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 Post subject: electric bilge pump
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 10:28 pm 
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Has anyone tried an electric bilge pump? I have just installed one and am stiill revising the design. I am looking for a good switch system as the automatic float switch is not too satisfactory.


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 Post subject: Re: electric bilge pump
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 10:40 pm 
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Mike_Jackson wrote:
Has anyone tried an electric bilge pump? I have just installed one and am stiill revising the design. I am looking for a good switch system as the automatic float switch is not too satisfactory.


sounds cool. Got any pics?

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 Post subject: Re: electric bilge pump
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 10:47 pm 
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Mike_Jackson wrote:
Has anyone tried an electric bilge pump? I have just installed one and am stiill revising the design. I am looking for a good switch system as the automatic float switch is not too satisfactory.

You might try asking about the switch system on Nick Shade's Kayak Building Bulletin Board. There have been a number of peope there who have installed electic pumps and lots of discussion about the subject.

If you've never been to Kayak Builders Bulletin Board before, you'll find everyone there very friendly and helpful.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 10:49 pm 
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I'll take some and post them once I have a system I am happy with. Right now, I am happy with the battery, the pump, the outlet port and the non return valve, but want a better switch system. I am using an autoswitching west marine pump, but it turns on when I don't want it (when I carry the boat on my shoulder!) and stops itself too early.
It does a great job of emptying the boat though - just over two minuutes from a reentry and roll or padlle float self rescue.
I am trying to track down a suitable waterproof switch system.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 3:22 am 
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While searching for a source for "Chimp" manual bilge pumps (& if you know of one please let me know) I ran across this guys answer for electric pumps, batteries & switches. He was doing this back in the 80's so this may be way out of date techwise. http://members.iinet.net.au/~lford1/epumps.htm


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Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 8:15 am 
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Thanks for the link. I had found that one in my travels. I have a chimp pump on the back deck of my old IceFloe. It is not a bad unit.


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 Post subject: Re: electric bilge pump
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:15 pm 
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Hi Mike

I'm tooling up to install an electric bilge pump in my recently acquired Telkwa.

Are you still using a SPDT latching air switch http://www.hottubessentials.ca/air-switch-parts.asp and air button http://www.hottubessentials.ca/air-button-parts.asp or have you come up with something more elegant?

Gary

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 Post subject: Re: electric bilge pump
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:37 pm 
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still the same set up. Have not looked into more elegant solutions recently...

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 Post subject: Re: electric bilge pump
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:26 pm 
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Gnarly Dog has a discussion on his website:

http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com/2009/ ... kayak.html


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 Post subject: Re: electric bilge pump
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:40 pm 
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I also have an article specific just to switches for pumps ( I guess they could be used for other devices too) at: http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com/2009/ ... witch.html
Attachment:
Magnet asembly on deck_skf.jpg
Magnet asembly on deck_skf.jpg [ 211.04 KiB | Viewed 6174 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: electric bilge pump
Unread postPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 8:57 am 
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I have used an air switch and an air button (think hot tub) setup - works really well and the electrics are in a sealed pelican case, no chance of water damage.


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 Post subject: Re: electric bilge pump
Unread postPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 8:27 pm 
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Having used electric pumps for several years, I wouldn't count on anything else. In all the incidents I have discussed over the years one of the major issues was pumping out the boat after re-entry. The fact that I have always been a solo kayaker means I have had to take that issue seriously.

In the past I used a 500GPH Atwood pump which could empty my cockpit, filled to the top of the combing, in 2 minutes flat. In real world situations, the cockpit doesn't fill that much and even if it did, you would displace a bunch of that water on re-entry. So, -1 minute is a likely pump out time.

The switch is always the problem. I built my own waterproof switch which I then put through several cycles in my washing machine. It never failed. I used it for about three years but have decided to replacing the entire system this year and am upgrading everything.

This time I am going with a reed switch and magnet like in the photo posted here. I think it will be bombproof. In fact, I think that I am going to use pretty much the exact system from that blog (which I found a few weeks back)with perhaps a change to a larger battery. Last time I had a 11AH battery which I had in the rear hatch but this time I am going to put it all behind the seat in a Pelican case so a smaller battery is called for but maybe a little bigger than the 1.3AH used in the blog.

