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Old 30-05-2015, 10:06   #91
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

A few more options I'm looking at... just in case anyone has experience with them...

Automatic Bilge Switchs : Attwood Marine
Johnson Pump 36303 - Ultima Automatic Bilge Pump Switch

JOHNSON PUMP Electro-Magnetic Float Switch | West Marine

34-AS100 GROCO FLOAT SWITCH

Ultra Pump Switch JR.

The Groco is the same detection used on a washing machine... which seems very reliable.

Tight access makes installation a PITA... and a small footprint is appreciated.

Thanks for any info...
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Old 31-05-2015, 15:30   #92
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

I installed the Johnson ultima with existing rule pump that failed soon after switched to a Johnson pump with ultima switch has worked wonderfully for a year. With an old wood boat that takes on water so the pump runs daily
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:38   #93
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

Allow me to flog this dead horse. OK, so it's not dead, but it should be...

I just replaced my second Rule Float Switch in less than a year; fortunately, the failures did not result in any damage other than time and money because I was aboard when the failures occurred.

Selling a product, especially one that can cause property damage or worse, that has such a high failure rate is despicable; too bad this doesn't seem to fall under the RICO Act. I guess the over six and half million dollars the Rule Industries CEO is paid isn't enough to bother with correcting a clearly inferior and dangerous product. I guess float switches aren't as important as Takata Air Bags.

I don't think any company should sell Rule Float Switches at all, but if they do, they should carry a warning label advising that the switches may cause your boat to sink. West Marine posts user's reviews; do they actually read them?

I'll be giving the Johnson Ultima Switch a try.

Fair winds,

Leo
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Old 04-06-2015, 07:16   #94
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

Perhaps the Ultima is a better product now than when I installed one ten years ago. At the time, it was purchased from West Marine and came with a life-time warranty.

The Ultima was installed on a backup pump installed at a higher elevation in the bilge than the primary pump so was rarely activated.

Long story short: It failed and I received no satisfaction from the life-time warranty.

That said, it may still be a better alternative.
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Old 04-06-2015, 07:55   #95
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

I gave up on Rule switches, I'm installing a new set up this weekend and now have two different manufacturers pump switches.
It's mounted on an easily accessible bracket so I can replace/service it easily, right now I'm going with a water witch inductive switch and another companies self contained float style switch for the backup pump and another probe type inductive switch for the backup of the backup.
I'll post a picture when I go to install them and then get back to this post when I feel I've had time to judge the performance of the systems.
Like all the boats I've owned this one is turning into a long term gear testing platform, I just hope I can find enough dependable gear before we step off for an extended period.
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Old 04-06-2015, 07:58   #96
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

I'd be curious to see what the commercial fishing guys use, although I seem to see enough fishing boats sink in our northeast waters often enough that I have to wonder if they encounter the same gear related failures that we do.
Anyone out there on the forum who operates commercial ocean going fishing boats?
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Old 04-06-2015, 09:58   #97
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

I do, and most around here use the rule pumps with the float switches, backed up with engine or generator driven electrical/mechanical pumps. I am starting to see more Johnson pumps going down the dock but not a lot. My particular set up is (1) rule 2000, (1) Johnson 4000, (1) 2" Jabsco on a electromagnetic clutch that is belt driven from the engine. I also have a couple other rule 2000s in other compartments. The vessels that are raw water cooled usually have a valve that can be turned on in the event of an emergency that will suck out the bilge instead of the ocean.
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Old 04-06-2015, 13:48   #98
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

Last summer I had a situation that my combined 12v bilge pumps could not cope with. We disengaged the raw water hose from the thru-hull sea cock, closed the sea cock and stuck the hose deeply into the bilge. It made the difference.

I highly recommend to everyone that they set up a T-connection with a valve that will enable pumping the bilge with the engine's raw water pump.
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Old 04-06-2015, 14:27   #99
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

Maybe put a relay in the circuit so the float switch isn't carrying all the pump current and pitting the internal contacts. (if that's the way they work). Mercury switches worked great until the gummint decided we would all DIE!!! if they didn't outlaw them.
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Old 04-06-2015, 14:39   #100
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

I had given up on Rule switches some time ago but have held out hope for the "sensor" switches -- Ultima, Whale, and Water Witch. While they are better than the Rules, I have had each brand fail over the last 10 years - sometimes because of some bilge slime stuck to it but other times for no apparent reason. In two cases they stuck "on".

