PDA

View Full Version : Ballast pump / tank woes - 2004 X-Star


scratch1969
09-05-2006, 10:53 AM
The pumps for my ballast tanks on my '04 X-Star are forever failing to either fill or empty. I've replaced the impellers to the new yellow version that are rated for more duty cycles than the original black ones & my pump motors always spin-up, but fill-empty reliability continues to be a pain. Does anyone have any insight into this? Are these pumps self-priming or is there a trick to getting these pumps to work reliably?

Thanks,
Mark

David Corcoran
09-05-2006, 12:40 PM
I have the same problem in my 06 x1 the dealer told me it might be the wire behind the switch that had fallen off.

skeeler
09-05-2006, 01:37 PM
The pumps for my ballast tanks on my '04 X-Star are forever failing to either fill or empty. I've replaced the impellers to the new yellow version that are rated for more duty cycles than the original black ones & my pump motors always spin-up, but fill-empty reliability continues to be a pain. Does anyone have any insight into this? Are these pumps self-priming or is there a trick to getting these pumps to work reliably?

Thanks,
Mark
.
.
Are they not working at all, or work for a little while then pop the breaker? If the breaker pops, the only solution is, to have the pumps rewired with a heavier gauge wire. The wire is to small to care the load. An on going problem since 04'. Same thing with mine. Hope that helps. Shawn

scratch1969
09-05-2006, 01:51 PM
The pumps always work when I throw the switch and I've never blown a breaker. They just don't always pump water. The boat is an '04 but I bought it new this January and is under warranty. The dealer in Knoxville said the problem was air-lock but wasn't able to explain how to fix the condition.

skeeler
09-05-2006, 02:06 PM
The pumps always work when I throw the switch and I've never blown a breaker. They just don't always pump water. The boat is an '04 but I bought it new this January and is under warranty. The dealer in Knoxville said the problem was air-lock but wasn't able to explain how to fix the condition.
.
.
Another thing I always do on my 04 X-2, fill/drain the front first then the back. Also on all the tanks, I prime them first. If filling; hit empty for a couple seconds, then switch to fill. Then swap the process when draining. I will tell you what, out of all the almost 300hrs on my boat the depth gauge and ballast are the only things that drive me to drink.....more often. :D

scratch1969
09-05-2006, 02:21 PM
By front, do you mean the center / KGB tank? The priming tip definitely works. I love the boat, but this ballast tank problem is a pain - you never know what shape wake you're going to get. I bought two 400lb fat-sacks but that's a band-aid.

Thanks,
Mark

NeilM
09-05-2006, 03:08 PM
Based on your description, it's not the pumps. If you can hear them running and if you've just replaced the impellers with the new yellow ones, those pumps actually do pump quite reliably. I'd be testing for a leak in the system and I'd be testing the one-way valves installed in the lines. (If your setup is like the KGB in my 2002, you'll have 3 one-way valves: one on the main line from the hull bottom and one each on the two lines that are used for draining).

NeilM
09-05-2006, 03:14 PM
Also, while you can drain 'on the fly', you cannot 'fill on the fly'. You have to be at 1300-1500rpm max. If you forget to turn off a pump, those impellers burn out pretty fast. I carry a couple of spares with me 'cause I have accidentally turned on a pump.
(After several seasons of cursing, this year was a treat (yellow impellers). The pumps have worked perfectly every time.)

scratch1969
09-05-2006, 10:17 PM
Awesome advice, thanks. How do you find schematic info about the plumbing? My owner's manual is pretty much useless. Also, as a graduate of the school for the mechanically declined, do you have any advice on testing for leaks and testing the one-way valves? Are the valves accessible anywhere?

The Right Kind
09-08-2006, 04:22 PM
I have the same problem with my '05 x-star. I'm constantly changing the impellers or even just opening up the pumps to get the impeller blades going the right direction. A real PITA.
I talked to the dealer about it and he recommended changing out the impellers to the blue impellers by Globe Marine. He said everyone that has swapped them out no longer has the problem. I haven't tried the yet because he was sold out. Here's a link http://www.globerubberworks.com/nav.php?products_impeller The one you want is 025.
I contacted them and got a local distributors name, they were half the price as the dealer. They were out of stock also. I guess a competitor boat manufacture is swapping out the ballast pump impeller right from the factory. I'll post my results when I get them installed.
Also, 1 of the 3 pumps is installed up side down making imposible to get to the impeller. I got a longer 1" hose and turned the pump over. What a differance!
This is how I turned the third pump right side up.
Note the one way check valve to the left.
http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/3115/pumps1yf4.jpg

http://img372.imageshack.us/img372/8819/pumps2dw8.jpg
Good luck

P-hat_in_Cincy
09-08-2006, 04:55 PM
Awesome advice, thanks. How do you find schematic info about the plumbing? My owner's manual is pretty much useless. Also, as a graduate of the school for the mechanically declined, do you have any advice on testing for leaks and testing the one-way valves? Are the valves accessible anywhere?

I think NeilM is probably on to something if your pumps are running, have all their vanes, and are losing (or never gain) prime.

If it's similar to our former '02 X10 schematic, it's pretty basic. You should be able to find the ballast system thru-hull. Shortly after where it comes into the boat you'll probably find a 1-way check valve and a ball valve. For the 1-way check valves on the exit lines, they were behind the rear-most (stern) panel in the storage compartments on either side of the engine...on our X10.

NeilM
09-08-2006, 07:42 PM
(I'm still working under the assumption that your pumps are running and your impellers are new)

I've got a MariStar as well, so I can't be any more specific on locations on your boat than P-Hat.

As far as testing goes, here's what I'd do (although I've never done all of this):

1. close off the seacock (ball valve) at the water inlet (for the ballast pumps, not the engine, of course).
2. attach a garden hose to your t-fitting (for winterizing)
3. turn on the water. Water should very soon start coming out your discharge lines on both sides of the boat. note which ones they are and turn off the water
4. now that you've identified your discharge hoses, remove them from the thru-hulls and plug them,
5. turn the water back on - gently.
6 look for leaks. There shouldn't be any. If there is, that's how air is getting in.
6a. Open the intake ball valve - make sure water rushes out. Close it again
7. turn off the water, unplug the discharge lines.
8. blow into the discharge line (with your mouth). The one-way valves should prevent you from being able to make water move 'backwards' through the hose.
9. repeat with the other hose.
10. if either hose allows you to blow freely into them, it's that one-way valve that's bad and allowing air in. Trace the discharge hoses backwards toward the KGB manifold to find the one-way valves.
11 reassemble everything and open the ball valve.



.

NeilM
09-08-2006, 07:53 PM
If none of that makes any difference, take the pumps out. Have a real serious look at them. Hook up some hoses and run them. Do they leak? Are they actually running or do they just make noise?

I know everyone has their own opinion, but I continue to be trouble-free after switching to the yellow impellers from my MC dealer - and my pumps get used a LOT.

[one other tidbit. In prior years, every one of my pump motors has been rebuilt by a local electric motor shop - maybe that contributes to my successes today, but it didn't solve my problems at the time.]