I would like to install a washdown pump on myboat. Its a 2003 SEA_PRO 180 which has a option for a washdown pump as the switch is already installed on the console. I would like to buy a good pump, any ideas on what brand and what I should look for? Is this a job for a pro or is this ok to do yourself. Thanks Dan.
There's all sorts of ways to do it, but just having the switch is the least of your concerns.I should start by just saying this one thing - the most common brand of pump you will see around and in the ship's stores, are made by ShurFlo. Don't buy one. They are absolute worthless junk. You could not find a better place to waste your money, and quite a bit of it too, than to buy a ShurFlo pump.Now, on to the real job. First off you need a water intake. That's really no big deal. A bronze high speed pickup is going to cost you about $25, a stainless Ball-Valve or bronze sea **** (I'm not goint to get into that arguement) will cost you about the same. Then you pick up an end stock and enough 3/4" hose to reach to wherever you are going to mount your pump. Try to find a dry spot no matter what pump you end up buying. Then you have to wire it of course, but that's straight forward. If the pump is in the back anywhere near the batterys I far and away prefer to use the dash switch to operatre a relay aft. It actually goes a long way toward better water pressure, and I lot of guys don't expect that result from a wireing method. When it comes to pumps if you want the best there is get a Groco C-60 water system. This is a compact 12-volt system that will come with a check valve, independant pressure switch, and nozzle. There really isn't anything else on the market that can compare with it, but be ready for sticker shock. After that you would do very well to consider one of the Par-Max lineup, particularly their model 4. If you don't mind less pressure and having to turn the switch on and off as you use the water (the other two have pressure switches so you just use a shut off nozzle and leave the switch turned on) you can pick up a Jabsco Water Puppy for not much money and they are utterly dependable. Anyway you mount and wire your pump and then just hook up a hose.If you can find a good sized on it really is nice to put a pressure tank in the line somewhere too. That's how I have mine, and it just saves a lot of pump cycling. I picked up a 2.5 gallon stainless tank on E-Bay that has worked out great for us.All together you can put in a cheap system for about $200, a really good system will cost you a bit over twice that much.Thom
Thom, great post but I am abit confused how putting the switch on the dash will change the pressure. Are you opperating this on some special pressure switch. Most of these washdown pumps won't make much more than 40psi. I am in the process of doing one myself and I am wanting to do this only once. thanks, Doug
I bought a $69 Flojet Kit from boatersworld and its going 18 months.Its attached to one of those brass pick up (as mentioned by thomm) and its raw salt water use everyime.A very good wash down unit especially when the big ones come in and you have to deal with all that blood. I use the boat quite frequently and our sea water here is very potent. Everyone told me from the beginning that I was wasting money. Dont look like its gonna go anytime soon. But if it does I think it has served me well.Most guys figured it was not going to last 6 months.Also the review was not good.
Pointer,Well, it works like this. While a lot of those pumps are rated for up to 40 psi there are very few of them that even come close to that sort of pressure. Those maximum ratings are all predicated on adequate voltage going to the pump. I believe they ususally use 13.6 volts to derive that pressure. If you have a system in which the batterys are in the back, power is then taken to the dash by a long wire, there to the switch, and then a long wire back to the washdown pump there will be a lot of voltage loss. Its even worse if both the power and ground wire make the full trip twice. What I've found is that if the pump and the batterys are in the aft end, which is almost always the case, you can get a lot more voltage to the pump by simply putting a $6 Radio Shack relay back there. You continue to use the original pump switch and wires back, but you run them to acculate the relay, not to power the pump. You run much shorter, and usually heavier, power lines from the batterys (the switch actually) directly to the relay and directly into the pump. The difference can amaze you in some cases. Anyway its just a simple little improvement an owner can make for very little money that can make the boat a little more enjoyable to use.Wahoo,I'm really happy to see you are gettin that long a life out of a FlowJet pump. I have one of them in my boat doing duty for our fresh water system and I have a spare just sitting on the shelf. I have to be honest here, I don't have a lot of faith in one for wash down duty. They, or at least the ones I have, are clearly not at all waterproofed, so you have to be either careful or lucky in how and where you mount them. The one I have in the boat is mounted under the counter that holds our alcohol stove, so its bone dry. I think its been in there for 3 or 4 years now and its doing just fine. I drain both the tank and the pump, along with the connecting lines, every fall of course. Anyway, I haven't got anything against FlowJet pumps, but in a wet boat I'd recommend that the installer pay good attention to where its going and how its being mounted.Thom
Actually., Its transom mounted high up between the bait wells, but no water gets up there on a proline. I have a fresh water one that is kept in the cuddy right under the sink .Suppose thats been there for many moons.when this floget for the saltwater pick goes I will be looking for another brand.As you say i am lucky.
