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Bilge Pump Problem: 1999 Chaparral 1930 SS


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Hello Gents,

I have a little problem with my '99 1930 SS's bilge pump. It is running continously but not pumping any water. The float switch is fine. There is an inch or two of water in the bilge and lifting the float switch up thereby allowing the pump to run. The pump is simply not pumping any water. I'm wondering - can the pump lose it's prime? Have the seals dried out? Has the impellor broken? (I do hear a very slight grinding noise like particles of sand or the like is being circulated. Could I perhaps prime it by pouring water down into the hull outlet fitting if it has lost it's prime?

Any ideas? Maybe time for a new pump....lol

Thanks,

Dave in NH

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An easy way of testing a bilge pump is to run some water into the bilge from a hose. See if the pump starts as the float switch rises and pumps out the water until the float switch drops to the "Off" level. Bilge pumps are designed to work without priming. If it works as described, it's working properly. If it doesn't, you need to do some checking. You may have some debis stuck in the pump. All pumps can be removed from their bases by unsnapping some prongs on the sides. Do that to yours, then turn it over and check if anything is stuck in it. Keep in mind that a bilge pump will not totally dry out the bilge area. There will be some water drained back or left in the bilge after the pump stops pumping. That's the water that's in the pump-out hose and the level of water below the minimum needed to keep the float switch floating. In addition, the pump pick-up itself is usually about 1/2" above the biottom of the bilge. Hy

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I think you may have answered your own question (time for a new pump?). Can you pull the old unit out and look at it? Sounds like the inlets may be clogged or impeller may have come loose or the motor shaft is spinning, but not turning the impeller. Certainly worth a look see, but on an item of such importance it may just be smarter and less expensive to replace the old pump with new for peace of mind.

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Thanks for the replies guys. I'm at work tonight, but I will take the pump out and give it a good once-over tomorrow. My guess is that the pump is an original (I've just bought the boat 3 weeks ago -what a sweet boat btw!!), so as Whalersailor said, probably better just to pop for a new one...

-Dave in NH

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Look at the way that the pump and switch were installed. The switch should be mounted higher than the bottom of the pump.The

grinding noise probably is the pump sucking air and cavitating. Is the water an inch or two up on the pump base ? Then unsnap it and look for a clog.

My 234 pump arrangement stinks ! It leaves 6 gallons in the bilge. How do I know ? I hand emptied it and counted the buckets ! I looked at the bottom design and the boat sits to flat to drain to the back.

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Hi Guys,

So, I finally had a chance to track the problem down on the bilge pump. I unsnapped the pump from it's base and inspected it; it had a leaf or two in it but it wasn't clogged. The impellors seemed fine, the motor seemed to spin freely and without binding. Then I replaced the pump in the base and took the outlet hose off to see if she pumped any water - it pumped a gusher! The upshot - the outlet hose was clogged just a couple of inches in from the through-hull fitting! I don't know if something tried to make a nest in there or what, but it was clogged solid. I took some flexible fiberglass rods and shoved them in there, and eventually broke the clog enough that it spit itself out.Bottom line: the pump and switch were fine - the hose was clogged. Problem solved!

- Dave in NH

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