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Michigan boarder

Priming a fake-a-lake

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Michigan boarder

I've seen thread discussions wherein the dialog leads to the priming of a fake-a-lake (FAL). I've never used one, but I don't understand the concept of priming. Doesn't the typical house have like 45psi of water pressure? So it should be shooting water into FAL, which shoots it into the pump, even with a marginal seal on the hull (path of least resistance). If priming is necessary, then that means that the boat needs to suck more than 45psi of water. So it would "pull" the water thru the hose and house...but wouldn't it run low eventually and overheat since it requires more water than can be supplied by the house?

Just killing some winter time here. 3.5 months 'till it even matters.

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Steve B.

My boat sucks water way more than the home can keep up. I fill a recycle can with at least 50 gallons or so, while still refilling from the house, and the boat sucks it dry in minutes.

Amazing how much that little raw water pump draws water!

Steve B.

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Bobby Light

I use the fakealake all the time and never had an issue with priming. I hook it up, position it, turn the water on, wait for water to build up and push past plunger, start boat, look for water coming out exhaust, and watch the temp climb to 160. I make sure it isn't going much past 160.

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REW

I use the fakealake all the time and never had an issue with priming. I hook it up, position it, turn the water on, wait for water to build up and push past plunger, start boat, look for water coming out exhaust, and watch the temp climb to 160. I make sure it isn't going much past 160.

No issues here either. However on the first start of the year (dewinterization) it will take 30 plus seconds to get water out of the exhaust. A quick touch of the impeller housing will confirm that it is pulling water.

I think most people haveing the issue are having it onthe first start of the season or after draining the water from the motor; it takes a lot of water to fill the motor back up. Check the impeller housing for temp, it should be cool to the touch, to see if you are moving water.

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shawndoggy

I've had nothing but trouble with the fake a lake. Having installed a flush pro on our first boat, I'd never go back. The flush pro works so much better than the fake a lake.

When you see the raw water pump be able to suck a garden hose flat with a blip of the throttle when connected to a flush pro, it makes you appreciate how starved for water the motor must be on a fake a lake. Maybe you guys get perfect leak-proof seals on the raw rater intake with the fake a lake, but I always had water shooting out the sides of the plunger.

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Fman

I've had nothing but trouble with the fake a lake. Having installed a flush pro on our first boat, I'd never go back. The flush pro works so much better than the fake a lake.

When you see the raw water pump be able to suck a garden hose flat with a blip of the throttle when connected to a flush pro, it makes you appreciate how starved for water the motor must be on a fake a lake. Maybe you guys get perfect leak-proof seals on the raw rater intake with the fake a lake, but I always had water shooting out the sides of the plunger.

Where did you pick up your flush pro and is it difficult to install? If you dont mind explaining how does this supply more water to the motor than a fake-a-lake? The hose is still putting out the same amount of water regardless of how it is being introduced into the motor, correct?

I have not had any issues with a fake-a-lake, but I also was told never to go past idle, if you start bumping the throttle it will definitely exceed the capacity needed of a standard garden hose output and could cause damage to the impeller.

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Bill_AirJunky

I always had problems with the fake-a-lake too. The water would blow out the sides of the suction cup. Or just blow the whole thing off the intake grate altogether without me noticing. So I made the garden hose adapter to hook the hose straight into the intake. Now I can control everything from the top side without climbing around underneath the trailer. :rockon:

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MalibuNation

I've had nothing but trouble with the fake a lake. Having installed a flush pro on our first boat, I'd never go back. The flush pro works so much better than the fake a lake.

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shawndoggy

Where did you pick up your flush pro and is it difficult to install? If you dont mind explaining how does this supply more water to the motor than a fake-a-lake? The hose is still putting out the same amount of water regardless of how it is being introduced into the motor, correct?

I have not had any issues with a fake-a-lake, but I also was told never to go past idle, if you start bumping the throttle it will definitely exceed the capacity needed of a standard garden hose output and could cause damage to the impeller.

Bakes has one of the best deals on the net for the flush pro full kit (with through hull). If you don't want the through hull, skidim has a great deal on it. It's as easy to install as cutting your raw water intake hose in half and sticking the flush pro in the middle and adding two hose clamps. In short, no, not hard to install.

The flush pro doesn't drip a drop of water, even with the hose spigot at "full blast," while my fake a lake would always shoot water out the sides, under the boat. That's water that's not going up the raw water intake.

Read other threads here about advice for priming a fake a lake. Lots of recommendations for blipping the throttle to get it to prime.

Edited by shawndoggy

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Michigan boarder

...but I still don't get the whole "priming" thing. My experience with priming is when you are creating negative pressure which draws the water into the pump. That is, with any old liquid pump, when you turn the pump on you displace the water in the pump (assuming you primed it) and that water is replaced by the intended water source by negative pressure, and now you have a flow. With a FAL, you are supplying positive pressure. So as soon as the pump turns, water is being forced into the pump, so it should immediately start pumping, and should not rely on negative pressure to feed the pump. Right?

