Answers To What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Photo Challenge #2

See original article here.

Bilge pump photoDid you find the major safety-related faults in this picture? (Photo: Alison Mazon)

  • The bilge pump discharge hose has been teed into the shower sump pump discharge hose; unfortunately, each can backflow into the other, rendering them useless. The surveyor who provided this picture remarked: If one back flows into the other, you just set up a pumping loop that does nothing except aerate the bilge water and make the bilge creatures happy.
  • To try to get around #1, the installer added a check valve to each hose, which are not recommended by ABYC, partly because they can get stuck closed — which is exactly what happened to both valves. Neither pump worked.
  • If both pumps are on, the output is funneled into a single discharge hose that is too small — like too many cars on a narrow street.
  • There is an AC-powered home sump pump in the bilge probably because: The vessel has serious problems the DC bilge pump system cannot be relied upon to handle; the DC pump(s) may not function or; the DC pump output is substandard. Surveyor's comments: The presence of a major AC bilge pump implies that there are very likely deeper problems.

*Bonus points if you noticed that the bilge pump switch is jammed under the shower sump discharge hose. 

— Published: July 2015

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