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Thread: Impeller Pump Question, bi-directional?

  1. #1
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    Default Impeller Pump Question, bi-directional?

    I have this beautiful brass /bronze (?) dual-impeller pump from my late father's junk horde. It seems to have been configured for for two 3/4" inputs and a single 1" output, possibly for the engine plus transmission coolers on a substantial diesel? (Sherwood Brass Detroit is the manufacturer) Is there any chance that I can make it into a bi-directional pump for fill / empty of ballast tanks? (yes I would need a bi-directional polarity-reverse motor) but does one need special impellers for a pump to be two-directional? I see these two-directional ballast tank pumps in the gear catalogues but they are over $300 and are only 10gpm each. I will have about 250 gallons of ballast and this seems expensive and boring with a 10gpm pump.

    I have heard rumors that this forum would post photos now, I will experiment if that it true in this post, and if it helps I will add a comment later with a larger photo linked from my blog.


    Please advise,

    Ken

    IMG_2519.jpg

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Impeller Pump Question, bi-directional?

    I expect that you'd have serious issues with the impellers. There's a reason they make them like the ones pictured, with the vanes bent to go in but one direction.

    You'd probably be better off with a couple of Jabsco Water Puppies, one for in and one for out. They move a surprising amount of water. Shop around. The prices are all over the map for the things. The "big box" chandleries charge an arm and a leg for them, but general industrial supply houses seem to charge much less.


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    Default Re: Impeller Pump Question, bi-directional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cleek View Post
    I expect that you'd have serious issues with the impellers. The "big box" chandleries charge an arm and a leg for them, but general industrial supply houses seem to charge much less.
    Cool, can you give me a reference to an off-the-dock supplier? I have a great interest in an in / out pump by means of a polarity reverse switch without the alternate octopus of valves, check valves, and associated baloney.

    Ken

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    Default Re: Impeller Pump Question, bi-directional?

    The vanes on your impellers have taken that 'set' from age. If you bought new impellers the vanes would be straight with no bias in either direction. So effectively these pumps are bidirectional, however they are not bidirectional from a back and forth perspective. They will run one way or the other, but they don't like to change back and forth, the vanes don't like bending back and forth.
    Last edited by nedL; 10-22-2017 at 08:17 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Impeller Pump Question, bi-directional?

    You can make a one-way pump "bi-directional" with a pair of Y valves, one on each side of the pump. What you need in any event, of course, is a high-volume, low pressure style pump. 250 gallons is a ton of water to move!
    -Dave

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    Default Re: Impeller Pump Question, bi-directional?

    Quote Originally Posted by nedL View Post
    They will run one way or the other, but they don't like to change back and forth, the vanes don't like bending back and forth.
    So, the ones they sell for wakeboard ballast fill / dump, do they have a different kind of Impeller?

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    Default Re: Impeller Pump Question, bi-directional?

    Quote Originally Posted by kbowen View Post
    So, the ones they sell for wakeboard ballast fill / dump, do they have a different kind of Impeller?
    Hmmm,..... I will admit I know nothing about the pumps used for wakeboard boat ballast tanks. I might surmise they just abuse the impellers and figure they will last a reasonable amount of time.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Impeller Pump Question, bi-directional?

    Premium Green Nitrile Impeller As the main moving part, the impeller really determines the performance of a reversible wakeboard ballast pump like the Jabsco Ballast Puppy.

    I expect that if you reversed the rotation on those old rubber impellers the vanes would break off sooner than later. Looks to me like one vane is gone already. Perhaps you can replace them with nitrile.

    Woxbox Dave's suggestion of two "Y" valves doesn't sound like much of a challenge, then you won't always be half expecting it to fail.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Impeller Pump Question, bi-directional?

    I've just restored 2 clutch pumps similar to yours. It should have a serial number on the back plate that closes up the impeller. If it's a Jabsco, you can look it up on their database, sometimes called Xylem, for parts and info.

    Forget Water Puppies, even Maxi Puppies will not shift the volume you require.

    Impellers are not bi-directional, use Y valve system.

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    Default Re: Impeller Pump Question, bi-directional?

    If I go with a set of valves I loose the advantage of the impeller pump, so I might as well go with valves that have a full off position and a centrifugal vane pump. Probably will take less power to move the same water also. Thanks for all the responses.

    Ken

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    Default Re: Impeller Pump Question, bi-directional?

    Two pumps: One for fill and one for drain. Add some creative plumbing and they can back each other up if one should fail.

    Kevn
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Impeller Pump Question, bi-directional?

    re; The original post, two inputs w/one output doesn't sound right...


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    Default Re: Impeller Pump Question, bi-directional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    Two pumps: One for fill and one for drain. Add some creative plumbing and they can back each other up if one should fail.

    Kevn

    With that volume of water to move, If I had two pumps, I be running them both. Creative plumbing for backup if one fails.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: Impeller Pump Question, bi-directional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    re; The original post, two inputs w/one output doesn't sound right...

    The water pumps on early 60's Chris Crafts (think 283) had a 1" intake & 2 3/4" outlets (one for each bank of the V8) in a similar configuration - though they were made by Sherwood. I'm thinking that sort of setup is most likely?
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Impeller Pump Question, bi-directional?

    The vanes can be bent to work in either direction, but many pumps have an outlet that is oriented to one direction, one hydro pattern of flow.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Impeller Pump Question, bi-directional?

    With that volume of water to move, If I had two pumps, I be running them both. Creative plumbing for backup if one fails.
    The OP has not indicated if time is a factor. For instance, I have a 130 gal livewell takes about 20 mins to fill or empty. But I start filling it long before I throw the bait net, and I start draining it in advance of needing it emptied. I have no need for speed.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Impeller Pump Question, bi-directional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    ...I have no need for speed.

    Kevin
    See what happens when a statement is taken out of context?
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Impeller Pump Question, bi-directional?

    Wow thanks for all input. As you can tell, I am making this all up out of spare parts and as few nickels as can get me by. The manufacturer thinks this pump is too old for their database to understand. Translate: they are not going to get enuf cash out of the deal to make it worth their time. There is also a complex series of shaft seals that looks more complicated than the impellers, so I guess it is wise to put this on the back burner and go with some retail bilge pumps and "Y" valves for the near term. It is a crime BC it is a beautiful bit of bronze that currently has no home. Ken

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