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We have a 2010 Centurion Elite V C4. Since it only has a 250LB center tank, we added a 750LB FatSac in each locker and have been using a portable pump to fill and drain them. Filling is not bad, but draining is a bit tricky.

I am looking to add a bit of automation next year. I am considering just adding tees, valves, and hose and using the existing fill pumps to fill one or both FatSacs. This will prevent me from having to add new fill and drain pumps and switches for the FatSacs.

I am also considering whether to run drain lines with valves from the FatSacs to the drain pump for the stock center tank but was considering the alternative of using valves with a short hose to drain them into the bilge and letting the bilge pump kick on. Has anyone tried that?

Thanks in advance for any experience you wish to share.

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jtryon    21

the minimum "budget" way i would do this is to add a manifold to the existing thru-hull and add two tsunami 1200's to it, filling all 3 bags off that thru-hull.  thru-hull hardware is expensive so you will save a lot of cost there, and if you don't care about speed those 1200's should be fine sharing the same 1" thru-hull.  that's hoping that it's a 1" thru-hull and not 3/4"?  a manifold would just be your cost in plastic plumbing parts from home depot so that's cheap.  tsunami 1200's are like $40 so you have $80 there for two new and fast pumps.  add in some 1" fittings, one check valve for each line, and 1" hose for the bags, and 3/4" fittings and 3/4" hose for vents and you have the fill part taken care of.  i've found hose cheapest here or here.

for draining and venting you'll need to put some thought into it if you really don't want to drill new holes.  ideally, i would buy two new drain ports and install them on opposite sides of the boat, and drain the rear bags on the side opposite they are installed on (this keeps them from ever siphoning).  for this you will buy two more tsunami's that attach to the bottom port of each rear bag, so $80 again there.  i wouldn't try to use one pump for this because then you can never control if you're trying to list the boat to surf on one side, etc.  i definitely wouldn't drain them into the bilge like you were saying.  you can likely get by with venting each rear bag to a wye on the existing center ballast vent or bilge hose.  venting is necessary so that the bag doesn't fill with air, and acts as an overflow when filling.  add check valves here as well.

add two Carling fill and drain DPDT switches and some wire and you should be good to go.  you have a $30K+ boat, i wouldn't try to shortcut spending $500ish to do this right, even the "cheap" way.  ask santa to make all your presents be the stuff above!

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Wylie_Tunes    149

What type of pump(s) is there now to fill and drain the factory belly tank?

Budget = over complicated, leading to a very not so user friendly system. 

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On 11/19/2020 at 9:09 AM, jtryon said:

the minimum "budget" way i would do this is to add a manifold to the existing thru-hull and add two tsunami 1200's to it, filling all 3 bags off that thru-hull.  thru-hull hardware is expensive so you will save a lot of cost there, and if you don't care about speed those 1200's should be fine sharing the same 1" thru-hull.  that's hoping that it's a 1" thru-hull and not 3/4"?  a manifold would just be your cost in plastic plumbing parts from home depot so that's cheap.  tsunami 1200's are like $40 so you have $80 there for two new and fast pumps.  add in some 1" fittings, one check valve for each line, and 1" hose for the bags, and 3/4" fittings and 3/4" hose for vents and you have the fill part taken care of.  i've found hose cheapest here or here.

for draining and venting you'll need to put some thought into it if you really don't want to drill new holes.  ideally, i would buy two new drain ports and install them on opposite sides of the boat, and drain the rear bags on the side opposite they are installed on (this keeps them from ever siphoning).  for this you will buy two more tsunami's that attach to the bottom port of each rear bag, so $80 again there.  i wouldn't try to use one pump for this because then you can never control if you're trying to list the boat to surf on one side, etc.  i definitely wouldn't drain them into the bilge like you were saying.  you can likely get by with venting each rear bag to a wye on the existing center ballast vent or bilge hose.  venting is necessary so that the bag doesn't fill with air, and acts as an overflow when filling.  add check valves here as well.

add two Carling fill and drain DPDT switches and some wire and you should be good to go.  you have a $30K+ boat, i wouldn't try to shortcut spending $500ish to do this right, even the "cheap" way.  ask santa to make all your presents be the stuff above!

