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Old 28-01-2017, 16:38   #1
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Location: Juneau Alaska
Boat: 44'8" North Pacific Pilothouse Trawler
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Plumbing questions

Immediate concern: Atwood Float switch is not activating Atwood pump. (Small collection box, with pump and float inside.) Can we use a Rule pump and float in same box? (Three feed "ins" One for washer/dryer, one for shower, one is head floor drain and one drain "out"

We purchased a Whale gulper pump that we were going to use, to serve these same items items (shower and washer/dryer, head floor drain) when we hauled boat out for annual in April. So three months without a shower is not ideal. Does the Whale gulper operate off of a collection box as well? Should we buy the Whale collection box? (4 day minimum to fly one in)? or can we make do with the small box that is there until April?

Not wanting to replace Atwood float, or pump --- hoping for more efficiency with Whale gulper. Locally (live in Juneau Alaska) rule pumps & floats are all that is available.

Caught trying to get ahead of the game. It's a boat. What were we expecting?

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Old 28-01-2017, 16:47   #2
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plumbing questions

One thing to do is just bypass the float switch and turn on the pump when you shower.
Another thing to do and what I would likely do is replace the float switch, but I would go with manual switch until new switch arrives.
My preference is with Ultra float switches, they are much higher quality, and higher price.
Many will say you don't need to spend that kind of money on just a shower sump float switch cause it won't sink the boat, and they have a very good point, but I like to fix something once and it stay fixed, and that usually means more expensive parts.

However any float and pump will work, likely whale gulper will last longer and give less trouble, and coupled with an Ultra float switch, may be many years before you have this problem again.
My shower sump / air conditioner drain sump is kitchen trash can sized and has a diaphragm pump and Ultra float switch. In fact it looks so much like a kitchen trash can, it might be.
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Old 28-01-2017, 17:08   #3
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Re: plumbing questions

Great answer, a64pilot. To summarize, any pump with any switch if properly wired and located so there's no interference, Rule switches are not the best around, and any such rig should have a manual switch override. But,but, but.... You can run a centrifugal pump like that Atwood all day by mistake without harm, since it's just a fan for water. Running a diaphragm gulper in theory won't hurt it, but will put wear on the diaphragm and use a bunch of electricity, and don't even think about running an impeller pump dry.
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