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Passport111

Whale Gulper IC reviews

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Does anyone have experience with this pump?  https://www.fisheriessupply.com/whale-gulper-bilge-pump-kit-with-intelligent-control-circuitry

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I have a very shallow bilge with a small sump.  Most of the Rule type pumps won't fit because the output comes out horizontally.  

The remote sensor and pickup of this Whale pump allows the output to be rotated vertically.  I also like that the pump is out of the bilge.

Right now I only have manual pumps, one in the saloon and one in the cockpit.  I get a little rainwater in through the inside of the mast.  Because the bilge is shallow some water doesn't flow to the sump.  I plan to put one of the low pro Whale pumps right behind the mast and have it just pump to the sump.  

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It's total shit - expensive and the stupid plastic gears inside strip out very easily. I went through three before I changed to an impeller pump. The diaphragm pump mechanism generates much more force on the gears at certain points of travel and always the same place. If you get a blockage and it can't suck, then it strips and your pump is done. The gears should be brass, not brass-meets-nylon.

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Thanks for the feedback.  How long ago was that?  I wonder if they have changed the design at all.

The Water Puppy looks interesting and definitely more rugged.  However the fact that it self priming but you cannot run dry is concerning.  How is yours installed to address this? What water level/sensor switch do you use? 

Any other suggestions on different pumps?

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On 7/12/2018 at 6:03 PM, Moonduster said:

Brass? In salt water? 

Whatever - anyway some kind of metal, not cheese, not pudding and definitely not plastic

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I installed one a few years ago. Works fine. About 30" lift from the bilge. Sucks it almost dry. Unlike the impeller pump I have never paid it any attention. However it has an easy life as the bilge is quite dry. Also have a long hose for it to suck accidents out of lockers, fridge, etc.

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I also have the IC pump. My sump is very small, I even had to angle the pick up hose conector to 90 degrees to get it to fit (it is designed for that). So far works fine but like Daddle mine has never had to do much. I dump a bucket of fresh water in the bilge once in while to make sure it works. It is too expensive for what it is, but when I priced all the parts to build my own remote pick up system the cost was about the same.

Wet's experience is a worry. I try to keep the bilge very clean to avoid blockages, but will have to pay even closer attention.

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I also have a few dead ones around the shop.  A shame, I quite like the diaphragm pump for how much less it plugs up.  But they don't last worth a damn.

@Passport111  If it's strictly a scavenger around the mast area to transport rainwater to a sump, why not one of these?

https://www.fisheriessupply.com/sitesearch.aspx?keyword=low profile auto bilge pump&sitesearch=true

I have used Rule and Whale ones, I haven't seen much difference in reliability but they are small, and relatively cheap, though they may be a little long(8"ish).    I notice the remote head on your unit is 5 7/8" long.  The Johnson version from the search above is 5 3/4" long, and you could buy a half dozen of them for spares and still get change.  The Johnson cartridge system is nice, if you have a failure, swap the cartridge, if that fails, well you've still got several hundred dollars left to buy another complete.  

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On 7/13/2018 at 11:55 PM, Passport111 said:

Thanks for the feedback.  How long ago was that?  I wonder if they have changed the design at all.

The Water Puppy looks interesting and definitely more rugged.  However the fact that it self priming but you cannot run dry is concerning.  How is yours installed to address this? What water level/sensor switch do you use? 

Any other suggestions on different pumps?

I would suggest a Jabsco 50880 coupled with a waterwitch model 101 sensor. This combo has worked flawlessly on my boat and others. It will run dry and design for bilge crap.

3R

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Thanks for the replies.  My bilge is dry, clean and shallow so this should be just pumping clean water (that comes in through the mast or companion way when the hatch is open with weather).

@jgbrown I appreciate the feedback but with the Rule pumps, I have to add a 90 degree elbow somehow which both increases that 5 3/4" length and adds friction.  I do have the low pro Whale you reference to scavenge from the mast area.  The application for this is in the sump.  

I'll look at the Jabsco with a waterwitch too but steele said it may be a wash considering the ease of install of the Whale.

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On 7/12/2018 at 3:31 PM, Wet Spreaders said:

It's total shit - expensive and the stupid plastic gears inside strip out very easily. I went through three before I changed to an impeller pump. The diaphragm pump mechanism generates much more force on the gears at certain points of travel and always the same place. If you get a blockage and it can't suck, then it strips and your pump is done. The gears should be brass, not brass-meets-nylon.

I appreciate the review. Given your experience I might upgrade before heading out into the Pacific again.

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I've been thinking about the failures that I had and I've changed my mind about it being due to blockages - mostly because I don't have any crap in the bilge capable of blocking the strainer. My new and improved opinion is that it's caused during normal operation at startup of the motor. I have a dehumidifier and because of the size of the unit and the setup of my boat I can't route the exhaust into the sink drain - it goes to the bilge. This means that the bilge pump turns on briefly, often, when the inside of the boat is wet (after a regatta).