Thanks for the great advice.  If you have the vents/overflows, why do you need the check valves and where should they be placed?

 

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On 11/19/2020 at 9:21 AM, Wylie_Tunes said:

What type of pump(s) is there now to fill and drain the factory belly tank?

Budget = over complicated, leading to a very not so user friendly system. 

The fill pump is a Jabsco ballast puppy and the drain pump is a Johnson aerator pump.

Fill Pump.jpg

Drain Pump.jpg

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Wylie_Tunes    149

Here is what I would do. Change the switch to a DPDT and dedicate the existing impeller pump to the center tank. Then install a new thru-hull to supply 2 new reversible impeller pumps, one for each new rear locker sac. May be more then what you were looking to do, but its a simple, effective and user friendly. 

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jtryon    21
6 hours ago, 2010 Elite V Oldman WB SS said:

Thanks for the great advice.  If you have the vents/overflows, why do you need the check valves and where should they be placed?

so that water only flows the direction that it's intended to.  when used between a fill pump and bag it keeps the water from siphoning back out through the pump.  they should be installed at a high point in the hose.

Wylie is right too--impeller pumps are more expensive than aerators but you could do two impeller pumps and only have to drill one new hole.  ideally you will want to use pump timers for impeller pumps though so that you don't burn them up if they run dry, and they draw more current so you'll need to make sure to use the appropriate size wiring when hooking them up.

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5 hours ago, jtryon said:

so that water only flows the direction that it's intended to.  when used between a fill pump and bag it keeps the water from siphoning back out through the pump.  they should be installed at a high point in the hose.

Wylie is right too--impeller pumps are more expensive than aerators but you could do two impeller pumps and only have to drill one new hole.  ideally you will want to use pump timers for impeller pumps though so that you don't burn them up if they run dry, and they draw more current so you'll need to make sure to use the appropriate size wiring when hooking them up.

The check valves I saw were almost as expensive as the aerator pumps.  I guess they are good because they are automated but it seems you could use a manual valve after filling to prevent the back siphon at a fraction of the cost.

Regarding impeller pumps, I have been told by many that they simplify the installation but they are so much more expensive.  That is why I was going to try to fill the bags as well as the center tank with my existing impeller pump and use valves to switch the bag I am filling.  I understand that will require me to drain through additional aerator pumps so I guess I need to decide on the advantage of the simplicity of the reversible impeller pumps vs the additional cost and having to drill holes through the hull which I would like to avoid.  

You mentioned just adding one additional through hull fitting if I go with the impeller pumps.  I thought you needed a through hull fitting for each impeller pump.  Is it possible to install just one additional through hull fitting and pump from two separate impeller pumps or would you just install one fitting and one pump and fill the bags sequentially?  I am not too worried about the time it takes to fill as we are already filling sequentially now with a portable pump.  The biggest thing we are trying to eliminate is the difficulty in emptying the bags with a portable pump and having to have folks hold the pump, hold the connector in the adapter to fill the bags.

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Thanks Wylie.  Pardon my ignorance but what is a DPDT switch?   I assume it lets me use the existing impeller pump to drain as well as fill the hard tank.  I am curious why Centurion chose to fill with the impeller pump and drain with the aerator pump.  Maybe it would be difficult to drain with the impeller pump because the hose run from the pump to the tank is fairly long. 

Is it difficult to replace the existing switch with a DPDT switch?  If I do that I  assume I could still add valves and sequentially fill and drain the bags as well as the center tank with that single impeller pump.  

I realize filling and draining will go much faster with additional pumps so I just need to decide whether to spend the $ and get over my fear of adding a through hull fitting.  I am also concerned about running the wires through the sides of the boat and installing new switches but I may have to do that anyway if I replace the switch.  My boat is getting winterized now so when I get it back, I can reassess how difficult that may be.

If it is not too difficult to replace that switch, I am leaning towards replacing that switch and adding valves and possibly overflows to the bags next year.  Then possibly the following year, or when I get tired of turning valves, I could add the separate through hull fittings and impeller pumps.

I sure appreciate everyone's time and advice.

