Using coolant pump as emergency bilge pump

Using coolant pump as emergency bilge pump

Post by Messing In Boat » Sat, 07 Sep 2002 06:30:52


I've read enough about using the freshwater coolant pump as an emergency
bilge pump for catastrophic leaks that I intend to do it. It also will
allow me to hook up a hose to flush after sal***er use and to flush
with antifreeze for winter storage. I plan to cut my intake hose (1 1/4"
I.D.) after the through-hull and insert a "T" fitting with a shutoff
valve so I could close off the through-hull and open this valve to suck
out my bilge with the engine.

My problem is finding the fitting. I can't locate a 1 1/4" I.D. barbed
"T" with a female branch in anything but plastic, which I'm trying to
avoid. Boat/US has a part sort of what I'm looking for for a mere $100,
but I'm trying to do better than that in price and versatility.

Where can I locate such a fitting? Is stainless steel as good as bronze
in sal***er? Other ideas?

 
 
 

Using coolant pump as emergency bilge pump

Post by Steve Modic » Sat, 07 Sep 2002 07:02:49

Stainless steel does very poorly in stagnant water.  It rusts.  I'd be
thinking bronze for something like this, but I guess the real answer is
"whatever they use on the rest of your engine".

Steve

Quote:

> I've read enough about using the freshwater coolant pump as an emergency
> bilge pump for catastrophic leaks that I intend to do it. It also will
> allow me to hook up a hose to flush after sal***er use and to flush
> with antifreeze for winter storage. I plan to cut my intake hose (1 1/4"
> I.D.) after the through-hull and insert a "T" fitting with a shutoff
> valve so I could close off the through-hull and open this valve to suck
> out my bilge with the engine.

> My problem is finding the fitting. I can't locate a 1 1/4" I.D. barbed
> "T" with a female branch in anything but plastic, which I'm trying to
> avoid. Boat/US has a part sort of what I'm looking for for a mere $100,
> but I'm trying to do better than that in price and versatility.

> Where can I locate such a fitting? Is stainless steel as good as bronze
> in sal***er? Other ideas?


 
 
 

Using coolant pump as emergency bilge pump

Post by Douglas Kin » Sat, 07 Sep 2002 07:41:35

Quote:


> > I've read enough about using the freshwater coolant pump as an emergency
> > bilge pump for catastrophic leaks that I intend to do it.

I've read about it a lot too, but only seen it on a very few boats; and only
seen one installation that I'd consider at all safe & practical.

Quote:
> > ...... It also will
> > allow me to hook up a hose to flush after sal***er use and to flush
> > with antifreeze for winter storage. I plan to cut my intake hose (1 1/4"
> > I.D.) after the through-hull and insert a "T" fitting with a shutoff
> > valve so I could close off the through-hull and open this valve to suck
> > out my bilge with the engine.

You would do far better to install a Y-valve. That way you would only have one
valve to work instead of opening one (and possibly losing the pump prime) and
then having to close another, while reaching down into possibly rapidly-rising
water.

Fair Skies- Doug King

 
 
 

Using coolant pump as emergency bilge pump

Post by The_navigator » Sat, 07 Sep 2002 09:07:01

What is your coolant pump flow rate? Also, carefully consider whether it
would be wiser to buy a bigger electric pump and use the engine to generate
power than to risk the cooland pipe getting blocked by debris and the engine
seizing... I doubt whether your engine coolant pump comes close to matching
one of the larger electric bilge pumps in flow rate. Think carefully about
this.

Cheers MC

Quote:

> I've read enough about using the freshwater coolant pump as an emergency
> bilge pump for catastrophic leaks that I intend to do it. It also will
> allow me to hook up a hose to flush after sal***er use and to flush
> with antifreeze for winter storage. I plan to cut my intake hose (1 1/4"
> I.D.) after the through-hull and insert a "T" fitting with a shutoff
> valve so I could close off the through-hull and open this valve to suck
> out my bilge with the engine.