I disconnect the intake hose at the brass fitting in the floor and put the garden hose inside of it to supply water when I'm running it in the driveway. The only tough part is that hose is rigid and can be pretty hard to remove. Thinking of a flush pro too.

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UofK fanatic

I always had problems with the fake-a-lake too. The water would blow out the sides of the suction cup. Or just blow the whole thing off the intake grate altogether without me noticing. So I made the garden hose adapter to hook the hose straight into the intake. Now I can control everything from the top side without climbing around underneath the trailer. :rockon:

I do the same.

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Bake's Marine

...but I still don't get the whole "priming" thing. My experience with priming is when you are creating negative pressure which draws the water into the pump. That is, with any old liquid pump, when you turn the pump on you displace the water in the pump (assuming you primed it) and that water is replaced by the intended water source by negative pressure, and now you have a flow. With a FAL, you are supplying positive pressure. So as soon as the pump turns, water is being forced into the pump, so it should immediately start pumping, and should not rely on negative pressure to feed the pump. Right?

I disconnect the intake hose at the brass fitting in the floor and put the garden hose inside of it to supply water when I'm running it in the driveway. The only tough part is that hose is rigid and can be pretty hard to remove. Thinking of a flush pro too.

The biggest problem with fake a lakes is the water pressure. When the boat is in the water the water pressure is significantly higher than a garden hose. There is also a lot more air interruption using a fake a lake. We have 110 PSI here at Bake's and at times we still need to "prime" the water basically by revving the engine up to get past that big air bubble that gets trapped in the intake line. Perko Flush Kits take all those issues out because of the one way valve built into them that close once they are under pressure.

Hope this helps!!

Paul

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Bobby Light

People have the same issue with "priming" the intake when putting thier boats in the water at the beginning of the season. I don't think it has anything to do with the fakalake.

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martinarcher

I believe it has a lot to do with a dry impeller. Over the off season the impeller dries out and doesn't seal as well on the impeller housing and requires a bit more engine RPM to prime the engine. During the season if you use the boat every week or so, the intake line stays filled with water and the impeller housing is full of water. When you launch the boat the wet impeller seals a lot better on the impeller housing and immediately pulls water.

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tomas

I believe it has a lot to do with a dry impeller. Over the off season the impeller dries out and doesn't seal as well on the impeller housing and requires a bit more engine RPM to prime the engine. During the season if you use the boat every week or so, the intake line stays filled with water and the impeller housing is full of water. When you launch the boat the wet impeller seals a lot better on the impeller housing and immediately pulls water.

Wouldn't this be an argument for winterizing with RV antifreeze and leaving it in the block?

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EchelonMike

One thing I notice with the fake-a-lake is that it is a bad idea to align the hose fitting with the opening of the impeller's intake grate. I rotate mine 90 degrees, so the hose fitting is off to one side. I initially thought aligning it with a "straight shot" into the intake grate would improve flow. In reality, what happens on mine is the suction of the impeller is so strong, it collapses the hose and restricts water flow. When I rotate it 90 degrees, there's no hose collapse and the suction pulls the fake-a-lake flush to the hull and hardly a drop of water escapes - it all goes right into the engine. I get plenty of flow out the exhaust and the temp climbs to 160 and stays there as long as I want it to run.

If I were building/buying a new boat, having that hull hose fitting would be a must-have option, however - climbing under the boat after I am done running the boat always gets my back soaked from the wet driveway.

-- Mike

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jk13

One thing I notice with the fake-a-lake is that it is a bad idea to align the hose fitting with the opening of the impeller's intake grate. I rotate mine 90 degrees, so the hose fitting is off to one side. I initially thought aligning it with a "straight shot" into the intake grate would improve flow. In reality, what happens on mine is the suction of the impeller is so strong, it collapses the hose and restricts water flow. When I rotate it 90 degrees, there's no hose collapse and the suction pulls the fake-a-lake flush to the hull and hardly a drop of water escapes - it all goes right into the engine. I get plenty of flow out the exhaust and the temp climbs to 160 and stays there as long as I want it to run.

If I were building/buying a new boat, having that hull hose fitting would be a must-have option, however - climbing under the boat after I am done running the boat always gets my back soaked from the wet driveway.

-- Mike

My fake-a-lake is the same in regards to this: With the boat off, it will shoot water out the sides. As soon as I start the boat, all water goes into the intake grate and no more comes out underneath the boat.

And Mike, there is this invention called the wheel that a smart man attached to a board and called it a "creeper". It is generally used for sliding your body under a car without getting wet or dirty, but it may just work under a boat on a trailer too. ;) I have also found that a skateboard will work in a pinch, but only in straight lines of entry and exit.

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Bake's Marine

People have the same issue with "priming" the intake when putting thier boats in the water at the beginning of the season. I don't think it has anything to do with the fakalake.

I agree with you, its more of a impeller problem more than anything.

Wouldn't this be an argument for winterizing with RV antifreeze and leaving it in the block?

Nope, argument for servicing your impeller on schedule and in the spring time when you "de-winterize" your boat.

-Paul

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REW

I agree with you, its more of a impeller problem more than anything.

Nope, argument for servicing your impeller on schedule and in the spring time when you "de-winterize" your boat.