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Wylie_Tunes    149
23 minutes ago, 2010 Elite V Oldman WB SS said:

Regarding impeller pumps, I have been told by many that they simplify the installation but they are so much more expensive.

This is true when you only look at the pumps as an individual component. However, once you factor in the other needed components, such as those check valves that cost as much as an aerator pump, the "system" as a whole, theres not a huge cost difference, considering the benefits. 

23 minutes ago, 2010 Elite V Oldman WB SS said:

  I guess they are good because they are automated but it seems you could use a manual valve after filling to prevent the back siphon at a fraction of the cost.

This is the not-so-user-friendly aspects of a budget system, I was describing. The complexity of a budget system usually leads to poor functionality as well.   

23 minutes ago, 2010 Elite V Oldman WB SS said:

  I thought you needed a through hull fitting for each impeller pump.

Its all about flow volume demand compared to the what the manifold will handle. How many thru-hulls is irrelevant. 

At the end of the day, its about what you are willing to trade off. 

DPDT is double pole, double throw switch. Its the type needed to reverse the polarity (direction) of the impeller pump. They make DPDT switchs that are the exact same size/style of the existing, just has more wire terminals. Would require additional wiring though, that part is not plug n ply. 

 

My guess. Because the next ballast level up had rear hard tanks using the same pump to fill, but with the addition of 3 sprinkler valves and 2 more switches. Makes it easy for them expand the system, rather then have a new design.

With that said, forget you ever heard the words "sprinkler valves". Dont go there, LOL.

With an impeller pump, length of hose makes little difference regarding filling or draining. 

 

Edited by Wylie_Tunes

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I think there may be a sprinkler valve in my boat.  It is on the rear wall of the boat and is located prior to the filter.  It has a spring inside. Is that a sprinkler valve or check valve?  If it is a sprinkler valve, is it a critical piece of equipment or can that be bypassed?  I was also wondering about that filter.  If I add a new manifold and pumps, is another filter needed?

Regarding the manifold, it looks like Wakemakers no longer carries it.  https://www.wakemakers.com/fly-high-distribution-flow-manifold.html

Are there other sites that supply it or is it just as easy to construct my own manifold with PVC pipes and valves?  If I do that, I could probably construct the manifold after the existing intake rather than adding a new through hull fitting and possibly add a second through hull fitting and pump later.

If I do install a DPDT switch to allow fill and empty of my stock hard tank, do I need to reroute the input into the low point where the Johnson drain pump is located in order to be able to drain the tank with the impeller pump?

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Browntown    2

Hey Guys,  Long time forum comber first time posting.  Not trying to hijack this thread but had a questions that relates to this thread: as I'm redoing my ballast system on a 2007 Typhoon I just picked up thanks to all the great advice on this site, I'll be updating my manifold to a 1 inch, and replacing the sprinkler valves with 12V Ball valves.  My questions is in regards to the aerator pumps for draining.  

When going to custom bags of 1600 lbs or more, there will be a lot more head pressure on the pumps then the smaller stock ballast would produce.  Do I need to worry about that pushing water out the drain port or am I over thinking it?  

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jtryon    21
2 hours ago, Browntown said:

When going to custom bags of 1600 lbs or more, there will be a lot more head pressure on the pumps then the smaller stock ballast would produce.  Do I need to worry about that pushing water out the drain port or am I over thinking it?  

no issues in my '07 Typhoon with 1300lb bags and individual aerators for draining.  when you run the new drain and vent lines just run them up high and to the opposite side of the boat to keep any siphoning from happening.

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Browntown    2

Awesome, thanks!   Do you have any pics of the surf wave the typhoon throws?  I had over 800 hours of surf time on my Avy that was dialed in and loved that wave, woke up one morning this September to find just the nose sticking out of the water at my dock (insert heartbreak Gif) .  I've had a hard time finding a pic or video of an 07 typhoon wave but found a killer deal and pulled the trigger.  Seeing that it's a stretched out Avy hull, I'm hoping its comparable. 

