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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through April 01, 2004 » Ballast Puppy Info - Calling all MC owners.. « Previous Next »
By Brian (mtv_firemedic) on Saturday, February 28, 2004 - 2:07 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
hi there. i noticed all the new MC's are comming with Ballast Puppy by JAbsco. I am buying 3 this week. ANy opinions good or bad. I've seen the previous threads on this and just wanted some more info on jabsco's new pumps... I know that they are more expensive than the water puppy's (i did find them for 169.00 at my local Marine store discount for buying 3..just had to ask.. orig price is 239.00 so not much more expensive than the plain pump) but they have run dry protection and also come with cool "Fill/off/empty" switches.. i am building a ballast system and having a MC boat place install it for me(i'm too chicken to cut my own holes..even if its easy.. ) Aerator pumps are out due to air lock the only other choice is Simer.. and those arent ignition protected.. so any info from anyone who has actuallly used the new jabsco pumps .. ( the ones with the smaller impeller) also any tips to prevent impeller damage.. ie the kind of lube to use and how to apply and how often.. also .. i heard running the pump in the fill direction(forward) for a couple secs to "lube" before reversing to empty.. is this true and does it work?... thanks for the imput.. Brian
Moomba Mobius LSV - Viper Blue with 500LBS ballast(increasing to 1300#)}} and learning fast... Usually on the Delta outa River's End just outside Tracy... always looking for midweek riders to learn from - lets play!

(Message edited by mtv_firemedic on February 28, 2004)

By Brian (mtv_firemedic) on Saturday, February 28, 2004 - 2:08 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

(Message edited by mtv_firemedic on February 28, 2004)

By Brian (mtv_firemedic) on Sunday, February 29, 2004 - 6:45 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
By Geoff Maus (bluemalibu) on Monday, March 01, 2004 - 9:40 am:    Edit Post Delete Post

I installed three of the Jabsco Ballast Puppy pumps in my boat in January. I replaced six aerator pumps with the ballast puppy's. I have been out twice so far, and they work great. They have some real advantages over the aerator style of pump. No "prime" issues. They "hold" the water - no siphoning in or out of the ballast bags. They have good flow volume - faster filling and draining than my old Rule 750's. The ballast puppy pumps do have thermal and dry run shutdown - so far I have not been in a position to use this. The ballast puppy pumps are ignition protected - this is important when a pump is mounted in the engine compartment, or any area where fuel vapors could collect.

The ballast puppy pumps do need some special attention. They use a lot more power than typical aerator pumps. I tested mine under load, and they can draw as much as 13 amps each. Normal running load is closer to 8 to 10 amps. You need to use wire and circuit protect accordingly. I used marine 8 gage wire and a dedicated circuit breaker to power the pumps. Others have mentioned poor performance when running multiple pumps, I would suspect poor wiring. My pumps "seem" to run the same with one or all three pumps running.
If you are using ballast bags like I do, you need to plumb in some type of check valve to prevent overpresurizing the bags - and possibly bursting them or having them damage something near them. I used 1/2 PSI one way check vaves plumbed into the the second port of each bag. The check valves work good because they allow the bags to fill fully, protect them from overfilling, and do not allow air back in when the sacks are being drained.

Another thing to think about when using ballast puppy's is that you use them to drain the bags. This means that you need to use reinforced hose to prevent the from collapsing under vacuum when you suck the bags dry. I used 1" "spa" hose for my system. This is heavy duty stuff, and works well.

Do not skimp on the size of the through hull fitting, or forget to install a shut off valve at the through hull fitting.

$169 for the pumps is a fantastic deal, I paid more for each of my pumps, and still thought I got a good deal.

