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Old 21-02-2019, 13:12   #1
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Installing Multiple Bilge Pumps

I’ve decided to replace the bilge pumps on my Islander 30 but I have a couple of questions..

I was planning to install two RULE pumps; a 1500GPH primary and 2000GPH backup about 2 inches higher in the bilge .

Here’s the Question: should I have a separate control panel wired to each pump?

Second Question: As I was looking online at my options I saw several models of automatic pumps which do not require an external float switch. This idea looks very attractive. If you have experience with such a pump please share..

Thanks!
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Old 21-02-2019, 13:22   #2
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Re: Installing Multiple Bilge Pumps

Redundancy is your friend! Especially if things are going to hell in a handbasket. Use separate panels and maybe even connect to separate battery banks if you have them.


Mechanical float switches are notoriously unreliable. Electronic switches seem somewhat better. Most bilge pumps seem to have mechanical inbuilt switches, so for a critical application I'd prefer an external switch that can be either be easily tested and replaced if faulty, or is one that is electronic and probably more reliable.



You might also want to consider connecting the switch from the higher pump to an audible alarm of some sort, too.
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Old 21-02-2019, 14:13   #3
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Re: Installing Multiple Bilge Pumps

Just watch some of the Rule pumps. they turn on every 30 seconds (or something like that) to see if there is water then shut off if no water is detected. Those are ok for a secondary but not as your primary, it will drive you nuts. I have the 2000 Mate as primary and am very happy with it. There was another thread on where and how to route your secondary with varying opinions.
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Old 21-02-2019, 14:25   #4
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Re: Installing Multiple Bilge Pumps

Because the higher pump and switch should rarely if ever get wet, they are less likely to fail than the constantly partly submerged switch in the lower pump. To be sure of this, I'd mount it 4" higher instead of 2". The goal is for it to never go on.

I've had a simple Rule switch on my upper pump for eight years. The same Rule switch on the lower pump failed in six months and I replaced with an Ultra Safety Systems JR switch.

Over the years, I have tried just about every kind of switch. Even ones who claim they are foolproof. Only the USS switch has stood the test of time.
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Old 21-02-2019, 17:35   #5
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Re: Installing Multiple Bilge Pumps

Thank you. All.. I really appreciate the good advice I just painted the bilge and picked up a couple new Rule-mate automatic pumps with built in sensors so no need for additional float switches .. Iíll post a photo of the the final install once I get it all wired up... thank you!
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Old 21-02-2019, 19:24   #6
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Re: Installing Multiple Bilge Pumps

While youíre adding dedicated 24 hour circuits consider a 3 way fire/water/fume detector. MTI industries makes an affordable one $150 vs $400. Put the water sensor on or near your high pump.
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Old 22-02-2019, 09:25   #7
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Re: Installing Multiple Bilge Pumps

I use two electrical (one on float, one direct), and a mechanical pump, which is mounted near the helm.
I also put a Raw Water strainer on the emergency line upstream of the pump.
Regardless how you secure the boat, intake blockage is your enemy when the water starts rising suddenly......and remember, the most reliable and inexpensive high volume bilge pump on a small boat, is a frightened man with a bucket! Have a really good one and spare!
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Old 22-02-2019, 09:37   #8
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Re: Installing Multiple Bilge Pumps

make sure you have a manual pump for when the batteries are flat.... the day will come... Always plan for worst case scenaria. ours is mounted so the handle can be reached from the chart table and the helm.
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Old 22-02-2019, 09:38   #9
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Re: Installing Multiple Bilge Pumps

My 2nd bilge pump's non-mechanical water-sensing switch is mounted about 2" higher than my primary bilge pump mechanical float switch.
I added a small tell-tale amber pilot light to the 2nd bilge pump to indicate either the failure of the primary pump or an exceptional influx of water into the bilge. It has proven useful.
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Old 22-02-2019, 09:51   #10
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Re: Installing Multiple Bilge Pumps

For what itís worth my primary bilge pumpĎs have a number counter on them. I can tell at a glance just how many times theyíve gone off. There have been a couple of times when we saw high numbers and it certainly gets your attention. Something to think about.
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Old 22-02-2019, 10:30   #11
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Re: Installing Multiple Bilge Pumps

