View Full Version : Ballast pump problem!

03-12-2011, 10:57 PM
I have a 2006 x2 and the kgb ballast pump will fill but will not empty. I have checked the voltage to the pump and it switches back and forth from fill to empty but the motor only operates on fill. I have taken the pump apart and there apears to be no damage, put it back together and still does the same thing. Just want to explore all of my options before I spend $250 on a new pump!

03-12-2011, 11:06 PM
Sure you have power to the pump for both functions?
I had a terminal come loose on one of the switches, same symptom.

03-12-2011, 11:14 PM
I checked it at the pump when switching functions and it switched back and forth. The pump appears to be in excellent shape, no damage or corrosion that I can tell. Also checked the impellar and its in good shape to.

03-13-2011, 03:08 AM
Only things I can think of is a leak in the hose going to the bag (unlikely I think) or just that the impeller is worn out, even though it looks ok, i.e. no longer "springy". Which color impeller do you have? You could try a new green one, since the green ones are better anyway it wouldn't be a waste of money. I had a pump that had slowed down and was hard to get it to empty, I had to flip between forward a reverse several times to empty it. Switching to the green impeller fixed the issue, although the pump eventually failed altogether. (Wakemakers has the pumps and green impellers.)

Worst case, before I bought a new one I'd swap one of the other pumps to test with.

03-13-2011, 09:49 AM
I'm not certain by your post as to what you successfully tested. When I go after these types of problems I look for the simple things first. In this case I'd be looking to validate that the pump runs in both directions. You last post suggests that you were indeed actually able to confirm that the pump runs in both directions. If this is the case barring any restrictions in either the fill of vent line I would agree with NMCJR about the impeller.

If we're looking at fixing at the least cost a new impeller will be the cheapest next step. Conversely speaking if you buy the entire pump from wake makers you'll get a spare pump and the green impeller at the same time if only the impeller is bad. The good thing about this system is that it's basic operation is pretty simply. You have a fill line and a vent line that needs to be clear of obstructions. The pump needs to turn in forward and reverse. The impeller needs to be in good condition to create suction to move the water. Barring the possibility that you pulled some weeds into the tank and the pump motor is operating correctly, I'm going with door number one (impeller).

03-13-2011, 09:24 PM
When I checked voltage I checked it at the plug on the pump. With my leads plugged in I get 12 volts on fill and -12 on empty. I had the top off of the pump exposing the impellar while doing this and with the switch on fill the motor spins but on empty the pump does not spin. I would think it would spin in the opposite direction impellar or no impellar.

03-13-2011, 09:26 PM
I have removed the pump and will be taking it to a starter shop this week.

03-13-2011, 09:35 PM
Don't be surprised if it's a bad pump, I've replaced several. Johnson now makes a competing pump, I will give them a try when my next one fails.....

03-13-2011, 09:39 PM
Im banking on bad pump also. I am going to see if the starter shop can rebuild it cheaper than a new one.

03-13-2011, 10:34 PM
If you have the stock black impellers, they are stiff and sometimes will not allow the pump to change direction. Remove the impeller, will the pump motor spin in both directions?

If the pump runs in both directions without the impeller, switch to the green impellers.

03-13-2011, 11:28 PM
Well I think I found the problem! I went back and switched pumps around and checked impellers with no success. Then I traced my wires back to the ballast relay panel. There I switch a few rpelays around and the pump started working as it should. Then I put everything back as is was and the pump stopped working. I then tapped on the relay I thought to be bad and the pump started working again. I then flipped the switch back and forth from fill to empty and the pump worked a few times and then quit again. I went back and tapped the same relay again and it started working. Thanks for all the replies, they are what got me back out there checking the entire system instead of purchacing a $250 pump that I didn't need. This is truly an awesome forum. And by the way the impellers are yellow which I will soon be upgrading to the green ones.

Thanks again.

03-14-2011, 08:08 AM
Good find. Can you tell us more about where the relays were located and also where you found replacements and how much they cost? Maybe yet another item to carry a spare of. Got my spare fuel pump coming this week.

03-14-2011, 08:13 AM
An easier way to check this problem would have been to take your pump and swap it out with a known good one. If your pump worked in that position then you know you have a wiring problem. Nomaly if the pump works in one direction then it works in the other

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03-14-2011, 11:33 AM
Thanks Jim. Thats what I did do eventually and found that all my pumps were good, which lead me to trace the wiring to the relay panel under the rear seat. Upon finding this panel I saw that there were 2 relays for each pump so I switched the relays one at a time which the relays of a known good pump. Havent bought any new relays yet but I believe they are the same for the fuel pump as well. My boat has the MCX and has 3 of the same relays mounted on the rear of the engine as well, so it would definately be a good idea to have a spare.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/HELLA-JOHN-DEERE-GATOR-HEATER-RELAY-STARTER-30A-4RD-3-_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem35b03defc9QQitemZ23059 0115785QQptZMotorcyclesQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories

Here is a link to buy the relay. You can get these relays at any parts store but i thought i would post this to give you an idea of what it looks like.

Duane D
03-14-2011, 11:35 AM
Thanks for posting your info Cardenfam. I have the exact sam boat as yours and now I know what to do if I run into this problem!

03-14-2011, 08:18 PM
Nice find! Glad to hear you nailed down the problem. This will help others that may have this problem in the future too.

03-14-2011, 09:23 PM
Just finished putting everything back together and it works great. NAPA part# AR174. Thanks for all the suggestions.