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Old 23-07-2014, 19:54   #76
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

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Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Whale has one similar to the Water Witch variety that got good reviews.

I'm using that to drive a Whale diaphragm pump.

Just installed so nothing to report yet.
my new whale crapped out after 3 months!
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Old 23-07-2014, 21:18   #77
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

Let me ask question: Is your Jabsco or Rule pump thermally protected? Can it operate continually for, say 45 minutes, without burning up ie in the event you have a fresh water leak? There are some horor stories of these with Jabscos, perhaps others.

Apologies if Ive drifted off here - Im in the middle of risk assessing bilge pumps and switches and making some fundlmental changes to my new boat.

Steve
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Old 24-07-2014, 11:51   #78
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

I can get a Johnson Ultima Switch for about 30 dollars.... No moving parts .. 2 wire and 12-30 odd volts.... Looks like the best deal to me......
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Old 11-08-2014, 18:43   #79
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

I've never had a Rule float switch last more than two seasons. Although their basic pumps are nice, Two years ago, their automatic internal float pumps failed so regularly they discontinued it. When I returned mine to the marine store, the service guy just flipped it in a box with a LOT of other dead Rule pumps, and handed me a full refund, advising me to stay with a manual pump and buy a lot of float switches. So now I just replace the float switch during every other annual haul out, and sometimes carry a spare if cruising. Their pumps are nice, but I think of the float switch as the most frequent point of failure....


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Old 11-08-2014, 19:05   #80
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

Is there a non=rule float switch that will clip on to a Rule 2000 pump??
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Old 19-08-2014, 12:57   #81
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

Bought an Attwood Sahara S500 from Defender and the thing won't shut off. Very poor float switch design. I called Attwood and left many messages, no return call. I purchased a Whale Supersub Smart and it works perfectly. Tried to return the Attwood to Defender and they won't take it back...
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Old 28-08-2014, 03:31   #82
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

I've had the same problem with Rule float switches. 3 in 3 seasons. The failure is always fail to switch off. It sounds like a load rating and contact problem to me, probably contacts welding together due arcing or overheating, related to the inductive load of the pump motor. A solution could be to have the float switch only operate a small relay or contactor with more substantial contact rating that in turn operates the pump. So my advice is don't believe the 15A rating for inductive loads. Otherwise I can't see why a simple float switch should't last many years.
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Old 28-08-2014, 04:53   #83
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, PeterD.
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:08   #84
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

Just a little update. I am cruising in the central BC coast and have had every switch I have put in fail. I turn my bilge on manually once a day. Once I get back to the States I am going to get a gronco and a ultra and see which one is better. No more float switches for me!
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Old 05-03-2015, 08:45   #85
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

There is a new type of bilge pump switch available that is the first of it's kind, in terms of technology and reliability. It's the Nautic Alert Nevata. It sits above the waterline and uses high frequency sound waves to measure water level, learns the attached pump characteristics, and can even auto switch to a backup pump if the primary pump fails. It can detect multiple points of failure, and integrates a lot of external components into a single device. I have one in my boat, and it's ideal for large yachts, and difficult bilge compartments like mine, where there are really tight keel bolts and not a lot of space. Another scenario I've heard of are bilge setups where the pump is inaccessible due to dissassembly of tanks and such that would otherwise be required, or where a siphoning hose is more ideal to feed to the bottom of the bilge. It's a solid state design, has configurable settings for the pump and integrated siren, and can interface to other hardware via its wireless capabilities. This is what I'm referring to-- Nautic Alert | Marine Telematics My bilge setup is not very dirty, but I can imagine that some setups incur oil, dirt and debris that can make typical switches and pumps unreliable. This is one thing I don't have to worry about, but, since it's designed to work from above the waterline, is not an issue. In any case, it has fault detection of a variety of things, from a non-working pump, to runtime detection, and others, check it out...
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Old 05-04-2015, 12:54   #86
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

After losing a battery bank and suffering slight water damage due to a rule pump staying on I switched to the Johnson ultima. Switch and pump shortly after. I have been exceedingly pleased though my forward rule set up is still working as well it has been in Place over 5 years.

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Old 05-04-2015, 16:11   #87
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

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After losing a battery bank and suffering slight water damage due to a rule pump staying on I switched to the Johnson ultima. Switch and pump shortly after. I have been exceedingly pleased though my forward rule set up is still working as well it has been in Place over 5 years.

