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Old     (beleza)      Join Date: Mar 2010       07-16-2010, 1:51 PM Reply   
Alright I'm looking to install a ballast system in my '88 ski nautique. I want to plumb two sacs for the sides of the engine compartment. What I'm looking for is a simple system using two aerator pumps, one to fill both sacs and one to empty both sacs. Honestly, I dont really care if it takes 15 minutes to fill and empty... I just want it to work. Here is my question, is it possible to fill two bags simultaneously with one pump? And then empty them with one pump?

I've done quite a bit of research and it seems like everyone uses two pumps per bag (one to fill, one to empty) because they want a fast fill/empty time.

I would like to have one thru hull for the intake to fill both bags, and one hole drilled in the side for emptying. Is there a way to accomplish this? I'm an idiot when it comes to plumbing so I can't really figure out the best manifold to put together to make this work.

Any suggestions?
Old     (timmyb)      Join Date: Apr 2007       07-17-2010, 9:09 AM Reply   
I think your best bet if you want to use 2 pumps for the whole system is to dedicate 1 for filling both bags and then 1 for emptying both bags. A Tsunami 1200 might be able to fill 2 at once if you run a Y and use the same length of tubing from the y to both bags. Water is funny and will follow the path of least resistance(just a guess, no real world experience and someone may know different). Another option would be to run a T and then use shutoff valves on both sides and then shut off one side and fill and then open and shutoff the other side and fill. As far as draining, I think you could get away without the shutoff valves, maybe built a manifold that both sacs dump into and then the pump sits on the manifold and it doesn't care where it gets it's water from, it will just pump it out. For the drain, you might want a check valve on both sides of the manifold to keep water from the other sac from pushing back up to the opposite one if that matters at all to you.

I found Tsunami 800's for $26 for my system:
They also make a dual output Tsunami:

It sounds like you are on a budget, you could always run 1 800gph for each fill (2 total) and then get 1 1200 to handle your drain and it might be a little easier on you.

Last edited by timmyb; 07-17-2010 at 9:14 AM.
Old     (beleza)      Join Date: Mar 2010       07-18-2010, 4:28 PM Reply   
Thanks for the reply Timmy. You made some great points and helped me put a better picture in my mind of what I wanted. I think the two pumps for fill, and one for empty is a great idea! I will probably go that route. Now I have to figure out the best place to mount everything...
Old     (bmartin)      Join Date: Jan 2007       07-19-2010, 9:14 AM Reply   
You will want, actually more like need, a separate aerator style pump to drain each bag. Priming will be a constant issue if you try to drain both with some 'T' type plumbing configuration with an aerator pump - different story if you ar going with some self priming pump. How I have my rear bags set up is to use a single Tsunami1200 with a 1 1/8" line that goes to a high volume 'Y' splitter with manual ball valves. To get the benefit of the 1200GPH you have to use the larger diameter hose until you split your lines. After the splitter I think I have 3/4" going to each bag. You do have to have some type of valve system to adjust the fill rates to each bag - the closest one will always fill faster and absolutely critical if you want to run with your weight offset - like for surfing. I have some 800GPH aearator pumps attached directly to each bags to drain so use 3 pumps total. It takes between 10-15 minutes to completely fill 2 550s and to drain them takes about 5 minutes.
Old     (beleza)      Join Date: Mar 2010       07-19-2010, 2:27 PM Reply   
hmmm good points there. I guess I will have to just run two pumps to fill and two to empty. My boat just doesn't have a lot of room to mount pumps so it will be tricky figuring out a good spot...
Old     (timmyb)      Join Date: Apr 2007       07-20-2010, 8:52 AM Reply   
A ballast puppy would be ideal for your setup if you don't have a lot of room.
Old     (bmartin)      Join Date: Jan 2007       07-20-2010, 9:10 AM Reply   
If you mount drain pumps directly to the bags, they will not take much room. The bags will conform around the pump. You can use one pump to fill as many bags as you like, but more pumps = faster fills.


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