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-   -   A little help with simer pumps. (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=779021)

lakebum14 04-29-2010 10:50 PM

A little help with simer pumps.
I have two bluewater simer pumps that I'm going to install soon. I just would like some more info about these pumps. Here are my main concerns: How do they hold up compared to the Jabsco ballast puppy, Has anyone had any issues with fires or explosions since they are not ignition protected. Best places to mount the pumps, and How to wire the pumps to make them reversible. Also I have ballast switches that I ordered from wakemakers, but I don't have the wires to use for connections. What gauage wires do I need and what type of fuses should be used.

jacobs0222i 05-02-2010 11:53 AM

The gauge of wire depends on how far away the pumps are going to be away from the switches. There should have been wiring instructions when you bought the simer pumps

bigshow 05-02-2010 12:51 PM

No, the gauge of the wire depends on how much current the pump draws. See the table: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_wire_gauge

chpthril 05-02-2010 3:23 PM

Yur both right, wire size is load x length. :)

12ga is fine.

bigshow 05-02-2010 3:41 PM

12 AWG is the correct gauge. Length has nothing to do with the gauge, nothing.

The current that a wire can carry is limited by the amount of heat it develops up to the melting point. One wire in open air at low temperatures can carry more current than one wire in a bundle at high ambient temperature. To say that the required gauge is current times length is nonsense.

chpthril 05-02-2010 4:23 PM


Originally Posted by bigshow (Post 1580292)
12 AWG is the correct gauge. Length has nothing to do with the gauge, nothing.

The current that a wire can carry is limited by the amount of heat it develops up to the melting point. One wire in open air at low temperatures can carry more current than one wire in a bundle at high ambient temperature. To say that the required gauge is current times length is nonsense.

ooooook then :rolleyes:

baitkiller 05-02-2010 5:23 PM

So everybody is OK with using a non ignition protected pump in an inboard gas boat? just checking the status quo. You might want to tell your passengers.

trdon 05-02-2010 8:09 PM

I have heard of a few people using them. I know one who mounted his in the front of the boat, just to be careful of the non ignition protection rating.

As far as the wiring, everybody is right. Lenght and current is the determinging factor for wire sizing. Open air wiring can make a difference in current carrying capabilities. Regardless of all of that I would not size down because it is running free air, but concentrate on current. Boat wiring will not be long enough to create a voltage drop significant enough to constitute an upsizing to avoid said voltage drop. Up to 15A use 14awg, up to 20A use 12awg, up to 30A use 10 awg. Take this from a person who has a liscence and does this for a living.

unclejessie 05-03-2010 8:12 AM

I see the big differenec is that you can run the Ballast Puppies dry because I think they either have an auto shut off, or you can get an impeller that will not seize up when run dry. With the Simers, you will blow fuses or ruin the impeller and or pump if you run them dry.

I have the same 2 Simers in my boat, going on 6 years of service!


masonwakerider 05-03-2010 8:47 AM

resistance = resistivity * length / area, with the area term effectively being wire size. So for the same voltage drop and amperage, shorter runs require less wire.

heres the table i use for an acceptable 10% voltage drop. 10awg is overkill if it is a really short run. (run length is total length of the circuit loop, battery to device to battery)

simers will blow a 25 amp breaker when the run dry. Run some push buttom quick reset breakers next to the switches.
i've been running two with zero issues in the v drive locker for five years. Never changed the impeller. They draw twice the current as a ballast puppy so have your engine running when running the pumps for max flow rate.

lakebum14 05-07-2010 8:56 PM

Thanks for all the advice guys.

jacobs0222i 07-18-2010 3:12 PM

I just had my mom pick up a BW85P Simer pump from Fleet Farm for $67.00 in Fargo ND. I’m going to play around with it when she gets back from visiting relatives. How many amps will one draw? And just to confirm I can’t mount these in the engine compartment?

frosty2469 07-18-2010 5:22 PM

I'm still wiring my ballast pumps, but this chart helped me alot:

3rd chart down uses wire length and amp to pick a wire gauge.
As WAlove said, run length is the total round trip, pump to switch to pump.