> My problem is finding the fitting. I can't locate a 1 1/4" I.D. barbed
> "T" with a female branch in anything but plastic, which I'm trying to
> avoid. Boat/US has a part sort of what I'm looking for for a mere $100,
> but I'm trying to do better than that in price and versatility.

> Where can I locate such a fitting? Is stainless steel as good as bronze
> in sal***er? Other ideas?

 
 
 

Using coolant pump as emergency bilge pump

Post by Jeff Morri » Sat, 07 Sep 2002 10:15:27

Actually, I doubt the engine pump comes close to the flow of even the
smallest bilge pump!  Add to that the risk of sucking up some debris
which could shut the engine down in a few minutes, plus the risk of
extra plumbing below the waterline.   Consider an electric, wired to a
"cigarette lighter" plug, with a hose that can be thrown into the
***pit or a sink - it might even prove useful as a utility pump, or
to help another boat.

--
-jeff     www.sv-loki.com
"The sea was angry that day, my friend. Like an old man trying to send
back soup at the deli."


Quote:
> What is your coolant pump flow rate? Also, carefully consider
whether it
> would be wiser to buy a bigger electric pump and use the engine to
generate
> power than to risk the cooland pipe getting blocked by debris and
the engine
> seizing... I doubt whether your engine coolant pump comes close to
matching
> one of the larger electric bilge pumps in flow rate. Think carefully
about
> this.

> Cheers MC


> > I've read enough about using the freshwater coolant pump as an
emergency
> > bilge pump for catastrophic leaks that I intend to do it. It also
will
> > allow me to hook up a hose to flush after sal***er use and to
flush
> > with antifreeze for winter storage. I plan to cut my intake hose
(1 1/4"
> > I.D.) after the through-hull and insert a "T" fitting with a
shutoff
> > valve so I could close off the through-hull and open this valve to
suck
> > out my bilge with the engine.

> > My problem is finding the fitting. I can't locate a 1 1/4" I.D.
barbed
> > "T" with a female branch in anything but plastic, which I'm trying
to
> > avoid. Boat/US has a part sort of what I'm looking for for a mere
$100,
> > but I'm trying to do better than that in price and versatility.

> > Where can I locate such a fitting? Is stainless steel as good as
bronze
> > in sal***er? Other ideas?

 
 
 

Using coolant pump as emergency bilge pump

Post by macleanp » Sat, 07 Sep 2002 10:55:14

Your raw water pump will move 20 -30 gal/min, but what happens when you run
out of bilge water - you going to switch it back and forth while running
high speed back to port? What if you loose your prime? A large electric
portable may be a better answer. When you're up on plane all the water will
be in the back of the bilge. With a portable you can use it wherever you
need it - forward bilge - rear bilge - back of rear bilge - etc.

Doug



Quote:
> I've read enough about using the freshwater coolant pump as an emergency
> bilge pump for catastrophic leaks that I intend to do it. It also will
> allow me to hook up a hose to flush after sal***er use and to flush
> with antifreeze for winter storage. I plan to cut my intake hose (1 1/4"
> I.D.) after the through-hull and insert a "T" fitting with a shutoff
> valve so I could close off the through-hull and open this valve to suck
> out my bilge with the engine.

> My problem is finding the fitting. I can't locate a 1 1/4" I.D. barbed
> "T" with a female branch in anything but plastic, which I'm trying to
> avoid. Boat/US has a part sort of what I'm looking for for a mere $100,
> but I'm trying to do better than that in price and versatility.

> Where can I locate such a fitting? Is stainless steel as good as bronze
> in sal***er? Other ideas?

 
 
 

Using coolant pump as emergency bilge pump

Post by Stev » Sat, 07 Sep 2002 11:01:32

I did this many years ago and was sorry it did. It seems that when you get a
major leak the water usually raises high enough to wash all kinds of dirt,
oil, wood shavings and general ***into the the bilge sump. I had a stainer
on the pump suction that got clogged and caused the engine to over heat.
Like a fool, thinking my boat might sink, I took the stainer off the suction
and the oily ***got into the engine and blocked the cooling passages.

