Bilge pump for shower water?

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by cluttonfred, Feb 2, 2021.

  1. cluttonfred
    Joined: Mar 2014
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    cluttonfred Senior Member

    Random question...automatic submersible bilge pumps are cheap and readily available. For some reason, pumps advertised as shower waste pumps are often more expensive. Is there any reason that you couldn't put one in an appropriate sump and use it as the shower waste pump? For example: Whale SuperSub Smart IC 650 Automatic Bilge Pump. Cheers, Matthew
  2. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
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    Blueknarr Senior Member


    Shower pumps have a built-in macerator to chop up stuff that would typically stop or clog a regular bilge pump
  3. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The better quality shower pumps are of the diaphragm type and not a cheap impeller that gets clogged with hair and grease. The macerator pump are the other acceptable type.
  4. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Actually, I have a Whale IC pump available for sale.

    I apologize in advance to bk. The reason the pump is so expensive is the drain has a brain! Not a macerator.

    The pump can be installed above the drain and is a no prime pump. The way they work is a sensor in the drain recognizes water and cycles the pump for +10 seconds. So, until water is absent after on cycle, the drain is cleared. I bought one for the Skoota, but I decided raising the floor up to allow for drain fitment was an unjustifiable pita.

    You really need access below the shower pan to make these work. Or under a cabin sole, etc. The Skoota cabin sole is about 3.5" thick there with two layers of one inch plascore and a small gap. The gap is dry and no water is allowed in. The only way for me to use the pump was to build a shower pan. Instead, I am making a drain to daylight and we just won't shower in any heavy stuff and the drain will be open to sea and pluggable not in use.

    If you wanted a no prime bilge pump would work, but you'd need to manually switch it is all.

  5. Barry
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Barry Senior Member

    We have had several of these over the years and they were below the waterline. The sealed sump has two parts, a settling portion to trap hair etc, then a filter to ensure that the hair does not get into the flooded intake
    of the pump. The second section is where the pump resides. The pump was just a regular bilge pump, non-macerator style, due to the twin compartments and filters. As the pump intake was flooded and an open impeller, it could run dry. When you were using the shower you just flipped the switch and the float would take care of the operation.

    The ones that we had were Johnson and I see the rule in the attachment uses a float
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