Topics

A54 bilge pump problems...


Chris Likins
 

Hello,

 

I recently have been having issues with my "bilge" pump on my Amel 54. The pump is the original from TF Marine. I first noticed a problem that the motor sounded different, hard to describe exactly but I have tested it enough to know that the motor didn't sound the same, however pumping seemed normal. A few days later I noticed the pump was running for a very long time. After activation from the float switch, it began to pump, however once the water in the sump began to decrease, so did its pumping ability, so much so that it was unable to pump out the last bit of water to turn the switch off. 

 

I rebuilt the pump with rebuild kit but had no luck so I gave it to the professionals for a rebuild. A few days later I am told they have the pump working and even send me a video (of the pump laying down on the ground, not upright) pumping plenty of water. Flapper valves, diaphragm, o-ring have all been replaced. Inside of the motor cleaned up. I also changed the suction hose that goes into the sump as it was getting old. There are two hose clamps on the suction side of the pump.

 

All this and still the same problem! The pump will prime just fine (hand over the outlet until the pump is full), then it will pump some of the water out of the bilge for a few seconds but then slow down to a crawl.

 

Is there some other source of a suction leak I may have missed? Is there anything else I could be missing?! Help!!

 

Thanks! 


 

Chris,

The most common issue with this pump is a vacuum side leak. I am sure this is what you have. Usually, no leaking water is visible with a vacuum leak large enough to stop the pump from functioning. A vacuum side leak can happen:
  1. If the seal between the hose and hose barb on the suction side (bottom) is not perfectly sealed because a little air leaking into the pump will cause it to not pump water. Check this closely. I believe that when Amel installed this hose and others, they used some sort of sealant between the hose and the connectors. You should use 2 hose clamps and some sort of flexible sealant. Also, when this hose gets old, it becomes hard and loses its flexibility, causing a vacuum leak because the hose clamps cannot squeeze the hose tight enough. 
  2. The joint between the two halves should be sealed using high-quality silicone grease. The Dow Corning 111 Molykote Silicone Lubricant is the best product for this.
  3. The flapper valves should also be coated with the same silicone grease as above.
The TF pump you have is a good pump and should last a long time using TF rebuild kits. That said, there were some rebuild kits made in China that were a problem. I think these kits found their way to Amel and other distributors.

Bill
CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
View My Training Calendar


On Fri, Dec 4, 2020 at 7:57 AM Chris Likins <likinsca@...> wrote:

Hello,

 

I recently have been having issues with my "bilge" pump on my Amel 54. The pump is the original from TF Marine. I first noticed a problem that the motor sounded different, hard to describe exactly but I have tested it enough to know that the motor didn't sound the same, however pumping seemed normal. A few days later I noticed the pump was running for a very long time. After activation from the float switch, it began to pump, however once the water in the sump began to decrease, so did its pumping ability, so much so that it was unable to pump out the last bit of water to turn the switch off. 

 

I rebuilt the pump with rebuild kit but had no luck so I gave it to the professionals for a rebuild. A few days later I am told they have the pump working and even send me a video (of the pump laying down on the ground, not upright) pumping plenty of water. Flapper valves, diaphragm, o-ring have all been replaced. Inside of the motor cleaned up. I also changed the suction hose that goes into the sump as it was getting old. There are two hose clamps on the suction side of the pump.

 

All this and still the same problem! The pump will prime just fine (hand over the outlet until the pump is full), then it will pump some of the water out of the bilge for a few seconds but then slow down to a crawl.

 

Is there some other source of a suction leak I may have missed? Is there anything else I could be missing?! Help!!

 

Thanks! 


