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496 HO, X drive. Can you use a utility bucket (large enough to hold the whole unit) vs. ear muffs to run your engine?
 

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Yes
 

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Don't do anything but idle it, at any rpm it will suck the bucket dry instantanously. My 25 with the B-Max will suck a 20 gal. utility box from Home Depot dry in 12-15 seconds with the garden hose running wide open into it. A Bravo has a bigger pump than an Alpha, it also depends on the pump ratio, they're not all the same. TIMINATOR
 

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I personally think the ear muffs are a lot easier to work with and I've ran plenty of motors with them without and problems but that's just me
 

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I have always used muffs and duct tape, for one reason. When I am doing this, the boat has usually been sitting for a significant period of time. Therefore, it is quite conceivable that the impeller in the sea pump is bone-dry. So, using the hose and muffs PUSHES the water up to the pump. I just turn it on 1/4-1/3 if I am alone / start the boat / and then walk back to turn up the water over 1/2.

On shut-down, I turn the water almost off, just a trickle. Then shut the boat off. I have pretty high water pressure at the house, so I don't like to over-do it.
 
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