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View Full Version : Aerator vs. Reversible pumps?



bret
10-09-2011, 10:03 PM
Hey everyone, I got a 2000 mobius V at a dealership and want to add ballast. We are adding a 3 bag system, but one thing we haven't decided on yet is aerator or reversible pumps. The 3 reversible pumps are $220 a pop, whereas an aerator pump (the 800 GPH not the 1200) is only $30. The dealership is more familiar with and recommends the reversible pump. I have a friend who has used both, and recommends the aerator pumps because they are easier to winterize, you can't break them running them dry, and replacing them is only $30. The downside is you have to run more plumbing because they require two pumps vs. only one.

I'm a little hesitant to go with the aerator especially if the dealer isn't used to installing that kind of system, they also made the comment that the aerator style is an older style of ballast. On the other hand I don't want to get something that is going to cost me more money in the future - I'd like to be able to winterize the boat myself and I'm not that mechanically inclined (the whole reason why I'm not installing the ballast).

I've been talking privately to a few people on the forums, but would appreciate if anyone else has an opinion.

Thanks everyone!

jmvotto
10-09-2011, 10:25 PM
The reversible pumps are more efficient and with consume impellars over time. Most mfgs have gone to them so i assume they are better long term, even at the extra cost.

I did the whole aerators pumps when i installed a gi to giv system. Did not have the stones to cut three extra holes in the bottom of the boat. So i went the easier cheaper route.

My. 02

bergermaister
10-10-2011, 12:37 AM
What are your goals for your system and do you have a fixed budget to stay under? I'm in the aerator camp but I had pretty specific goals in mind, didn't want to spend a fortune, wanted minimal maintenance, and was a DIY'er. Cutting holes in the boat really isn't that bad. Okay, the FIRST one is a bit of a nail biter. Pretty easy after that.

You'll probably find 6 of one opinion, half a dozen of the other on here. Tough call. I believe it was 08 LSV who went the aerator pump route at first, then just recently switched over to reversibles. Or maybe you've hit him up already or checked out his wicked write up on that project?

bret
10-10-2011, 12:42 AM
What are your goals for your system and do you have a fixed budget to stay under? I'm in the aerator camp but I had pretty specific goals in mind, didn't want to spend a fortune, wanted minimal maintenance, and was a DIY'er. Cutting holes in the boat really isn't that bad. Okay, the FIRST one is a bit of a nail biter. Pretty easy after that.

You'll probably find 6 of one opinion, half a dozen of the other on here. Tough call. I believe it was 08 LSV who went the aerator pump route at first, then just recently switched over to reversibles. Or maybe you've hit him up already or checked out his wicked write up on that project?

We want a system that we can maintain ourselves and not worry about it (like if my forgetful dad forgets to turn off the pump it is a $200 mistake!)
Primarily use will be wakeboarding, and possibly try some surfing... but we are OK with adding some ballast on the seats for surfing. Surfing is not big for us at this time. We would need a better prop and some other things anyway.... really we just want to get a decent starter ballast package. We do have a fixed budget specific for the ballast, and with the reversible pumps we were just a bit under it, still waiting for an estimate for the aerators. Next summer will be our first full season actually owning a boat like this, so we are trying to keep things small for now, but ballast and adding a tower are a must for this year.

Edited:
Also for skill level, my bro can now do wake to wake this year (he's got more practice on another boat with ballast), and I have yet to really get much air, so definitely novice but my bro will need the ballast next season for sure.

mmandley
10-10-2011, 09:06 AM
Honestly i think the Areator will be a better wat to go with a growing family and several teens involved. I say this because time on a boat goes by fast as it is. The time difference it takes to fill ballast with a Areator pump vs a reversable isnt going to matter. My experience is when you get 4 or 5 people on a boat things get distracting and its easy to gotget you have pumps running while filling and draining. Leave the reversable on and you burn out the impellor, replacable on the spot if you carry extras. Also reversables take a lot of power to run so you need at least 2 batteries and the boat should be running at idle so you dont run the batteries down. They take aps 25amsp of power if i am not mistaken.

Also when it comes to draining you do need more pumps but even then cost is minimal compared to a reversable, drain lines you technically only need 1 drain line for a 3 bag set up in the areator pumps, you can plumb them all to drain out 1 location even though most people make a drain location for each pump.

I have delt with troubleshooting and repair of one of Wake Makers biggest and badest ballast instals the Wake 9 boat. It takes a bit of understanding how the system works and where to look for problems and in my mind if you cant fix most propblem on a boat in the water then you better have someone on board who can.

Areator pumps are known as robust and dependable pumps, they only draw 2.5amps and pump nearly the same amount of water.

My best for your situation is go Areator and then you wont have to worrry about it.

For myself i actually am on the fence as im aboutt o redo my factory setup and i currently use Areator but have been leaning towards Reversable but i can fix and repair almost anything on my boat myself.

lsvboombox
10-10-2011, 10:07 AM
if you go reversible and add the timers I would say thats a good choice if your budget is large. With the timers you really have nothing to worry about. Pumps are self priming.. The aerators are not self priming so you really need to pay attention to your install. if not properly done you can get air locks in the lines and they can cause headaches. If you have a tight budget go with aerators, big budget go with reversibles and the timers.......

newty
10-10-2011, 10:15 AM
Frist off $220 is a lot of scratch for a reversable pump. Check here for a better pump at $165 http://www.wakemakers.com/johnson-ultra-ballast-pump.html.
Aerator are good pumps but there are also a lot of headaches that come with them. Priming them can be problematic, you need vented loops, you need 2 pumps for each bag, they don't empty the bags completely, space for all the pumps below the waterline can be hard to come by. That said, they are fast and cheap.
If you add up 2 pumps, and a vented loop at each bag you're looking at $80 for the for an 800gpm system, and $127 for the 1200gpm system. When you start looking at the price... really for a litlle extra cash, you would be better off going with the reversable pumps. They are great pumps, they self prime and can be mounted any where. I was talking to a WakeMakers rep and he was saying they see a little over a 100lbs per minute on the reversable pumps. Thats pretty decent for that style pump. I'll be switching mine over this winter.

