Washdown Pump Weak

Discussion in 'Downeast Boat General Discussion' started by Bill_N, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. Bill_N

    Bill_N Captain

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    I have a Shurflo Blaster 3901-2214 that is probably original to the boat in 2001. Not sure what it flows now but the stream is pretty weak. This is supposed to be a 3.5 gallon per minute pump. I haven't measured it but it might flow a gallon per minute now. Is it normal for these pumps to decrease flow with age?

    I'd like to run a livewell with my washdown pump but I don't think this one will cut it. Would a new 3.5 gal per minute pump do it? Or should I upsize the pump?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. leaky

    leaky Captain

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    I like self priming pumps for livewells, many people do not, the deal is cost a whole lot more $$ for a good one, and draw more amps for the flow they are rated for... the good part is they never airlock - been screwed a bunch of times by airlocked non self priming pumps that stopped pumping and killed the bait (ie boat goes in reverse or through some rough ocean, pump airlocks and often times never recovers until you at least shut it off for a minute), additionally a self priming pump gives pretty close to it's rating all the time while the high flow plastic vane non self priming pumps (which are like a bilge pump basically) pump drastically lower amounts of water against even a small head - ie so you can have a 1500 GPH pump that in actuality only moves 300.

    With that said - a combo bilge & livewell pump kinda sucks, you end up playing with valves to use your washdown, you are better off installing 2 pumps - not that it's the best way but with self priming pumps you can Y after the seacock and run 2 pumps on the same inlet..

    As far as what's wrong with yours - I believe that's a diaphram style, they are pretty good as far as being able to run dry but one little piece of seaweed can seriously clog the works, they work on little valves and if it holds one open they do not work right, or if the diaphram is worn/torn of course the same deal, or the springs, same deal.. You could take it apart and check. These pumps require a filter (and really any self priming pump it's good to put a filter on it but diaphram style especially).. Secondly self priming pumps can actually find ways to draw air if fittings aren't tight -not only because they can draw a vacuum and find air way down at the seacock even if there is a restriction (ie something has to give), if any fitting up above the waterline is not tight they will draw air and it will never leak water, even if it's a big gap, since it's above the waterline - if the water coming out looks aerated they you have an air leak..

    As far as what pumps to use - I would use a diaphram style for the washdown, cheaper, simpler, and if it doesn't work it's obvious, and a flexible impeller for the livewell if you want to go w/ self priming high pressure low flow (versus low pressure high flow non self priming).. The deal w/ flexible impeller pumps is you cannot ever ever ever run them dry as it will melt down the impeller, and they way they tend to f up is the impeller takes a set after sitting for awhile so the fuse pops - remove 3 screws and turn impeller by hand just a touch and you are back in business, but they just run and run and run otherwise - a little seaweed is no match they just push it through (although I still say use a filter)..

    Anyway - so pick a washdown but if it was purely a livewell pump, I'd go something like this route w/ a Jabsco (but not from Worst Marine as they butt rape you), they come in all different sizes.

    JABSCO Standard 6.3 GPM Pump | West Marine
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  3. Downrigga

    Downrigga Captain

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    You should upsize. You could just install a nonself priming pump below the water line and be done with it.
     
  4. Skeetsdad

    Skeetsdad Senior Member

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    Bill,

    Interesting timing. I have a Shurflo Pro Baitmaster that just started acting up. Mine is a 2005. I just bought the complete head replacement for $50 yesterday. Ill drop it in over the weekend. I use mine for both wash down and live well. I have a 32 gallon Kodiak live well and this pump works pretty well (when its working), with that size tank. When I use the wash down, I have quick disconnect hose fitting at the on/off valve on back deck. Im never running both at same time and change over is a few seconds. Leaky is right, small air leak is a killer with these systems. I have a clear hose so I can see water going into tank and its aerated.

    If it doesnt work Ill go with that Jabsco.
     
  5. Bill_N

    Bill_N Captain

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    Thanks for the input. The pump probably has some crud in it since there is no in-line strainer. I'm impressed that it lasted this long but I don't want to put any money into it. I think I'm going to replace it with a Shurflo combo unit that has a little more flow and add a strainer. The pump is fairly easy to get at so it shouldn't take too long.

    I'll start shopping around. Definitely NOT buying anything from Worst Marine. The people in Mystic don't even know what's in stock.
     

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