Yup, overkill is my middle name, here is the wire I used, 4x 10ga. in the same bundle, simplify wiring... 2 strands of this for 4 pumps:


jacobs0222i 07-18-2010 11:04 PM


how different is this from what you have posted Frosty? other then the gauge

frosty2469 07-19-2010 4:50 PM


Originally Posted by jacobs0222i (Post 1610145)

how different is this from what you have posted Frosty? other then the gauge

About $200! :eek:

Sorry, I couldn't resist!

I am no expert, but I am sure learning a lot!
Here's my understanding... anyone: feel free to jump in with more / better info!

We are talking about the difference between cables designed to be placed in a dry environment, like inside the walls of your house, vs. marine cables designed to be installed in areas that have water, fuel, and oil present, all the time.

The stuff I used is marine cable, the copper wires inside all the insulation has been 'tinned', coated to help prevent moisture from getting into the wires themselves and corroding the wire, then the insulation that covers that attempts to remove all pockets of air, so the moisture has no place to pool, and start corroding the wire.
All that is covered by a coating (PVC in this case) that is more resistant to fuel & oil, etc.

In the description of the link you sent, they stated "Higher grade copper will offer less signal resistance and have less tendency to corrode or tarnish underneath the jacket."
Because the marine cable is subject to a harsher environment, the corrosion is exactly what we are trying to prevent... the marine cable description states:
"Resistant To: Acid, Alkalis, Abrasion, Flame, Gasoline, Oil, Ozone, Moisture, Fungus"

They both state they have a PVC jacket, so the difference may be the tinned wires, as well as the process for applying it to remove air pockets?

I decided to not to cut corners here, as I just wanted it to work, and not have to fiddle with it 5 years down the road, after it sat in the bilge, etc.
Went with 4 wire bundles for ease of installation, routed 2 cables instead of 8 wires.

I bought 50 feet, as I was not exactly sure how I wanted to route it, ended up running 2 strands from dash diagonally across the boat to the rear port side of boat.
I ran it under the floor, across & above the gas tank.
I ended up with about 14 feet left over, so figure about 13 feet per run in this case.

They also make a marine 12/4 cable that is quite a bit cheaper, and you can buy it buy the foot.
Free shipping, and they have a 12/8, too... run 1 cable...
I bought some 16/2, 14/2, and sealing shrink wrap from the above link too, very happy with all of it.

Yes, I could have saved some money, routed the wires differently, used speaker wire, etc., but I do plan on keeping this boat, and I wanted to do it right the first time, didn't want an unmanageable mess of wires all over the boat, and really wanted it to be reliable!
I would rather jump in the boat, turn the key, and go.... then have to mess with loose connections, etc. constantly...

I also thought about mounting a relay box near the pumps, then the heavy wire runs would be very short, but this would complicate my setup, and not work well with the switches I had already bought (came with the reverse-able ballast puppies)

Hope that helps.

wakemikey 07-20-2010 2:33 PM

What a lame post Baitkiller. Thanks for trolling by.

Jon I mounted mine in the passenger seat storage compartment. Two years with no issues. They do come with an extra impellor. I have ran mine dry for several minutes on many occasions and had no problems. They work great and they pump strong over any distance of hose. The cons compared to aerator pumps is that they are louder, draw a good deal more power, and are slower.

baitkiller 07-20-2010 3:25 PM

Piss off Mikey...

jacobs0222i 07-20-2010 6:55 PM

So in my DD i wont have any problems mounting them in the back compartment? i dont think exhaust can get in there.

wakemikey 07-21-2010 10:42 AM

You aren't concerned with exhaust, you are concerned with gas fumes. So engine compartment is out, the bilge is out and anywhere that vents to the bilge. I also stay away from the gas tank.

This is similar to running your blowers on your engine. After you fill up the gas tank at the dock, fumes that are heavier than air can accumulate in your bilge. If you run the blowers or fill up at the gas station and drive to the launch you are not in any danger. Also after wakeboarding and sitting you should run blowers.

So these are situations where gas fumes can build up. Keep your Simer away from these locations and no worries.