That was many years ago, but I don't think I would ever do that again.

In retrospect,

Rule #1; never pump bilge water through your engine.

Rule #2; Rig a seperate belt driven bilge pump off the engine. (That's what
I have. It has a manual clutch. These are very expensive so to save cost,
you could install a standard pump and leave the belt off until you need it.)

Rule #3; Don't complicate your sea water suction for your engine with a lot
of fitting. It only increases the potential for a major leak.

If you want a special system for flushing your engine then purchase one of
the sea***s that has that feature built right into it. Their about $50-$75
depending on the size. I use the 1 1/4" made by Forespar. It has a hose
connection right on the valve body and it operates like a three way valve.
You can even use the connection to back flush you hull strainer if you get
it fouled with a plastic bag, etc.

--
My opinion and experience. FWIW

Steve
S/V Good Intentions

 
 
 

Using coolant pump as emergency bilge pump

Post by K. Smit » Sat, 07 Sep 2002 11:21:41

    In the premises contemplated probably the first thing to stop will be
the engine, at least batteries go for a while if high enough.

K

Quote:

> Actually, I doubt the engine pump comes close to the flow of even the
> smallest bilge pump!  Add to that the risk of sucking up some debris
> which could shut the engine down in a few minutes, plus the risk of
> extra plumbing below the waterline.   Consider an electric, wired to a
> "cigarette lighter" plug, with a hose that can be thrown into the
>***pit or a sink - it might even prove useful as a utility pump, or
> to help another boat.

> --
> -jeff     www.sv-loki.com
> "The sea was angry that day, my friend. Like an old man trying to send
> back soup at the deli."



> > What is your coolant pump flow rate? Also, carefully consider
> whether it
> > would be wiser to buy a bigger electric pump and use the engine to
> generate
> > power than to risk the cooland pipe getting blocked by debris and
> the engine
> > seizing... I doubt whether your engine coolant pump comes close to
> matching
> > one of the larger electric bilge pumps in flow rate. Think carefully
> about
> > this.

> > Cheers MC


> > > I've read enough about using the freshwater coolant pump as an
> emergency
> > > bilge pump for catastrophic leaks that I intend to do it. It also
> will
> > > allow me to hook up a hose to flush after sal***er use and to
> flush
> > > with antifreeze for winter storage. I plan to cut my intake hose
> (1 1/4"
> > > I.D.) after the through-hull and insert a "T" fitting with a
> shutoff
> > > valve so I could close off the through-hull and open this valve to
> suck
> > > out my bilge with the engine.

> > > My problem is finding the fitting. I can't locate a 1 1/4" I.D.
> barbed
> > > "T" with a female branch in anything but plastic, which I'm trying
> to
> > > avoid. Boat/US has a part sort of what I'm looking for for a mere
> $100,
> > > but I'm trying to do better than that in price and versatility.

> > > Where can I locate such a fitting? Is stainless steel as good as
> bronze
> > > in sal***er? Other ideas?

 
 
 

Using coolant pump as emergency bilge pump

Post by Gary Schaf » Sat, 07 Sep 2002 12:02:24

A raw water cooled engine may not move much water as flow is
restricted in the engine so it
does not over cool.  A fresh water cooled engine (with heat exchanger)
will probably move
much more water. Larger engines have some very large sea water pumps.
But the problem of
clogging and running out of water still exist.

Be careful when using an auxiliary electric bilge pump. If the pump
runs out of water and sucks
air and the motor is not shut off it will get an air lock and it will
not prime again until turned off!
You will discover this quickly with your regular bilge pump if you
lock the float switch on and
run water into the bilge with a hose. Once the pump goes dry and you
continue (or start again)
to run water into the bilge, the pump will not pump again as the bilge
continues to fill with water.

