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jetskipro550

Ballast won't fill

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jetskipro550

Last fall when we bought our boat it came with the front MLS (in the ski locker). This was added after the boat was purchased, but it was done by the malibu dealer so it was put in correctly. I don't know how it is set up but if I flip the switch one way it empties and when I flip it the other way it is supposed to fill up. My problem is that it doesn't fill up, it will only empty. Is there one pump to fill and one to empty? I don't know anything about this set up so I don't even know where to begin to look. I hear the pump making noise while trying to fill but there is no water coming in. Is there anyway I can test this in my driveway without having to be on the water?

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JeffK

Yep...Separate pumps. The fill pump is plumbed into the hull of the boat and the drain should be at the back of the sack. Flip your switch to fill and grab the pump to feel for vibration. Make sure the safety valve is open anbd that the pump is working.

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jetskipro550

where would the saftey valve be and do you think I would have one?

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SacRiverRat

YoPro,

Can you see the thing? Not sure why it isn't obvious how it works, on the normal installation, there are two pumps, one that goes thru the hull, and one attached at the back end of the bag (twards transom)... the one in the bag is the drain.

To test it at home, just use your fake-a-lake.. if you don't have one, make one using a garden hose and plunger - works great

Good luck!

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jetskipro550
YoPro,

Can you see the thing?  Not sure why it isn't obvious how it works, on the normal installation, there are two pumps, one that goes thru the hull, and one attached at the back end of the bag (twards transom)... the one in the bag is the drain.

To test it at home, just use your fake-a-lake.. if you don't have one, make one using a garden hose and plunger - works great

Good luck!

I am not looking at it right now because I am down at school. But I have looked at it before. I can only see the fill pump (it is located between the engine are and the ski locker) and it is definitly working...just not correctly I hear it making a buzzing/humming sound but it doesn't fill the sac up. I will have my little brother check for a valve tonight and then I will know if there is one on the setup

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Chauncemaster

If the fill pump that is attached to the hull is making a buzzing noise chances are it is working but something is blocking the plumbing.

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WakeGirl

Next time you get a chance, take a look at how they have it plumbed. If the dealer did it, then there is a chance that it wasn't done the same as how they do it at the factory. If they didn't put the fill pump in a thru-hull as Jeff & Sac described, then it's possible that the pump isn't maintaining prime which is essential in these aerator pumps.

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Jimmy Buffett

There may be a ball valve between the thru-hull and the pump.

There may be a kink in the plumbing line, especially if it has to make too sharp of a turn or curve.

It may be wired in reverse so the pump is turning the wrong way.

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whiteVLX

You might have a chunk of crap stuck in the impeller. Had that happen to a buddy once. We had to pull the pump apart and pull the crap out of it.

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jetskipro550

Thanks for all your help! I am done with school next monday and then after that I am going to track down this problem. Hopefully with all of this new info I will be able to figure it out. I am hoping that it is something as simple as it being clogged!

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jetskipro550

I fixed the problem! The sack had a hole in it and I had two other ones so I just hooked up one of my new sacks and it works just fine.

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jetskipro550

I Noticed something strange today while filling the ballast. While filling it the ballast bilge dump is pouring out water. I don't know why this is? The sack fills just fine and its not like it was overflowing water it just poured water out while the sac was filling??? It poured as much water out as it does when I empty the sack too. Does anyone know why it would do this and if its a bad thing? The sack filled fairly quickly too. This is my first time using this ballast system. BTW the ballast has two pumps, one to fill and another to empty.

Also when I empty the sack water pours out of the hull where it origionally takes in water to fill the sack underneath the boat. Is this normal???

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WakeGirl

I'm guessing that this isn't a factory system? If so, they probably plumbed an overflow line into your bilge line that comes off of the main line - it would act as pressure relief when the sack gets full, but still dump a little (or lot depending on how it's plumbed) water while filling. As far as the drain, it's probably set up on some sort of manifold to use the same hole for filling & draining. Not an optimal setup, but common enough on aftermarket or DIY ballast systems. Nothing wrong with it either as long as everything works okay. The only thing I'd look at is that overflow & how it's oriented - if it's dumping a lot of water, then it may be cutting into your fill times, not what you want.

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jetskipro550

It wasn't done at the factory, but buy the Malibu dealer in Madrass (I think thats where its at) before we bought it. It fills fairly quickly, maybe 5 minutes and its a 580lb. sack. I will keep my eye on it, but as long as it works fine I think it will be alright. Thanks for your help Tracie!

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