Sv Garulfo
 

Chris,

It’s unlikely to be the problem (otherwise your professionals would have found it), but if you find that the motor/gearbox emits a click noise on every turn and diaphragm action looks jerky, you may have a case of a broken clutch:
Best,

Thomas
GARULFO
A54-122
Moorea


On Fri, 4 Dec 2020 at 04:54, CW Bill Rouse <brouse@...> wrote:
Chris,

The most common issue with this pump is a vacuum side leak. I am sure this is what you have. Usually, no leaking water is visible with a vacuum leak large enough to stop the pump from functioning. A vacuum side leak can happen:
  1. If the seal between the hose and hose barb on the suction side (bottom) is not perfectly sealed because a little air leaking into the pump will cause it to not pump water. Check this closely. I believe that when Amel installed this hose and others, they used some sort of sealant between the hose and the connectors. You should use 2 hose clamps and some sort of flexible sealant. Also, when this hose gets old, it becomes hard and loses its flexibility, causing a vacuum leak because the hose clamps cannot squeeze the hose tight enough. 
  2. The joint between the two halves should be sealed using high-quality silicone grease. The Dow Corning 111 Molykote Silicone Lubricant is the best product for this.
  3. The flapper valves should also be coated with the same silicone grease as above.
The TF pump you have is a good pump and should last a long time using TF rebuild kits. That said, there were some rebuild kits made in China that were a problem. I think these kits found their way to Amel and other distributors.

Bill


On Fri, Dec 4, 2020 at 7:57 AM Chris Likins <likinsca@...> wrote:

Hello,

 

I recently have been having issues with my "bilge" pump on my Amel 54. The pump is the original from TF Marine. I first noticed a problem that the motor sounded different, hard to describe exactly but I have tested it enough to know that the motor didn't sound the same, however pumping seemed normal. A few days later I noticed the pump was running for a very long time. After activation from the float switch, it began to pump, however once the water in the sump began to decrease, so did its pumping ability, so much so that it was unable to pump out the last bit of water to turn the switch off. 

 

I rebuilt the pump with rebuild kit but had no luck so I gave it to the professionals for a rebuild. A few days later I am told they have the pump working and even send me a video (of the pump laying down on the ground, not upright) pumping plenty of water. Flapper valves, diaphragm, o-ring have all been replaced. Inside of the motor cleaned up. I also changed the suction hose that goes into the sump as it was getting old. There are two hose clamps on the suction side of the pump.

 

All this and still the same problem! The pump will prime just fine (hand over the outlet until the pump is full), then it will pump some of the water out of the bilge for a few seconds but then slow down to a crawl.

 

Is there some other source of a suction leak I may have missed? Is there anything else I could be missing?! Help!!

 

Thanks! 


Mohammad Shirloo
 

Hi;

 

Another issue may be the backflow preventer valve at the intake part of the hose. These have rubber flaps in them that dry our over time. As they get worse, more and more water drains back into the bilge, in between the suction phases of the pump. Air can also be introduced in to the system. We had similar issues a few years ago. After service and using grease and double clamps at all hose connections, the pump has been working flawlessly. You can get replacement backflow preventers to replace the existing.

 

Happy Sailing;

 

 

Mohammad and Aty

B&B Kokomo

AMEL 54 #099

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> On Behalf Of Sv Garulfo via groups.io
Sent: Friday, December 4, 2020 5:24 PM
To: main@amelyachtowners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] A54 bilge pump problems...

 

Chris,

 

It’s unlikely to be the problem (otherwise your professionals would have found it), but if you find that the motor/gearbox emits a click noise on every turn and diaphragm action looks jerky, you may have a case of a broken clutch:

Best,

 

Thomas

GARULFO

A54-122

Moorea

 

 

On Fri, 4 Dec 2020 at 04:54, CW Bill Rouse <brouse@...> wrote:

Chris,

 

The most common issue with this pump is a vacuum side leak. I am sure this is what you have. Usually, no leaking water is visible with a vacuum leak large enough to stop the pump from functioning. A vacuum side leak can happen:

  1. If the seal between the hose and hose barb on the suction side (bottom) is not perfectly sealed because a little air leaking into the pump will cause it to not pump water. Check this closely. I believe that when Amel installed this hose and others, they used some sort of sealant between the hose and the connectors. You should use 2 hose clamps and some sort of flexible sealant. Also, when this hose gets old, it becomes hard and loses its flexibility, causing a vacuum leak because the hose clamps cannot squeeze the hose tight enough. 
  2. The joint between the two halves should be sealed using high-quality silicone grease. The Dow Corning 111 Molykote Silicone Lubricant is the best product for this.
  3. The flapper valves should also be coated with the same silicone grease as above.

The TF pump you have is a good pump and should last a long time using TF rebuild kits. That said, there were some rebuild kits made in China that were a problem. I think these kits found their way to Amel and other distributors.