-Paul

:plus1:

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MALI-MONSTER

If I were building/buying a new boat, having that hull hose fitting would be a must-have option, however - climbing under the boat after I am done running the boat always gets my back soaked from the wet driveway.

I use a hockey stick to whack the FAL post to dislodge it and then pull it out with the hose. Very impressive to my four year old.

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Michigan boarder

I still don't get it. Positive pressure means no need for a prime. Air can be compressed, so the liquid under positive pressure should fill any air bubble void. If the liquid was under negative pressure then the air bubble makes sense - it would create a vaccum with the air and not allow suction of the liquid. But that's not the case, it's pressurized. If it were not pressurized then you would have zero (or negative) water pressure inside your house when you turn your water on at your kitchen sink. In fact, since the only backflow preventer is likely in your yard irrigation system or anti-siphon hose bibs you would hear your fixtures sucking air throughout your house.

:horse: Sorry!

What does make sense is the block being empty and needing several gallons of liquid to fill it before seeing it out of the exhaust, I could see that happening.

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Michigan boarder

I use a hockey stick to whack the FAL post to dislodge it and then pull it out with the hose. Very impressive to my four year old.

Perfect! I hope there's a John Belushi samuri routine that goes on before the whack.

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Sixball

I use a hockey stick to whack the FAL post to dislodge it and then pull it out with the hose. Very impressive to my four year old.

Must be a Michigan thing. I do the same just no 4 year old. I have never had a problem with my fake a lake.

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MALI-MONSTER

Must be a Michigan thing. I do the same just no 4 year old. I have never had a problem with my fake a lake.

Ya. I suppose those people from FL use a golf club or maybe a shuffleboard stick.

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MALI-MONSTER

I still don't get it. Positive pressure means no need for a prime. Air can be compressed, so the liquid under positive pressure should fill any air bubble void. If the liquid was under negative pressure then the air bubble makes sense - it would create a vaccum with the air and not allow suction of the liquid. But that's not the case, it's pressurized. If it were not pressurized then you would have zero (or negative) water pressure inside your house when you turn your water on at your kitchen sink. In fact, since the only backflow preventer is likely in your yard irrigation system or anti-siphon hose bibs you would hear your fixtures sucking air throughout your house.

:horse: Sorry!

What does make sense is the block being empty and needing several gallons of liquid to fill it before seeing it out of the exhaust, I could see that happening.

Random thoughts from the mind of an engineer …

The only difference between a FAL and a flush kit (other than convenience [and coolness] [and cost]) is the quality of the seal at the connection point to the water source. A FAL relies on the seal of a bathroom plunger to the hull, which is far from perfect. That imperfect seal results in water cascading from the FAL/hull connection point as soon as the water is turned on. So your 50ish psi at your house, which is already reduced due to the loss of head pressure from your water pressure tank (well system) or water main line (city water) [difference in height from your water pressure tank or water main to your FAL], is further limited by the severe water leak at the FAL/hull connection point. Furthermore, the actual water pressure that the raw water pump sees is reduced by the head loss (height difference) from the FAL to the raw water pump. So the best assumption is that your 50 psi household pressure is reduced significantly by the time it gets to your raw water pump. A flush kit’s perfect seal at the water connection point just minimizes that pressure reduction.

Air is compressible, but not completely, especially at a psi significantly lower than 50 psi.

Assuming that you start your FAL with a completely dry boat (no water in the engine, raw water pump, or raw water intake), when you turn on your FAL the resulting water pressure will push water up through the FAL and into the raw water intake somewhat compressing the air that is trapped between the water and impeller, but stop short of filling the raw water pump. The raw water pump’s impeller is designed to make an adequate water-tight seal between the fins and the pump body to pump water, but not designed to be air tight. So, the compressed air trapped between the water and impeller will “leak” past the impeller fins very slowly, but most people will start the boat engine/raw water pump far before this happens (i.e. start the boat with air in the raw water pump). As the dry impeller spins at idle it will slowly pull water towards it because there is not an air tight seal between the fins and the raw water pump body (i.e. the pump is not designed to be run dry). The speed of which the dry pump will draw water towards it depends on the condition of your impeller and its rpms. Bumping the throttle will make the impeller spin faster and create a lot more vacuum to pull the water towards it much faster. Once the water makes it to the impeller, the pump is off to the races filling up the rest of the cooling system. The rest of the cooling system (block, manifolds, etc.) requires a considerable amount of water to fill. So if you don’t bump the throttle to “prime” the impeller pump, it will just take a lot longer till you see what out of the exhaust. To most people every second that the motor is running without water coming out of the exhaust is like an eternity.

Take aways.

Flush kits just create a better seal at the water connection point which results in a less water pressure loss.

A FAL will work better if it is installed square to the hull to create the best possible seal.

Water will eventually be pushed to the pump impeller, but bumping the throttle will pull it at the same time (“priming”).

Bumping the throttle with a dry impeller should be avoided because it wears your impeller.

Always be sure to service your impeller yearly (inspect it/replace it).

Edited by MALI-MONSTER

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