View Full Version : Extend The Life Of Your Wash Down Pumps
09-17-2009, 05:52 PM
Having myself gone through a couple of wash down pumps over the years I decided to find a way to make the latest replacement live a longer life. I bought a 3 way bronze valve and installed it above deck where I can easily reach it. I re-located the pump (also above deck) where it is now easier to get at when I need to. I brought the inlet hose up from the thru hull valve up to the new 3 way valve. From that valve one hose carries on to the pump, another about 6 feet long comes off the other outlet. (it rests in my side pocket) The end of that hose has a threaded removable cap to seal it off, or open it. Now when the 3 way is in one position it allows the pump to draw seawater. At the end of the days use of the pump I remove the cap from the end of the 6 foot hose, swing the valve to allow the pump to draw from it.....I have a bucket full of fresh water which I stick the hose into...turn on the pump and let it flush itself with fresh water. When done, put the cap back on and turn the valve back to seawater for the next mornings use. Same principle as flushing your engine of salt. The bonus is it could be used as an additional emergency bilge pump if you make the bucket hose long enough to reach the bilge area of your boat.
09-17-2009, 06:02 PM
Bloody Hell! I should have thought of that. I am having problems with mine now, I think I will do that to mine. Thanks for the great idea.:D
09-18-2009, 05:26 AM
09-18-2009, 05:48 AM
To me, it sounds like a good idea, but I found mounting mine above the waterline caused it to loose it's prime sometimes, after running it takes 10 or 20 seconds to re-pressurize, especially after running a few miles. Not a big deal though when looking at pump lifespan
The other thing, I'm not so sure how long it would extend the life of a pump, as the actual business end of the pump has a diaphragm in it, with no metal parts to be in contact with the water. I could see an advantage with a rotary vane pump, but not a plastic diaphragm style like the ones we all run.
Some good reading here:
Last Chance Fishing Adventures
09-18-2009, 12:26 PM
Great idea. If you wanted to go one step further -- when you flush the pump use SaltAway rather than just water. It will remove the salt and minerals that get into the system. Use their garden hose adapter -- run it for just a few seconds until the foam appears in the water coming out of the pump and leave it.
Stuff works great on rods, tackle, all boat parts, hull and as an engine flush.
09-20-2009, 02:06 PM
LC..mine has no problem priming..(Sure-Flo...Pro Blaster) it can be mounted up to 6 feet above the waterline...mine is about 2- 2 /2 feet above. Salt left to crystallize will do damage to just about anything..by expanding in small cracks and blowing things apart. It is also important to keep the pump motor dry if you want long life.
Now if I can just get all my customers to remember to turn off the switch after they rinse their pee from the gunnel of the boat.
10-01-2009, 05:49 PM
I'm with LC, the pumps are basically sealed units with no metal internal parts. The thing that goes on them is the motor which you can't flush. It is what it is....think we will just have to get used to replacing them every 3 to 4 seasons.
10-01-2009, 10:45 PM
LC is correct and pointed to a good article. I have found, the absolute hardest thing on pumps, next to running debris through them, is letting them set for extended periods without use, especially around the salt. The only time it would benefit by flushing my raw water pump with fresh water, would be prior to extended storage or non-use. But, I also don’t let any of my pumps set, especially the mercerator. I do rinse them with fresh water to get the salt off the outside. Shurflo washdown pumps are corrosion resistant, not corrosion proof, so you do need to keep them somewhat free of saltwater, on the outside. “People are always complaining about the unreliability of these pumps due to their history of frequent breakdowns. In fact, these pumps are reliable when installed properly, but frequently they are not. There are three main problems that usually cause their demise.”
1. They are located in a place that gets wet.
2. Diaphragm pumps are intolerant of any kind of debris in the water being pumped.
3. Freezing as a result of inadequate winter layup.
I don’t believe those are really listed in any order, unless the author is referring to getting wet, as being exposed to “salt water” and corrosion associated to the outside of the pump and the electrical connections, then it would rank there.
“The second problem is one that can be solved by installing the appropriate sized strainer or filter so as to prevent debris from getting into the inner workings of the pump.” The rest of his comment is referring to a “fresh” water system.
The third is self-explanatory, but I have been caught there. Depending on how the “washdown” pump is installed, it probably will not drain and is susceptible to freezing.
But, hey I don't run mine day in and day out for seven or eight months, either! :)
10-04-2009, 04:16 PM
Funny you posted that Rolly, I am just putting in a new pump as well, old one packed it up.I noticed the instruction on my new flojet shows attaching to a freshwater tank VIA three way to allow fresh or raw water. Good idea, there not cheap !
10-05-2009, 04:16 AM
I'm on my 3rd since I bought the boat. The parts to give it a fresh water flush were cheap, so worth a try. So far so good, still working like new.
Eyes Up Chuck
12-22-2009, 11:11 AM
Wondering if anyone might / might not suggest the Shurflo Blaster pump? only 90bucks - 3.5gpm Whats your thoughts?
Or, what one would you choose at these prices?
12-22-2009, 02:09 PM
I'm running the sure flo pro blaster, works great, lots of pressure.
12-23-2009, 02:59 AM
I'm running the sure-flo for 8 seasons-gone through a couple of impellors and gasket kits. Keep a spare re-built pump ready to go-I've had no problems with the motors so overall I'm happy with them.
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