Edited by Browntown

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fjohnp    2

If you're looking to keep it reasonable, you could build a new distribution centre off of your existing pump using always closed valves, some simple wiring, and extra switches on the bank below your throttle.  I replaced my sprinkler valves with 12 Volte Brass Always  ($25 each on Amazon I think) Closed Valves. While the wiring was there already for each of the ballast zones/pump/valves, 12 volt wiring is pretty easy to run between your switches and the valves.  For venting, I used some simple check valves on the vent lines which helped when I was pumping out the bags - helped to create a bit of an air lock in the bags. Here's the link for my project: https://www.wakegarage.com/projects-archive/ballast-projects/ballast-solenoid-upgrade-distribution-r161/

For pumping out the water, you'd do two more similar 12 volt pumps like the one shown above.  I think for both you'd use those double throw switches.  Drilling vent lines and pump out holes above  the water line is pretty easy - just use masking tape to measure it all out and then drill your hole with a holesaw in reverse and take your time.  Fittings are easy to find.

If I was upgrading it all again without adding extra pumps, I'd look at up grading my main pump for something with higher volume and then increase the tubing size to the valves, 1" valves, and 1" tubes to each of the bags to help improve filing time.  You could like go larger than that depending on your through hull size.. 

Edited by fjohnp
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15 hours ago, fjohnp said:

If you're looking to keep it reasonable, you could build a new distribution centre off of your existing pump using always closed valves, some simple wiring, and extra switches on the bank below your throttle.  I replaced my sprinkler valves with 12 Volte Brass Always  ($25 each on Amazon I think) Closed Valves. While the wiring was there already for each of the ballast zones/pump/valves, 12 volt wiring is pretty easy to run between your switches and the valves.  For venting, I used some simple check valves on the vent lines which helped when I was pumping out the bags - helped to create a bit of an air lock in the bags. Here's the link for my project: https://www.wakegarage.com/projects-archive/ballast-projects/ballast-solenoid-upgrade-distribution-r161/

For pumping out the water, you'd do two more similar 12 volt pumps like the one shown above.  I think for both you'd use those double throw switches.  Drilling vent lines and pump out holes above  the water line is pretty easy - just use masking tape to measure it all out and then drill your hole with a holesaw in reverse and take your time.  Fittings are easy to find.

If I was upgrading it all again without adding extra pumps, I'd look at up grading my main pump for something with higher volume and then increase the tubing size to the valves, 1" valves, and 1" tubes to each of the bags to help improve filing time.  You could like go larger than that depending on your through hull size.. 

Thanks for the info.  I was thinking of staying with a single pump and upgrading it to a higher flow rather than adding pumps.  Using larger hose for the bags is also a good idea.  When I get my boat back next week, I will have to take a look at how I am going to do the wiring for the various options folks have provided.

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Troy. R    186

Not sure if this will be helpful to any of you, but attached are schematics and Bill of Materials for the install I did on my '07 Avy years back. I also included some pics.

http://www.centurioncrew.com/applications/core/interface/file/attachment.php?id=13013

http://www.centurioncrew.com/applications/core/interface/file/attachment.php?id=12972

Also, I don't recall who asked, but earlier in the thread someone asked why Centurion used the Impeller pump to fill and aerator to drain instead of using impeller pumps to fill/drain each tank. This was a cost saving measure. They would use a single impeller pump with the sprinkler valve setup to fill, but that system doesn't allow for easy draining back through the sprinkler valve, so they used the aerator pumps to drain.

In newer boats Centurion/Supreme uses multiple impeller pumps (one per bag/tank) to fill/drain through the same thru-hull. For example, my ZS232 has 8 Ballast Puppies each on its own dedicated thru-hull.

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I got my boat back this weekend and took a look.  I saw some coils of wire with connectors near the transmission and ballast intake (1st picture)  Are these plug and play wiring for two more ballast zones? 

I do not have switches for those zones but there are spaces to add them on the panel.  I have not removed the panel yet to see if there is any extra wire under there that connects to the battery and the coils near the engine.  If there are already wires for two more zones,  I will probably add two more pumps. 

If not, I will probably just use my existing impeller pump to fill and drain the bags as well as the center tank.  I assume I can do that by disconnecting the Johnson drain pump from the drain terminals of the switch and connecting the reversible impeller pump to those terminals. 

I assume I would also have to move the hose coming from the impeller pump to the center tank from the current fill point on the tank to the low point where the Johnson pump is currently connected for it to drain the tank (2nd picture).

