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Reversible pump ballast install 96' Sunsetter VLX


kygreen229

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I've searched...lots of info out there. I have no ballast in my 96' Malibu Sunsetter VLX. I played with some lead and manual style bag by throwing a pump over etc. PITA as we all know. I've been fixing and upgrading the boat this winter to include dual batteries with a switch, moved both batteries up under the front storage area with my amps. Completely redid dash and upgraded to PP Stargazer. Now onto ballast install is the plan. I'm just going to put this out there that I like the through holes in the side to see the ballast draining as it is a reminder. It looks like if installing from scratch the reversible pump system is the way to go. Can you install a reversible pump system and still have it empty out the side vs back out the bottom of the boat? I'm not concerned with having to drill some through holes.

 

Thanks!

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either way works.  I did it on a prior boat with fill and drain from the bottom, vent out the side (with a check valve on the vent line so the back will "raisin" when drained).  Reversible pumps are pretty loud in general and also change pitch when the suck dry.  So it's not too hard to remember to turn them off when the bags are empty.  And with a vent, you don't need to worry about overfilling.

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I'm on the wake garage forum and have posted some similar questions. Just want to make sure I do it right, the drain if going out the side can be anywhere essentially as in the rear of the boat because of the check valve but the vents need to be center or so of the boat or even further forward so it doesn't drain while weighted for surfing etc? Any place they need to be in particular?

 

Thanks

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I don't use any vents in my bags and just have it set up as a sealed system. At the beginning of the season when I first fill the bags I have to vent the air out of them but when they drain they get sucked down like raisins and since no air can get back into the system you don't need to worry about venting again. The only thing you have to watch is that you don't overfill as I assume the bag could rupture as there is no where for the pressure to go. I am going to add these timers this winter so I won't need to worry about watching the bags once everything is set up. If you are plumbing them so the empty out of the side so you can see the water coming out you won't need to worry about siphoning out of the drain because the reversible pumps won't allow water to exit the bag when not running. If you do vent the bags you would then need to install an anti siphon loop. IMHO I can see the desire to be able to monitor the water draining from the bags but the check valves and fittings are adding restrictions in the line which will slow fill and drain times.

Pump Timer https://www.wakemakers.com/wakemakers-ballast-system-timer.html

Anti Siphon loop https://www.wakemakers.com/vented-loop-anti-siphon.html

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YMMV, but with a check valve in the vent line I never had an issue with passive draining.  Obviously it's also going to depend how high your vent through hull is relative to the top of your bag, but the check valve stays closed unless there is enough pressure on the bag to push the water out.  Without that pressure, the check valve will close and the passive draining will stop.  When venting a reversible setup with a check valve in the vent line, I never experienced the sort of siphoning that that you'd need an anti-siphon loop for.  

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4 hours ago, shawndoggy said:

YMMV, but with a check valve in the vent line I never had an issue with passive draining.  Obviously it's also going to depend how high your vent through hull is relative to the top of your bag, but the check valve stays closed unless there is enough pressure on the bag to push the water out.  Without that pressure, the check valve will close and the passive draining will stop.  When venting a reversible setup with a check valve in the vent line, I never experienced the sort of siphoning that that you'd need an anti-siphon loop for.  

Makes sense with reversible pumps the bag would vapor lock and stop the siphon unlike using aerator pumps were the bag basically would have 2 vents with the standard vent and thru the drain pump.

 

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1 minute ago, tbullard said:

Makes sense with reversible pumps the bag would vapor lock and stop the siphon unlike using aerator pumps were the bag basically would have 2 vents with the standard vent and thru the drain pump.

 

yep

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2 hours ago, Chia said:

Maybe but with more complicated wiring and setup and how would it hold up in a marine environment. My 2 cents I have found its usually better to pay the premium for the right product and avoid the headaches associated with saving a buck.

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5 hours ago, tbullard said:

Maybe but with more complicated wiring and setup and how would it hold up in a marine environment. My 2 cents I have found its usually better to pay the premium for the right product and avoid the headaches associated with saving a buck.

Agree.  Plus you can't discount the "it just works" simplicity of buying a part specifically designed for your use case.

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I have an 01 vlx and did a similar set up years ago. I used a blue simmer pump (x3). It is not listed as reversible but switch polarity reverse the pump. I used the t plug as my source and no vent and no check valve. I ordered some stock rocker switches and wired them straight.  It worked fine but i got old and quit boarding. So I can’t really tell you anything about durability. I’m sure it wasn’t the fastest but it was fine for me. 

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2 hours ago, saburkhart said:

I have an 01 vlx and did a similar set up years ago. I used a blue simmer pump (x3). It is not listed as reversible but switch polarity reverse the pump. I used the t plug as my source and no vent and no check valve. I ordered some stock rocker switches and wired them straight.  It worked fine but i got old and quit boarding. So I can’t really tell you anything about durability. I’m sure it wasn’t the fastest but it was fine for me. 

Great info thank you. I will take a look at them. I'm not really concerned about the fastest fill/drain times as much as just a system that works and doesn't break the bank for this old boat. I'm sure someday I will want to buy a newer boat but its not in the cards at this time.

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Quote

Simer – a leading supplier of residential water management products to meet all your water movement and storage needs

Should be all you need to know. But wait, theres more! First time it runs dry, the plastic pump head is toast. I doubt its ignition protected, so locating in or around an engine bay is not a good idea. Some of the parts look to be uncoated stamped steel, so expect rust to set in fast. 

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Yeah I don’t mean to say it’s a great option just passsing along info I thought might help. I put it in around 04 and the outside shows no sign of rust and the boat sits in a lift 6 months a year. But I took the bags out several years ago so no idea if the internals are damaged. 

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6 minutes ago, kygreen229 said:

How about this? Heck of a lot cheaper than a Johnson or Jabsco. It would be slower no doubt.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/SEAFLO-Marine-8-GPM-Self-Priming-Impeller-Bilge-Pump-replaces-Water-Puppy/201673821076

Very bottom of the description. Not sure how long they can run before its an issue?

Quote

Note: These pumps are designed for intermittent use only, NOT designed for continuous use.

No mention about whether they will be reversible.

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Reverse polarity it should go the other way. Being a bilge pump, what if your bilge is full of water in a large boat? It could run for multiple minutes. There is one review on it that someone replaced there ballast pumps with these and they worked well.

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Cannot seem to locate any 3M fast cure 4000 uv in stock anywhere that Wake Makers recommends. Should I just go with the 3M 5200? Not looking to remove these thru-full fittings, I know that is why they recommend the 4000 as it is removable if need be. 

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