FAQs – Arid Bilge System
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the Arid Bilge System?
A: The Arid Bilge System is a central wet vacuum system that automatically maintains the different bilge compartments of your vessel 100% dusty dry.
Q: How does it work?
A1: A simple explanation: once every three hours, the central unit samples each of the vessel’s compartments and continues to vacuum until dry. Because it is a vacuum system using small diameter tubing, it pulls both air and small droplets without cavitation issues that cause standard impeller type bilge pumps to quit. There is no return of water from the suction tubes back into the bilge as the Arid Bilge System enters sleep mode.
A2: The engineers’ explanation: every three hours, the central unit’s PLC (Programmable Logic Circuit) turns on the vacuum pump / compressor and draws air from the central collection chamber vacuuming it down to 20 inches. The air circuit shuts down and intake zone valves open one for each cycle. There are two vacuum switches that measure 18 and 8 inches of vacuum. As air or water is drawn through the tube, the vacuum in the central internal collection chamber dissipates and this time interval is measured. That information is enough for the PLC to determine the difference between a wet or dry zone and it is our virtual float switch technology. The system will lock onto the wet zone(s) and run cycles until air is drawn through the tubes. Once all zones are confirmed dry by the PLC, it re-enters the hibernate mode for three hours after which it starts the process all over again.
Q: Why don’t the intake tubes and pickups clog?
A: The pickups (standard, offset and wand) have a fine mesh filter pad that traps debris. The filter pads will clog thousands of times and the liquids will always find an alternate path. Because the bilges are maintained 100% dry virtually all of the time, there is nothing to support the plant lift that formerly grew. The bilge slime that exists on most boats disappears, preventing future clogs. Once liquid enters the small diameter intake tubing, it is accelerated by the high vacuum in the collection chamber. That speed of the liquid traveling through the intake tube causes self cleaning, both of the tubes and intake valves.