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Old 17-06-2011, 06:02   #1
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Bilge Pump Stays On - Steel Boat

Rule 2000 bilge pump won't shut off after turning on. Mounted deep, really deep, in a steel bilge. The bottom of the bilge is about 22" by 26", keel is 1/4".

Seems to work fine when out of the bilge. Seems to work when I put it back in and the bilge is dry.

But...........our dripless packing is dripping (will fix on haul out) and in the meantime, after we run the engine, the shaft will drip for about 2 days then dry out. The Rule will turn on and empty the bilge then stay on. If I shut off the power it will then reset.

I don't see anything wrong with the float and for a while had an external float wired in. But it did the same thing with an external float. I thought maybe there was an issue because the bilge was not perfectly flat (desperate here) so we mounted the pump on a piece of starboard and shimmed it to be level.

I'm wondering if the steel is effecting the timing circuit on this pump? The pump installation say keep it 1/2" from steel and the starboard mounting has it at least 3" from any steel.

Thoughts?
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Old 17-06-2011, 08:05   #2
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Re: Bilge Pump Stays On - Steel Boat

I find that unlikely. Remove the pump and test it in a bucket, but it sounds like the internal float or the relay involved is getting stuck in some fashion. The drip from the dripless would have to be considerable to even get that pump working.

If you used an external float, it's got to be in the pump itself.

The only other thing I can envision is a long run to the outlet with no check valve. The pump gargles an inch of water out, stops, and the water in the hose flows back and voila, perpertual pumping.

But it sound continuous, not cyclic, is this correct?
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Old 17-06-2011, 09:13   #3
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Re: Bilge Pump Stays On - Steel Boat

Which model Rule 2000 is it? Rule makes two automatic 2000 pumps. The RM2000 (12V) uses a float switch and the 53S senses water by periodically turning on and measuring how much electric current is needed to turn the impeller.
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Old 17-06-2011, 11:10   #4
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Re: Bilge Pump Stays On - Steel Boat

RM2000.

I have a check valve.

Got me baffled!

I'm also open to opinions on better pumps.
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Old 17-06-2011, 14:28   #5
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Re: Bilge Pump Stays On - Steel Boat

I pulled a RM2000 off the shelf to take a look at it. To clean it you need to remove the bottom strainer being careful not to lose the inner strainer. Then remove the six screws on the bottom so you can remove the bottom plate. This gives you access to the impeller and switch. You should try cleaning it. If that doesn't work the pump is bad. The RM2000 uses a hybred control system. The float switch turns it on but a computer chip turns it off. The computer senses when there is no electrical load needed to spin the impeller. I think your computer has crapped out. If it's less than three years old your local dealer should just swap it for you. If you want to try something different, just buy a regular Rule 2000 model #10 and a #37A Rule Super Switch. The switches made by Ultra Safety Systems are probably even better but very expensive.
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Old 17-06-2011, 14:31   #6
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Re: Bilge Pump Stays On - Steel Boat

Think about removing the check valve. I don't think it's causing your problem now, but you will get much better flow without it.
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Old 17-06-2011, 15:17   #7
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Re: Bilge Pump Stays On - Steel Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
I pulled a RM2000 off the shelf to take a look at it. To clean it you need to remove the bottom strainer being careful not to lose the inner strainer. Then remove the six screws on the bottom so you can remove the bottom plate. This gives you access to the impeller and switch. You should try cleaning it. If that doesn't work the pump is bad. The RM2000 uses a hybred control system. The float switch turns it on but a computer chip turns it off. The computer senses when there is no electrical load needed to spin the impeller. I think your computer has crapped out. If it's less than three years old your local dealer should just swap it for you. If you want to try something different, just buy a regular Rule 2000 model #10 and a #37A Rule Super Switch. The switches made by Ultra Safety Systems are probably even better but very expensive.
I have done the above noted dis-assembly and cleaning already.

You say the computer senses when there is no load, I thought it would be a simple timer after the float returned to normal. Interesting (stupid) concept.

Why, oh why, do they have to put computers into stuff that don't need it?




Thanks.
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Old 17-06-2011, 15:34   #8
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Re: Bilge Pump Stays On - Steel Boat

"Why, oh why, do they have to put computers into stuff that don't need it?" Amen Brother! The plain old fashion Rule Float Switches seem to be pretty reliable now. I wish you were in Miami or West Palm Beach. I'd be glad to swap it out for you.
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Old 17-06-2011, 16:42   #9
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Re: Bilge Pump Stays On - Steel Boat

The bilge pump on Boracay (pump and float switch) works fine but I was getting some electrolysis and my electrodes were vanishing before my eyes.

I measured the voltage difference between the positive wire and the bilge water. I don't recall the exact figure but there was quite a bit.

So I moved the bilge pump about 8" higher up. Not in bilge water all the time, no more voltage, no more electrolysis.

The last few drops of water in the bilge I now suck out with a wet'n'dry vacuum cleaner and the bilge stays dry.
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Old 18-06-2011, 07:56   #10
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Re: Bilge Pump Stays On - Steel Boat

Boracay,

We are similar, at the dock. But with this dripping shaft seal it it takes a couple of days for it to seal back up. In the meantime we can get enough water to cause the pump to cycle.

But, I just want the damn thing to work right.

I'll be off to buy a 'dumb' pump today or tomorrow. Hope I can find one at West Marine.
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Old 18-06-2011, 09:27   #11
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Re: Bilge Pump Stays On - Steel Boat

Why not buy a manual diaphragm pump (or a sponge on a stick) for that last little bit?
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Old 19-06-2011, 11:21   #12
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Re: Bilge Pump Stays On - Steel Boat

If this is a one piece with the solid state float switch, they're useless. They wax up and stop indicating properly almost right away and don't indicate properly in a steel hull or near practically anything metal especially encapsulated keel metals. Replace it with a manual float switch and all will be well. Make sure you wire a 3-way circuit allowing you to switch it to manual if the float switch fails.
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Old 19-06-2011, 15:05   #13
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Re: Bilge Pump Stays On - Steel Boat

I think Seahunter is onto the problem. The damn thing will NOT work in a steel keel.

What I had forgotten to mention is that I had bypassed the internal float switch with a separate swtich. No difference, works on the sole but not in the keel.

Then, according to Rule troubleshooting under the heading:

COMPUTERIZED PUMP DOESN'T SHUT OFF

Quote:

  • Low supply voltage is preventing the pump activating in sensing mode.
  • Confirm the voltage at the panel switch with a voltage meter. If automatic side of panel switch isnt putting out DC current then the panel switch needs to be replaced.
Circuit board has failed, this is a non-serviceable component.
Now think about that. Even if the damn thing did work imagine you are away from the boat, the charger is not working, you get a slow leak, the damn thing cycles on-off a few times until you deplete the batteries, then it STAYS ON further depleting batteries until they are dead, and you have NO bilge pump, and the boat sinks. Nice going Rule!

Sheesh!

Now replaced with a Johnson and external float. Perfect.
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