The Boating Forum - Stupid washdown pumps!
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I'm sure that all of you that have washdown pumps have enjoyed teh fact that they seldom work. I have one that came with my boat (a Shurflo pump) and had problems with it from the start. It worked on the first trip then went belly up. Back to the dealer for that and some other warranty work and it works for one trip and dies again. During that time my bilge pump died as well and while waiting on a replacement from the dealer, they declared bankruptcy and had all their accounts closed so I decided to take the washdown pump apart and see what was what.
Let me tell you, whoever thought that it would be OK to have a marine washdown pump not be watertight should be shot. When I opened it up, I found about 2 inches of water in the bottom of it (seems the bottom was watertight) and moisture all over everything. I dumped it out, cleaned the corrosion with a wire brush, blew the rest of the dust and water out with the air hose and let it dry out for a couple of days and then put it back together using Boat Life sealant (not the caulk but the 4200 copy) and it worked for a couple of weeks. After that, the corrosion had started back up and caused it to lock up so I took it apart again.
This time I cleaned it with Naval Jelly, a wire brush and the air hose and sprayed a thick coating of CorrosionX HD on it. I wasn't really sure if this would work as I did not know whether or not CorrosionX was conductive but apparently it is not. After learning this by testing the pump, I put it all back together again sealing it with 4200 this time and it's worked fine since. It sounds terrible because of the corrosion that it had but it works.
So, the point of this Troutyesque (wordy) email is that if you're having trouble with your washdown pump (and who doesn't), don't be afraid to take it apart and improve it. When this one finally dies for good I intend to perform this process on any new pump I purchase immediately in the hopes of preventing the problems that I've had with this one.
Does anyone else have any other helpful hints on keeping these things running. The washdown pump and the nav lights are by far the most problematic systems on my boat to keep running.
11-30-2003, 05:01 PM
bg,I had the same problem as you and found that if I turned the pump facing down and the motor up the thing has worked fine for the last five years.I guess having the pump on top it leaked down into the motor and she froze up solid.How is your pump mounted?
11-30-2003, 05:25 PM
If using a JABSCO pump - their literature recommends that the motor be on the top and pump on the bottom if mounted verticaly. The one that I just removed to replace was just the opposite and the motor case was HUGE with rust
It's mounted vertically with the motor on the top and the pump on the bottom. I think the water was getting in through the bolt holes in the top because there were a couple of dinky little gaskets on the housing.
It just doesn't make sense to me that a manufacturer wouldn't make the entire pump water tight. It really wouldn't be that hard. A couple of decent rubber gaskets that actually get compressed on both ends of the housing and a coule of tight rubber washers for the bolts, or better yet a tube that goes all the way through with a gasket where it meets the threaded part for the bolt to snug onto would do the trick for probably less than a dollar per pump.
11-30-2003, 07:01 PM
I'm infamouse! http://thehulltruth.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
Fancy - a boating term named afetr me...probably better suited to some helmsman who does coonassed stupid things on the water while at the helm! Now that was 'troutyesque maneuver'.
Filling out the insurance claim....
....and the idiot commin the other way performed this coonassed troutyesque maneouver right in frunna me - and we collided! http://thehulltruth.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif
Yes - I can see it now, the epitaph on my tombstone...
And here lies a man
of boating veracity & worth,
with a grammaphone needle at Birth.
His propensity excells
as a seafaring yarns tella,
His lengthy posts making him
possibly the world worst speller
truly an unequalled type
of 'troutyesque' fella!
Oh well - famous - / infamouse - they are close at least! http://thehulltruth.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif http://thehulltruth.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
Eds Marine Superstore
11-30-2003, 08:05 PM
Hey BG don't know when you got your boat but Shurflo had a recall on lots of their pumps this year.
Thanks, Ed's! I wasn't aware of that. I sent them an email to see if mine might be affected. The boat was a 2002 leftover so the pump was probably manufactured in 2001 or 2002.
