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Old     (bigcatpt)      Join Date: Aug 2007       05-27-2009, 9:27 PM Reply   
I am trying to put the final touches on my ballast system design. I am going to be running two ballast puppy pumps off of one 1 1/4" floor intake. Here are my questions...

1. Is there any problem just reversing the pumps and emptying the sacs right back out through the floor intake?

2. Or do I need to somehow empty the water out a side thru-hull?

3. Will I be able to fill through the floor intake while at rest or while at speed or both?

4. If I decide to drain through the floor intake will I have to be at rest to do this or can I drain while at speed as well?

5. Will there be enough pressure from the pump to overcome the water pressure at speed in order to drain?

Thanks for the help!

Old     (ed_g)      Join Date: Nov 2005       05-28-2009, 4:40 AM Reply   
The Gravity 3 ballast systems on the '09 Moomba's now incorporate 3 ballast puppy pumps into their system. They fill and drain thru 3 ports in the bottom of the hull (each pump has it's own port).

The fat sac vent/overflows are located on the sides of the hull.

You can fill/empty at any speed.

I start filling my ballast as soon as the boat comes off the trailer, and is full when I get to my rider drop-off point.

Pump will drain at any boat speed and automatically shuts off when it doesn't sense anymore water in fat sac.
Old     (masonwakerider)      Join Date: May 2003       05-28-2009, 6:26 AM Reply   
i agree, fill drain same hole, at any speed. I often use it to balance my wakeboard wake while going 25mph. My thru hull is a flush mount, but i've noticed that most manufacturers are using a scupper style thru hull. Im not sure if their is an advantage though.
Old     (ed_g)      Join Date: Nov 2005       05-28-2009, 6:53 AM Reply   
here's the 3 factory installed ports (round ones) on the bottom of my 2009 Moomba Outback V:

Old     (bigcatpt)      Join Date: Aug 2007       05-28-2009, 9:05 AM Reply   
Thank you everyone! That is the information I was looking for.
Old     (bigcatpt)      Join Date: Aug 2007       05-28-2009, 9:16 AM Reply   
I am uploading a schematic drawning of my ballast design. Does anyone see any changes or modification I should make? Keep in mind this set up is for surfing only....
Old     (wotan)      Join Date: Jul 2008       05-28-2009, 10:04 AM Reply   
Great drawing! Very comprehensive.... Some issues I notice... Vents? Are you fill/draining with aerator pumps? This won't work. Your design would require simer pumps as they are reversible and self priming.
Old     (duffymahoney)      Join Date: Sep 2008       05-28-2009, 10:29 AM Reply   
You just need pump for each sac on the drain. Other than that it looks great.
Old     (bigcatpt)      Join Date: Aug 2007       05-28-2009, 10:55 AM Reply   
Robert and Duffy..
The Johnson ballast pumps are almost identical to the Jabsco ballast pumps put have a higher GPH rate. Since the pumps are reversible they should be able to suck all 3 sacs bone dry when reversed. Correct?
Old     (rhawn)      Join Date: Dec 2006       05-28-2009, 11:12 AM Reply   
I'm also in the middle of adding to my current automatic ballast system. I was told that each pump needs its own through hull intake, or you will starve the pumps.

Ed G, how do your pumps automatically shut off when the sacs are empty? I don't think that's a normal pump feature.
Old     (duffymahoney)      Join Date: Sep 2008       05-28-2009, 11:18 AM Reply   
Aerator pumps are so much better. I've installed 4 systems now and I will never install another reversible pump. They fail, they take huge amount of power and amps, they cost a ton! Aerators are almost silent, they are faster, and they are cheap.
Old     (wotan)      Join Date: Jul 2008       05-28-2009, 12:27 PM Reply   
Blair -- I think as long as you have a larger intake than the tubing, you'll be fine. If you use the same thru-hull as your engine, it may be possible to starve the engine, though.
Old     (wotan)      Join Date: Jul 2008       05-28-2009, 12:32 PM Reply   
Duffy -- Is there a way to build a completely automated aerator system that doesn't need manual valves?
Old     (micah)      Join Date: Mar 2008       05-28-2009, 12:48 PM Reply   
It looks like it will work. You can definitely reverse the pump and drain through the mushroom scoop. The advantage to having separate drain lines is you can hear when the water stops and shut off your pumps but most the time you can listen to the pumps and you can hear the pitch change when the bags are empty. I would put the mushroom scoop with the vents facing towards the back of the boat so your not forcing the water in as you move. This also allows you to drain easily while moving and you are not forcing water into the pump when not using them . Since the other two bags will be filled manually I see no need for vent lines, but you might need to open a vent while you fill each one.
Old     (bigcatpt)      Join Date: Aug 2007       05-28-2009, 1:14 PM Reply   
Duffy-I looked at aerator type pumps but it made the system too confusing to design. I only have space for 2 switches on the dash and I'm no electrical guru. I'm doing this out of simplicity. I didn't want to include electric sprinkler control valves in the system. The reversible pumps look so much more well built and durable than the plastic aerator type. Some people have good luck with them and some don't. Who knows, maybe in a year or two I will be redesigning the sytem.

