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Old 16-05-2015, 09:36   #1
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Mini rant: Rule 3700 bilge pump

When we finished our refit in 2008 I put two bilge pumps in. A smallish Rule for regular duty and a $200 Rule 3700 with a 1.5" discharge for emergency dewatering. Long story short, due to installation details and the switch/monitor I used, the large pump was fully submersed several dozen times in the intervening years. It cycled on probably two dozen times in 7 years. The motor has seized. When I opened it up water poured out. Please correct me if I am mistaken, but a "submersible" pump is designed to be full submersible, yes? Anybody else have experience with Rule pumps of this vintage. Recommended alternatives of similar capacity?

In any case, I won't be taking any chances in the future. My new emergency pump will be located up higher where it won't touch salt water unless the boat is going down. And I am not buying another $200 Rule pump. I bought a $50 equivalent (Chinese?) Seaflow knockoff that is identical even to the mounting basket. I'll let you know how it works in test mode. And I'll post a photo when I get the install done.

Rant over....
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Old 16-05-2015, 10:11   #2
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Re: Mini rant: Rule 3700 bilge pump

Have used the Rule 2000s for years and they spent more time submerged than not, never had a problem with them, no experience with the 3700s though I did look at them for replacements. Glad I didn't now.
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Old 16-05-2015, 11:07   #3
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Re: Mini rant: Rule 3700 bilge pump

Not impressed with.anything rule. All my pumps and float switches have had a short life. Will not but that brand again
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Old 16-05-2015, 13:02   #4
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Re: Mini rant: Rule 3700 bilge pump

There seem to be similar Johnson pumps around. J claims great engine, bearings and sealing. Anybody has experience with these over a longer period of time / heavy use / etc?

b.
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Old 16-05-2015, 17:32   #5
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Re: Mini rant: Rule 3700 bilge pump

Dont know this specific pump, but bad experiences with Rules too. Ripped them out and replaced all with Johnson a couple of seasons a go. So far Im a happier camper. Have had one apparent float switch failure that I need to investigate further.
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Old 17-05-2015, 09:35   #6
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Re: Mini rant: Rule 3700 bilge pump

there float switches seem pricey, and do not seem to have a long life as well
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Old 17-05-2015, 09:44   #7
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Re: Mini rant: Rule 3700 bilge pump

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain58sailin View Post
Have used the Rule 2000s for years and they spent more time submerged than not, never had a problem with them, no experience with the 3700s though I did look at them for replacements. Glad I didn't now.
jRule pumps made in Korea or someplace, they suck, (no pun intended) they last about a year or so if you lucky
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Old 17-05-2015, 09:52   #8
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Re: Mini rant: Rule 3700 bilge pump

Float switches seem to be a regular budget item, Rule or otherwise. Pumps are a mystery as to when they decide to not be a pump anymore. I test them and the float regularly. A garden hose to the bilge for a long time (1/2 hour) every 2-3 months makes me happy. You can have a treat while you test.
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Old 17-05-2015, 10:21   #9
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Re: Mini rant: Rule 3700 bilge pump

It's an old story. Rule pumps used to be made in Gloucester Massachusetts. In the 80's and 90's the quality was superb. Somewhere along the line they moved manufacturing to Mexico - maybe it's somewhere else now.

Then its parent conglomerate ITT Industries, decided to boost its stock price by breaking itself into several parts. Rule is now a very small business unit in a new company named Xylem.

Xylem's motto on their web site is "Let's solve water"

Really...
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Old 17-05-2015, 10:34   #10
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Re: Mini rant: Rule 3700 bilge pump

I've actually had good luck with a couple of Rule 2000's that stay lodged in my deep bilge 100% of the time. Also have a secondary 2000 that's up higher & is always dry (thankfully), and a 3700 that is hard wired to a battery with its own hose attached, ready to be dropped into the bilge in an emerg. But it also stays high & dry.

Not the same luck with their float switches, unfortunately. Heard the problem was when they were required to dispense with their ones made with mercury. Then again, their Super Switch seems to be much more reliable but it's twice as expensive. Their way of "solving water" perhaps? I have Super Switches for the shower drains but will now only use the bombproof switches from Ultra Safety Systems on the bilge pumps. Too critical a function not to get right.
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Old 17-05-2015, 10:36   #11
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Re: Mini rant: Rule 3700 bilge pump

That might explain the luck with the ones I have used, they are so old the paint is gone, though they did put in the new super switches, and they both work good so I am not planning on replacing them till they quit.
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Old 17-05-2015, 10:47   #12
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Re: Mini rant: Rule 3700 bilge pump

I replaced a pair of 3700's in my main bilge. I went with the new automatic sensor version which were very expensive and have never work well. They cycle on every two minutes but only pump for a few seconds. I've used a hose to put a foot of water in the bilge but the pumps always turn off after a few seconds. I spoke with one of the Engineers at Rule and they told me that the pump goes through a complex test when it turns on i.e. Pressure in the discharge line, pressure from the surrounding water and a few other things to decide if it should pump or not. That's really not what I want . I'd like that pump to stay on until the bilge is dry. In frustration I've gone back to a regular float switch type system that seems to work better. Anybody want a good deal on some slightly used 3700 automatic bilge pumps?
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Old 17-05-2015, 13:08   #13
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Re: Mini rant: Rule 3700 bilge pump

I have had on more then a couple of occasions had the float switch short out ,causing the pump to run and burning put.......new switch......new pump...
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Old 17-05-2015, 13:10   #14
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Re: Mini rant: Rule 3700 bilge pump

For what it is worth.

I have a Rule 4000 (2" discharge), circa 1998. Boat has been in warm salt water all its life and pump still works great. Look like crap, but works like a champ

The previous owner had used a cheap float switch which resulted in frequent on-off cycling due to its high volume output quickly lowering the bilge level and sometimes due to boat motion. I recently upgraded the switch to a Ultra Safety Syatems UPS-04 high differential switch. My second bilge (primary pump) has a Ultra Safety Systems UPS-01 (circa 1998) bilge switch with high water alarm switch. These UPS units appear to be bullet proof. < your results may vary >

Related to your failed Rule pump. Have you complained directly to Rule? They may give you a new one.

Related to your failed Rule pump. Any issues with fuel or oil in the bilge and therefore soaking your pump? Any use of strong cleaners sitting in the bilge trying to clean up an oily or stinky bilge?

Good Luck.


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Old 17-05-2015, 13:55   #15
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Re: Mini rant: Rule 3700 bilge pump

FWIW, I decided to go with Johnson for a new pump. I'll keep the old rule as a back up. No affiliation with either company.
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