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Old 23-11-2008, 16:25   #1
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Question Automatic Bilge Pumps

I'm looking at new bilge pumps for the boat Iím refitting. I've been looking at the Rule pumps due to the fact that I've never had a problem with one and I hear that are better built than some of their competitors. Anyone have information to the contrary or know of a better built/performing pump for around the same costs? Anyways my main point of the post is to inquire about their "automatic" computer controlled pumps. These are the pumps that cycle on every 2.5 minutes for a second and if they detect resistance they pump until resistance disappears. This sounds a tad bit questionable to me as I can think of several problems, particularly battery drain, but I was wondering if anyone has actual experience with the pumps and what you opinion is of them. Thanks.

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Old 23-11-2008, 16:51   #2
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Installed the little one in my dingy this summer. It lasted 3 months. I thought it would last a bit longer, but was convinced it wouldn't last out it's "limited warranty period".

Worked fine for awhile, apart from the annoying noise every couple minutes.

All bilge pumps will fail; just a matter of time. I don't think much of these little Rules, based on my experience. The bigger ones seem to be better...I have a 3,000GPH model for emergencies.


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Old 23-11-2008, 17:31   #3
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Only 3 months, that’s disturbing. I am planning to setup a 3 pump system, a small 500gph in the bottom of the bilge, and then a larger 4000 a ft or so above the 500gph pump and a 1000gph or so pump further forward by the water and sewage tanks, refrigerator, and cockpit drains.
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Old 23-11-2008, 19:25   #4
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The larger Rules are great pumps..I would personaly stay away from the timed/sensing models in favor of separate switch controlled ones..there is absolutely no need to have that degree of sophistication or battrie draw on a ether needs to pump or it doesn't and nothing does that better then a float switch..

I too have three pumps aboard and the second and third ones to go off are tied into separate audible alarms so if they ever do I know I have issues.

Hope this helps

PS: It has become a habit of mine to hit the switches to the manual position ( one at a time ) every time I board my boat to

1) listen to how much water is being pumped out ( this will pretty much self test the float )

2) It will also activate the alarms on the other two testing thoes circuits as well. ( do these ones last as you cant hear them pump due to the alarm )

3) I sleep well at night for doing it..
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Old 23-11-2008, 19:43   #5
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Thanks, I sounds like I just got the "re-enforcement" I needed to stay away from those automatic ones. Plus then I can put one of those counters on each of the pumps below in the cabin along with a light at the helm. I also have that habit of putting the bilge pumps to manual when I start up a boat for a few seconds (or untill there is on more water comming out) for some reason people always look at me funny when I do that, I'm not sure why though, I guess some people just like water in their boats....
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Old 24-11-2008, 19:33   #6
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I worked aboard a yacht that had an anal retentive owner....had counters on all the bilge pumps......If you have a wood boat I guess it is a good "idea"
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Old 24-11-2008, 22:55   #7
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Those pumps you described are very annoying. I have had several customers request exchanging theirs for something that did not make a loud noise every couple of minutes. Also, if you spring a leak, it may take a couple of minutes to start pumping.

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bilge, bilge pump

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