The same problem can occur with your regular bilge pumps if something
gets stuck under the
float switch and keeps the pump running. Once it pumps dry it will not
pump again!

Regards
Gary

Quote:

>I did this many years ago and was sorry it did. It seems that when you get a
>major leak the water usually raises high enough to wash all kinds of dirt,
>oil, wood shavings and general ***into the the bilge sump. I had a stainer
>on the pump suction that got clogged and caused the engine to over heat.
>Like a fool, thinking my boat might sink, I took the stainer off the suction
>and the oily ***got into the engine and blocked the cooling passages.

>That was many years ago, but I don't think I would ever do that again.

>In retrospect,

>Rule #1; never pump bilge water through your engine.

>Rule #2; Rig a seperate belt driven bilge pump off the engine. (That's what
>I have. It has a manual clutch. These are very expensive so to save cost,
>you could install a standard pump and leave the belt off until you need it.)

>Rule #3; Don't complicate your sea water suction for your engine with a lot
>of fitting. It only increases the potential for a major leak.

>If you want a special system for flushing your engine then purchase one of
>the sea***s that has that feature built right into it. Their about $50-$75
>depending on the size. I use the 1 1/4" made by Forespar. It has a hose
>connection right on the valve body and it operates like a three way valve.
>You can even use the connection to back flush you hull strainer if you get
>it fouled with a plastic bag, etc.

>--
>My opinion and experience. FWIW

>Steve
>S/V Good Intentions

 
 
 

Using coolant pump as emergency bilge pump

Post by Scott Downe » Sat, 07 Sep 2002 21:34:31

If you had enough room, you could buy a stand alone gasoline powered
emergency pump like the CC use to dewater a boat.

You could use a threaded drain strainer like they use in shower floors
mount it upside not more than 2 inchs off the hull, debris will hopefully
float up
past the drain.
It would be nice to have one valve control the flow.



Quote:
> I've read enough about using the freshwater coolant pump as an emergency
> bilge pump for catastrophic leaks that I intend to do it. It also will
> allow me to hook up a hose to flush after sal***er use and to flush
> with antifreeze for winter storage. I plan to cut my intake hose (1 1/4"
> I.D.) after the through-hull and insert a "T" fitting with a shutoff
> valve so I could close off the through-hull and open this valve to suck
> out my bilge with the engine.

> My problem is finding the fitting. I can't locate a 1 1/4" I.D. barbed
> "T" with a female branch in anything but plastic, which I'm trying to
> avoid. Boat/US has a part sort of what I'm looking for for a mere $100,
> but I'm trying to do better than that in price and versatility.

> Where can I locate such a fitting? Is stainless steel as good as bronze
> in sal***er? Other ideas?

 
 
 

Using coolant pump as emergency bilge pump

Post by Messing In Boat » Sun, 08 Sep 2002 01:40:04

This is for a 26' cruiser that will spend the vast majority of its life
in the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior where problems like this are
quite remote, and help is very available. It will also do the Inside
Passage to Alaska next year where there are all kinds of bad things
floating in the water, some of which could cause some serious water
problems if I hit them wrong. Help is not always readily available in
some of these places. This is what I'm worried about.

I already have three electric pumps, 2 -750 gpm and one 1100. I also
have freshwater cooling, which I believe to be more suitable for this
type arrangement. I don't have a generator, nor do I have plans for one.

My most likely use for this arrangement will be to pump anti-freeze
through my freshwater side to winterize the pump and to connect a
washdown pump to fill my water tanks without another through-hull.

Right now I'm looking for a bronze or Marelon Y-valve in 1 1/4" size to
minimize the plumbing.

 
 
 

Using coolant pump as emergency bilge pump

Post by Gary Warne » Sun, 08 Sep 2002 02:41:20

Strange, Chapman's says very little about bilge pumps or how
to run the hoses and wiring.  It does show the engine-as-emergency-pump.
Seems to me using the engine is not nearly as good as just having
an extra pump and extra isolated battery.



