Like many of you I am always looking to customize, upgrade or improve things in my boat. After constant tinkering and troubleshooting the existing system with its 1 fill and 3 empty pumps and its very restrictive sprinkler solenoid valves, I have made a fairly significant find.
I removed the solenoid from the manifold and removed the hose. I was playing around with the toggle switch on the valve blowing by mouth through the valve. I was surprised how hard I had to blow to make air pass through with the solenoid open. I then hit the fill switch to see if that made a difference having the solenoid energized and blew with no change. Its a wonder those valves let any flow by with as much pressure required when the valve is in an open state.
Now I used to have lots of trouble with the sprinkler system at my old house. Debris would get caught in the plunger of the solenoid and I had to remove the 6-8 screws to clean it out. I remembered there being a spring in the valve body to help hold back pressure when the valve was closed. And since these are designed to be in a high pressure environment I wondered if these springs are really needed in this low pressure, low flow application.
I started doing a little bench testing with the valve. I removed the solenoid actuator (black with wires running into it) by un-threading it then removed the 8 screws on the top, and separated the housing. I found the spring, plunger, etc. I then removed the spring and re-assembled it with a couple screws and tried blowing into it again with the manual valve open. It was considerably easier to blow through this time. I closed the valve and blew again, and it worked.
I jumped in the boat and plugged it in to make sure it responded the same while energized and it did!!
The difference between having the spring and not is huge! And in this low pressure environment you will have little if any flow by with out the spring.
I then did some bench testing.
All tests were performed with two 5 gallon buckets and timed from empty to fill of one 5 gallon bucket.
Test 1. Factory set up. Time to fill 45sec GPH 391
Test 2. factory set up w/no solenoid spring. Time to fill 32sec GPH 604
Test 3. Factory pump no solenoid. Time to fill 28sec GPH 643
Notes: All tests conducted with 3/4 in hose. Results will vary with 1" factory hose.
Valve held in manual off with pump running no water leaking.
As you can see this is a fairly significant increase in flow from the factory set-up.
I originally posted this on the Moomba boards and had several other guys try this and have had good results on the water So I thought I would post up here and share the idea.
These pics were taken by another Moomba member to identify the process of spring removal and flow results
Her are two pics of the flow through the unmodified valve.
Here are two more pics of flow with the valve modified.
I hope everyone find this post helpful and can use this little trick to help increase the flow in you systems.
After all it takes about 15 minutes and its free.
(Message edited by newty on February 26, 2009)