Vanderd: what counter did you find/use? We've been looking, and all I've found are the cheap Chinese things ebay sells.....and they don't work! How did you wire yours in? As to our bilge pumps, our bilge is deep and narrow. I placed the intake for the manual pump (cockpit handle) on the bottom, with the pump and handle on the cockpit sidewall. I built a "tree" out of 1/2" pvc pipe to mount the rest. I have a Rule2000 just above the bilge floor(bolted to the tree) and an electronic sw bolted about 1" above the pump intake. Then a second Rule 2000 bolted to the tree at about the bottom primary pump's top, and an electronic sw about an inch above its intake, and then a high water alarm electronic sw at about the secondary pump's top. I use a Rule Bilge Pump sw panel (auto-off-on) for each of the Rule pumps, and a Johnson Pump Hi Water Alarm panel(red light+horn) for the hi water alarm. All 3 red lights are mounted on my fwd Nav panel, where they can be seen from the salon or the helm. All 3 systems are fused and fed via dedicated electric wires directly from my combined battery bus, ie, always "on" if the boat has any DC power.
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Old 22-02-2019, 11:01   #12
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Re: Installing Multiple Bilge Pumps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akafred View Post
Iíve decided to replace the bilge pumps on my Islander 30 but I have a couple of questions..

I was planning to install two RULE pumps; a 1500GPH primary and 2000GPH backup about 2 inches higher in the bilge .

Hereís the Question: should I have a separate control panel wired to each pump?

Second Question: As I was looking online at my options I saw several models of automatic pumps which do not require an external float switch. This idea looks very attractive. If you have experience with such a pump please share..

Thanks!
1. YES, have a separate control panel switch for each pump.

2. I have used a couple of the "Rule-Mate" pumps with a built-in float switch; 750 and 1100. I can't say that I have been happy with them. The 750 failed completely and Rule replaced it. (Note that the 750 uses a 3/4" hose and the 1100 uses 1 1/8" hose.) I elected to upgrade to the RM1100A in order to increase the flow pressure while keeping the 3/4" hose because of the 6' height distance to the thru-hull and to minimize the backflow; its a very deep bilge. With the boat static, the 1100 turns ON and seems to run a very long time and sounds like it is struggling again and again to pump the water out even with an in-line non-return valve to stop the lesser 3/4" hose backflow. In short, they haven't worked for me and I now just use it via the control switch.

3. FWIW my main bilge pump is a Rule 14A (3700gph) with an external Rule-A-Matic Plus 40A float switch which works just fine.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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Old 22-02-2019, 11:11   #13
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Re: Installing Multiple Bilge Pumps

My boat is a 2006 Endeavour Powercat. The bilge pump counters were installed at the time of manufacture and requested by the previous owner. We are the second owner. Iím not sure what brand it is but they work great. They even have a reset button to rezero when the issue is resolved. If you like I could call Endeavour. They are small enough builder that you can speak to the owner (Bob Vincent) who is extremely knowledgeable and always very helpful.
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Old 22-02-2019, 11:44   #14
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Re: Installing Multiple Bilge Pumps

on the matter of installation.

One important consideration with rule bilge pumps is to try and install them in a small space below normal floor level so that any water present is constantly draining down into it. This assists with self priming and keeping the pump effectively running while ejecting water.


My experience with this issue was with a 4 meter GRP open day boat laid up over a urethane foam core. The cockpit floor was 5 mm plywood 2 " above the true bottom.
Consequently it was possible to cut a recess in that floor, and remove the foam behind the transom down to the inside of the outer skin. Thus making a small 'pump tank' a stainless steel fabricated cross with studs to hold the Rule strainer basket was tabbed to the hull skin, the pump used was 3,500. Out flow was to a through hull in the transom. Controlled when needed with a Cole Hersee press button switch.



With this the waves taken over the bows would flow aft down the hole 4" X 6" wide through a six inch wide 2" deep tunnel under the Helmsman's seat, and feed the pump a constant flow. causing a sort of metering effect...This worked very well.


Years later I changed to a trough in the floor from the dagger board case aft. Thinking it would better feed the pump. I flooded the boat with a garden hose and tested it. Total failure. The high capacity of the pump would drain the water faster than the hose could put it in, Then the pump would cavitate. and stop pumping water. As more water was added cavitation continued so the pump did not eject it. stopping the pump until sufficient water surrounded it. before restarting it was the only way to make it self prime.
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Old 22-02-2019, 13:17   #15
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Re: Installing Multiple Bilge Pumps

Separate switch
separate battery
Separate outlet
4 inches higher
Bill





Quote:
Originally Posted by Akafred View Post
Iíve decided to replace the bilge pumps on my Islander 30 but I have a couple of questions..

I was planning to install two RULE pumps; a 1500GPH primary and 2000GPH backup about 2 inches higher in the bilge .

Hereís the Question: should I have a separate control panel wired to each pump?

Second Question: As I was looking online at my options I saw several models of automatic pumps which do not require an external float switch. This idea looks very attractive. If you have experience with such a pump please share..

Thanks!
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