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Old 20-01-2016, 16:52   #31
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Re: Bilge Switch Shopping (it's overwhelming)

I have a very, very similar install as A64. I also highly recommend the Ultra.

However I just replaced one that failed.
Some how the magnet separated from the float and got stuck at the top of the tube. Causing the pump to run constantly.
Tired to repair, but broke the tube trying to get the bottom off.
I suspect that the bilge froze with the PO causing the Ultra to fail.

So the only concern I would voice with the Ultra is if you are in an area prone to freezing, find some way to heat the bilge. A 200watt fish tank heater is what we now use.
Just make sure that it stays submerged all the time!
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Old 20-01-2016, 19:17   #32
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Re: Bilge Switch Shopping (it's overwhelming)

I have had quite a few switches and quite a few failures including solid state ones. So I do depend on redundancy, and a bilge alarm. I mount mine on a piece of G-10 attached to a fiberglass rod 1/4" in diameter cut so that I can bend it to fit under the floor. It is fast to remove for maintenance yet stable. I am not certain if any switch type is immune to failure but the mention of a pneumatic one lasting thirty years is impressive. Still looking for dry sawdust in the bilge
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Old 20-01-2016, 20:32   #33
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Re: Bilge Switch Shopping (it's overwhelming)

Put a plastic pipe down into the bilge into which you put a long fiberglass rod free floating with a plastic float attached to the bottom of the rod, like something you would see in a toilet. Put the switch at the top of the bilge so that the rod pushes against the float switch when it rises. Wire the switch as normal.
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Old 21-01-2016, 00:06   #34
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Re: Bilge Switch Shopping (it's overwhelming)

First, don't buy a "float switch" they don't last and they get jammed up with floating debris which might happen when you most need it. Buy a solid-state water-level detector type switch.
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Old 21-01-2016, 06:02   #35
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Re: Bilge Switch Shopping (it's overwhelming)

Quote:
Originally Posted by zboss View Post
Put a plastic pipe down into the bilge into which you put a long fiberglass rod free floating with a plastic float attached to the bottom of the rod, like something you would see in a toilet. Put the switch at the top of the bilge so that the rod pushes against the float switch when it rises. Wire the switch as normal.

Good idea. I've also given up on Rules, since they quit using mercury. Lately been using the Johnson float switches with a rolling ball in them to short the contacts. But the problem with a lot of these isn't really the switch, it's the fact that the switch gets immersed in salt water. electrons and salt water don't mix well. Putting a float with linkage in allows the switch to stay dry and accessible.
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Old 21-01-2016, 07:12   #36
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Re: Bilge Switch Shopping (it's overwhelming)

I have had the ultra safety systems switch in my boat since 1997 with ZERO failures.

5 bucks a year. I have had to rebuild the par belt driven pump twice.
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Old 21-01-2016, 14:16   #37
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Re: Bilge Switch Shopping (it's overwhelming)

In our boat there's a pneumatic switch with the plastic tubing going down into the bilge as described by Hudson Forse. Our switch is of the low-cost type installed inside washing machines. The boat is 36 years old. I don't think the switch has ever been replaced, but it works perfectly
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Old 21-01-2016, 14:29   #38
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Re: Bilge Switch Shopping (it's overwhelming)

All the cheap switches and pumps are cheap for a reason. They look like they all come from the same Chinese factory with different names.
I have a wood boat with 5 WT bulkheads and 6 separate bilge areas. Other than very slight seepage all my bilge water comes from wash downs. In other words I don't use the pumps very often, sometimes for months.
All the 1 piece pump and float switches I have tried fail in about a year. Either the pump sticks on or off.
The only switches that seem to work for years are Lovett pumps or those switches that are are either a float inside a clear plastic tube and the switches that work by pressure. See pics.
To me the warranty is meaningless unless the dealer is going to come out and change out the pump. I'm 67 and come from the days when a bilge pump and switch would last 10+ years.
I have gone back to Lovett. I have one that is 30 years old.
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Old 21-01-2016, 16:19   #39
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Re: Bilge Switch Shopping (it's overwhelming)

i have three pumps , one a manual, one submersible that is the "primary" -- it runs on a rule float switch that i have had to replace twice - it is also wired to a bilge counter that triggers every time it comes on-- highly recommend this - the second pump is connected to a pneumatic switch and is a diaphram pump mounted high where it will never get wet- it also has a high water alarm mounted to it.
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Old 22-01-2016, 07:33   #40
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Re: Bilge Switch Shopping (it's overwhelming)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Madehn View Post
i have three pumps ............
'good of you to mention redundancy in this subject. I have four bilge pumps. A manual "Whale Gusher"; a submersible centrifugal Rule pump activated by my pneumatic Jabsco switch; a Par 12DC diaphragm pump mounted at my waterline; and another spare centrifugal Rule pump with prepared hoses and wiring in a spare parts locker.

I realize that all these pumps together will not keep me at sea level in a major failure, so I keep some thoughts at reducing an unwelcomed inflow and survival plan. I also keep anti-siphon loops on the effluent hoses leading from my Rule and Par pumps.
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Old 23-01-2016, 16:25   #41
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Re: Bilge Switch Shopping (it's overwhelming)

Another vote for the Ultra switch. I installed one in my first boat in the late '70s and it was still there in 1998 when I sold the boat. The current boat has two Ultra switches that had been installed sometime before I bought it in 1998. They've always worked, I've never had to service them. Hence no experience with other options.


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Old 25-01-2016, 10:40   #42
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Re: Bilge Switch Shopping (it's overwhelming)

Ever considered on of these??

Bilge Pump Switch Now In Stock • Excel Marine

Saw a demo of it at a boat show recently, solid state switch, so no moving parts whatsoever! 7 year guarantee, seemed like a good bit of engineering to me.
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