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fjohnp    2

I'd maybe look around to see what system would have been added at the factory for that year to see what options would have been available for additional ballast.  I'm not sure if at that point they would have used either  a series of 3 solenoids to distribute water from your existing pump (like mine) or if it had 3 separate pumps for each ballast zone.  With that info, it wouldn't surprise me that the wiring is there for the switches, solenoids, etc  as they could have used a standard wiring harness for that model of boats at the time.  They could just add or subtract depending on the options chosen by the dealer/buyer.  I've seen this before with past vehicles where the trailer wiring was in place, but tucked away and all I had to do was add some fuses and dig the wires out.

I'd definitely have a look under that panel below the throttle to see if there's any unused connectors ready for switches, look at the fuse block under the helm to see if there's wiring to it for the ballast zones (my fuse block was labeled), and also check at the back of the lockers  on each side of your engine to see if there's wires run there (my wires run along with other wires kinda behind/above the rub rail) that would be used to power the drain pumps (like the yellow one shown above).  If you do have the wiring in place, it may just take some time trace what's what using a volt meter and then plan it out.  It's all a fun mystery to figure out.  If nothing else, you get to know your boat more intimately.

Looking forward to reading about your findings.

Edited by fjohnp
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On 12/2/2020 at 7:31 PM, fjohnp said:

I'd maybe look around to see what system would have been added at the factory for that year to see what options would have been available for additional ballast.  I'm not sure if at that point they would have used either  a series of 3 solenoids to distribute water from your existing pump (like mine) or if it had 3 separate pumps for each ballast zone.  With that info, it wouldn't surprise me that the wiring is there for the switches, solenoids, etc  as they could have used a standard wiring harness for that model of boats at the time.  They could just add or subtract depending on the options chosen by the dealer/buyer.  I've seen this before with past vehicles where the trailer wiring was in place, but tucked away and all I had to do was add some fuses and dig the wires out.

I'd definitely have a look under that panel below the throttle to see if there's any unused connectors ready for switches, look at the fuse block under the helm to see if there's wiring to it for the ballast zones (my fuse block was labeled), and also check at the back of the lockers  on each side of your engine to see if there's wires run there (my wires run along with other wires kinda behind/above the rub rail) that would be used to power the drain pumps (like the yellow one shown above).  If you do have the wiring in place, it may just take some time trace what's what using a volt meter and then plan it out.  It's all a fun mystery to figure out.  If nothing else, you get to know your boat more intimately.

Looking forward to reading about your findings.

It was nice last weekend so I took a look to see what I had for wiring and switches.  In addition to the center tank which is wired with a 5 pin switch, I have wiring and connectors (no switches) for port and starboard tanks/bags but unfortunately, the connectors for switches are also 5 pin.  It looks like all three zones are wired the same at the panel (inputs from battery and wiring for inputs from pumps and also I think a solenoid valve).  Right now, the only solenoid valve that is present is the one for the center tank.  There are two coils of wire, one is lableled port and the other starboard sender.  I assume those are for future solenoid valves for the port and starboard side.  I also found a wire in the engine compartment for a second pump.  Not sure if that would control both rear tanks/bags or if there is a separate wire I have not found for a third pump.

I assume the 5 pin wiring for port and starboard zones would allow filling with the existing ballast puppy used to fill the center tank (or possibly that pump 2 wiring) and that I would have to connect other wires to new aerator drain pumps for those zones.  That would be easiest from an electrical connection standpoint but I would have to add pumps, hose and valves.

My current thinking is to remove the solenoid and probably the strainer, and replace that 5 pin center tank switch with a 7 pin switch that would allow me us the ballast puppy for filling and draining.  At this stage, I am planning to use this same pump to fill and drain the port and starboard bags.  Since I have a single switch and pump at this point, I will control the fill and drain of all zones with manual valves.  Not ideal but still better than filling and draining with a portable pump.

I am also planning to add overflows to the bags and plumb them to the line that is currently used to drain the center tank.  If I use a wye, I am thinking I can go without the check valves on these lines.

I appreciate any input folks may have.