 

Bill

 

 

On Fri, Dec 4, 2020 at 7:57 AM Chris Likins <likinsca@...> wrote:

Hello,

 

I recently have been having issues with my "bilge" pump on my Amel 54. The pump is the original from TF Marine. I first noticed a problem that the motor sounded different, hard to describe exactly but I have tested it enough to know that the motor didn't sound the same, however pumping seemed normal. A few days later I noticed the pump was running for a very long time. After activation from the float switch, it began to pump, however once the water in the sump began to decrease, so did its pumping ability, so much so that it was unable to pump out the last bit of water to turn the switch off. 

 

I rebuilt the pump with rebuild kit but had no luck so I gave it to the professionals for a rebuild. A few days later I am told they have the pump working and even send me a video (of the pump laying down on the ground, not upright) pumping plenty of water. Flapper valves, diaphragm, o-ring have all been replaced. Inside of the motor cleaned up. I also changed the suction hose that goes into the sump as it was getting old. There are two hose clamps on the suction side of the pump.

 

All this and still the same problem! The pump will prime just fine (hand over the outlet until the pump is full), then it will pump some of the water out of the bilge for a few seconds but then slow down to a crawl.

 

Is there some other source of a suction leak I may have missed? Is there anything else I could be missing?! Help!!

 

Thanks! 


Chris Likins
 
Edited

Hi everyone, thank you for the information. 

 

I have sealed and coated everything (two halves, main cover, flapper valves, inlet and outlet hoses) with a generous amount silicone grease, the suction hose is brand new, two hose clamps are in place and yet I am still having the same problem. I took the lower hose off the boat and filled it with water. A small trickle of water was coming out of the joker valve at the bottom. Should this be happening?  

 

I have zero trouble priming the pump while covering the outlet on top of the pump with my hand. It seems to pump OK when the motor is cold, as it warms up it gets slower and slower until it is hardly able to pump out any water at all. The motor sounds like its gets weaker and weaker the longer it runs. Any clues what this might point to inside the motor? 

 

As always, thanks for the help!


Chris Likins
 

Thomas,

 

I just took off the face of the gearbox to have a look at the clutch. It appears that there is one "break" in the white plastic gear. I noticed that you had two breaks in yours. Did you epoxy both or just one of them? I cant tell if the single break is meant to be there or not. 

 

Thanks!


Chris Likins
 

After a little more research on this forum it appears the break in the nylon gear is not supposed to be there and probably causing slippage. 

 

Does anyone know the easiest way to remove the white nylon gear? I actually have a spare...


Sv Garulfo
 


I guess you have a spare for the whole clutch (meaning the aluminum wheel and plastic gear ring). This assembly is held in the gearbox housing by a cir-clips. See picture attached.



Hope it helps

Thomas


On Fri, 4 Dec 2020 at 18:16, Chris Likins <likinsca@...> wrote:

After a little more research on this forum it appears the break in the nylon gear is not supposed to be there and probably causing slippage. 

 

Does anyone know the easiest way to remove the white nylon gear? I actually have a spare...


Alan "Woody" Wood
 

We had a few problems with our Henderson Mk 5 bulge pump recently and the trouble shooting brought up the usual suspects like torn diaphragm and leaky valves but also leaky screw holes and a dislodged strumbox grill that allowed a twig and cable tie to enter the joker valve at the bottom of the bilge and hold it ‘open’. This video might help to pinpoint potential issues to investigate.
Bilge Pump Problems! Fixing our Whale / Henderson Mk5 Pump with Spares from the Service Kit.
https://youtu.be/Tbpj26sNX1A


Chris Likins
 

Thomas,

I managed to get the whole clutch taken out finally. You can see the gap in the nylon gear. I do have an entire spare pump (although the motor shaft is snapped in half) so I am hoping to salvage the clutch off of that pump if it is still in good condition. The spare pump is currently in the shop and its a holiday weekend here in Thailand so I have to wait until Tuesday to find out... 

 

In the old thread you posted, you mentioned you epoxied the old nylon gear to repair it. Can you give a little bit more detail of exactly how you did that?

 

Thank you!

