Foot pumps

Foot pumps.  I heart them.  They require zero power – well, other than your leg – and they easily provide fresh and salt watery goodness.  Serenity has fresh and salt water foot pumps in the galley and a fresh water one in the head.  All 3 worked, however the “return” motion wasn’t happening.  I would occasionally use them because I have a prehensile big toe so I could pincer the lever and pull it back up.  I also find using the pumps enjoyable because using them harkens back to my youth to summers spent in Colorado when we had to fetch water from the community, hand operated pumps, a la Little House on the Prairie.  Fun/nostalgia factor aside the pumps are important because if we lose ALL power at least we can pump up some fresh water, plus this project would give me a nice sense of accomplishment.

I decided to take out the salt water pump in the galley first since that one receives zero use.  I grabbed my tools, must have headlamp, flashlight, knee pads, towels, then I paused a second.  I asked Tim, hey, is there some sort of pump or something I should shut off before I take this pump out?  He looks at me like I just fell off the turnip truck.  He says, yes, you might want to consider closing the salt water sea cock so, ya know, you don’t flood the boat.  Sage advice. Yes, now is the time to call me a dumbass and roll your eyes.  I’ll give you a moment for that.

Sea cock closed I commenced removing the pump.  2 clamps later, hardly any swearing, banging my elbows and head only a few times, the pump is liberated.  I thought, maybe I can repair it since it works fine; other than the foot lever doesn’t go back up by itself part of the program.  Never working on a pump like this before I’m pretty sure I took out ALL the screws.  After a quick looksee it became apparent the pump couldn’t be salvaged.  The lever is forged from one piece of metal and it had broken in 3 places.  Bummer.

Foot pump guts

Foot pump guts

Broken lever pieces

Broken lever pieces

These pumps, being original, the input is on the right side and the output is on the left.  (You can see the input and output in the guts picture above).  I scoured the All Knowing Internet trying to find that configuration.  Denied.  That config is (of course) no longer done.  Nowadays the in and out are on one side – right or left.  I found a good deal on www.defender.com for Whale Gusher Mk3 Galley Pump and ordered 1 right and 1 left; not knowing which would be the better option come installation time. Also taking into account the fresh water pump in the galley is located directly to the right of the salt water one.  Also not know knowing which configuration would be best in the head.

We decided to go with the right side pump for the galley because by pointing the pump input directly downward it was perfectly positioned over the input hose; thus just manhandle the input hose onto the pump input, clamp, done.  The output hose was over yonder but by using a piece of hose, a barbed connector thingy and an elbow connector the output hose got hooked up a-okay.  Check the hoses are connected, clamps are tight, hoses are routed nicely so no pinching or bunching, cross my fingers and open the salt water sea cock.  Yay!!  No leaks and the pump works like a charm.  But wait, the pump-venture isn’t over.

The original pumps were taller than the new ones so the new ones didn’t sit on the floor.  We can’t just leave them loosey-goosey so I grab a piece of spare teak wood, cut  to size and stick under the pump.  Four screws for the base and boom, the new pump installation is complete.  Some test pumps.  Oooooo.  Ahhhhh.  It works like a champion.

Tim installed the fresh water pump in the galley – using a right input pump, in case you’re a curious sort, and of course it works perfectly.  So far my experience with Whale pumps as been excellent.  They are very good, well built, sturdy pieces of equipment.  Now I can foot pump to my hearts content.  Hooray!

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