I'll let everyone know what I find out!
Trouty, I'm glad to see you took that in the good natured manner it was intended! http://thehulltruth.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
12-01-2003, 03:28 AM
bg, I had a Shurflo in my new Parker and it quit working within 4 months of use. Turns out it was the pressure switch which can be bought at West Marine as a repair kit. After the second failure, the pump would not work at all and when I went to buy a new one, I got a Jabsco. Puts out alot more pressure and has worked fine now for over a year.
Believe it or not, some washdown pumps are not to be mounted in the bilge! Some of the boxes have a label on them that says 'do not mount in a wet environment'. A pump that pumps water cannot get wet! Isn't a boat a "wet environment"? http://thehulltruth.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Check your pump and see if it is the bilge type or not. Might just be too much corrosion. Have you tried to replace the pressure switch?
12-01-2003, 04:26 AM
BG, I looked at a new Aquasport 215 this past summer and the dealer told me that he recommends disconnecting the washdown pump prior to the inital launch because of all the trouble they were having with them. Not a good selling point.
12-01-2003, 04:51 AM
Washdown first of all is a mis-nomer. It's more like a trickle down pump to me. It seems to me the boat builders are using these old design steel case pumps for two reasons. They are self priming and they can be outfitted with a pressure switch. They are intended to be mounted high and dry, which we all know is almost impossible in a boat that needs one in the first place.
My first question is do we need a self priming pump in this application? Maybe we do sometimes but in most cases I think a below the waterline pump, like a livewell pump, would work fine. You can get more volume for less money, and they're watertight, designed to be mounted in a wet location. I know it can worked; I've done it.
This type pump does eliminate the pressure switch option, but then it doesn't need one. If you cut off the flow it can still run indefinitely with no damage. Like any other component, turn it on when you need it, and off when you're through. And they use way less current than those self priming ones they use now.
These pumps are most usefull if they utilize a through hull, high speed pickup, but then so are the self primers. This pickup requires a shut off valve inside the hull for safety.
Another solution is to use the livewell pump itself for the washdown. Some simple plumbing with a diverter valve is all it takes.
Tom Marlowe, sales at Summerville Marine. Past Master Tech.
12-01-2003, 07:43 AM
i have been through three shurflo "blasters" in
a decade, and they are in a protected location
and lightly used....these pumps are NOT high on
reliability/durability, so install it so you
can EASILY replace it....dan
12-01-2003, 09:09 AM
I had a similar problem with a Jabsco Par Max 4 pump on my old boat. The motor / pump axis was horizontal, but water seeps right through the motor housing.
When I replaced it, I painted it with liquid electrical tape (neoprene) and it held up fine.
If you were to go to the WMI message board and use their search engine you'd find that I have been calling SurFlo pumps pieces of shit since sometime right around 1992 or so.
If you want a small boat wash down system that works, and by that I mean gives you pressure that will actually clean something along with volume that will challenge your scuppers you need to get a Groco C-60 (http://www.groco.net/images/pumps/pumps-deckwash.html) wash down system. Its 12 volts and it is the last one you will need to buy. They are not inexpensive however. As an alternative I can tell you that the Jabsco Water Puppy that I used for 5 years as a wash down pump faired just fine but lacked the kind of pressure I wanted. After 5 years as a wash down pump I moved it over to do duty as a livewell pump, where its still working just fine thank you.
12-02-2003, 10:31 AM
Mine came with a Rule, began getting a lot of water in bildge. Started becoming significant so I started looking,,,,, Rule pump leaking badly. Replaced unit and tore it apart. Has a flat o-ring between housing and pump motor. Wasn't a good seal after two years. Was mounted below water line.
12-02-2003, 11:11 AM
rule pumps recently had a bunch of recalls also, that may have been why yours was leaking so bad. something about the screws not being long enough in there 1100gph pumps.