View Full Version : Longer life from wash down pumps

02-13-2009, 11:30 AM
"I've had a lot of local interest in my modification to give salt water wash down pumps longer life. I got annoyed that they always seemed to crap out during the busy season and it was hard to find the time to replace. My off season fix as follows.. in my case I first moved the pump up to a place that was not only fairly dry but more accessible. I installed a bronze ball valve inline between the thru hull valve and the pump. It allows 2 choices of water intake. On the second inlet I have a 4 to 5 foot chunk of hose attached. (same as the main hose to pump) On the end of that hose is a male hose end (threaded) and a removable (threaded) female end cap to close it off. I use the pump all day, new valve positioned to draw sea water. When I'm done for the day and hosing down the boat, I switch the valve to the 4ft chunk of hose...I fill up a bucket of fresh water, drop the hose into it, turn on the pump and flush it with fresh water...and leave it overnight or longer with the fresh water in the pump, not salt. Switch it back to sea water the next trip. In an emergency this hose will reach down into my bilge area and the wash down pump could be used as an additional bilge pump."

02-13-2009, 07:23 PM
i know guys use salt away also

02-13-2009, 08:30 PM

is something you did did recently or years ago? curious as to how effective the improvement has been and how you can tell

02-13-2009, 10:17 PM
It was done a few years ago and haven't had the tell tale symptoms that the pump is getting weaker yet. Prior to the fresh water flush the pump would be taking longer to come up to pressure by now. Still working as new. Using a sure-flo pump

02-15-2009, 05:50 PM
I researched pumps and made the decision to go with a brass impeller pump (not nitrile). They hold up better to salt water and the motors are better rated and made for continuous use. I still flush it out but salt doesnt affect it as much as those with diaphram or impellers. I purchased it thru DEPCO. and also installed check valve above sea cock. Be preparred to spend about double if you go this route. I dont believe this pump would work where pressure is needed such as wash down. Works great for the baitwell with 1" I.D. hose supply. Quieter and more volume of water. BTW their technical assit team was great.

02-17-2009, 02:52 PM

still curious as to how you know that the flushing with fresh water made more difference than the relocation of the pump?

Chollyjohn: help me with the "brass impeller pump (not nitrile)"; brass frame???

tnx mark

02-18-2009, 01:45 AM
The move of the pump was strickly to make it more accessible to work on or replace. I couldn't see what I was doing to get screws back in place and to re-do the wiring when it needed replacing. Was pretty much standing on my head to see. Both locations are dry...however this pump has to suck the water up farther now than the others did in the old location. Both of the previous pumps failed from salt build up in the lower part of the pump. Motors still worked.

02-22-2009, 05:49 PM
"Makomark: The Depco pump I have has a brass impeller similar to that of a circ pump on the engine. No rubber (nitrile is an impeller product that can be used with oil or some other non-flammable solvents) Nice thing about this is no wear on the impeller however the pump assembly is larger than the standard "impeller" type or "diaphram" pumps offered. I use the brass impeller for my baitwell; I cannot comment if a brass impeller housing would provide enough pressure force for a hose washdown.
I have a fine strainer in-line filter on my salt water washdown and a strainer on my baitwell pump. Both are easily cleanable.

For those who wish to flush these type systems, GROCO offers various size hose "T" fittings to attach garden hose fresh water to flush. Naturally your raw water inlet has to have a valve cock.

Hope I answered yoru question."

02-23-2009, 01:08 PM
Rollie: Good detective work. I'm sure the task won't be as much fun now that the pump's been relocated.

Cholly: I think I've got it...so your pump is not self-priming and must be below the waterline?

02-23-2009, 04:42 PM
"YES Mako! Actually, my pump inlet is at waterline or slightly above not more than 1-2". My raw wter inlet is about 6" below waterline. The point is that the inlet hose stays filled with water and certianly keeps water to the inlet side for priming. The nice thing about this pump for a baitwell purpose is that you can use a large strainer so that much of the organisms in the water remain flowing thru the well for the fish. Not sure how important that really is since I have a strainer that has 3/64th holes in it. The nice thing is that salt water doesn't effect bronze so easily as a impeller pump which after a while starts to loose tight contact with the housing due to wear and tear. Two things to remember here is that this pump less maintenance and is good for volume of water needed and not necessarily for pressure of a wash down."

02-23-2009, 07:54 PM
makomark: GROCO makes a great washdown pump C-60; 7.5GPM @ 35-40psi.
Also has a baitwell pump centrifugal CP20 or CP30 Baitwell Pump at 17 GPM

02-24-2009, 02:32 PM
"I had a C-60 factory installed as a washdown pump. did provide lots of water which was great after landing a six-header of yellowfins. Two issues: 1) it draws a lot of current (and the builder installed 'barely adequate' sized wiring, and 2) it was mounted in a 'wet' location. groco was very diplomatic about educating me on their installation requirements....by this time the builder and his team had found alternative employment."

02-24-2009, 08:56 PM
My pump draws 12 amps.