Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Bilge maitenance



You wrote:
      I think you need the bleach to kill the bad stuff in there.

What bad stuff are you talking about? If you mean the bacteria and other microbes growing in there, two days after you sanitize it with bleach, it will once again be a thriving biological soup. No matter how much you limit your incoming materials, they will have all the food they need to grow, and grow rapidly.  Trying to keep the sump bacteriologically "clean" is a Sisyphean task. Not just impossible, but unnecessary.

Even if you do think sanitizing the sump is needed and a good idea, a standard "shock treatment" of chlorine to sanitize contaminated water and associated equipment is 50ppm of free chlorine.  (50ppm is about 4 ml--or a teaspoon--of standard bleach per gallon of water)  That's 25 times less chlorine than you recommend, and a level that would be safe for short term exposure to almost all materials.  This is my primary problem with your recommendation.  It is just too much chlorine--it is very corrosive for no added benefit. 

I would point out that copper pipes in sanitary drain service have a expected service life of at least 50 YEARS. In standard saltwater use, most copper alloys show corrosion rates of less than 0.02mm per year, close to unmeasurably low. Maybe the reason you see only 5 to 8 years of life on grounding straps is not in spite of the chlorine treatment, but because of it.

It's not a difficult project to keep the sump clean enough that it keeps working as it should. We can certainly agree it is not rocket science. 

Suck out as much gunk as possible with a shopvac, scrub with some detergent and a long hand brush. Suck out again. Clean the hoses.  Reassemble. Done. If it is REALLY hard to clean, you waited too long to do it.

You think soaking with a very strong bleach solution is useful.

Based on corrosion data and experience in the chemical industry, I think the good it does is dubious, and the harm is likely.

There is no reason we can't agree to disagree on this. 

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Boston, Mass

---In amelyachtowners@..., <yahoogroups@...> wrote :


I stand by the use of bleach as I stated earlier which was a very diluted solution for a limited time and exposure only to the bilge and copper bonding strap. I think you need the bleach to kill the bad stuff in there. The only slight risk issue is the copper bonding strap which you will likely need to replace every 5-8 y,ears, anyway. So, maybe my suggestion will cause you to replace that copper X months earlier. 

Almost every decision that you will make requires weighing and mitigating risks. For instance, if you don't run your engine, or set your sails, they may never need replacing. Or, if you don't run your engine and keep your sails flogging, you'll hurt your sails and lower engine hours.   

Does this make sense?  

CW Bill Rouse
Admiral, Texas Navy
Commander Emeritus
Amel School
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550
+1(832) 380-4970


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