 


 

Chris,

You originally said, "pumping seemed normal. A few days later I noticed the pump was running for a very long time. After activation from the float switch, it began to pump, however, once the water in the sump began to decrease, so did its pumping ability, so much so that it was unable to pump out the last bit of water to turn the switch off."

I addressed non-mechanical issues because I believed that you were clearly stating that your pump was working mechanically. Apparently, you have a combination of mechanical issues. The mechanical parts, such as the nylon gear, are available from TF Marine (info@...). I believe 100% of the parts used in previous versions of this pump made by A.M.F.A. and others as the model number "Marina ZZ" are directly replaceable by parts from TF Marine.

Mohammad is correct about the one-way valve in the foot of the pick-up. With it working correctly, the pump primes itself quicker, but if the pump is working correctly this one-way valve is not critical to the pump being able to lift water from the sump.

SAV @ Amel.fr has had the nylon gear in stock from time-to-time.

Here is a drawing, but unfortunately, it does not show the Delrin (looks like nylon) gear as a separate part:
image.png

CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
View My Training Calendar


On Sat, Dec 5, 2020 at 2:14 AM Chris Likins <likinsca@...> wrote:

Thomas,

I managed to get the whole clutch taken out finally. You can see the gap in the nylon gear. I do have an entire spare pump (although the motor shaft is snapped in half) so I am hoping to salvage the clutch off of that pump if it is still in good condition. The spare pump is currently in the shop and its a holiday weekend here in Thailand so I have to wait until Tuesday to find out... 

 

In the old thread you posted, you mentioned you epoxied the old nylon gear to repair it. Can you give a little bit more detail of exactly how you did that?

 

Thank you!

 


Sv Garulfo
 

Chris,

The key point of the mcGiver repair is to nail the plastic ring to the aluminum wheel. Craig describes that nicely in his post. I then opted to fill the remaining gap in the ring with epoxy. Simply by closing the sides by pinning a couple of cardboard sheets with a clothing peg and letting a drop of epoxy in the gap. Let it cure, and with a dremel tool, cut a new groove to accommodate the regular spacing of the gears. Test it and file the groove until the motion is smooth. 


Thomas


On Fri, 4 Dec 2020 at 22:14, Chris Likins <likinsca@...> wrote:

Thomas,

I managed to get the whole clutch taken out finally. You can see the gap in the nylon gear. I do have an entire spare pump (although the motor shaft is snapped in half) so I am hoping to salvage the clutch off of that pump if it is still in good condition. The spare pump is currently in the shop and its a holiday weekend here in Thailand so I have to wait until Tuesday to find out... 

 

In the old thread you posted, you mentioned you epoxied the old nylon gear to repair it. Can you give a little bit more detail of exactly how you did that?

 

Thank you!

 


eric freedman
 

Hi,

The nylon gear and the shaft assembly is available from Amel. I got mine in 2 days.

Fair Winds

Eric

Amel Super Maramu #376

 

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io [mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io] On Behalf Of Chris Likins
Sent: Saturday, December 05, 2020 3:15 AM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] A54 bilge pump problems...

 

Thomas,

I managed to get the whole clutch taken out finally. You can see the gap in the nylon gear. I do have an entire spare pump (although the motor shaft is snapped in half) so I am hoping to salvage the clutch off of that pump if it is still in good condition. The spare pump is currently in the shop and its a holiday weekend here in Thailand so I have to wait until Tuesday to find out... 

 

In the old thread you posted, you mentioned you epoxied the old nylon gear to repair it. Can you give a little bit more detail of exactly how you did that?

 

Thank you!

 


Chris Likins
 

Thank you for everyones input. I followed the same repair that Thomas made and it works like a charm! Actually its pumping faster and better than it ever has since we owned the boat. 

 

This is a great forum and source of information. Thanks again!


 

Chris, probably pumping better because you sealed any minute vacuum side leaks as well as fixing the mechanical problem with the Delrin gear.

Bill
CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
View My Training Calendar


On Sun, Dec 6, 2020 at 3:02 AM Chris Likins <likinsca@...> wrote:

Thank you for everyones input. I followed the same repair that Thomas made and it works like a charm! Actually its pumping faster and better than it ever has since we owned the boat. 

 

This is a great forum and source of information. Thanks again!