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Redundant bilge pump installation

Jan 24, 2017
549
Hunter 34 Toms River Nj
Just finished installing a rule 1100 automatic bilge pump as a redundant bilge pump on my H34. I've been putting this off for about three years because of other to do list boat projects. Made it a priority this year before the boat went into the water after my buddy had is boat partially sink due to faulty check valve. Then at the end of last season my pump failed due to a blown fuse and I open the boat to find the water about 1/2 inch from the cabin floor that infiltrated from a slow leaking water strainer gasket that filed. I felt that I had dodged a bullet and didn't want to press my luck again.

Installed the redundant pump approximately 6 inches above the main pump, wired to directly to second house battery which is elevated approximately 2 feet above primary batteries. My thoughts on the ellivated battery is if my primary batteries shorted out the elevated battery will continue to power the pumps.

I installed the entire redundant pump completely separate from the main pump.
Separate wires, check valve, hose, and discharge thruhull.

Now that the redundant pump is installed, I can only hope that it never has to be used. My boating buddies all say that this is a waste of time and money, however it gives me peace of mind knowing that I have a backup. Having peace of mind is worth it to me.

I am curious ? Anyone else have redundant bilge pumps?
 
Aug 28, 2006
487
Bavaria 35E seattle
I don't have one. Thanks for the reminder. It's been on my to do list for sure. I agree with your thoughts on this.
 

Harlan

.
Jun 4, 2004
99
Oday 34 Niantic
IMO you left out the most important item - an alarm. A very loud bell or similar (so it can be heard well outside your boat) wired to the separate battery and set to come on before the second pump does. Without it you will not necessarily know the second pump is running, you will not take corrective action, the second pump will run until its battery dies and then...
 

RoyS

.
Jun 3, 2012
1,167
Hunter 33 Steamboat Wharf, Hull, MA
Some sort of counter on your primary pump could serve as an early warning system in the case of a slow leak.
 
Jan 24, 2017
549
Hunter 34 Toms River Nj
Harlan ,
I forgot to mention that i did wire an alarm horn in the cockpit that can be heard from about 100 yards away. My boat buddy engineer tech guru is going to figure out how to link my pumps to my smart phone through wireless. That high tech stuff is beyond me so he is going to do it all. He said that basically I will get a text message whenever the pump comes on.
 

Mikem

.
Dec 20, 2009
753
Hunter 466 Bremerton
When I was building tractor tugs we also installed a strobe light that could be seen day or night. The light could be seen much further away than the alarm coul be heard. There are systems too, I understand, that will alert your phone.
 
Oct 6, 2007
763
Hunter H30c 1982 Chicago IL
Yes. Cheap insurance. The primary pump is lowest in the bilge, on a digital cycle counter, connected to battery 1. The secondary pump is a few inches higher in the bilge, on a separate switch with an alarm, separate hose and dockside thru-hull, connected to battery 2.

The bilge pump counter is kind of a soap box issue for me. I suggest it at every opportunity because an automatic bilge pump can hide a small problem ‘til it becomes a much bigger one.

The dockside discharge for the secondary pump is on the theory that adding a visual clew as well as an audible alarm could only help to prompt a phone call from someone on the dock. Hope never to test that theory.
 
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Jan 22, 2008
278
Hunter 34 Herrington South, MD
I'm installing a second pump but for a different reason. I'm putting in a smaller, float switch encased, pump in the real bilge to try to take more water out of the bilge before the main pump is activated.
 
Mar 18, 2019
16
Irwin 32 Corpus Chiristi, TX
Yes, I did the same thing. The lower original pump on the engine batteries, and the 2nd one a few inches higher on the house batteries. Then I put a hose in the bilge and filled it. They both worked and pumped it out fast.
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,871
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
I put a hose in the bilge and filled it.
:yikes::yikes::yikes::yikes:
That is a frightening thought in my boat. With a bilge 5 plus feet deep, 7 plus feet long and 3 across the top. That is about 50 cubic feet of space and some 375 gallons of water.

I would need some powerful pumps... and some time to get the water out.
 
Oct 9, 2008
1,731
Bristol 29.9 Dana Point
The shower sump is a backup bilge pump. If water gets high in the keel sump due to the diaphragm pump failing or getting overwhelmed, it will overflow into the shower sump, which in my case has a 1500 centrifugal.
image.jpeg
 
Mar 18, 2019
16
Irwin 32 Corpus Chiristi, TX
A little sense? I didn't fill the whole bilge. Only 7 inches. My first pump is on the bottom, second about 6 inches from the bottom.
 
Jan 24, 2017
549
Hunter 34 Toms River Nj
Skipper,
On the Hunter 34 the shower sump gets its power from the water pressure circuit fo fresh water system. Most other manufacturers also use fresh water pump circuits to power the sump pump.
If you would like to use the shower sump pump as a redundant bilge pump you need to have the pressure water circuit on or rewire the pump to an alternative power source. Also most shower sump pumps are low gph ratings do to what they are intended to be used for. If you plan to use a shower sump as a backup, then you might consider upgrading its capacity along with hose size.
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,871
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
You guys have clarified where I will be locating my starter battery and the pump power supply. Thanks.
 
Apr 8, 2010
1,607
Ericson Yachts Olson 34 28400 Portland OR
Make sure that you are NOT dependent on a failure-prone centrifugal pump like those cheapie Rule devices.
Have at least one chamber-type pump that will neither air-lock nor back flood (both can happen with a Rule, and I have seen both outcomes).
Our boat was factory built with two Jabsco 37202 pumps on separate circuits plus one large Whale manual pump operable from the helm position. While having a boat equipped to meet Cat. One requirements may seem like overkill, remember that most of our boating takes place in waters quite capable of swallowing up our boat before help can be summoned by our radios. :(
i.e. close to home.

Here is a link:
https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?id=2041398
 
Oct 9, 2008
1,731
Bristol 29.9 Dana Point
Skipper,
On the Hunter 34 the shower sump gets its power from the water pressure circuit fo fresh water system. Most other manufacturers also use fresh water pump circuits to power the sump pump.
If you would like to use the shower sump pump as a redundant bilge pump you need to have the pressure water circuit on or rewire the pump to an alternative power source. Also most shower sump pumps are low gph ratings do to what they are intended to be used for. If you plan to use a shower sump as a backup, then you might consider upgrading its capacity along with hose size.
Good info for Hunter owners.
Ours has its own "sump pump" breaker. Independent of "water pressure" and "bilge pump". Also own hose and transom through hull.
It is a full size 1500.
The primary is a diaphragm pump located in the engine room, with the pickup at the bottom of the keel sump, under the shower sump.
 
May 24, 2004
6,769
CC 30 South Florida
The use of check valves at the bilge pump is not recommended as they are prone to fouling. Having a little water flow back is not the end of the world. I consider bilge pumps to be a convenience item and not a safety one. If the boat is left unattended for months at a time a 120V sump pump can be used as long as you have access to shore power. For safety I have installed a manual gusher pump which can be operated from the cockpit as well as the electric sump pump.
 
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