Back on August 4, 2010, I wrote a blog on pumps and paddle floats. One of the pumps I talked about included the Harmony High Volume pump. I purchased two of these pumps at Canoecopia last March and used them in classes throughout the summer. I liked the shorter length, high flow rate, and the slim foam float that covers the whole body of the pump. However, both of these pumps have stopped working in less than one year’s time and they are now added to the list of pumps I won’t be buying again.
The pumps stopped working on two separate occasions when I was teaching kayaking to high school students in a swimming pool. The pumps were being used to get water out of the cockpit of a sea kayak after the students had performed a paddle float self rescue. The plunger shaft still goes up and down easily (unlike the Seattle Sports Paddlers bilge pump that I talked about in the August 4th blog), but it seems like the piece at the bottom of the plunger that creates the suction drawing water into the body of the pump has become dislodged and so practically no water is pumped through the body of the pump tube when the handle is pushed up and down.
My suspicion is that this problem has something to do with using the pump in chlorinated pool water since both pumps stopped working while being used in a pool. I’m guessing that the chlorine is dissolving some adhesive that holds the internal pieces of the pump together. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be any way to get inside the pump short of cutting it apart to try and fix the problem. If you own one of the Harmony pumps, I would advise you not to use it in swimming pools.
If you are looking to purchase a pump this year, I guess I would strongly recommend the Aqua-Bound Bilge Master as it seems to be the most durable of the current crop of pumps that I have used. My old Beckson Thirsty-Mate bilge pump also is very durable having lasted over 20 years, but at 24″ long, it isn’t very convenient to carry in a kayak. My old red and gray Harmony bilge pump with the red float collar has also lasted a good long time and continues to work. I don’t believe that they are still available unless you can find an old one still sitting on the shelf at some store. I am disappointed that the new Harmony pumps have not lived up to that standard.
I’d be very interested to know if anyone else has experienced this or any other problems with this particular Harmony pump, either in a pool or in natural bodies of water.
On a separate note, Merry Christmas to all my paddling friends, students, and blog readers!