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fjohnp    2

Interesting find!  Makes sense that they used a common wiring harness for all the boats. Cool that you're really digging into your boat and learning more about it.  Your manual valves would definitely work, but I don't think you're too far from having an automated system for not a lot of investment.  I'm in Canada so some of the costs are different, but with your access to wakemakers, amazon, and your local sprinkler supply store (not Home Depot or Lowes) it should come together pretty quickly in the off season.

So my ballast set up would be similar - I have one main pump (located near the v-drive under the back seat cushion) that pushes water to the solenoids for Port, Centre, and Starboard.  That distribution is mounted to the back of the bench seat in the engine compartment.  When any of those switches on the dash are push to the fill position, it opens the corresponding solenoid and then turns on the single fill pump.   When either of those switches are pushed to empty, they would then start the independent pump found on the port bag, centre tank, or starboard bag (originally, there were plastic tanks used for the port and starboard ballast).  My single fill pump is not wired to be reversible.  My rear bags have a fill hose from the solenoid, a vent hose (which I added a check valve from the sprinkler store to aid with draining the bags) to prevent overfilling, and then empty hose which runs from the independent drain pump to the side of the boat.  Have a look on the side of your boat to see how many drain outlets you have and if you would need to add more (If memory serves, there's one empty and one drain port per zone with four on the port side and three on the starboard size - that extra is for the bilge).   

I'm guessing if you add the double throw switches to the existing 5 wire connectors, they'll work for starting the single pump (could always pull the centre switch and try it on those others as a no-cost test).  If that's the case, then order two additional labelled switches and two cartridge pumps to drain your bags, build a solenoid distribution (I'd suggest some brass normally closed 12 volt valves) off of the single fill pump, wire the solenoids, and running the hoses to the bags. I'm still thinking that the wiring for your drain pumps are around somewhere - perhaps do a process of elimination with the colours of the wires off the switch? Otherwise, running the 12 volt wires for the drain pumps from the switches shouldn't be overly difficult.  I'm guessing there are some good schematics around based on your switch to use as a guide.

I think wiring in independent filling pumps will definitely make filling/draining faster but you'll have to rip into the existing wiring harness or rewire from the fuse box to make sure you've got enough juice to do it.  Also, adding two extra reversible pumps isn't cheap.  All depends on how ambitious you want to be.

Ideas on your additional parts (not confirmed as the right parts for you, but to get you looking in the right direction:

- Cartridge pump for emptying your ballast bags: https://www.amazon.ca/SPX-FLOW-US-Johnson-Cartridges/dp/B00MYSQ3B6/ref=sr_1_13?dchild=1&keywords=Johnson+Pump&qid=1608326644&sr=8-13

- 12 volt normally closed valve: https://www.amazon.ca/uxcell®-2W160-15-Normally-Closed-Solenoid/dp/B01M2WZ35V/ref=sr_1_4_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=12+volt+normally+closed+solenoid&qid=1608326736&sr=8-4-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzT1QwM0tPSURHWE9LJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwOTA1MTY0MUpYUERBM0M2SFpFSCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNjM1MTMyTEUzWVgzSTlQUUdXJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ

- Rocker Switch: https://www.wakemakers.com/supra-moomba-ballast-switch.html
- Rocker Switch Cover: https://www.wakemakers.com/ballast-switch-cover-upgrade-package.html

 

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Thanks for the input fjohnp.  I only have one existing solenoid valve so I would have to build a manifold to add two more valves for the bags.  That is tempting since the wiring is already there but I am not that experienced with wiring (not sure how to connect the existing wire bundles to the pump and valves since they are not located next to each other) while I am comfortable working with hose and manual valves.  I also figure I can always add the solenoids in place of the manual valves later but I am probably more likely to add one or possibly two pumps if I am going to be messing with wiring.

I only have 3 holes on the port side of my boat and none on the starboard.  The holes are for the vent line for the center tank, the drain line for the center tank, and the bilge line.  I had originally planned to drain the bags to that drain line for the center tank but based on quite a bit of input from others, I now plan to drain the bags through the bottom intake with the ballast puppy that I am using for filling.  This seems simpler and will save me some hose, check valves, and quick connects.  Therefore, I plan to use the old center tank drain line as my vent line for the two bags. 

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