No announcement yet.

Single pumps for multiple ballasts via solenoids

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Single pumps for multiple ballasts via solenoids

    I have what may be a dumb question. I am looking to install automatic ballast pumps in lieu of the over-the-side pumps for my fat sacks. What I gather, there is really two options currently popular; 1) a reversible pump for each ballast, or (2) two pumps for each ballast- one for filling, one for emptying.

    My question is this: Instead of using a pump for each bag, cant a series of solenoids be used?

    For example, have one 3-way switch that turns the single pump on in either "fill mode" or the "empty mode". In order to fill one ballast, each ballast has its own switch that simply opens a normally closed solenoid valve.. This solenoid switch would be the permissive for the ballast pump to turn on- meaning the pumps power is wired from each solenoid's switch, therefore the pump could not deadhead against a closed solenoid. A 2 ballast system could be done with two 3-way switches for both emptying and filling. The plumbing would be in line with the 3D drawing attached.

    Is anyone doing this instead of a pump for each ballast?

    This is a link to the solenoid I have in mind:

    Attached Files

  • #2
    By time you price out a quality hi-flow valve x 2, you are likely getting into the price range of doing a dedicated pump for each sac/tank.


    • #3
      Yes people have done it. Most older boats used a system like this using sprinkler valves. That’s when ballast was all of 400 pounds and fill times were not an issue. Sprinkler valves are 24 volts and 12v along with low water pressure means the valves didn’t flow much.

      You’re going to want to check the flow rates of those valves- they probably don’t open to a true 1” diameter (most don’t). They may also need some water pressure to open fully...which you may not have. End result is you may get good restriction through the valves making they system fill very slow.

      By the time you get all the fittings and good valves and wiring- the cost to use 2 dedicated pumps is still going to be a little more- but will also result in a 10 minute fill time vs. a 30 minute fill time (as an example, not sure what size bags you are using).

      Prices of those 12v valves have come down- they used to be hard to find and expensive- but I have not looked in a while. That makes the project a little more attractive.

      I actually have a set of 12v 1” valves I was going to use for a ballast project (self closing thru-hulls) if I remember right- I got ones that open to a good diameter and have good flow- but purchased them a few years back and I don’t remember exactly.

      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      The question is not whether life exists after death, but whether you were alive before death - Osho


      • #4
        I would tell you to stay way from valves in this environment.

        The 2012 Mastercraft came with electronic valves to switch from the hard tanks to the bags using the same pump and the system failed constantly.

        It failed so much, that MC paid the dealer to install separate pumps, thru hull fittings, and switches for each bag.

        Do it the right the first time.

        You can use one thru hull fitting for multiple pumps. That's how it is done on the current MC ballast setup