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Old 12-12-2012, 10:50   #1
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Water Witch Bilge Switch

Has anybody used the Water Witch bilge pump switch.... It's new to me but sounds like a good idea with no moving parts.
http://www.waterwitchinc.com/new/Sit...eSwitches.html

I am buying a spare and have always used the Ultra Safety systems switch like this one, http://store.hamiltonmarine.com/brow...585/4,380.html. I have always thought the Ultra Safety to be the best, but technology changes things sometimes. (And sometimes not)

Interested in hearing how they compare. The WW is much cheaper and looks much simpler.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:02   #2
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Re: Water witch bilge switch

I prefer the Ultra Switch; but my experience is a decade 'old'.

See also: Water Witch Bilge Switch Reviews?
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:33   #3
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Re: Water witch bilge switch

Why not bare end your + wires and tape them together but with a match between. Then if salt water inundates the wires connect but if its diesel or fresh it won't. Therefore the boat won't sink and you won't pollute the waterway.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:14   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ
Why not bare end your + wires and tape them together but with a match between. Then if salt water inundates the wires connect but if its diesel or fresh it won't. Therefore the boat won't sink and you won't pollute the waterway.
Are you stoned? Or am I?
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:19   #5
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Re: Water witch bilge switch

I've owned and installed a bunch of these. They are great. The CG uses them on their boats. Here's a link to a thread wherein we argued their merits a bit-


DIY Float switch story.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:50   #6
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Re: Water witch bilge switch

I had a water witch in my last boat that after about a year failed "ON". I cleaned it but it wouldn't shut off.

This was five or six years ago and probably a "one in a million" problem but it tempered my enthusiasm for the technology. I've stuck with the Ultra ever since.

Carl
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Old 12-12-2012, 13:38   #7
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Re: Water witch bilge switch

The solid-state water sensors were hailed as a miracle when they came on the market, and then not so long after people started noticing they sometimes didn't work. The problem is that most of them sense water by a change (i.e. capacitance) across two electrodes, and if any oil or other contaminants get on them, sometimes that stops them from working.

I think the WW is one of these, I'm not sure. What I am sure of is that all the pump switches, including the "no moving parts" kind, eventually fail. Personally I think the most reliable way to do it would be a magnetic reed switch, totally encapsulated, tripped by a magnet on a float (not a pivoting float but one like a donut on a pole) and that's just "most" reliable, not absolutely.

Dual pumps with dual switches is still not unreasonable.
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Old 12-12-2012, 13:49   #8
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Re: Water witch bilge switch

I used one on my last boat and it worked fine. I also wired a float switch in parallel with the WW but mounted up higher. It wasn't really because I was parnoid so much as I had brougt the float switch a couple weeks before and wanted to feel I hadn't wasted my money.
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Old 12-12-2012, 13:52   #9
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Re: Water witch bilge switch

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
I had a water witch in my last boat that after about a year failed "ON". I cleaned it but it wouldn't shut off.

This was five or six years ago and probably a "one in a million" problem but it tempered my enthusiasm for the technology. I've stuck with the Ultra ever since.

Carl
I had one fail On a few months ago after 2 years. Haven't talked to WW yet about it.
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Old 12-12-2012, 14:38   #10
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Re: Water witch bilge switch

While working for a large boat dealer in Texas, both power and sail, we were getting the new boats with the waterwitch installed. At least 1/2 of them failed almost immediately and more failed after the boats were sold. We eventually replaced them with float switches and ask the factory not to install them on our boats. They always failed and the bilge pumps ran constantly until some of them failed. Chuck
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Old 12-12-2012, 15:40   #11
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Re: Water witch bilge switch

I have had the WW monitor and switches (high and low level) for about 3 years with no issues at all.
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Old 12-12-2012, 22:49   #12
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Re: Water Witch Bilge Switch

I installed on in july and it works great.Better than the rule that lasted 5 days.marc
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Old 13-12-2012, 09:47   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
I think the WW is one of these, I'm not sure. What I am sure of is that all the pump switches, including the "no moving parts" kind, eventually fail. Personally I think the most reliable way to do it would be a magnetic reed switch, totally encapsulated, tripped by a magnet on a float (not a pivoting float but one like a donut on a pole) and that's just "most" reliable..
HS, I think you are describing the Ultra Safety pump switches. I have two of those and they are very reliable. When the bilge has gotten really scuzzy a couple of times I have had to remove them and clean off the crap, but they keep on ticking pretty good.

We have a separate float switch for the second higher bilge pump, also the Ultra Safety, so we aren't relying on one float switch or pump to handle it. I like the parallel idea too - i have to think about that. Ideally I would like to have the high water pump and switch wired to a different battery bank, just in cast the first one got stuck in the on position and deadened the whole bank, but my to-do list is long enough as it is.
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Old 13-12-2012, 13:56   #14
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Re: Water Witch Bilge Switch

I had 2 WW's get stuck "on", until I re-installed them about 1/2" higher (per the instructions IIRC) and now they work fine.
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Old 13-12-2012, 23:08   #15
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Re: Water Witch Bilge Switch

Like I said in a previous thread. I contacted them directly, and indicated that our sump is mostly rainwater (down the mast) and condensate from 2 air conditioners. They indicated that their switches will NOT work in fresh water.

They talked me out of ordering.
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