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Old 25-09-2019, 09:47   #1
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Bilge pump run time clock

I am looking to put a clock on the bilge pump to see how much it runs over the winter. I will be away from the boat for about 6 months and have installed a 'Water Witch' To turn on the pump if needed. I have a friend that will be checking the boat from time to time and would like to hear from him how often or how long the pump has run. I hope he says "it did not run at all."
I have not found a device that will do this job other than maybe a Hobbs type clock. Any ideas?

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Old 25-09-2019, 10:45   #2
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Re: Bilge pump run time clock

Why not just install an off the shelf counter? They make them to count single or multiple pumps. I installed a dual aqualarm and it works just fine. Tells me how many times (if any) the pump is activated and includes new switches for both pumps. The single one is like $70.

https://www.fisheriessupply.com/site...itesearch=true
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Old 25-09-2019, 11:06   #3
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Re: Bilge pump run time clock

The Hobbs type is probably the simplest/easiest. Any engine hour counter that uses the 12V ignition signal can be wired into the switch circuit, starts counting when 12V comes from the switch to power the pump. You should be able to get one for less than $20 at any auto parts store (or online). I use a number of them for other devices on the boat, since they are natively 12V when used in a car they are common, cheap, and easy to use on a boat.
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Old 25-09-2019, 11:20   #4
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Re: Bilge pump run time clock

This is what I have
24v cost about $10 usd

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Plastic-...kAAOSwyExdI-UG

12v for $5

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/CSK5-NKW...wbZ8BnZyLhDHQg
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Old 25-09-2019, 11:22   #5
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Re: Bilge pump run time clock

Thanks I just could not find the right terms for my search. That will do fine.
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Old 25-09-2019, 12:10   #6
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Re: Bilge pump run time clock

Hi Check out aqualarm

Hell build anything you want.

I have a panel he built. It has a rocker switch for On-Off- auto and cycle counter. It shows how many times the pump has cycled. I also had him build in a alarm so if the pump runs for more than 2 minutes it shrieks, so you can hear it if the motor is running.

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Old 25-09-2019, 12:22   #7
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Re: Bilge pump run time clock

Another option is a 12VDC totalizing hour meter, receiving power along w/ the pump.
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Old 26-09-2019, 08:21   #8
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Re: Bilge pump run time clock

I've had this Honeywell clock in operation for 9 years: https://www.alliedelec.com/product/h...-h21/70378426/. It will retain its accumulated hours reading through power outages and can be reset to zero with a momentary-contact push-button switch.

Honeywell has several other variations: https://www.alliedelec.com/m/d/a5e0a...b64c1240d4.pdf
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Old 26-09-2019, 10:23   #9
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Re: Bilge pump run time clock

Counters are sometimes called event counters. The one I had was driven by 12 volts.
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Old 26-09-2019, 13:32   #10
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Re: Bilge pump run time clock

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Counters are sometimes called event counters. The one I had was driven by 12 volts.
Although I've seen counters used on many boats, I rejected the idea. I want to know cumulatively how long the pump ran - not how many times the boat rocked in the slip activating the pump.

And since I'm too lazy and forgetful to write down the pump meter reading, I also want to be able to reset the timer to zero. That way, all I have to remember is how long it's been since I pushed the "reset" switch -- which is very infrequent -- since the meter nearly always reads "0.0".
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Old 27-09-2019, 19:54   #11
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Re: Bilge pump run time clock

I currently have counters on my bilge pumps, but I'm planning to replace them with Hobbs meters. The potential problem with counters is that what you want to know is how long the pump is running, as a proxy for the amount of water, not how many times it cycles. When there is little operation, they are proportional, but, should a leak develop, at some point the number of cycles will decrease as the leak gets bigger.


As for what meter to buy, why buy a cheapie of unknown provenance and quality when you can buy the real thing as cheaply as this: https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catal...ages/hobbs.php.
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Old 28-09-2019, 21:58   #12
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Re: Bilge pump run time clock

The problem I see with the Hobbs meter is that 6 minuets is the smallest time it records. I really hope my pump does not ever run that long. The aircraft clock is very good quality and may be what I end up going with.
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:17   #13
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Re: Bilge pump run time clock

I have a cheap mechanical hour meter on my pump. While it only displays .1 hour increments, if you listen carefully, it clicks every few seconds, indicating that it does "record" (on an internal wheel) every few seconds, the mechanism just does not display that wheel.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:21   #14
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Re: Bilge pump run time clock

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Originally Posted by jamhass View Post
I have a cheap mechanical hour meter on my pump. While it only displays .1 hour increments, if you listen carefully, it clicks every few seconds, indicating that it does "record" (on an internal wheel) every few seconds, the mechanism just does not display that wheel.


Some of those run for awhile after power is removed too, the old style Hobbs meters were electrical driven mechanical things, you can hear the clock ticking for awhile after power is removed
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:24   #15
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Re: Bilge pump run time clock

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Some of those run for awhile after power is removed too, the old style Hobbs meters were electrical driven mechanical things, you can hear the clock ticking for awhile after power is removed
Hmmm ... never observed that, but then my boat is very dry and most of the pump time is spent testing the pump or scrubbing the bilge.
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