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Old 29-07-2013, 21:23   #1
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Mounting Rule Float Switch in Bilge

I have a float switch that activates my forward bilge pump but the whole switch is not attached to anything, basically free floating, only thing holding it down is the electrical cable. So it won't trip on its own unless the water gets pretty high... so my goal is to get the switch attached to something down low. There is a mounting bracket that it clips into (pictures separately) that has a #10 sheet screw in the back, which also holds some other yellowish piece of plastic that I can't tell exactly what it's for (maybe itself clips onto something else?)

Should I try to attach this to something else down in the bilge, or just screw it into the fiberglass bottom (right now covered by an inch or two of standing water)? If the latter, can you just drive it in by hand with a screwdriver, or need to drill a pilot hole? The electrical cables are quite short. So don't leave me a lot of options as far as placement.



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Old 29-07-2013, 22:00   #2
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Gator, the yellow piece clips into the red base of the rule pump.
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Old 29-07-2013, 22:24   #3
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Re: Mounting Rule Float Switch in Bilge

" other yellowish piece of plastic that I can't tell exactly what it's for (maybe itself clips onto something else?)"

You're on the right track the yellowish piece of plastic is designed to clip into the pump strainer. The white piece looks like the bottom of the switch which is supposed to be glued to the rest of the switch.

The electric wires that come with the switch and pump are pretty long so that connections can be made high enough that they never go under water. I use a terminal strip mounted about two feet higher than the pump to make the electrical connections. Sounds like who ever installed your pump cut them too short.

I'd replace the switch and make the connections well out of the bilge.

The check valve in your discharge indicated that someone was trying to fix a back flow problem. The hose probably holds enough water that when the pump shuts off the water in the hose flows back into the bilge and starts the pump running again.

A better way to deal with this would be to raise your big pump and switch a few inches and install a small pump with a smaller hose down low. This way the small pump turns on first, empties the bilge and the smaller hose doesn't hold enough water to cycle the pump when it flows back to the bilge. If water ever comes in faster than the small pump can handle it, the big pump will come on.
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Old 29-07-2013, 22:55   #4
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Thanks guys! That was way easier than I'd hoped... clipped the yellow thing into the pump strainer, and the switch back into the bracket.

HopCar - sounds like your two pump solution would work (and maybe add some reliability/redundancy - smaller pump doing most of the work but always backed up by the bigger one of it fails), but is there a specific downside to the way it's set up now with the check valve? I'm in the process of fixing lots of little broken things (from cabinet doors to shower drains) abd prioritizing. Luckily the expensive stuff (hull, engines, etc that I'm not capable of doing myself) are in nice shape.
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Old 29-07-2013, 23:03   #5
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Also - re. the electrical connections - I checked again and the wire was just constrained by a cable tie - here's a better picture. This is all a pretty crowded space, I can't see it directly but have to reach with my smartphone down to where it can get a good view of it, then pull it back up and look. Nice that it can use the flash to illuminate and I can make the shutter go with voice command (instead of having to hit a button on the touchscreen).
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Old 30-07-2013, 08:22   #6
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Re: Mounting Rule Float Switch in Bilge

Gator the check valve is not a huge deal. Rule doesn't recommend them because they reduce the capacity of the pump and stuff can get caught in them. None the less, a lot of people use them.

One thing that could be a big deal, the handle on your thru-hull ball valve is badly rusted. It could break if you need to close the valve. At the very least, at your next haul out, change the valve to one with a stainless handle like a Groco or Apollo Marine valve would have. You could make the whole thing stronger at the same time by installing a Groco Flanged Adapter.
Link: Groco Flanged Adapter IBVF

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Old 30-07-2013, 10:47   #7
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Definitely fix that handle, also be a good idea to put a tapered plug near by till then.
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