I will probably have a dual purpose magnet. When not in use it will be the stopper for the through hull fitting. Moving it to the on position will open the fitting. I recommend clearly marking the switch location on the outside so there is no confusion when turning the unit on.

Remember that with the sealed lead acid batteries you have to use a smart charger and charge at no more than 2.0 amps (trickle charge). In fact, 1.8 amps is recommended.

I am also looking for a solar charger to keep the battery topped up on long trips. Some company made a flexible solar panel that rolled up into a small tube but I haven't been able to find that source. A small solar charger is readily available from several retail stores.

Anyway, that's my two cents. Good luck with your project.


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 Post subject: Re: electric bilge pump
Unread postPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 8:56 pm 
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I've had my air button/air switch malfunction when water got into the air line on one of my other boats.
So I wanted to try this magnetic reed solution.

I scoured my HAM radio junk box for a magnetic reed switch, but could only find a "normally closed" unit.

Today, I stopped by Quaile Electronics here in Victoria to pick up a "normally open" magnetic reed switch.
At around $3, this part is cheaper than an air button and air switch--both difficult to obtain here in Victoria.

Rather than trigger a 12V relay to drive the pump, the very knowledgable fellow who has been on staff at Quaile
for years and years, suggested that I try using a MOSFET instead. No points to arc, which could be a good thing.

I'll post an update if I get a working MOSFET design.

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 Post subject: Re: electric bilge pump
Unread postPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 9:16 pm 
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Qajak, in my early electric bilge pump projects I used the Pelican case with battery in the cockpit.
It did not work.
Pelican cases are only weatherproof (not submersible) and therefore did leak and ruined the set up.
Several others have thought of putting the Pelican case in the cockpit and found out that it failed (rewarding to know that I was not the only schmuck :-)
You could find a truly leak proof box but it is supposed to be vented because of the gasses that SLA batteries emit...
For recharging the battery on long trips ( I use a SLA 1.3 Ah battery for illuminating the campsite, recharge camera batteries)
I use a small 5W solar panel in a clear dry bag on deck while paddling (no good to try recharging batteries at camp in the evening while the sun is setting...).
There are a few more details available at:
http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com/2009/ ... arger.html
Attachment:
panel on deck_sm (c).jpg
panel on deck_sm (c).jpg [ 94.12 KiB | Viewed 6066 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: electric bilge pump
Unread postPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 9:52 pm 
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gnarlydog wrote:
Qajak, in my early electric bilge pump projects I used the Pelican case with battery in the cockpit.
It did not work.
Pelican cases are only weatherproof (not submersible) and therefore did leak and ruined the set up.
Several others have thought of putting the Pelican case in the cockpit and found out that it failed (rewarding to know that I was not the only schmuck :-)
You could find a truly leak proof box but it is supposed to be vented because of the gasses that SLA batteries emit...
For recharging the battery on long trips ( I use a SLA 1.3 Ah battery for illuminating the campsite, recharge camera batteries)
I use a small 5W solar panel in a clear dry bag on deck while paddling (no good to try recharging batteries at camp in the evening while the sun is setting...).
There are a few more details available at:
http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com/2009/ ... arger.html
Attachment:
panel on deck_sm (c).jpg


Gnarleydog,

Thanks for the info. I will have to look into this a bit more because my battery only says that it must be removed from a sealed container to be charged. I was planning on using a watertight Pelican case. Perhaps the battery in the rear hatch is way to go though. I have a brand new 12AH battery so maybe I will use it. A little big but I am a minimalist and have a ton of room in my boat. I'll think about it some more.

The switch I made in my last pump was very easy and inexpensive BUT I always doubted it, even though it lasted very well. I cut it open after deciding to replace it and there was absolutely no corrosion or evidence of leakage. However, I know that, should I make another, I will still doubt it because there is no way to check except by destroying it. Better to go with the reed switch which I can be 100% sure of and can access without lifting the edge of my spray skirt..

That's a good idea with the batery charger on deck. I usually have a rest day or more built into my trips and figured I would recharge during that time but I like your idea.

Thanks again.

ETA: I am also looking at building all the electronics onto a circuit board, testing it and then encasing it in a resin much like computer components on automobiles. This will not only aid in waterproofing but will make the system much more shock resistant.


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 Post subject: Re: electric bilge pump
Unread postPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 11:52 am 
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I completed the electric bilge pump install the other night.

