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Old 23-04-2016, 21:22   #1
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Electronic float switches any good?

Our TMC rolling ball type float switch for the bilge pump is a little erratic so was thinking of replacing with an electronic type but would like some comments from those who have tried or use them. Sensaswitch is one I saw. Thanks if anyone can enlighten me.
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Old 23-04-2016, 21:54   #2
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Re: Electronic float switches any good?

Ive had good service for the last year with a jabsco air switch. http://www.defender.com/product3.jsp...6131&id=675377 good for my alloy hull to reduce any wires going into a wet bilge.

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Old 23-04-2016, 23:45   #3
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Re: Electronic float switches any good?

I have 5 water tight bulkheads and 6 bilge areas and bilge pumps. The new style pumps with built in sensor don't last. I haven't taken the sensor apart so don't know how they work. Except they fail. I never had one go 1 year even if the bilge was never wet. The sensor either sticks the pump on or off. The ones that stuck on I pared with a ball in a clear tube. Any new bilge pumps I buy are Lovett that I used years ago. I never had one fail then or now.
A Lovett that came with a boat was 20 years old. I was told by the PO that it probably needed to be replaced. 10 years later I sold the boat with the pump still going.
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Old 24-04-2016, 00:43   #4
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Re: Electronic float switches any good?

+1 for the Jabsco air switch. Simple and no electrickery below water level.
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Old 24-04-2016, 03:04   #5
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Re: Electronic float switches any good?

I had 3 rule switches and 3 commercial grade float switches. I forget the brand. They all failed except 2 of the commercial ones, which never get wet. The frequency of failure of the rule switches became really silly so I ditched them for Johnson. So far so good after 2 years. Better than Rule at least up to now.

I did a bit of research first reading past forum messages and my impression was that all will fail, though some commercial switches are considered better. Rule mechanical seem to have a bad reputation and my experience was awful, though they do have a good warranty if shipping costs don't make it worthless.

Some electronic switches use more power than others, so check that aspect.
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Old 24-04-2016, 05:11   #6
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Re: Electronic float switches any good?

Pneumatic "Groco Bilge Pump Control Kit" float switches had been on my old Mono for over 20 years & still going . I will install the same in my new cat.
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Old 24-04-2016, 06:36   #7
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Re: Electronic float switches any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poiu View Post
I had 3 rule switches and 3 commercial grade float switches. I forget the brand. They all failed except 2 of the commercial ones, which never get wet. The frequency of failure of the rule switches became really silly so I ditched them for Johnson. So far so good after 2 years. Better than Rule at least up to now.

I did a bit of research first reading past forum messages and my impression was that all will fail, though some commercial switches are considered better. Rule mechanical seem to have a bad reputation and my experience was awful, though they do have a good warranty if shipping costs don't make it worthless.

Some electronic switches use more power than others, so check that aspect.
Yes the power consumption aspect of a sensor does concern me. Tried to search old posts before I posed the question but had no luck. Thanks for sharing your experiences & to all who respond
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Old 24-04-2016, 07:54   #8
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Re: Electronic float switches any good?

My Johnson Ultima switch is 4 years old, is wet most of the time, and still works.
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Old 24-04-2016, 08:29   #9
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Re: Electronic float switches any good?

After a dozen various bilge pump and bilge alarm switches, I have finally settled down to what I think is the best - GROCO AS-100 Bilge Pump Control Kit. Simple to use and install, easy to replace and only seem to fail when totally rusted through after years of service. These are a switch with a clear hose and an air bell you hang just above the pump.

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Originally Posted by Compass790 View Post
Our TMC rolling ball type float switch for the bilge pump is a little erratic so was thinking of replacing with an electronic type but would like some comments from those who have tried or use them. Sensaswitch is one I saw. Thanks if anyone can enlighten me.
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Old 24-04-2016, 08:39   #10
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Re: Electronic float switches any good?

I have seen a plain electronic one (not the more advanced Johnson one) in a local shop.

Do they work in fresh water?

b.
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Old 24-04-2016, 09:06   #11
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Re: Electronic float switches any good?

I have two bilge pumps with electronic sensors. Both have now a normal old type floaters as a secondary trigger.
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Old 24-04-2016, 09:26   #12
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Re: Electronic float switches any good?

The Sensaswitch has been discontinued, but Whale now makes what looks like the identical switch (Whale BE9003). I've used three of them...
Original sensaswitch. Installed in very shallow bilge on my first boat (Cal 25). Was still working fine when I sold the boat 6 years later.

Whale BE9003. Installed in bilge in current boat. Mostly worked fine for a year or so, but then a couple of times when testing, failed to switch on, which is of course unacceptable. Replaced with USS Ultra Pumpswitch. (This switch is ridiculously expensive, but bulletproof. Like it enough that I used another one when I later installed 2nd larger/higher bilge pump.)

Whale BE9003. Installed in shallow shower sump on current boat. Never failed to switch on, but has stuck "on" several times. Typically remedied by cleaning the sensor surfaces and cycling the breaker a couple of times. It's still there, but when it dies, I'll replace with something else.
So short answer, I was initially impressed with these field-effect electronic switches -"sealed and no moving parts" sounds good - but now don't trust them. I think you'll find plenty of similar comments here and elsewhere online.
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Old 24-04-2016, 12:31   #13
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Re: Electronic float switches any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I have seen a plain electronic one (not the more advanced Johnson one) in a local shop.

Do they work in fresh water?

b.
Yes. At least they work in my grey tank, containing shower water from rinsing my squeaky clean bod.
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Old 24-04-2016, 15:28   #14
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Re: Electronic float switches any good?

I have had an electronic switch in the nearly inassesable bilge of my Morgan 512 for 11 years now.
Occasionally it will run a little long though it does eventually shut off (sometimes 15 min. or so) . If I throw an glass of water with a dash of dish soap on it it stops immediately, so that is the service it gets on rare occasion.
Overall I am satisfied with it as it does allow keeping all the wires high and drier.
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Old 24-04-2016, 17:21   #15
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Re: Electronic float switches any good?

After several bad experiences with various brands of both electronic and mechanical float switches -- JOHNSON _ RULE etc, i went with the air switch system and have hd absolutely zero problems with them, easy to set, easy to wire, easy to install.
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