Automatic Bilge Pump

It’s about time we did this. The rain has started in Portland, it may not let up until next June.

This is not the final ocean going plan, it will get us by until we spend the money on a hardy diaphragm pump.  At least now we are comfortable leaving the boat alone for a week.

Anyway, our bilge is mostly taken up by our fresh water tank. There is access to the lowest part behind the ballast in the keel. It’s very small. The foot print is a triangle about 4 inches by 6 inches of usable space, and about 3 feet in depth.

The only automatic bilge pumps we could find that would fit were the Attwood Sahara models. We went with the 750 gph, our bilge water is so small the 1100 gph was overkill.

small enough to fit.

We had to move water about 5-6 feet vertically, or about 13 feet snaking through the boat. We plumbed into the same through hole for the manual bilge pump.

going from 3/4 inch to 1-1/2 inch hose, to the through hole.

The electrical was easy, hot off the battery with a 5 amp fuse.

Found this handy 5 amp circuit breaker in my toolbox, great fuse/switch.  I’ll build a holding bracket in the future.

The first test, the pump cleared all the water. . . ….then kept cycling on and off. The water in the discharge line flowing back down after the pump shut off was enough to cycle the switch and turn the pump back on.

Great, back to the store for a check valve.

Check valve is about 3 feet away from the pump. Right at the pump, the water above the valve was enough to keep the valve closed and the pump cavitated.

Now it works as advertised, the little bilge looks busy.

auto pump at home

Our access to the “bilge”

One more item off the list.

Cheers!

Devon

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