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Live tank Problems


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G'Day all.

Over the x-mas break I deceided to set up a live bait tank in the boat.

I used one of two bins in the aft section of my boat (beside the transom well), which were designed for drinks/ice bin.

I used a thru-hull pump which I picked up with a rating of 500gph (I think). The problem i have, is that it takes ages for the system to prime and then run.

Basically, i draw water in thru the transom wall, up into the bottom of the tank. I have an overflow drain, which keep the water below the lid of the well, so when it's working properly, there is a continuous water flow.

To prime the system, I have to keep pouring buckets of water into the well, and wait....and wait....turn the pump on and off a few times, have another beer, and wait a bit longer. Then it will just start working.

Could I have an issue with head pressure ??? The intake is about 300mm above the bottom of the well, and the well's depth to the overflow, is a further 300mm.



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You shouldn't have a problem with your setup as long as the pump and intake is below the waterline

Sounds like a pump problem.

What brand of pumps you using?

It's the 'Rule 12V' pump. Just checked their website, and it is a 500 US GPH flow.

intake is about 4" below the water line.

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I found some more info on this pump.

It states that the head at 6'7" drops the flow rate to US 180GPH, which is still better than zero, which is what I'm getting.

Usually i turn the pump on, and see if it starts working. When it doesn't, I fill the tank manually with a bucket.

To shift any airlocks, I turn the pump off, and the tank drains partially, so I can only assume that any air locks have been purged in reverse, but then still no joy when I turn the pump on.


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I assume that you have checked for kinked hoses but have you checked for rubbish in the pump strainer ?

What size hose are you using? Rule pumps need certain size hoses to work properly - yours needs at least 19mm to work properly.

Does the pump work without the hose attached? Sometimes the pumps go bad and yours might be on its way out.

If you have an air lock you can fix it by drilling a tiny hole in the hose at its highest point above the waterline (assuming its higher than the tank outlet). This will let the air out of the hose and stop the water from draining out once the pump is turned off. Do you have a non return valve? have you checked it ?

Do you have an pictures? It might help diagnose the problem.


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I have 2 rule 500gph pumps & they prime themselves, but it can 10 seconds or though. The pumps are through transom or do you have a pickup through the transom to a hose then to the pump?

Edited by The Stig
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