Just my .02 but from what I've found the reversables are the way to go.

bret
10-10-2011, 10:19 AM
Could someone explain the priming issue? How do you prime an aerator pump?

lsvboombox
10-10-2011, 10:43 AM
aerator pumps will not remove air from the lines or bags. so you need to remove any air in the lines. you can do this by mounting them as close to the hull as possible for fill and as close to the bag as possible for empty. Reversible pumps will move some air and if you put check valves on your overflow line they will completely empty your bags...

bret
10-10-2011, 11:59 AM
Thank you everyone for the information! I will let you all know what we end up going with, just waiting on the aerator estimate.

KSmith
10-10-2011, 12:23 PM
bret, In what part of the country are you located?

bret
10-10-2011, 12:28 PM
Wisconsin, but it sure doesn't feel like it - had a hot streak of almost 80 degree days this weekend. Too bad I got the boat out of the water over a month ago!

New Guy
10-11-2011, 11:19 AM
Come on Bret I have put 5 hours on sunday afternoon and monday night.

Where are you at anyhow? I am up in Appleton.

bret
10-14-2011, 11:27 AM
We don't live right next to where the boat is kept (and don't have a good tow vehicle yet) so we take it out early.

ryan_8099
10-14-2011, 11:58 AM
In our ever ongoing discussion on upgrading our boat (thanks to all those who have helped) We are thinking of possibly going manual this year and saving some $ (Possibly go auto next year) I am only riding center and front in my friends X boat which would only be manually filling the center bag. If we surfed, we would just load up the rear left we bought. However, if I do decide to ride with rear ballast does anyone have any suggestions at getting them equal (besides eye balling it) I feel like if you don't get it exact, it is a pain to let some out of one side or the other. Has anyone tried a 1 to 2 port car adapter with two manual pumps and put them in the water at the same time? :eek:

wolfeman131
10-14-2011, 12:12 PM
Ryan,

Not sure how your model boat is set up, but another idea for running two pumps at once might be to convert the rear navigation light plug (I have one on the Driver's side) to a 12v/cigarette lighter recepticle and use that for the starboard rear while you use the one in the glovebox for the poart rear.

I think you are looking to add a tower, so you would mount your white navigation light up there.

brain_rinse
10-14-2011, 12:33 PM
Ryan, I sent you a PM. I like my aerator setup but would definitely go reversible if starting from scratch. I also think you should let wakemakers and this forum help you through the install yourself!

New Guy
10-14-2011, 01:14 PM
I went aerator and I wish that I went reversible. I am actually thinking of yanking all my aerators and going reversible over winter.

wolfeman131
10-14-2011, 02:06 PM
Buy New Guys old stuff on the cheap!

I'm not sure what the total cost differential is between the two systems, but you may want to also consider how long you plan to keep the boat. Please don't take this the wrong way, but I don't think you'll get your money back out of either system when you go to sell the boat. Your ballast system may set your boat apart from a comparable one for a potential buyer but I doubt they would pay any more. The hand held/manual system has it drawbacks, but the biggest advantage is that you can take the pumps & bags with you and use on your new boat!

mmandley
10-14-2011, 08:52 PM
Ryan,

Not sure how your model boat is set up, but another idea for running two pumps at once might be to convert the rear navigation light plug (I have one on the Driver's side) to a 12v/cigarette lighter recepticle and use that for the starboard rear while you use the one in the glovebox for the poart rear.

I think you are looking to add a tower, so you would mount your white navigation light up there.

I did this upgrade and its was a no brainer, its awesome to fill air rafts and other things too.

bergermaister
10-15-2011, 03:03 AM
ha ha - man this sounds so familiar.... Like deja-vu! Fellas (Bret and Ryan), we have the exact same hull. I was "in your boat" on what to do as well for months.

Our hulls are not very tall and therefore storage is a premium. Going with reversibles I'd want to know exactly where the dealer plans to mount them. One way or another you're giving up precious space going that route. Aerators, while not perfect either, are not near as space consuming. Adding a sprinkler valve setup with aerators would kill space savings though. Probably add cost, kill efficiency, etc. as well. I'd insist on all individual pumps on the aerator plan. Although it would be tight you can get more thru hulls into the bilge area of this boat. Would take some careful measuring and crafty pump mounting but it definitely can be done.

Nothing wrong with going on the cheap doing the manual route to start with either. You may end up changing your mind 10 times before it's over. I put in a 12v plug right above the rear cupholder next to the rear speaker. To the right of it and facing forward rather than outward if you can picture that. It was easy to mount, easy to wire, and no cutting through fiberglass to do it. You almost wouldn't know it's there unless you go looking for it. Also protected from the elements in that location. I added a light to my tower as well but left the old receptacle in the back "just in case". I personally would rather be in the boat to plug/unplug things than having to climb to the farthest point of the back. Especially if you have the engine cover open for filling the rear bags - which you will. These big one piece covers are a no-go to climb around then they're open - like to unplug the pump when the bag is full.

Never know - you may end up meeting some other boaters along the way and making friends with someone who would be willing to help you do the ballast DIY and save a ton of money in the process. As long as you're not in a hurry, makes for a good winter/spring project.