Robert - I am using a 1 1/4 thru-hull scooper for the intake and 1" ID hose. I have been told that the 1 1/4" intake can handle 2 pumps easily. Especially when you consider the ID of the pump intake is 1/2" and the openings of the sac are 3/4". There will be other natural bottlenecks other than the intake I believe.

Micahj- I am still thinking about emptying through some side dumps. It will cost a little more for more side dumps and one way check valves but may be worth it. It could be an easy upgrade later if it doesn't work good as designed. I will also consider reversing the mushroom scoop. I think that would definitely help with emptying. I wonder if facing that direction if a air pocket would form there while up on plane as to prevent good filling at speed????? I agree that I will need to manually burp or vent the 2 bags that will be placed on the seat.

Thanks all for the suggestions and insight! I appreciate it! Keep it coming!

Old     (didierz)      Join Date: Feb 2009       05-28-2009, 1:50 PM Reply   

I did a very similar system on my 99' 205v. I chose johnson pumps just like your design but with 4 pumps, one for each bag. I used 1 1/4 scuppers for each pair of pumps because each pump can only draw their minimum diameter inlet size i.e 3/4". After the 1 1/4 scupper I tee'd to the inlet of each pump and from the outlet to each sac. Two pumps fill the rear 900lb sumo sacs and two pumps fill the center locker sac and bow sac. The advantage of 4 over two is no need for any manual ball valves to fill the other bags. Another advantage is for surfing you can fill one large bag quickley and if you need to switch to goofy side or vice versa, one pump can fill the empty sac through the scupper and if you "empty" the other full sac it not only drains but supplies the second pump with all of the water you are trying to empty anyway. In other words one is drawing lake water and filling and the other is emptying its water and filling the oppostie empty bag at close to twice the fill speed. You might want to ditch the manual ball valves, since you are already doing two scuppers add two pumps and eliminate a little extra plumbing. I also used 4 swing style 3/4 check valves on the top sac fittings. They allow the sacs to drain into rasin shapes, and allow any overfill to dump out the side of the hull. No problems filling underway or at idle. I would not recommend pulling off the water pump inlet for the motor.
Old     (duffymahoney)      Join Date: Sep 2008       05-28-2009, 2:01 PM Reply   
You can just use 1 way valves instead or electric valves. I use brass swing check valves on the fill lines and then spring loaded check valves on every vent and drain pump. The spring loaded ones do make the flow a little less but I bet they still beat any ballast puppy. I have 2 fill pumps and two drain pumps per custom enzo sac. Bigcat, you can buy the factory wiring harness and then the install the aerator pumps very easily. I installed a nice simple manifold with 2 aerator pumps off the v-drive drain for my extra two fill pumps for my custom sacs. I have no sprinkler valves, and my custom sacs fill in about 9 minutes and they are 1500#
Old     (bigcatpt)      Join Date: Aug 2007       05-28-2009, 2:20 PM Reply   
Zach - great info! I appreciate it! I have no plans to pull off the motor water pump inlet. Leaving that well enough alone! I can definitely see the advantage of running 4 pumps but can't justify another $200 each!

Depending on how many people are in the boat I may or may not even have to fill anything other than the large surf sac. If thats the case then no ball valves get touched. More than likely I will need to fill either the 750# OR 500# sac on the port seats. If I fill it at the same time as the surf sac the only ball valve I need to handle is the one that turns on/off the auxillary hose to the sac on the seat. The only reason I would ever need to handle the ball valves on the main line to the surf sac is IF the surf sac was already full and I then need to fill one of the auxillary sacs on the seat. I am not sure why I would need to do them at different times. I would just be afraid the surf sac would not drain/vent fast enough and overfill if it was already full and trying to pump into the sac on the seat as well. Maybe that is not an issue. I almost didn't even put the ball valves on the main line.

I really doubt I will ever fill both auxillary sacs on the seats/floor. I only need about 1700-1800# for a huge enough surf wave. Most days I will get that with the surf sac and peps.

And about surfing on the dark side. My Avy has the walk through transom and does not set up well for dark side surfing. Just not enough storage room for sacs. My whole family is regular footed and my goofy footed friends are either not my friends anymore or they are getting pretty good at riding switch or heel side!

Thanks again for the info!}
Old     (bigcatpt)      Join Date: Aug 2007       05-28-2009, 2:29 PM Reply   
Sounds like you have it figured out well. How many switches to operate everything? Do you have any sketches/drawing of your design?

