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Levi900RR

Over / under.... water drain

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Levi900RR

So I was 100% sold on the above the water drain design for my ballast (which I am officially ordering in Jan) BUT I called Wakemakers last week and they suggested that I run a below the water line drain. The sales guy I talked to said that the check valves were known to fail and it was just one more thing to deal with, and that now all the OEM's are going with below the water line draining.

What's the 2016 approved Bu Crew design? I'm planning a system very similar to NirtousBird's

750's in the rear lockers, a port side under seat bag, center locker bag, and under seat bow bag.

3 reversible impeller pumps

2 Y valves

The install would be WAY easier to just fill / drain out the bottom, and run 1 vent line for each bag. BUT I want to do this ONCE!!! I don't want to be messing with it all summer.

PS, hope you all had a merry Christmas!

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MadMan

My guess is that your going to get several positive responses for both ways.

With that said, I give you mine - above. I like the feedback if that lets me know if I'm still pumping, this is important if draining while driving.

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Simo

Below. When I put a system in I drained from below. Everything worked great. If I had to do it again I would do the same. K.I.S.S.

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jb 156

Keep it simple, under had some checks fail on me.

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OLDGUY

Under, works fine.

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jwl019

Being I am in the middle of my install right now, I can tell you I am glad I am using the same line for drain and fill. It would not have been fun trying to run a whole different 1" line for the drain above the water level. It is also less holes to drill. I was surprised at how much easier the 3/4" vent lines were easier to work with and run than the 1" hoses.

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mikeo

I have both on my boat since I didn't want to drill any new holes, and I wanted to upgrade the ballast system by complementing the stock parts & pieces.

My stock tanks (rear and center) and my bow triangle drain above, while my plug-and-play fill/drain below.

The biggest thing I notice is when you drain above the water line you know when you're empty (there isn't water coming out anymore!) and below you have to check the bags or listen for the change in tone in the pumps so you don't burn them out.

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MLA
The sales guy I talked to said that the check valves were known to fail and it was just one more thing to deal with

Been me experience. Moved away from this design a few years ago.

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shawndoggy

drain below, vent above, with check valve in the vent line so the pump will "raisin" the bag.

You do have to pay attention to the change in pump sound when draining (when it runs dry). I'd be lying if I said I never ran mine dry.

Impellers are consumables on these systems and performance will eventually drop off as your impellers wear. So remember to give yourself access to the bottom of the pump so you can replace the impeller when the time comes.

Edited by shawndoggy

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Levi900RR

My biggest concern here is that I want the system to work well with minimal effort. Right now there are probably 5-10 times a year where we go out for a picnic and to watch the sun go down. There are usually 7 people in the boat and a few big picnic bags. The water ALWAYS gets glassy just as the sun is setting and I am always wishing that I could take a quick sunset surf. I almost never do because I don't want to make everyone move around so I can flip up seats and open compartments and sling pumps over the side.

Fast forward to 2016. Sun is going down, I don't say a word to anyone and just flip a few switches on the dash. About 8 mins later, I fire up the boat, set the Perfect pass, kick on Ray Charles "moanin" grab my surf board and jump in. My wife takes the helm and I get my quick set it without disrupting anything. Then I jump in, dry off, flip a few switches on the dash and we cruise back to the lift.

I really don't want to have to monitor the bags by eye. BUT if I can just sit for 8 mins while they drain, and clearly hear the different in pump that could work too.

I totally see both points and still don't know what to do. I guess at this point I'm leaning towards underwater draining for now.

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shawndoggy

Just because you are draining above water doesn't mean you can't run them dry. You can still get distracted and quit paying attention and not notice that water isn't spitting out the side anymore.

I don't think side drain or bottom drain has any impact on your intended use (being able to flip switches to fill without telling everyone to move). With both side drain and bottom drain you still have to monitor status to make sure you aren't running dry.

If you really really want to geek out on it you could introduce a timer relay to the mix, but because you are using reversible pumps that's harder than it sounds because you need cascading relays to do the triggering. Or maybe martinarcher can program you up a raspberry pi to do it. But in any event you aren't making it any simpler and are introducing another point of failure in an effort to minimize impeller wear.

I'm of the mind that you just live with the fact that you will forget and leave them running once in a while (again, this can also happen when draining above water line). When that happens the world doesn't end and the impellers actually take the abuse pretty well. Eventually you will wear them out and will just need to replace them.

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Lance B. Johnson

I originally intended to drain above. Even bought the parts. Then we had an awesome day in February and had to rush through the rest of the install. Needless to say it's still that way today. It works fine. We just pop the locker open and keep an eye on the bag.

