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Old 28-07-2015, 11:25   #1
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ChipperSkipper

Greetings fellow sail people. I'm half way through my first year on my first sailboat, an Islander 28. I still lack sailing time, but I am learning more about my vessel everyday. This morning as I began moving about the cabin I heard my bilge pump come on, as it does periodically. However, this morning it failed to shut off. I checked to see that nothing was preventing the flapper from dropping and it seemed to be fine. What would you suggest I do moving forward. I shut the pump off before leaving for the day so it wouldn't burn out. Your thoughts and recommendations are greatly appreciated.
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Old 28-07-2015, 11:40   #2
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Re: ChipperSkipper

Is it a float switch type? You may have a short somewhere.
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Old 28-07-2015, 14:09   #3
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Re: ChipperSkipper

It has a "flipper" that rises with any water that accumulates then activates the pump. I looked at it this morning and wiped it off, but didn't really look to see where the contacts were and whether or not they might be corroded or dirty. That will be my first order of business this afternoon. Thanks for replying. I've viewed similar issues elsewhere and if nothing else, it doesn't sound like a new pump, if needed, will be terribly costly, which is nice to know.
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Old 28-07-2015, 14:49   #4
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Re: ChipperSkipper

From the sounds of it I don't think it's a new pump, probably a new float switch.

try removing the old one and cleaning it.
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Old 28-07-2015, 17:29   #5
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Re: ChipperSkipper

Sadly, float switches are notoriously unreliable. Since the switch portion of the assembly is internal, repair is not easy, and replacement is the usual fix. However, they more commonly fail in the "off" mode, so it may be that there is a short circuit in the wiring that is activating the pump. The test is to isolate the switch by disconnecting both sides of the wiring and using an ohm meter or continuity tester to see if the switch is functional.

Good luck, and welcome to the realities of boat ownership!

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Old 28-07-2015, 18:02   #6
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Re: ChipperSkipper

Remove the float switch. I haven't had one for years. When you leave the boat, close all thru hulls except for the cockpit drains. The only other source for water is the stuffing box. Make sure that is not leaking and you'll be fine for weeks.
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Old 28-07-2015, 18:25   #7
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Re: ChipperSkipper

The ONLY float switch we have put on boats for years has been the Ultra
TEF-GEL - Ultra safety systems - Home page
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Old 29-07-2015, 14:05   #8
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Re: ChipperSkipper

Thank you all. I will let you know how things turn out by tomorrow, I hope. Appreciate your incites!
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Old 29-07-2015, 14:24   #9
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Re: ChipperSkipper

I too like the Ultra switch. But look around well, something could be catching on the float switch. When you lift the switch it should come on, when it sits flat is should go off. They fail now and then. Anything floating in the bilge can catch on it. If you don't want to spend $100 on an ultra switch just get another flapper. They usually work.
The problem with not having an auto switch is you can be sailing and not know you are taking on water until you look in the cabin and the floor boards are floating!
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Old 01-08-2015, 05:44   #10
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Re: ChipperSkipper

I have an alarm on a float switch high in the bilge. This will warn me if water comes in while I am on the boat. When I leave the boat I depend on closing all holes (except the cockpit drains).
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