What aerator pumps are you running? Are they the Centurion factory ones (yellow 1100 GPH). Can't think if the name of them....

Are you running any sacs on the seat when you surf or just the custom Avy sacs, midship, and bow?
Old     (duffymahoney)      Join Date: Sep 2008       05-28-2009, 2:49 PM Reply   
I have 3 switches. So here is my design. I have the extra fill pumps just piggy backed off the stock wiring, so it was super easy to install. Do you have a stock center tank? I have my stock center tank fill line spliced with a manual valve. I use that for filling my extra sacs when i have a small crew. It's a really nice setup with flyhigh fittings on it. I just attach to the sac hit the fill center switch and they fill up. Then to drain I just pick them up( they are 2-150lb fat bricks) and drain them over the side. My two drain pumps per sac are also just piggy backed off. Super easy install. If you have a center tank then you don't need to drill anything. Just put a simple manifold off it. Or use the v-drive tranny drain. It's only 3/4 but you can get lots of water through a 3/4. My boat had stock 3 tank setup, so I just removed the tanks and installed the avy sacs. I also have 200 pounds of lead in the nose.
Old     (duffymahoney)      Join Date: Sep 2008       05-28-2009, 2:49 PM Reply   
I also use all the stock 1000 gph yellow pumps. I really like them. Cheap too!
Old     (bigcatpt)      Join Date: Aug 2007       05-28-2009, 4:21 PM Reply   
I don't have any stock ballast, even midship. No wiring harness either. My ride has the extra fuel tank midship (total 64 gallons). I keep them full for more ballast. The extra gas sure comes in handy for multiple day Lake Powell trips! I appreciate all the info you have provided! Its good stuff. I may regret going with the Johnson pumps but for now I think that is still my best (most simple) option.
Old     (ed_g)      Join Date: Nov 2005       05-29-2009, 2:43 AM Reply   
Blair...built into every Jabsco is thermal overload protection. It senses when water is no longer going thru and the temp begins to rise, automatically shutting itself off.

Unlike the cheaper aerator pumps, the Jabsco's can be rebuilt fairly inexpensively if anything happens to damage the impellor.

Jabsco is made by Johnson
Old     (rhawn)      Join Date: Dec 2006       05-29-2009, 6:30 AM Reply   
Ed, I have 07 Jabsco pumps and mine do not do that. There has been many a time I hit the no wake zone at the marina and my pumps have been running dry for the entire trip in.
Old     (rhawn)      Join Date: Dec 2006       05-29-2009, 6:37 AM Reply   
Over @, someone mentioned that you need a $150 solenoid to use the Jabsco puppy pumps. Anyone have any idea what that means?

Zach, very good info. With that info I could just increase the size of my 2 current thru hulls under the boat instead of making 2 new ones. Do you have a link or pic to the 1 1/2 scupper you used?
Old     (bigcatpt)      Join Date: Aug 2007       05-29-2009, 6:58 AM Reply   
Ed- you mention that Jabsco is made by Johnson.... Are you sure?

I was told that the newer Johnson pumps are the direct competetor to the Jabsco pumps only with better GPH flow.....

Blair - I saw the 1 1/2 scupper and even bigger on the west marine web site
Old     (didierz)      Join Date: Feb 2009       05-29-2009, 9:10 AM Reply

Many sizes are available, I guess you will have to adapt from NPT threads to slip joint unions, shouldn't be hard to find them.

Old     (didierz)      Join Date: Feb 2009       05-29-2009, 9:15 AM Reply   
Here are some installed pics.Upload
Old     (timmyb)      Join Date: Apr 2007       05-29-2009, 10:54 AM Reply   
You can get the Tsunami pumps pretty cheap from here:
and those have a replaceable cartridge on them.
Old     (bigcatpt)      Join Date: Aug 2007       05-29-2009, 2:44 PM Reply   
Great pics! Love the wave!!! Looks good.
Old     (wakemikey)      Join Date: Mar 2008       06-09-2009, 9:50 AM Reply   
I have been using one Simer reversable pump for a year now. I am happy with it, although I do get jealous of the aerators, quiet and low power. I am adding at moving to two or three Simers total.

I set up my boat for wakeboarding and surfing port side only. I have a total of five sacs in my system but I only fill four for wakeboarding, and then drain one front starboard sac, fill a different surf sac for surfing.

The main reason I don't run aerators is because of the number of sacs I use. To have that many pumps is too much for me. I thought all aerator systems used a main gate valve too but a couple use spring check valves on the drain lines and it seems to work for them.

Oh and I tried to use the blue waterbed fittings on the bottom of my old launch pad sac and OMG it was horrible! Wouldn't tighten and it came right off. Time to upgrade that sac...


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