Nothing is perfect but the best way to do this is with a Auto-Off-Manual switch that is wired directly to the battery
. Remember that these switches have their own fuses
that protect the wire from the battery
. Having a second switch or fuse between the bilge pump
switch and the battery is setting yourself up for a screw up which might sink your boat
...we all forget stuff like this on occasion. Dear Boat
, my boat sank because I was stupid and forgot to turn that switch back on that I have absolutely no need for nor to turn off.
Leave the switch normally in the Auto position. This way when you do get water
in the bilge
you don't even have to be aware that the water is there for the pump
to do its job. It just does it...it's a no brainer. A red light on the switch will come on to let you know the pump is running and to give you a subtle hint that you might want to investigate as to why. You can also put an audible alarm
that yells at you on the same circuit as the subtle red light.
The Manual position is for when you want to see or hear the pump run for testing purposes, or scour some extra water out of the bilge that is too low for the float switch to activate the pump.
The Off position is for when you haul the boat and don't want the travel lift
operators to get blasted in the face with your filthy bilge water or when you need to change out a pump. Or for some odd reason don't care if your boat sinks at the dock
while you are not there.