A couple of quick notes on installing a washdownÂ…If going with a thru hull & strainer, a seacock must be connected directly to the thru hull inside the boat. Never connect hose to a thru hull. The seacock should have a ÂĽ-turn shut off and be immediately accessible at all times. Secure the flexible hose using two stainless steal hose clamps at every connection. The ss clamps must be marine grade stainless (type 316?), not the stuff from your local hardware store.The thru hull and seacock should be matched metalsÂ…bronze-to-bronze or stainless-to-stainlessÂ…never one bronze and one stainless.Mount the pump in a dry location, as low as possible. Pumps are great for pushing water, but not so for pulling. Try to position to get the shortest length hose between seacock and pumpÂ…but accessible for maintenance.Pump output (pressure and flow rate) is determined without any hose connected to the output. In real life we almost never see the rated output of a pump. Any corrugated hose used for either input or output of the pump is going to restrict the waterÂ’s flow and seriously reduce the performance. Use only hose with smooth walls inside. ItÂ’s not going to hurt to go ahead and get the next size bigger pump.Consider this: nature says, Â“boat sink!Â” Boat says, Â“I donÂ’t have too.Â” And then you drill a hole in the bottom of the boatÂ…so get a few wooden bung plugs that will fit the seacock and the hose, and leave them in a handy location. You should have bung plugs handy that will fit any hole that is in the hull.I disagree with Thom concerning the quality of ShuFlo pumps. They are no better or worse than ITT (Par-Max). ShuFlo has a very low product return rate (lower than Par-Max) and is a well-respected product, as is the ITT. Between the two, I would take whichever has the most commonly available parts in my area. Typically, ITT has greater product distribution. I think Groco is good stuff, but way over priced and not necessary for most applications.
Thom,Thanks for the explaination. I have a mounting scheme that should allow for short, hidden wire runs and therefor I can oversize the wire. I am a little uneasy about putting a hole in a perfectly good boat but sobeit. I was working with an engineer from sureflo and he provided me with a new, pistol nozzel that is suppose to maximize discharge pressure. In addition I will be adding oversized hose to reduce friction loss and maximise pressure. I will keep you posted if the ice ever clears from the lake. Do you have any good ideas on how to mount a hose unit on the swim platform?
Pointer Â– not everyone puts a hole in a perfectly good hull. Lots of folks toss the end of the input hose overboard whenever they use the washdown. Try itÂ…if it doesnÂ’t work out for you, you can drill the hole later. I think a thru hull is a better idea if you plan on any washdown while underway.
Do you have any good ideas on how to mount a hose unit on the swim platform?
NahÂ…donÂ’t botherÂ…just leave the nozzle on the hose and toss it over the stern. ItÂ’ll follow you all the way back to port.
I think that tossing a hose over the side would last about one trip with me. Once you have a wash down system you're not going to settle for anything less than on-demand water anytime you want it. We keep the boat generally clean all the time now days, including the gunwales when that old rule - ladys go inside (porta pottie inside the cabin), guys go over the side - comes into play. Of course there's the fish blood to clean up too, but its just a squirt away to take care of it. On our system I use a short, 15 foot section of hose that is permantely connected.My whole system works like this. First there is the water inlet, which is a 1" bronze pickup. Go ahead and drill the hole in the bottom, quit worrying about it. Its no big deal. On top of my thru hull I have a 1" ball valve. I do not use a standard sea **** . On top of the ball valve there is a 1" check valve and then it reduces down to 3/4" hose. As mentioned, double clamp it with good hose clamps. By the way, you can buy good hose clamps at the local hardware, just make sure they sell you the ones that are used on submersible pumps. these will have full stainless heads on them, to include the worm gear screws in them. From the inlet side the hose goes directly to the pump, which is a Groco in our wash down system. the outlet of the pump goes to a T-fitting. One side of the T-fitting goes to the pressure tank and the other side goes to the water hose, which has the pistol grip nozzel on it. We just keep it stashed in a locker space, sort of curled up. Because the Groco unit is pressure switch controled (with pressure constantly maintained by the check valve that is back there at the ball valve) it remains on at all times. The pressure tank I use means that it doesn't cycle until about a gallon of water has been used. That's nice because the pump is actually a big power consumer.I think that the main thing you have to get away from is the fear of drilling that hole in your boat's bottom. Just do it, its not going to leak, you are not going to hit something and knock it off, immediately swamping the boat. Its not even goig to hurt it if you run aground. Its really no big deal but its the first step towards having a real system. Anything less and you might as well just keep on dipping that 5-gallon bucket over the side.Oh, I'll stick by what I said about ShurFlo pumps. In my experience with them they are utter junk and I not only wouldn't buy another one for myself but, to tell the truth, I wouldn't install one on someone elses boat either. If someone wanted to use one I'd just let them stick it in there themselves, they don't need me to help them put junk in their boat. That's how strongly I feel about them. I'm sort of particular about every piece of equipment on our boat though. I consider everything on the boat, with the exception of the cassette player, a piece of safety equipment, and I will not have inferior quality stuff on our boat.Thom
Thom,Thanks again for the information. I have actually done a lot of work with through hull installations, just twists me up a bit when it is on my (new to me) boat.Your idea to install a pressure tank is a very good one. With this type of installation, you maximize the pump cycle and therefor reduce the number of cycles/gallon pumped. Make sure at least once a year you drain the tank and check the pre-charge. It should be 2psi below the kick on pressure of the pump. This will ensure the maximum cycle time and therefor efficiency of the system. Unlike cars, pump lifespans are typically rated in terms of cycles and not hours. Starting amps are high and that is when most of the "damage" is done. This is assuming that the system is properly installed, not cavitating, properly ventilated, and operating within the best efficiency aspect of the perfomance curve.If you have had specific issues with the ShurFlo product(s) and would be willing to share your experiences, I would be happy to facilitate a discussion between the company and you. ShurFlo is a very customer oriented company and genuinely interested in customer satisfaction. I work for a sister company to ShurFlo (We are both owned by WICOR Industries / soon to be Pentair) and we have worked together on projects in several industries including the marine industry, RV, carwash, etc. As I said earlier I don't work directly for them, but they share the same customer focused approach to sales, design and service, and if you have experiences that would benefit the company in terms of specific failures and improvements I am confident they would be happy to work with you and react accordingly.If you have an interest or would like to talk directly to me you can e-mail me at email@example.com .Thanks for the help, your posts are informative and appreciated.