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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through February 10, 2003 » MY BALLAST IDEA SYSTEM-RATHER LONG WINDED. « Previous Next »
By TY (typhoon) on Monday, December 02, 2002 - 3:28 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I ordered a sac that will fit in the floor locker and go all the way to the tip of the bow. I ordered a custom sac with three 1" nozzles just to be faster on the right angles during filling and draining. I am running ¾” line throughout the rest of the system. I estimate I will be out only about 200.00 which money is a key factor in my system without skimping on performance at all. You can get two attwood 750 gph pumps for 18.00 each at walmart and they are great. Let's see if I can describe this:
I am putting a “T” on the scoop strainer that puts water to the engine. The scoop strainer is another reason why I want to use the engine water input as it will fill twice as fast with the scoop strainer. The only problem I could see is that you do not want to fill while you are idling and you will have to drain it while you are idling or with the engine off (again because of the pressure caused by the scoop).

The fill line:
From the t I will put a ball valve in for safety shut off. It will make a quick run to the first pump then to the top hole on the back of the sac. There will be a ball valve on the top of the sac that the fill goes into so as to turn it off when full so the scoop does not keep filling.

The drain line:
The bottom hole on the back of the sac will make a very quick run to a second pump mounted on the rear side wall in the locker with the sac. A hose will run from the pump and t in to the fill line close to the scoop inlet. You will have to put a check valve right before the t. I found some .5 pound check valves that will work awesome. The ball valve on the sac will not let any water back up to the sac and the check valve will not let any water into the drain line when filling. YOU CAN RUN HOSES OVER AND TO THE SIDE OF OUR GAS TANKS IF YOU LOOK UNDER THERE…
The simplicity of the system is the loop here. Take the drain hose that runs from the pump to the fill line and loop it either over or just under the pylon mount with zip ties. This simple loop will cause enough lift so as the sac cannot drain without the pump on.

The burp line:
The third hole is on the top of the sac in the bow. I am running a hose back to the opening and putting a very small hose turn off on it. Air will come out of here when filling and as soon as you see water heading down this hose, simply turn off the small valve and the sac is air free and full. I am also putting florite connection on the sac hoses so the sac can easily come in and out.
Lastly an idea from john strain and malibu is to get a piece of ½” plywood and cover it with carpet. Stick this wood in the opening and lay it on the sac width wise. When the sac is full, simply slide this wood over the fill valve and cover most of the hole. This will keep the lid from popping open. I have thoroughly researched the ballast issue and can give you feedback on all of the ideas. I chose to run with aerator pumps for these reasons:
1. Aerators are very fast
2. centrifugal pumps have very high amperage draw on dash switches
3. centrifugal pumps are very loud.
4. Aerator pumps are cheap and easy to replace if one burns out.
5. You have to be careful mounting some centrifugal pumps in the engine compartments.
6. Centrifugal pumps are very expensive running from 120.00 on up.
7. Aerator pumps will allow the extra speed and pressure to flow through from the scoop strainer.


By Jamie Schoolcraft (captfaceplant) on Saturday, December 21, 2002 - 5:34 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Where would I be able to get those small check valves, and are you using the existing bilge line for draining and overflow. I don't want to drill any new holes in the hull of the boat, so I'll be using the existing drain hole for filling, and if I go with the attwood pumps for filling and draining I'll use the existing bilge line with one way valves. The other system I am thinking about going with uses three self-priming pumps.
By TY (typhoon) on Monday, December 23, 2002 - 9:05 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
They are legend check valves and if you cannot find them online, I can give you the number of the company I buy from and they can probably send them to you ro we can figure something out. They are about 5.00 each. drop me a line. It is too hard for me to tap into my bilge line due to location and the aerators cannot push water back out through the same line. I have since gone to simer self prime and reversible pumps. I found them for 60.00 but they cannot be in the motor compartment as they are not ignition safe. I t'd my water intake and am using it for fill and drain with this pump. The one thing with self primers is you have to change the dash wiring as thet take a lot of juice. I can get you the number for the simer pump if you need. If you go self primer, you only need one pump though with manifolds or ball valves and the reversible self primers drain in the same hole.
By Jamie Schoolcraft (captfaceplant) on Monday, December 23, 2002 - 6:47 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
By using 12v relays it shouldn't be necessary to use large switches(just run your normal switches to 12v relays that will actually switch the high current needed by the pump/pumps). Then you could use OEM switches or actually any type you wanted for cosmetic reasons. I know that there are other systems that do use three pumps independantly for their systems, and they are self-priming reversible pumps. What did you finally end up with as a system for your boat?? Who knew that designing a ballast system would be a hobby in and of itself..LOL??? I did see a very interesting ballast system designed by someone using a rule 3800 pump to fill and a selfpriming pump to drain, and the way they ran the valves(all manual valves)they were able to use the same hole to fill and drain, it was actually pretty cool, I'll try to find where I saw it, there was one good picture of the valve system, it actually looked pretty "fool-proof". Oh and there are two reasons I have kind of tried to stay away from "sprinkler valves" #1 they are directional, and #2 they will not totally block water from coming back out, or back-flushing. Someone on another thread talked about them "leaking the water back out of the sack". And solenoid valves are just too expensive for me to justify purchasing. And one last question what model jabsco pump is 1100gph? I've heard that the fastest self-priming reversible pump was about 600 or 700gph.
By TY (typhoon) on Tuesday, December 24, 2002 - 6:40 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I ended up with the simer reversible because it was ay to hard to tap into the bilge line. i don't have the jabsco number but I know they make it. I have heard that about the sprinkler valves. Look into custom sacs by
awesome sacs. If you drill a hole or can tap into the bilge line for overflow drain, use the aerators. walmart has 750 gph for 20.00. Aerators will fill twice as fast with a scoop strainer as they allow to go faster.

