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Bilge pumps air locked?


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2018 LSV. What causes the bilge pumps to air lock? Both of my pumps run but usually don't pump water unless I reverse fill the drain port by squirting water in it from the outside first? Had heavy rain the other night and my swim platform was at full ballast position from the water in the hull. Do the pumps time out after an amount of time? Don't think they were running when I boarded boat. Batteries were in on position. I know the auto switch usually turns them on but often no expel. Often get Auto bilge on warning while under way with none pumping out of port? Could have sank her from this. 

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Bad pumps come to mind first. If they work after you prime them I am thinking they might be sucking air somehow and won’t prime. There  could be an obstruction in the pump or the lines which back flushing temporarily clears. Maybe disconnect a pump and drop it in a pan to see if it will pump then. Or back flush the lines from the hull ports with a hose to check for critters or crud. I bet Lou would know.:Tease3:
I pulled enough hair out of mine yesterday to make a wig. Hope it is something simple. 

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52 minutes ago, wdr said:

Bad pumps come to mind first. If they work after you prime them I am thinking they might be sucking air somehow and won’t prime. There  could be an obstruction in the pump or the lines which back flushing temporarily clears. Maybe disconnect a pump and drop it in a pan to see if it will pump then. Or back flush the lines from the hull ports with a hose to check for critters or crud. I bet Lou would know.:Tease3:
I pulled enough hair out of mine yesterday to make a wig. Hope it is something simple. 

Pumps work fine once they start sucking! Guessing it's how the drain lines run, but I have never had a pump that runs not start the expel and both of these have the same issue.

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Both of mine are in plain sight so real easy to access and service. There isn’t a timer on them so they will run until they burn up, the water is gone and the float drops or the battery’s die. Good luck.

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I had this exact issue and it was caused by excess hose trapping water which kept an air bubble at the impeller keeping bilge water out.  To solve mine I re-routed by discharge hose from the pump directly up towards the thru hull fitting with no low spots and shortened it.  I thought it was crazy but there is a youtube video that explains it well.

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Also i confirmed this was the case because the pump was running but no water was coming out the side of the boat, i pulled off the discharge hose from the pump and it started pumping.

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We have lots of spiders so we regularly pull hoses and blow air from tube pump to clear them out. Just part of regular maintenance for us

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22 hours ago, Sharpag01 said:

I had this exact issue and it was caused by excess hose trapping water which kept an air bubble at the impeller keeping bilge water out.  To solve mine I re-routed by discharge hose from the pump directly up towards the thru hull fitting with no low spots and shortened it.  I thought it was crazy but there is a youtube video that explains it well.

I'm pretty sure this is my issue also. Will have to get in there and see what my lines look like. So your guessing the excess caused like a trap situation? I still don't understand why when it is completely submerged it wont prime. Trap keeps air bubble at pump I guess?

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electricjohn

Priming may help create a syphon effect. Is it a long discharge hose with and up, then down route?

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Having a p-trap in the hose that holds water is bad for a pump that cannot self prime. 

 

Edited by Sharpag01
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Posted (edited)

Re routed my rear line today. Found that as soon as the line comes off the side of the rear pump, they drop it about 2 inches then it goes into the hole in the stringer and up to the front of the engine area. It then makes a couple dips up and down on it's way to the exit port. Probably had no less that 3 trap areas in it. I now have a constant upward path with being able to cut off 3 feet of excess hose.  

Edited by dalt1
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