I did once have an Ultra and it never failed me - nor have I heard of one failing. Has anyone had a problem with an Ultra? They are expensive but not so much if you never have to replace them.

I also am no longer installing Rule pumps in favor of Johnson. This is a cause of great sadness to me since they were my "go to" bilge pump for 40 years.

And while I have installed Rule Gulper diaphragm pumps in the past, they don't seem as reliable as in the past. I've had two motors burn out.
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Old 08-06-2015, 13:59   #101
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

This is the latest set up I'm going with, the pump is a 2000 GPH controlled by a water witch switch, which has had both good and bad ratings here.
The secondary pump is remote, not a submerged pump controlled by the probe type inductive switch seen in the picture mounted above the primary switch level, it's a "See Water" brand which I was unfamiliar with but it came with the boat and is still working well.
There is another backup pump controlled by a contained float type switch, but I'm not totally sure I'm going to reinstall it, the switch tended to stick sometimes and would need to be pulled and cleaned out when fouled with bilge scum.
On that note, I'm going to have to fix the sump pumps for the two shower drains in the heads to reduce the bilge scum issue, at that point I may re-install the float switch, we'll see.
The bracket is drilled for bolted in for easy service access since the sump is too deep to reach the bottom by hand, there are several sets of holes so I can adjust the height from the floor of the bilge.
We'll see how they fare over time.

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Old 08-06-2015, 14:44   #102
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

I like that you can remove the whole assembly from the bilge. The only suggestion I could make is to lower the Water Witch switch a few inches. Set that high, it will turn the pump (ShurFlo?) off before it has lowered the water as much as it can.
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Old 08-06-2015, 17:51   #103
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

Actually the water witch switch is mounted on the back about 1.5" above the bottom of the pump, since it has a shutoff delay the pump drains completely to the bottom.
The switch you see mounted above the pump is for the secondary pump which is mounted remotely above the sump with a strainer located in the bottom of the sump. It's a See Water brand which I'm not familiar with but it works fine and is tied into an alarm.
Yeah, the bracket makes for easy servicing, something I found was very difficult on the original system, the connections are close by on one of the bulkheads. It eliminated about five splices in the original pump wiring.
Now to see how long the level switches last......
If all else fails there's a manual pump in the cockpit with a strainer in the sump, and if that's not enough I have two five gallon buckets in the stern locker, I've found those to be the fastest and most dependable in the past. They depend on automatic water level sensors called ankles, if the water reaches your ankles it's time to break out the buckets.
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Old 08-06-2015, 21:53   #104
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

I'm familiar with the Water Witch. I like to set them where the pump will pull a little air before it shuts off. That way I know I've gotten all the water I can. The little bit that remains drives me crazy! It's my little bit of insanity.
I'm interested to see how the Water Witch works for you. I haven't used one since they first came on the market. A bunch of them failed and I dropped the line. I recently brought them back in stock. I figure if they're still in business after all these years, they must have improved.

Water Witch Bilge Switch
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Old 14-06-2015, 21:14   #105
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Re: Rule Bilge Pump Float Switch Problems

Yes, second and third all the messages about defective Rule bilge pumps and switches. I've been buying them since 1975 but, no more. Just replaced one I bought 10 months ago. This makes 6, or is it 7, bilge pump switches in less than 9 years. Same number of replacements for rule bilge pumps. Until I can find an alternate bilge pump, am now carrying two pumps- one as an emergency repair for WHEN, not IF the pump quits working. These things are utterly unreliable garbage and NO ONE should buy one for their boat!!!!! Maybe if enough people boycotted Rule and they went out of business, someone else would step in and produce a reliable product. Sorry for the shouting, but enuf is enuf.

DONT BUY A RULE PRODUCT. I think I will make up a bumper sticker to pass the message along.


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