Obviously a diaphragm pump's torque needs vary a lot over the cycle and they will tend to stop at the max torque point - which means that they start up at the max torque point too. I bet the damn thing just strips because the nylon ring gear is shit and wears out, and it has nothing to do with getting blocked. 

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1 hour ago, Passport111 said:

Thanks for the replies.  My bilge is dry, clean and shallow so this should be just pumping clean water (that comes in through the mast or companion way when the hatch is open with weather).

@jgbrown I appreciate the feedback but with the Rule pumps, I have to add a 90 degree elbow somehow which both increases that 5 3/4" length and adds friction.  I do have the low pro Whale you reference to scavenge from the mast area.  The application for this is in the sump.  

I'll look at the Jabsco with a waterwitch too but steele said it may be a wash considering the ease of install of the Whale.

Do you have a picture of the sump?  The Johnson(the 5-3/4" body length one) has the exit out the side of the cylinder, the cylinder lies flat in the bilge, the pump is 3-1/4" wide, and has a 90 included(they thread the body now and include both fittings), so you would maintain the same length, possibly increase width very slightly and could then exit pretty easily horizontally or vertically.   

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Ah sorry I see. For some reason when you mentioned the Johnson I pictured the Rule style.  I'll check it out.  Thanks

Edit:  Looks like I need a sensor like the waterwitch with this too correct?

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8 hours ago, Third Reef said:

I would suggest a Jabsco 50880 coupled with a waterwitch model 101 sensor. This combo has worked flawlessly on my boat and others. It will run dry and design for bilge crap.

3R

Hey 3R - FYI I was reading the specification literature on the Waterwitch 101 and noticed they say that rainwater may be outside the sensor range.  Looks like a great sensor but about the only water I have in the bilge is rainwater so may not be the best option.

NOTE: If large amounts of rain water can enter the bilge, it may dilute the normal, fresh or salt, water outside our sensitivity window. Corrective action can be to switch pump on manually to remove diluted water or to add minerals such as salt, baking soda, bilge cleaners, etc… NORMAL FRESH WATER HAS AMPLE MINERAL CONTENT FOR PROPER OPERATION.

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5 hours ago, Passport111 said:

Ah sorry I see. For some reason when you mentioned the Johnson I pictured the Rule style.  I'll check it out.  Thanks

Edit:  Looks like I need a sensor like the waterwitch with this too correct?

Sensor yes, the electronic switches from Johnson are nice and small, uncertain about rainwater only though.  I prefer a mechanical sensor if there is room, preferably caged in a bilge but in a sump as you've described it should be fine.   If you use the Johnson ones they clip onto the housing, I know this is functional on the vertical pumps, would need to check for the lowboy. 

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On 8/28/2018 at 7:28 AM, Passport111 said:

Hey 3R - FYI I was reading the specification literature on the Waterwitch 101 and noticed they say that rainwater may be outside the sensor range.  Looks like a great sensor but about the only water I have in the bilge is rainwater so may not be the best option.

NOTE: If large amounts of rain water can enter the bilge, it may dilute the normal, fresh or salt, water outside our sensitivity window. Corrective action can be to switch pump on manually to remove diluted water or to add minerals such as salt, baking soda, bilge cleaners, etc… NORMAL FRESH WATER HAS AMPLE MINERAL CONTENT FOR PROPER OPERATION.

Never been a problem in my bilge and all the water witch is pumping is rain water from down the mast.. and my mast has holes like Swiss cheese ! 

3R

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I have two on board, one for grey water and one for fwd bilge. 3 full time live-aboards, grey water one runs everyday usually.  Bilge one has been fine no issues about 7 years or something like.  Sometimes the solid state switches don't like whats running by and will keep it running, coffee grounds in the sink etc or if the bilge one gets a layer of scum.  The run time after the switch is nice keeps it dry.  I have a Johnson centrifugal aft  that has held up good but it's in a well.  Have had lots of Rule and Atwood pumps fail on the previous boat.

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17 hours ago, SASSAFRASS said:

I have two on board, one for grey water and one for fwd bilge. 3 full time live-aboards, grey water one runs everyday usually.  Bilge one has been fine no issues about 7 years or something like.  Sometimes the solid state switches don't like whats running by and will keep it running, coffee grounds in the sink etc or if the bilge one gets a layer of scum.  The run time after the switch is nice keeps it dry.  I have a Johnson centrifugal aft  that has held up good but it's in a well.  Have had lots of Rule and Atwood pumps fail on the previous boat.

Just to confirm, you are referring to the sensor not the pump correct?

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No it's the complete units.  The grey water is the 24v pump with the inline one inch   "T" solid state switch.  The bilge is the 12v pump with the strainer solid state foot switch.  Same pump head on both.  Not going to jinx them by rambling on but about 6-7 years.

Regardless of brand Fisheries tends to be very good on returns if there are issues.  

 

And I will add I have a Water witch conductivity sensor for a high level alarm, our last insurance change required it.  They kinda suck,  super annoying if it or any wiring gets damp, sort goes into dog whistle whine mode until you get it all dry.  The full on alarm in seawater is very loud and works well.  

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