unplug your shorepower cord, but do not
put risk of corrosion above the very real and
far more serious risk of energizing the water
around your boat.
We lose the prime on our new freshwater
pump. Already replaced shut-off valves. We
suspect a tiny leak that lets air in. We cannot
find any place where water leaks out. Do you
have any suggestions on how to test connections and lines for minor (air) leaks? Once I
get it re-primed, the system runs well. It takes
about 45 minutes to lose its prime again.
TOM NEALE: You didn’t say which type of
pump you have, but I’m assuming it’s typi-
cal to those commonly sold in marine stores,
with three or more valves and a “wobble
plate” arrangement. It isn’t very unusual for
a leak such as you describe to develop in one
of the valves inside the pump. Essentially the
little rubber flap isn’t seating securely on the
metal base. This is most likely to happen in
older pumps because the rubber has gotten
a little brittle with age, or because of trash,
or in new pumps simply as a matter of bum
luck. The water leaks back past the valve,
resulting in symptoms just as you describe.
The solution, if this is the problem, is to
keep using it and hope the problem will
work itself out, or if it’s an old pump, con-
sider replacing the valve assembly (these are
usually available at marine stores and aren’t
very hard to replace), or replace the pump.
TOM NEALE: While I can’t diagnose
the problem without seeing the engine and
boat, your question is very important as
it has broad implications for many of us,
BEYOND THE OUTBOARD
I had a 2002 150-hp outboard that kept
slipping out of gear. Several supposed repairs
later from a certified dealer, I decided to buy
another outboard, this time a 2005 200-hp.
The motor was used but the dealer said it was
in perfect shape. I took it out once, with no
problems. I ran it in storage three times with
the appropriate water feeding the motor, and
on the third run, it would not go into gear,
just like the last engine. Comments? Is the
manufacturer having a problem?
PHOTO: SCOT T SOMMERLAT TE
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