do you stand them upright without screwing them down (they look like they need to be "nailed down" to stand upright). Also,, are you OK with the 2"" of water needed to fire the pumps off? I think I'd be forever sitting at 1.5 inches....pissed that I can't cheat and manually lift the paddle, or lever to force a pump cycle :?
Actually, I did screw mine down. It didn't take much to hold it. A 1/2" #6 screw maybe.
You could probably glue them down with a bit of 4200 if you wanted to. It won't take much to keep them from going anywhere unless you have something constantly whacking them. :)

I know what the data on the switches says, but you will have little if any water left in the bilge when the pump cycles.
Two reasons...

If you are getting underway and jumping on plane, the water (in the bilge) is going to be heading toward the transom in a hurry, and piling up right there at the pump/switch. The switch will activate, and you'll be pumping water...

When the water level goes beneath the lower sensor, the switch (and therefore, the pump) doesn't shut off right away. It will run for an additional 5 seconds or so... Just long enough to completely empty the bilge. :wink:

Want to 'force empty' the bilge at the dock? No problem!
The sensors in the switch are outlined by little raised 'target circles' that you can see in the photo above. Place one fingertip on each target, and the switch will activate until you remove your fingers.

cbigma":tbgpt8dv said:
2. Tell me again why I shouldn't put a check-valve in-line in the forward discharge hose to keep wave surge from snotting it's way back up into my forward bilge? I have one in there already, is there a reason to remove it?
The problem with check valves is that the almost never fail in the open position. They fail closed... which isn't something that you want in a bilge hose outlet. :shock:

What you want is for your bilge discharge hose to form a 'weather' or 'anti-siphion loop', similar in fashion to what you see in the photo above of my rear hose(s).

The problem with the 2520 is that the area under-deck is really too small for a proper sized loop, and even if done well, you still run the risk of getting some water in through the through-hull.

Make sure that your forward bilge hose makes a full 360 degree loop between the through-hull and the bilge pump, and you should be fine.

If I could have gotten my camera down in the pie-hole I might be able to show you what I mean, but this is the best I can do...



The hose comes off the through-hull towards the center of the boat (up high), rotates down and out towards the hull, then up and back out towards the center of the boat making a full 360 degree loop, before going down through the bulkhead hole to the bilge pump.

Make sense?
 

cbigma

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Megabyte":joo8a8hj said:
Make sense?
Poifectly! Actually I was staring at that pie-hole shot for 5 minutes or more trying to envision the coil path of the hose, until I finally had it in my mind....and then read the caption under the photo again. It was a perfect description of the path I decided would work, but until I could "visualize it" I couldn't make the words work. Must be that corrugated hose that threw me.... 8)

I ordered two Waterwitch switches from Defender today, the kind you said Bobby used on the X-Shark. What sold me was the fact that the lower sensor cell could be mounted very very close to the bilge floor. which will allow me to use starboard shims to gain the precise waterline strike I need. :wink:

Now I need to strafe the posts on wiring the forward bilge pumps to get wiring tips so they are always "hot". Nice. This is like going to a giant file cabinet and pulling out "how-to's" and a shopping lists. :lol:

My "fee" for this service is to post pics of the project when I am done, in an attempt to add to the CPKnowledgbase of Projects.
 

cbigma

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I finished half my forward bilge pump replacement project today. I still have to run the hot lead from the battery
to have the forward bilge pump run directly from battery. I upgraded the OEM 300GPH Rule to a 800GPH Rule.

Here is the Waterwitch electronic switch I used. Compact in size, but it wants a vertical surface to mount on.
The stainless steel button on the bottom is the trip-sensor.



I bought some stainless steel cushion-clamps to route and anchor the new discharge hose. I installed them at every point
there were OEM nylon cable ties and re-used all the original screw holes (with a dash of new sealant of course).



Here is my finished 360-degree "snot-loop", the backwash preventer. I attached one of the SS cushion-clamps under the deck right
below the pie-hole at "six-oclock" (you can see the machine screw head holding the clamp up under the deck.) The clamp
holds the discharge hose hard up against the "roof" of the compartment, elevating the line as high as possible in addition
to supporting the 360-degree loop.




Here is OEM set-up with mechanical float switch and 300 GPH Rule pump.



I had to come up with a 90-degree bracket to mount the WaterWitch to. There wasn't a lot of time to find a stainless fitting so
I went to Home Depot and for $3 bought a Schedule 80 PVC watertight junction box.



A quick trip through the bandsaw created a durable PVC 90-degree bracket of the correct dimensions.




Here is the new installation in plan view



Here is the new installation in gerbil's-eye view.

 

Megabyte

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Very nice work! I'm impressed with your workmanship.
I think you just set the standard. :D
 

DaleH

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Not to be picky ... sorry :oops: , but I'd lower that switch as far as it could go on that neat right-angle block you made up. Looking at the picture, where you have switch waaaaaay forward, you'll need 3+" of water in there to trip it. Whereas most collect more towards the rear of the cabin, you could have a good 6+ gallons or more of water in there before the pump cycles.

I love your loop-de-loop idea with the support clamp on the exit hose to the thru hull! I have to do that this Spring, as I too get water in the forward bilge from waves entering via the exit of the standard forward bilge pump thru-hull.
 

cbigma

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DaleH":r4qr0s83 said:
Not to be picky ... sorry :oops: , but I'd lower that switch as far as it could go on that neat right-angle block you made up.
Yeah, Its a tough call. You may be right. I haven't splashed yet, so I don't know where my eventual waterline will be. The activation button is set just a hair above the bottom of the mounting block. The bottom of the bilge pump (strainer basket) is set on top of the same block. If the intake of the pump is slightly above the mounting block, I can't have the sensor -below- the block or it will never shut off and burn out.

I had considered just clamping the switch to the angle bracket until splash and then play around with it. I decided to just mount it a little high, and then lower it if necessary. I can easily pop a couple more holes in the bracket later.

Tough lining up the set point. Only a ferret would be comfortable working down there.... :lol:
 

cbigma

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Megabyte":365hba6b said:
Very nice work! I'm impressed with your workmanship.
I think you just set the standard. :D
I am just following the lead set by you, Dale, and the many other Project Aces here on ClassicParker. :)
 

DaleH

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cbigma":3lj1nv50 said:
... I can't have the sensor -below- the block or it will never shut off and burn out ...
Opps, silly me :oops: ... I was only looking at the switch ... :shock: ! Good point John! And I hear ya' on the ferrett.
 

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