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Old 31-07-2013, 23:35   #1
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Boat: 1903 36' jarrah cruiser
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Bilge Pump. Auto? Rule?

I have read all the reviews on CF re pumps. Some of the threads are getting a bit old and maybe don't reflect the performance of the latest products on the market.
I was particularly interested in the auto pumps, those without a separate float switch. They seem to fall into 2 categories. Inbuilt float switch and motor impeller load sensor.
They don't appear to have got glowing reviews in the past from some people.
In Australia, we seem to be limited to Rule and TMC through our major suppliers. And Johnson in a limited way.
I would be interested in your thoughts re inbuilt versus separate float switch pump setups.
Also Rule versus TMC and any other brands.
Any comment welcome.

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Old 02-08-2013, 19:57   #2
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I would never use an automatic unless there was just not enough room for a float switch. If there is a failure, you have to replace the whole unit. If the switch fails and you need the pump you can switch manually. Also,in my experience, the electronic switches (which I believe are used in the automatics) tend to fail. Example, I have 10 pumps on my boat. 8 have the traditional float switches but I tried two electronic ones. Both failed within three months of use. None of the others have failed over the years.

To a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
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Old 02-08-2013, 20:45   #3
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Re: Bilge Pump. Auto? Rule?

The small Rulemate series pumps (up to 1100 gph) now come with an electronic water sensor with no moving parts. Oil in the bilge will not turn them on. I have had one in my bilge for more than a year and so far so good. I have heard complaints of them not shutting off.

I believe the Rulemate 1500 and 2000 still have float switches. I have heard complaints of switches sticking in either the on or off position. Two of my pumps have float switches but are not in the pump housing.

Rule also makes a line of pumps that turns it self on every 2-1/2 minutes. If it senses resistance against the impeller, it stays on until the water is gone. These seem to be very reliable but in a small boat, you hear it come on and it can drive you nuts. It's not a problem in bigger boats.

The switch that seems to have the best reputation is the Ultra Safety System switches. Link: Ultra Pump Switch JR.
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:15   #4
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Re: Bilge Pump. Auto? Rule?

Heavy Duty Johnson and Heavy Duty Rule are fine. Use remote float if the application is critical.

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Old 03-08-2013, 06:39   #5
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My experience w Rule fully automatics has been very poor (lots of failures over short periods of time). As a result decided I will never buy Rule again. Have replaced the latest batch of failed Rules with Johnson. Hopefully these will prove more reliable.

Many newer boats Ive run have gone to non-submerged diaphram pumps mounted just above bilge level. I think this is a better and more reliable option. Whale makes a good range of these.
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bilge, bilge pump, rule

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