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I switched entirely to Johson pumps a couple of seasons ago because I was fed up with problems with Rule products. They have worked well....but....just had one develop problems recently....aargh!
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Old 23-05-2015, 09:38   #88
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Re: Rule bilge pump float switch problems?

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David,

I think there is a serious flaw with that design as I understand it. The turn off feature only works to some minimum voltage, below which the pump stays on.

So...consider this scenario.

You leave the boat for a couple of weeks and develop a slow leak.
The pump turns on and turns off cycling for some period.
The battery depletes and at some point the low threshold is exceeded.
Then the pump stays on until the battery is completely depleted and dead.
The boat sinks.
You return the next day to a real mess.

Differing views entertained.
No differing view here; this exact scenario except for the boat sinking occurred on my boat this winter. The boat is Baltimore, I live in Albany, NY, and due to the awful winter, I couldn't get there in March. Melting snow and ice accumulated in the bilge; bilge pump came on, worked for a while, killed the batteries. Result: I now have new batteries and a rebuilt bilge pump. I'm still looking for alternatives for the switch.
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Old 23-05-2015, 10:23   #89
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

I believe one of the problems is the mechanical action of the float switches. Years of floating around in crud, oil, what ever chemicals that find their way into the bilges can have an effect over the years. I am currently engaged in a complete refit on my vessel and have over the last few weeks been working in the main engine compartment, which used to house a 471 Detroit with a pinched valve cover gasket and it put a lot of oil in the bilge. There were rule float switches and 2 jabsco 2000 gph pumps in the bottom of this mess. Pulled them out for cleaning and inspection, both pumps are still operational and one even had divots in the top of the case where someone welding had allowed slag to drip down on it and melt into the casing. The wires leading into the float switch itself was not attached to the base, so I cleaned them up and shoved the wire back in where it was supposed to be and applied 5200 around it to hold the wire in position. I did order a new 4000 gph Johnson pump with the ultima switch, I will be installing it in place of one of the jabsco pumps, but I will be keeping the replaced pump and switch as spares. I have no experience with the Johnson pumps or their switches, but I like the idea of a non mechanical switch, perhaps it will prove to be trouble free. I personally have never had a failure of a Rule 2000 gph pump or the float switch and I have use a bunch of them over the years in different boats. One thing I have heard of from others is a piece of floating junk will get stuck under the float switch and cause the pump to run constantly, running down the batteries or ruining the pump. Sometimes when the float switch is mounted poorly and it can move, the float will come in contact with something preventing it from coming down, causing a constant operation. One of the most neglected areas of the boat can be the bilge, and it is one of the most important places. Personally I have a rule, "No unshelled sunflower seeds or Pistachio nuts allowed on board". Keep the junk out of your bilge and things will probably work much better.
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Old 30-05-2015, 09:20   #90
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

My boat is normally trailered and I'm thinking to park it at a slip unattended about 1hr away so I won't be able to check on it all of the time.... shore power hook up with on-board battery chargers, and a reliable automatic bilge switch are an absolute necessity... the next best option is to find a slip with a boat hoist... but likely not an option for a temporary slip lease..

So now I plan to install a automatic switch and only one time... on a smaller boat the access is not that great and so replacing this thing every season or two is not acceptable. I want something that will go 5-10 years or more if possible.

I'm seriously considering an electrical / electronic switch circuit which has no moving parts... I'm just starting to research this and I would appreciate it if anyone has any feedback on any tried and true experiences with brands and models of this general area of switch design... I'm contemplating having dual switches so if one fails to detect water the second could be up a bit higher and bypass the other switch. Just a thought.

Here are a couple examples, and I appreciate any feedback...

I'm not sure how the Attwood works... i.e. if it is looking for electricrode contact with water or if it is sending waves to detect changes in proximity like the Johnson..

http://www.attwoodmarine.com/userfil...3switch-08.pdf
Automatic Bilge Switchs : Attwood Marine


This is for a smaller boat for river walleye fishing and occassional great lakes trolling and trying not to spend 130-150 on a switch but if that is the only reliable option then I will have to do that.... I would rather spend 3x the price then replace it 3x times.
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