Sunday, January 01, 2023

On bilge pumps

 Happy New Year folks.  As Confucius might have said, let's hope 2023 will be a bit less "interesting" than last year.

Now, bilge pumps.  This year I want to sort out ours. Is it just me or are they not as good as they ought to be?  We get the odd bit of rainwater in the engine bay (not the oily bit under the engine which is self contained) and sometimes water from the stern gland.  The floor where it sits has an area which I estimate to be roughly a square metre or so, so even 10 litres of water ( about 2 gallons in old money) only sits a centimetre deep and whilst this is an annoyance, our bilge pump does nothing about it.  I reckon it needs to be at least  twice that before the float switch activates and then it will only pump out anything above that depth.  So that's 20 litres swishing about that the bilge pump ignores. (I hope my maths is right, I'm a bit tired after last night's revels).  

My question is, have we just got a crappy bilge pump /float switch or are they all like that?  Are there pumps which get closer to the floor?  

Now, looking on ebay I can find a £10 12v self priming water pump which I might be able to rig up with the inlet pipe just clear of the floor and manually switch on when needed.  I might risk a tenner on that.  But really there ought to be a proper automatic  bilge pump to get that close to the floor.  

Any pointers would be most welcome.


Oakie said...

I had the very same problem for 15yrs Neil and never found a solution, except to use a squeezy mop for the shallower level and a Pela vacuum pump if deeper. The flexible inlet tube of the Pela pump was pushed down a short length of rigid steel pipe to keep the inlet end below the water surface. Hope this helps somewhat. Ray

Alf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ian said...

I use a wet and dry vac, about £35 on Amazon.

Pip and Mick said...

We've had two bilge pumps on Oleanna and they both did/do the same. I've given up worrying about it!

Vallypee said...

Same here, Neil. Like the others, I just hoover out every now and then. Happy New Year!