By Porter (mikep) on Tuesday, December 24, 2002 - 11:07 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Be careful of draining through an existing bilge pump. What will happen is when you are draining the sacks some of the water will go out the drain, but some will go the other way towards your bildge pump that is attached to the hull inside the boat. Essentially, you will move much of the water from your ballasts bags to the hull of the boat, since the water will travel to the bildge pump backwards and end up in the hull. Does that make sense?
By TY (typhoon) on Tuesday, December 24, 2002 - 11:13 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Will be putting in a check valve.
By Jamie Schoolcraft (captfaceplant) on Tuesday, December 24, 2002 - 1:05 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
What are you doing to prevent overflowing your sacs if you don't have a vent(especially with a self-primer, they will burst a sac if you are not careful!)? I have one 750 gph pump from walmart already. On my boat it is really easy, there is a center drain hole(which a scupper will just thread into, so if I don't like it it will be easy to remove), and a rear drain. Therefore I don't have to drill any new holes in the boat. And by using check valves(low pressure) I should also be able to tie into the existing bilge line(which is also easily accessable. The only problem left with the aerators is that I'll still have to run a manual valve to close off the sacs after filling or the water will just run back out. I'm thinking if I'm going to have to use any manual valves at all, I'm just going to go with one HUGE aerator with a scupper to fill and a self-primer to drain and just deal with having to get my lazy butt out of the drivers seat to adjust the weight distribution with the manual valves(I guess if it gets to be too much of a hassle I could just spring for the solenoid valves next year). And yes I am having "Lets Go Ride" make all my sacs I just want everything figured out before I order them, that way the fill, drain, and vent lines are the proper size, and location for my needs.
By TY (typhoon) on Wednesday, December 25, 2002 - 7:50 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
mine is in the center floor in the so called ski locker even though it is huge. I am having pete make a sac with three holes on it even though I am only using two. The one hole up in the front bow (highest part) I am running a hose back to the openning and putting a very small, simple garden hose valve on it. When water starts coming out of that hose I know it is burped and full. I was going to put a small ball valve on my sac or you could do a vertical loop and water could not get over it and drain out without the help of the pump.
By Cyclone CJ (cyclonecj) on Friday, January 03, 2003 - 10:38 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
You guys that say you have "heard" that sprinkler valves don't work well should try one. I have one attached to the outlet of a Wally 750 in my through hull fill going to a FatSeat, and I don't have any problems at all with water leaking past it or any other wierd stuff. I have the valve wired in parallel with the pump, powered off a relay that is switched from a factory dash switch. When the pump is off, the valve is closed. I can have three people sitting on the seat and no leakage even out the drain pump. You have to route the outlet hoses correctly. I have an ABS gate valve in line with the inlet pump and valve just in case. I have a D drive and I hate going under the clamshell to shut the gate valve off. I have the drain Wally 750 Tee'd into the same fill line to pull water out of the seat to my bilge drain. One hose to the seat. I get a little bit of overflow out the bilge outlet through the drain pump when filling, if I'm in a hurry I jam a plug in it for a couple of minutes. If I am driving, I don't bother and the seat fills up quicker. I don't even have a scupper. I had to position the drain pump vertically to get it to prime consistently, but after that, I have not had any problems. I used a Toro 3/4" valve, and as long as it is close to the pump with no flex line in between, it works fine. I cannot abide not having watertight integrity below the waterline, as is the case when you have a relatively cheap line running to an aerator pump.
My system is simple, and it is safe because I have positive closure of the water inlet without closing a gate valve. In my case, the sack is visible, so my wife screams when it gets full. If it were in an enclosed space, I would attach an overflow. If she were in an enclosed space, I wouldn't worry about it.

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