Since your BOAT engine isn't ignition protected, this is something you are ALREADY required to take care of. It's ALWAYS an issue. You ALWAYS have to make sure you dont gave gas fumes building up EVER. If this happens you would be much more likely blow the engine before the Simer pump unless you mount it in the engine compartment or bilge.

So if you feel the need, make sure to tell your passangers EVERY time you go out on the boat that there is a chance your boat could explode, wether you have Simer pumps or not. Rolleyes

wakemikey 07-21-2010 10:45 AM

Sorry if I sounded like a jerk but you basically said if you run Simers you are asking for an explosion which is total BS.

baitkiller 07-21-2010 12:23 PM

Sorry for posturing.
Hatchet is buried.

The reason for my post was because in many cases ballast pumps are fitted low in the machinery space where they are indeed dangerous if not ignition protected. Anywhere above deck level should never be an issue.

BTW your engine IS ignition protected unless you changed something.

I believe you have given good advice and the OP is now well equipped.

I have a good friend who almost lost 2 of three daughters on his 2001 due to an automotive starter. Nothing like seeing a 3 year old girl with burns to get your attention.
The boat burned to the water line.

Seen some crazy DIY stuff on boats over the years.
peace > John

spencerwm 07-21-2010 12:42 PM


Originally Posted by wakemikey (Post 1611507)
Sorry if I sounded like a jerk but you basically said if you run Simers you are asking for an explosion which is total BS.

I agree if the boat motor is fuel injected. Chances are low either way but they are higher than using an ignition protected pump.

I think the biggest issue IMO is that the Simer's are not intended to run in reverse. Yes they will but at the cost of replacing the impellers frequently. Maybe in the long run they are so much cheaper than the Johnson Ballast Pump and the Jabsco Ballast Puppy pumps that it is worth it.

jacobs0222i 07-21-2010 2:03 PM

Simers do come with an extra impeller. so that is good. how do you make it go in reverse if you are just using the 12V plug in the the lighter?

tracktor 07-21-2010 2:09 PM

Simers not meant to be run backward? I guess I don't understand. They are an electric motor with a non-directional impellor in the pump?
FWIW, I have ran mine for three years including quite a few run-dries and never replaced an impellor . My buddy with an X-star has replaced the impellors in his Jabscos multiple times.

unclejessie 07-21-2010 3:42 PM

I have had the same Simers and same impellers for 800 hrs on my 2004... not sure that is a big hit in cost of impellers.


jacobs0222i 07-27-2010 5:30 PM

Does anyone have Pics of the hose connected to the simer pumps? And what size hose are you using? It is a garden hose fitting, is there such thing as a 1"hose barb that will screw onto that.

unclejessie 07-28-2010 1:12 PM

I use 3/4 in heater hose from an auto parts store.. Sometime for long runs I use 1inch.


jon43 07-28-2010 1:27 PM

i used 3/4" from these guys and you can use slip connectors with regular pvc primer and glue works perfect 2 season and working on the 3rd.

wakemikey 07-29-2010 4:30 PM

Jacob - I and many others have used the clear hose from home depot, but over time it collapses under pressure and also kinks where you bend it. The kind Uncle Jesse linked is the way to go.

About the above boat comments, any boat can explode if you dont run your blowers and gas fumes build up when you start the engine. This is not the function of the carb flame arrestor.

To make the Simer reverse directions, you just reverse the polarity (red to black) and hook the alligator clips to the opposite battery terminals.

jacobs0222i 07-29-2010 6:58 PM

The problem that i have is that im going to use 1" hose. All the Fly High quick connects and check valves that i have are 1 inch so i'm kind of stuck, plus it would flow faster wouldn't it? I have been hearing about a hose called multiflex.

mikeski 07-29-2010 11:35 PM

I use 1" or 3/4" Carlon electrical flexible conduit for my ballast hose. Available at most hardware stores or electrical supply houses. It's oil resistant and won't collapse. I sometimes need to heat it a bit to get it on the fittings.

frosty2469 07-31-2010 9:40 PM

Here's what I'm using for 1" ballast hose:


I haven't found a cheaper price for it.
I didn't purchase mine here, I paid 2x at defender... but at least I didn't get it at west marine... they have it in the store, but not online, if you want to go look at it first.

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