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Old 16-05-2012, 13:05   #1
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Bilge switch replacement with Attwood digital

Does anyone have any experience with the Attwood digital bilge switch. I am tired of replacing the rule float switches and am looking for a more reliable alternative.

I read a review in Practical Sailor that recommended the Water Witch. It looks like the Attwood uses the same technology, if not the exact switch installed in a housing!

Any experience or advise that you have would be appreciated!

Julie
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Old 16-05-2012, 13:18   #2
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Re: Bilge switch replacement with Attwood digital

How tired are you of changing bilge pump switches?

The Attwood S3 is a cheapie carried by West Marine, Walmart, et. al. One reviewer said "it worked for 4 cycles, then quit".

I've tried many types of bilge pump switches over the past 39 years on two boats, and have serviced many others on customer boats.

Bottom line: I only know of one reliable switch and it's not cheap: The Ultra Bilge Pump Switch, either the Junior or the Senior. These switches work as bilge pump switches should...I have both on my boat....and don't give problems. Very reliable.

The Senior model has a lifetime warranty! The Junior model has a 5-year warranty.

TEF-GEL - Ultra safety systems - Home page

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Old 16-05-2012, 13:26   #3
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Re: Bilge switch replacement with Attwood digital

The Ultra Bilge Pump Switch...... YES
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Old 16-05-2012, 14:23   #4
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Re: Bilge switch replacement with Attwood digital

Just a word of caution with the Water Witch. If you are in fresh water or if your bilge is full of rain water, the switch will not work. Salt water is conductive and the conductivity creates a complete circuit, which in turn activates the pump. Several people I know who have installed this switch place salt in their bilge so that it activates when there is rain water. Just something to be aware of.

I have an Atwood float switch; and it has worked without incident for years.
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Old 16-05-2012, 15:05   #5
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Re: Bilge switch replacement with Attwood digital

My belief is that switch manufacturers are, optimistic shall we say , about the loads that can be carried.
My Rule switches only pull in relays, which are fused to carry the pump load.
Haven't changed a switch since 1998, originals.
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Old 16-05-2012, 15:08   #6
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Re: Bilge switch replacement with Attwood digital

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Stocking View Post
My belief is that switch manufacturers are, optimistic shall we say , about the loads that can be carried.
My Rule switches only pull in relays, which are fused to carry the pump load.
Haven't changed a switch since 1998, originals.
Very good point! I will be rewiring the bilge pumps as I'm currently in the process of a repower. I'm going to slap a relay on each of the pump to ease the load on the switch. I haven't had a failure with a direct run to the switch, but I don't want to wait for one to begin saying a relay is a good idea.
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Old 16-05-2012, 15:22   #7
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Re: Bilge switch replacement with Attwood digital

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astral Blue View Post
Very good point! I will be rewiring the bilge pumps as I'm currently in the process of a repower. I'm going to slap a relay on each of the pump to ease the load on the switch. I haven't had a failure with a direct run to the switch, but I don't want to wait for one to begin saying a relay is a good idea.
If you obtain a relay with 2 normally open contacts, I like Holger Christensen gear, you can power a cycle counter, alarm, warning light on your spreader, whatever!!
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Old 16-05-2012, 15:36   #8
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Re: Bilge switch replacement with Attwood digital

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Originally Posted by Blue Stocking View Post
If you obtain a relay with 2 normally open contacts, I like Holger Christensen gear, you can power a cycle counter, alarm, warning light on your spreader, whatever!!
I was just thinking about the numerous things that can be done with a relay, including an alarm or light. This is one item that came to mind, to mount in the cabin, near the bottom helm.
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Old 16-05-2012, 15:52   #9
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Re: Bilge switch replacement with Attwood digital

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
Bottom line: I only know of one reliable switch and it's not cheap: The Ultra Bilge Pump Switch, either the Junior or the Senior. These switches work as bilge pump switches should...I have both on my boat....and don't give problems. Very reliable.

The Senior model has a lifetime warranty! The Junior model has a 5-year warranty.

TEF-GEL - Ultra safety systems - Home page

Bill
I have this on our Camper. It operates without faults including winter freeze one season.

I use the crappy RULE float switches in the shower sumps.
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Old 16-05-2012, 16:36   #10
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Re: Bilge switch replacement with Attwood digital

I have had 3 successive Water Witch Bilge Switches fail during the last 6 months in the Caribbean and have given up. When they fail, the pump runs continuously.

You have to wipe off the contacts every day to keep this from happening.
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