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Looking for the shower sump...

Discussion in 'Carver Yacht' started by wolfpuppy, May 1, 2011.

  1. wolfpuppy

    wolfpuppy New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Lake Cumberland
    We have a 2000 Carver 404 CMY and when my wife uses the shower in the aft stateroom, the drain is very slow, slow to the point that if you are not paying attention, the water will fill up on the bottom of the shower stall and run out over the edge onto the bathroom floor.

    I tried the obvious first. Unscrewed the drain cap and tried to see if I could get anything with a wire, but I was afraid of poking a hole in a hose. I even went to the ships store at our marina and borrowed their shop vac and tried to suck out any obstructions, but, that didn't seem to do it either. I finally gave in and called our boat mechanics and had them try to service it. When he got there, he and I looked all over for the sump for the aft shower. We took off every access panel we could find, but couldn't find it. A neighbor on the dock, who has a Carver 32' said that he had a hard time finding it on his boat, but finally located it under the bed in the aft cabin. We had the mattress up and the access panel off there as well, yet neither of us could see it. I have a feeling that it is indeed there, but damm'd if we could find it. You'd think a boat manufacturer would make some things easier to get to, but....yeah, I know. I'm dreaming.

    I am not even entirely sure that the sump is working, because when I try to observe a discharge when my wife is using the shower, I don't see anything. Of course I wait, because I know how a sump operates, but still, nothing. Makes me uneasy, to say the least, because I know that the water has to be going somewhere.

    Something else. In the galley, which is forward of the salon, there is an access panel in the hardwood floor. Underneath there is a small bilge area with a bilge pump there. This past easter weekend, I noticed several inches of water. Part of the problem was the pump--it needed cleaning. But, as for the water, where did it come from? It absolutely wasn't black water; we'd have noticed that right away. It is grey water, but not a clue where it could have come from. Is it possible, and I am only throwing this out as a possibility, that this water could have come from the aft shower some way? It doesn't seem possible as it is quite a distance away, but, these two showers in the aft and forward heads wouldn't share the same sump, would they? My fresh water tank is empty, and maybe, just maybe, it leaked out somehow? I know there is a pressure leak there somewhere as the water pump wants to run all the time fighting the pressure loss. But, since I generally keep that off, thereby having no pressure to speak of, not sure how water would get out of the tank. Anyway, the water did look like it could have been shower water, or just stagnat water. Also, that area has always, near as I could tell, anyway, been dry.

    Anyway, if anyone has a clue where this freaking sump is, please let me know. Thanks.
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    7,999
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I'm trying to remember off the top of my head, but I think you have one sump for both showers. Check how many hoses are going into it and if one heads towards your aft head. That gray water sounds like soapy water from the sump overflowing into your bilge. Make sure that pump is working and clear of obstructions. It's very probably blocked and possibly burned out. There should be a little nob or switch on the side or front of the box covering the float switch if it's not an open floatswitch type. In either case, activate that to see if it works, and clean around the grates at the bottom of the pump. You were wise to not snake the line. You will probably pierce it. It's a light hose, not PVC or cast like in a house. Don't use use Draino or the like either. If the line clogs, disconnect it and clear it manually.
  3. jlplatts

    jlplatts New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    St. Pete FL Denver CO
    We have a 2001 Carver 444, I am not familiar with with the 404, but I'll share what we have in case it helps. We have a forward and aft shower and each shower has its own sump. In our boat the sinks in the heads also go to these sumps as well as the air conditioner condensate lines. The sink in the galley goes directly overboard. Our forward shower sump is in the galley near the entrance to the forward state room. The rear sump is located in the far rear bilge area. The 444 has a cockpit and I get to the rear sump through a hatch there. We have a circuit breaker in a panel in the aft stateroom. The breaker for the shower sumps is labeled "auto sump". The one for our aft sump was tripping. I went to the sump and pulled the pump to find it clogged with hair. After cleaning it all started working again. When we purchased the boat (about 8 months ago) the forward shower sump was not working. It would overflow into the bilge area. So you finding gray water in the bilge makes sense from that stand point. The other thing we found in working on the forward sump is there is a rubber check valve on the discharge. I am guessing the previous owner of our boat used some type of chemical cleaner which fused the dinky rubber check valve shut. My guess is when this fused shut it caused the pump to burn up. When I replaced the pump, it would not pump and I had to remove the check valve. I have been searching every place I can think of to find a new check valve and have had no success. For us it is not a huge deal because the forward head gets very little use, but I am going to have to deal with this because the shower sump has very short cycles when someone does use the forward shower. One other comment - I am amazed how small the sumps are. Probably 10"x10" by about 6 inches deep. I am considering changing the rear one with a larger unit, but am not in a hurry as it is working, at least for now.

    I hope this helps - good luck.
  4. DanM

    DanM New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Racine, WI
    Duck bill check valve

    I had the same thing happen on my new/used 2004 396. After I cleaned the sumps and I still had the issue I went back and found that the duck bill check valve Rule brand uses was the culprit. Mine were not fused shut just stiff and would pass very little water. I replaced those and the bilge is again dry.

    Dan
  5. jlplatts

    jlplatts New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    St. Pete FL Denver CO
    I have been looking for the Rule duck bill checks and can't find them. Can you tell me where you found them?
  6. SeaDragon

    SeaDragon New Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Kennewick, Wa
    On my 1999 Carver 404 the aft shower sump is located under the floor just aft of the blackwater holding tank. Yours should be in the same location.

    Attached Files:

  7. wolfpuppy

    wolfpuppy New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Lake Cumberland
    You are absolutely right. My mechanic (a different one) knew where it was, and it was right there under the carpet. Not the most intuitive place, but now that I know where it is, it's fine. At any rate, my mech fixed the problem and it is solved. As for the water in the small bilge area under the galley deck just outside of the fwd head, I believe that that water is also a result of overflow from the fwd shower sump, and I am going to have that serviced as well.

    Just curious...where do you moor you 404? I am at Conley Bottom Marine Resort, Lake Cumberland, Ky. A beautiful lake, for sure.
  8. SeaDragon

    SeaDragon New Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Kennewick, Wa
    If you have A/C you might check the condensate drain hose. I ran mine to the shower sump so it gets pumped overboard.
    I keep the boat at the Richland Yacht Club on the Columbia river in Washington state, 337 river miles from the Pacific.

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