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Emptying Water Tank


bmp
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Morning all..

 

Just thinking ahead for when I can eventually get back to my boat.....

 

The water in my water tank would have been sitting there for a long time and I was going to empty it out and put some fresh water back in.

 

Ho do you normally do this?

 

I know the obvious answer is to turn the tap on and leave it until it is empty - but will this damage the water pump?

 

Would I be better using a hose to syphon it out? 

 

The other option I was thinking about was to buy a cheap pump and pump it out with that. At least I will have a spare pump then too ....  although this might be knackered by using to to pump out a full tank after I use it !!

 

Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

 

Thanks

 

BMP

 

 

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I have alwyas done as you say, turn the pump on with taps open but I also run the engine so as not to discharge the battery.  I suppose it might shorten the life of the pump but I doubt its measurable.

 

Not an issue now but if winterizing remember this will not drain the calorifier and low level pipes so leave the taps open.

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2 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

I have alwyas done as you say, turn the pump on with taps open but I also run the engine so as not to discharge the battery.  I suppose it might shorten the life of the pump but I doubt its measurable.

 

Not an issue now but if winterizing remember this will not drain the calorifier and low level pipes so leave the taps open.

Thanks Tony

 

Wasn't sure if it would kill the pump or not. 

 

I always turn the power off to the pump before leaving the boat and leave the taps open too - just to be on the safe side.

 

 

 

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You will struggle to siphon it out as the water in the tank will be below the level of the water 'outside' (assuming you are in the water).

 

I have used various methods, it guess it depends on how much is in the tank.

 

If you are full with say 1000 litres I'd use a separate pump and then keep it as a spare.

 

If less, then either run the tap (keep you battery charger on (assuming you are on a shoreline) or run the engine, or

Buy a 'drill-pump' (they are not wonderful but will do the job if its only a couple of hundred litres)

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1 minute ago, Alan de Enfield said:

You will struggle to siphon it out as the water in the tank will be below the level of the water 'outside' (assuming you are in the water).

 

I have used various methods, it guess it depends on how much is in the tank.

 

If you are full with say 1000 litres I'd use a separate pump and then keep it as a spare.

 

If less, then either run the tap (keep you battery charger on (assuming you are on a shoreline) or run the engine, or

Buy a 'drill-pump' (they are not wonderful but will do the job if its only a couple of hundred litres)

I was thinking that about the syphon option too . wasn't sure if it would work.

 

I think the water tank is about 150 gallons and it is nearly full. Boat is on shore power so no issue with the power - just the time the pump will need to run to empty it.

 

 

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34 minutes ago, Mike on the Wey said:

I use a "drill pump". They are cheap and efficient - I can empty 400 litres in about 10 minutes. Cost £13 in Halfords - similar available from Screwfix, Toolstation etc.

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That sounds like a good idea. Saves killing my pump. 
thanks. 

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10 minutes ago, bmp said:

That sounds like a good idea. Saves killing my pump. 
thanks. 

The one I used needed to be primed before it would pump, try and fill the pipe with water, keep the pump as close to the tank (shortest pick up length) as they don't have much 'lift' capacity.

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1 hour ago, Alan de Enfield said:

You will struggle to siphon it out as the water in the tank will be below the level of the water 'outside' (assuming you are in the water).

 

My usual trick here is to move the boat to the nearest lock / aqueduct / sluice / embankment / whatever, where you can put the other end of the hose below tank level.

 

Might be a non-starter at the moment though!

 

Alternatively a short hose and paying attention can allow you to siphon some of the tank's content into the cut.  The percentage you can get depends on your water tank design, but every gallon is another one that doesn't need pumping out.

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I always just open a tap, always works for me. Before doing so, I add some Milton's or similar and leave it a few minutes, that helps to sterilise things too. Some pumps have a maximum permitted continuous run time of 30 minutes so I take 2 or 3 bites at it, with about 15 minutes between each. I've never had any problems.

Edited by Keeping Up
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29 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

 

My usual trick here is to move the boat to the nearest lock / aqueduct / sluice / embankment / whatever, where you can put the other end of the hose below tank level.

 

Might be a non-starter at the moment though!

 

Alternatively a short hose and paying attention can allow you to siphon some of the tank's content into the cut.  The percentage you can get depends on your water tank design, but every gallon is another one that doesn't need pumping out.

That is a good idea too - thanks. 
 

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47 minutes ago, bmp said:

That sounds like a good idea. Saves killing my pump. 
thanks. 

You'll just kill your drill. I once read that the life of a DIY electric drill is measured in minutes. Remember, they're designed for quick bursts rather than continuious  running

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26 minutes ago, Keeping Up said:

I always just open a tap, always works for me. Before doing so, I add some Milton's or similar and leave it a few minutes, that helps to sterilise things too. Some pumps have a maximum permitted continuous run time of 30 minutes so I take 2 or 3 bites at it, with about 15 minutes between each. I've never had any problems.

I need to put some Miltons in mine - not been done since I have had it so must do that. Thanks. 

2 minutes ago, Slim said:

You'll just kill your drill. I once read that the life of a DIY electric drill is measured in minutes. Remember, they're designed for quick bursts rather than continuious  running

Good point. My drill cost a lot more than a water pump. 
 

Sounds like a combination of the above solutions is the way to go. 
 

Got plenty more weeks to plan it by the look of things anyway. 

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3 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

You will struggle to siphon it out as the water in the tank will be below the level of the water 'outside' (assuming you are in the water).

 

So siphon it from the water tank to the bilge, then use the bilge pump.

4 hours ago, bmp said:

 

The water in my water tank would have been sitting there for a long time and I was going to empty it out and put some fresh water back in.

 

Why? If your tank is reasonably clean the water won't have come to any harm. If you are worried just add some water purification tabs, or just thin bleach.

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The fresh water pump is designed for continuous running like when you (or visitors) have a long shower, so it should be fine, but if you are concerned then give it twenty minutes on and ten minutes off. Always carry a spare pump so you are ready if it does fail.

 

My old pump failed due to leakage so I keep it as a spare for things like emptying the water tank or calorifier.

 

.................Dave

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We get through our non-huge tank every 1.5 days or so boating, and use the boat something like 30 days a year, so I take the view that the amount of pump running to flush out the water at the start of using the boat, being only around 5% of the use, is totally fine and not worth worrying about.

 

Furthermore, we tend to use decent chunk of it for washing the inside of the boat down at the start of using it, and in our case for filling the boiler of the steam plant for the first time. Plus when the kitchen tap is full open the pressure and hence work done is low compaired to a shower.

 

Obviously if you have a massively huge tank that will takes days to empty, then an alternative might be an option, you might be able to syphon the bulk of it into the bath/shower tray, else look at other pump options.

 

Daniel

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