In the end, I abandoned the idea of replacing the relay with a MOSFET, for two reasons.

The nature of this application requires a storage battery to remain in a charged state for months on end.
If there was any leakage between source and drain on the MOSFET, the battery might arrive at the "emergency" in a discharged state.

The operating MOSFET might also produce excessive heat, requiring a heat sink, inside the confined space of the battery box. Not a good idea.

So, I went with the magnetic switch tripping a relay. I placed the magnetic switch just behind the cockpit, to keep the exposed wiring far from clumsy feet.

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 Post subject: Re: electric bilge pump
Unread postPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 5:33 pm 
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The creation of an available electric bilge pump on the public market is one of the most important developements that is needed.

I believe there would be a good market for such a product if it were fairly simple to purchase and install.

The electric part of the product is the hard part. For someone to create the product and mass market it would be appreciated.

I want one but don't know much about batteries, electronics etc.

I paddle solo most of the time and an electric pump could mean a much higher level of safety and I know there are many other paddlers in the same boat so to speak.

-0-

The latest issue of Seakayaker has an article about a prop motor titled, Torqeedo Ultralight 402. That product comes with a battery pack. Would that battery pack be useful for use with an electric bilge pump?

Eectric bilge pumps are the future.


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 Post subject: Re: electric bilge pump
Unread postPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 5:45 pm 
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GCW, the batttery is the easy part: a Sealed Lead Acid one, 1.2Ah is alll it's needed.
You can purchase those in a lot of places.
The trick part is the switch.
The simple ones (toggle switch) failed on me several times.
I have therefore fabricated the magnetic switch.
There are a few other options for switches for an electric bilge pump:

http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com/2009/ ... witch.html

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 Post subject: Re: electric bilge pump
Unread postPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 4:06 pm 
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Rule has a new automatic pump that cycles for half a second every 2.5 seconds. If there is water it automatically continues pumping.

http://www.rule-industries.com/files/itemdoct4691.pdf

A similar one was discussed earlier but the claim was that the water level had to be too high. This is just a standard Rule pump with some electronics so it should pump exactly the same as any other Rule pump.

However, I have already built my system and will be installing it as soon as I put the divider in my new day hatch box. Maybe I will look into it for the wife's boat.


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 Post subject: Re: electric bilge pump
Unread postPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 2:26 pm 
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gnarlydog wrote:
GCW, the batttery is the easy part: a Sealed Lead Acid one, 1.2Ah is alll it's needed.


Ok; battery-noob question coming up... :oops:

What's the advantage of using a sealed lead acid battery vs. say, 8 x AA rechargeable batteries in a tray? Isn't it easier/more convenient to use rechargeable AA's (which can be used in other electronics when not out paddling)?

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 Post subject: Re: electric bilge pump
Unread postPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 2:48 pm 
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You need more power than eight AA's will provide; and it makes sense to have the bilge pump battery rechargeable. Not to mention that a sealed cell is more waterproof than the typical AA tray. And, the lead acid cell is more cost effective in the long run.

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 Post subject: Re: electric bilge pump
Unread postPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 3:46 pm 
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yes a 1.2 Ah 12v is reasonably compact and water resistant and theoretically should be equivalent to 1200 mAh AAs. However most NiMh are more like 2500 mAh... not sure of the comparison here. To have an equivalent SLA battery you would want 2.4 Ah I think.
Since NiMh and many other high power AAs are only 1.2 v, you probably want 10 of them in a pack instead of 8.

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 Post subject: Re: electric bilge pump
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:53 am 
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Thanks Dave and Mike.

For some reason I thought AA's were 1.5 V, not 1.2 V. :oops: (see, told ya I was a battery-noob!)

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 Post subject: Re: electric bilge pump
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:04 am 
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Wandering the web this AM I saw that Adventure Kayak has a short article about installing a pump.Looks like a simple and relatively inexpensive solution and it uses AA batteries.

http://www.adventurekayakmag.com/adventurekayakmag_earlysummer10/

Look at page 26


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 Post subject: Re: electric bilge pump
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:12 am 
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I built a few diving canister lights so sealing the battery and switches were key. You guys should take a look at that area, maybe some of the ideas can be crossed over. Also another area to look would be underwater scooters, as these items are used to excessive depths. Try looking at "http://www.thedecostop.com" it should be a start.


RobP.


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