Best of luck on your project, Geoff

By Brian (mtv_firemedic) on Monday, March 01, 2004 - 9:25 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
i planned on using the pumps to fill and empty.. and i know about the check valves... actually i was going to add "overflow hose" to a side outlet for so that i can see when they are full by water shooting out of the sides.. i was going to use 1 way check valves for the reasons you stated.. but where can i find some of the 1/2 psi valves you mentioned?.. also.. where is the best place to buy cheap but durable non collapsable hose like you have?...i was thinking the same just not sure where to look.. marine store is expensive any ideas?....and good idea about the shut off valve at the thru hull scoop .. didnt think about it there so that if a pump fitting goes out you can shut off the water?..that is the only reason i can think of.. do you leave yours on and only shut off in an emergency?... going to be putting it together next week.. now going to use 8g wire instead of 10 and sending all pumps to 20amp auto relays.. think a circuit panel would be better?.... if you could somehow describe how you wired it and what you used/where to get it.. ... that would be helpful since whatever you did seemed to work and looks like i am installing the same system.. also.. do you see a need for a 2nd battery due to the draw of the pumps or are they all wired to the starting battery.. if you did use as 2nd battery.. did you use a combiner/isolater...thanks in advance for the info. Brian
By Mike D. (mdan) on Tuesday, March 02, 2004 - 3:25 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
you need one of these for all those switches. I can sell you the carbon fiber panel without the switchs, but it is already cut out for 4 swithes, so you would either have a dummy switch to contol the circut breaker etc. let me know.

By Geoff Maus (bluemalibu) on Tuesday, March 02, 2004 - 6:49 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

Your project will really be sweet when you are done, and you are asking some really good questions. I spent almost a grand on my pumps, through hull fitting, valve, manifold, pipe fittings, “spa” hose, and connections, wiring, circuit breakers, connectors, heat shrink tubing, on and on. There are guys on this site that could probably find all the stuff needed for less…

The check valves I used were from Home Depot – part number 101-106HC 1 ¼”. I plumbed these into the overflow hose just before the through hull fitting. When the bags are full they allow water to vent out, letting you know they are full. When you drain the bags, they do not allow air back in, this lets you “suck the bags flat”. Completely emptied bags means less weight when towing, and less air in the bag next time you fill it with water. This is really important for the locker sacks, as they can be hard to “burp”. I tried smaller (3/4”) check valves, but they had a higher valve pressure, so I changed to the larger valve.

For the “spa” flex hose, I also got this at Home Depot. I used 1” I.D. this fits the 1” O.D. on the ballast puppy pumps. This is strong stuff and does not collapse under vacuum. It also does not flex like the vinyl hose, so it is harder to work with. Lay everything out with the largest bends you can fit. Try to minimize angle fittings that cause flow restrictions.

The through hull fitting I used was a 1& 1/4"“mushroom” head rather than a scoop. The reason was that if you are underway when you drain your system, you will fight the pressure created by the scoop – assuming the scoop is pointed forward. You could also plumb check valves and drain the system through another through hull fitting…
I put a ball valve on top of the mushroom though hull fitting. This was really a safety thing. If a fitting or hose broke, I could just shut off the valve. It could come in handy if you ever needed to service the impeller on one of the pumps when the boat was in the water. My valve stays open all the time, but I do know it is there if I need it.

For the electrical. I have a pretty large stereo system, and I have three Optima batteries. I have one “main” battery – Optima blue top starting, and two isolated and dedicated to the stereo – Optima blue top deep cycle. I have two alternators and use a Hellroaring isolator to create a redundant charging system that prioritizes the starting battery, then charges the stereo batteries. I thought about running the ballast system off the stereo side, but in my boat it was easier to run it off the main battery. Usually when I fill or drain the ballast system, the engine is running. So far, no problems.

When I planned the wiring, I was going to use one circuit breaker for each pump. On a whim, I decided to try using one 30 amp circuit breaker to power all three. So far it has worked fine. I measured max running current at just under 25 amps – all three pumps. The circuit breaker I used is a self resetting type so if it does blow, it will cool and reset itself. If it blows more than once, I will rewire with individual breakers. Your decision to run 8 gauge wire was a good one, remember to run 8 gauge for the ground side also.

Good luck, Geoff

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