Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bgrrrrraaaaaa

Krissy has previously written about the various noises on the boat that are not found in houses.  It takes awhile to get used to these noises, but they eventually fade into the background like all familiar sounds.

Except for one noise--the deafening, grating sound of our sump pumps.  When we use the shower or the sink (not the toilet though), the water goes down the drain into a little tank (the "sump"), and when the water reaches a certain level inside the tank, it is pumped overboard (by the "sump pump").  Sea Gem has two sumps, one for each bathroom, and each sump has its own sump pump.

Sea Gem came fitted with macerator pumps as sump pumps.  Macerator pumps have little blades in them and are designed to liquefy anything that passes through them so that nothing gets stuck.  They are typically used to pump out holding tanks, where a blockage could get ugly very quickly.  Macerator pumps, especially 20-year-old macerator pumps, are very powerful and extremely loud.  The result is that, whenever someone used the shower or sink in the bathroom, or at random times when the A/C drain (for condensation) filled the sump, Sea Gem would fill with this miserable deep rumbling sound:  bgrrrraaaaaa! Every ten or fifteen seconds until the shower or sink was turned off: bggrrrraaaa! . . . bggrraaaaa . . . bggrraaaa!

The pumps were always loud enough to wake up everyone in the boat whenever the earliest riser took a shower. 

We have always talked about replacing the pumps with something quieter, but it is hard to justify replacing something that is perfectly functional, even if it is irritating.  Fortunately, one of the pumps developed a leak recently, so we figured it was time to replace it.  And when replacing one, why not replace both?

Out with the Old
And so we bought two Johnson sump pumps fitted in their own little sumps:

In with the New
They don't have the spinning blades to prevent clogs, but they do have easy-to-clean filters to trap hair, etc., and they are whisper-quiet, easy to repair, and use less than a fifth of the electricity of the old pumps.

Newly Installed Pump 1 of 2
Newly Installed Pump 2 of 2 (can you see it?)
So, while there are still plenty of noises for our guests to get used to--the sound of water splashing against the hull, ropes slapping against the mast, the refrigerator compressor, etc--no longer will anyone have to suffer through bbgggrrraaaa bbbggggrraaaa every time someone uses the sink or shower or at random times of day.

2 comments:

  1. Let us know how you like these. I am curious about maintenance on them.

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  2. So far, so good. They have filters for hair, etc., that need to be rinsed out every couple months or so, but the filters are easily accessible. They are quiet, they keep up with whatever water flow we can generate, and they continue to work without any problems. Can't complain!

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