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mikeo

Just because you are draining above water doesn't mean you can't run them dry. You can still get distracted and quit paying attention and not notice that water isn't spitting out the side anymore.

I don't think side drain or bottom drain has any impact on your intended use (being able to flip switches to fill without telling everyone to move). With both side drain and bottom drain you still have to monitor status to make sure you aren't running dry.

If you really really want to geek out on it you could introduce a timer relay to the mix, but because you are using reversible pumps that's harder than it sounds because you need cascading relays to do the triggering. Or maybe martinarcher can program you up a raspberry pi to do it. But in any event you aren't making it any simpler and are introducing another point of failure in an effort to minimize impeller wear.

I'm of the mind that you just live with the fact that you will forget and leave them running once in a while (again, this can also happen when draining above water line). When that happens the world doesn't end and the impellers actually take the abuse pretty well. Eventually you will wear them out and will just need to replace them.

@shawndoggy have you installed/used on the of the timer relays? Do you know anyone that has? This is exactly what I want to put in the boat and _will_ have it working for 2016, but I'd rather "cheat" off someone else's notes for the install. If nobody has installed one yet, I'll be the ginuea pig and figure it out.

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Levi900RR

A buddy of mine for the timer from wake makers and struggled to get it programmed right all last summer....

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Lance B. Johnson

A buddy of mine for the timer from wake makers and struggled to get it programmed right all last summer....

I am with Shawdoggy. At first you think its a big deal. Like I said, after draining through the bottom for a season, I have no interest in converting it to drain from the top.

I wouldn't stress it Levi.

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Nitrousbird

I have had it both ways. I MUCH prefer having it drain above.

Much easier to monitor. I had several instances where I let the pump run way too long draining when I was draining below the water line. Haven't had this issue draining above.

I've yet to have a check valve fail and I have a bunch of them. It's also fun to splash your rider getting back into the boat in the face with them from time to time. :)

I only wish I had went the above water route to begin with, as it would have saved me a few bucks and some time working on it. My impeller on one pump (that I most often ran dry) finally failed (or nearly so...I could make it work with some fiddling) at the end of the season - I feel if I had always had the above water draining, I could have went another year on these impellers. Not that 4 years is bad...

Let's break it down. What are the real "advantages" to draining below the water line:

- Simpler setup - though it's still not that complicated of setup

- Cheaper, though when you look at the overall cost of a ballast system it's a drop in the bucket

- Because it is simpler, it is "should" be more reliable

I have had zero reliability issues. Advantages of above the water line:

- Much easier to know when a bag is done draining. Especially important to me as I use one pump for 2 of my bags and have valve to change

- Looks cooler and more OEM.

- Easier to know if your pump is draining at all

So weight in a simpler setup vs. a more functional one. Your call. I've had it both ways and would never got back to the underwater draining.

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shawndoggy

A buddy of mine for the timer from wake makers and struggled to get it programmed right all last summer....

That's really interesting. I thought that those timers only worked with MC systems, but it looks like I'm wrong.

@shawndoggy have you installed/used on the of the timer relays? Do you know anyone that has? This is exactly what I want to put in the boat and _will_ have it working for 2016, but I'd rather "cheat" off someone else's notes for the install. If nobody has installed one yet, I'll be the ginuea pig and figure it out.

The wakemakers/jabsco relay definitely looks like the best solution. You may be able to build one for less but it's going to be a complicated rube goldberg three-relay system. Though at $100, it's going to take you a decade to be "in the money," assuming the timers work perfectly and you never ever have to replace an impeller in that time (unlikely imho).

Edited by shawndoggy

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MadMan

It's also fun to splash your rider getting back into the boat in the face with them from time to time. :)

This is one those hidden benefits.

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Levi900RR

There is definitily a cool factor with the above the water drain...

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MLA

What about the Jabsco pumps with "run dry protection?" Does anybody have experience with those? Do they protect the impeller?

I just installed 3 of them in a bottom drain system :)

http://www.wakemakers.com/jabsco-ballast-puppy-wakeboard-pump.html

Any Jabsco sold in the last 4 years is likely loaded with their "Run-Dry" protection. To be honest, ive never had the chubby to run one dry on purpose, just to see. Yes, it does help protect the impeller, but it also limits the current draw by shutting down the pump. A dry impeller increases friction, which makes the pump work harder, drawing more current. I believe the Johnson Ultra Ballast pump also has similar circuitry.

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Levi900RR

Mine have the orange impeller

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