Quote:
> I've read enough about using the freshwater coolant pump as an emergency
> bilge pump for catastrophic leaks that I intend to do it. It also will
> allow me to hook up a hose to flush after sal***er use and to flush
> with antifreeze for winter storage. I plan to cut my intake hose (1 1/4"
> I.D.) after the through-hull and insert a "T" fitting with a shutoff
> valve so I could close off the through-hull and open this valve to suck
> out my bilge with the engine.

> My problem is finding the fitting. I can't locate a 1 1/4" I.D. barbed
> "T" with a female branch in anything but plastic, which I'm trying to
> avoid. Boat/US has a part sort of what I'm looking for for a mere $100,
> but I'm trying to do better than that in price and versatility.

> Where can I locate such a fitting? Is stainless steel as good as bronze
> in sal***er? Other ideas?

 
 
 

Using coolant pump as emergency bilge pump

Post by The_navigator » Sun, 08 Sep 2002 09:33:22

Perhaps you are erroneous in your assumption that Chapmans is always right?

Cheers MC

Quote:

> Strange, Chapman's says very little about bilge pumps or how
> to run the hoses and wiring.  It does show the engine-as-emergency-pump.
> Seems to me using the engine is not nearly as good as just having
> an extra pump and extra isolated battery.



> > I've read enough about using the freshwater coolant pump as an emergency
> > bilge pump for catastrophic leaks that I intend to do it. It also will
> > allow me to hook up a hose to flush after sal***er use and to flush
> > with antifreeze for winter storage. I plan to cut my intake hose (1 1/4"
> > I.D.) after the through-hull and insert a "T" fitting with a shutoff
> > valve so I could close off the through-hull and open this valve to suck
> > out my bilge with the engine.

> > My problem is finding the fitting. I can't locate a 1 1/4" I.D. barbed
> > "T" with a female branch in anything but plastic, which I'm trying to
> > avoid. Boat/US has a part sort of what I'm looking for for a mere $100,
> > but I'm trying to do better than that in price and versatility.

> > Where can I locate such a fitting? Is stainless steel as good as bronze
> > in sal***er? Other ideas?

 
 
 

Using coolant pump as emergency bilge pump

Post by Lloyd Sumpte » Sun, 15 Sep 2002 04:15:20

Quote:

> I've read enough about using the freshwater coolant pump as an emergency
> bilge pump for catastrophic leaks that I intend to do it. It also will
> allow me to hook up a hose to flush after sal***er use and to flush
> with antifreeze for winter storage. I plan to cut my intake hose (1 1/4"
> I.D.) after the through-hull and insert a "T" fitting with a shutoff
> valve so I could close off the through-hull and open this valve to suck
> out my bilge with the engine.

> My problem is finding the fitting. I can't locate a 1 1/4" I.D. barbed
> "T" with a female branch in anything but plastic, which I'm trying to
> avoid. Boat/US has a part sort of what I'm looking for for a mere $100,
> but I'm trying to do better than that in price and versatility.

> Where can I locate such a fitting? Is stainless steel as good as bronze
> in sal***er? Other ideas?

I have bilge pumps coming out my preverbials on Far Cove. I have:
- Electric pump mounted in the bilge
- Manual pump mounted in the bilge
- 2 "dinghy" pumps mainly used in waterfights
- 2 "throw-in" electric pumps

The "throw-in" pumps are medium-sized electric bilge pumps with a chunk
of metal on the bottom, 12ft of hose on the outlet, and 15ft of wire
attached to the hose, with clips on the end. I just have to get a battery
(like the one I use to run Near Cove's electric outboard), attach the
leads, and throw the pump into the water I want removed. Works great for
water-filled dinghies, bilges,***pits, neighbour's boats...they can
even be used for a makeshift livewell.

Total cost is about $50 each.

Lloyd Sumpter
"Far Cove" Catalina 36