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  #1  
Old 09-28-2021, 11:00 AM
Bill Krejca Bill Krejca is offline
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Default Bilge Pump Wizard Needed

Trip Report to Cedar Lake On ,last week, to follow. (Good Trip)

OK, A long time ago, I mounted a float switch to automatically start bilge pump, and it has worked as required. Before leaving home last week, I tested pump by lifting the float, and the pump turned on. Upon getting a rather heavy rain up north, last week, the pump didn't turn on. I had earlier glued a large piece of foam to the float after having experienced the same some time ago, thinking that perhaps the float was not sound, sticking, etc. Upon opening the hatch, last week, the float was up, but pump was not running. (I had a portable backup pump, which last week was used to remove the water.)

Getting home, I lifted the float and the pump started working. It only seems to work when it is dry!!!!!!

My suspicion is that the float switch is faulty; pump does work, so unlikely that it is an intermittent bad fuse, etc.

What say you, am I missing something else?

Thanks,

Bill
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  #2  
Old 09-28-2021, 11:08 AM
Hot Runr Guy Hot Runr Guy is offline
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This may be a silly question, but is your float switch wired direct to the battery, or is it possible that it is wired so your master power-off switch also cuts power to the float?

HRG
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  #3  
Old 09-28-2021, 11:42 AM
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last chance last chance is offline
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I never take a chance with safety. if I replaced the switch what's a few bucks when it comes to your safety replace the pump also. (if you go out on the big water a second pump wouldn't hurt) or just get a good pump with the built-in float, I started taking on water out several miles on Erie when our plug got pulled out by a board line from a charter that got too close. my pump was pumping intermittently and wasn't keeping up. my son put a new plug in that I kept in the boat. and by dipping water out with liter bottles we got the water out. I had the pump replaced with a large pump. but then I added a new very large pump with a built-in float. so if I ever take on water and the pump fails the other pump will be working, I hope.
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  #4  
Old 09-28-2021, 12:21 PM
Thalweg Thalweg is offline
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Any chance there was debis that lodged in the pump on the trip that 'floated' away when using the backup pump?
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  #5  
Old 09-28-2021, 12:47 PM
Bill Krejca Bill Krejca is offline
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RE: hookup - When installing, 8-9 years ago, I inserted the float switch into the line going from dash to pump, I don't have a master switch on my Alaskan. It worked fine for quite a while. Pump runs when float is lifted (in the garage). I may just trim off some wire insulations and check continuities.

RE: debris - I would assume the pump would run, would hear it if clogged up with flotsam, it did not run.

I'm guessing best bet would be to replace float switch, although I don't plan on being out in the big water anymore.

Any other thoughts?

Bill
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  #6  
Old 09-28-2021, 01:50 PM
bubba800 bubba800 is offline
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I do not run my back-up pump/float switch tapped into any other circuit or wire, they are on a dedicated circuit fused directly to the battery. As was mentioned float switches and pumps are cheap vs. a lot of time spent troubleshooting or cleaning and drying a sunken boat.
I also carry one of these as back-up in the case that the manual and auto pumps fail and I don't have the time to change out to a new pump cartridge.

https://www.defender.com/product.jsp...yABEgIOLvD_BwE
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  #7  
Old 09-28-2021, 03:31 PM
Bill Krejca Bill Krejca is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubba800 View Post
I do not run my back-up pump/float switch tapped into any other circuit or wire, they are on a dedicated circuit fused directly to the battery. As was mentioned float switches and pumps are cheap vs. a lot of time spent troubleshooting or cleaning and drying a sunken boat.
I also carry one of these as back-up in the case that the manual and auto pumps fail and I don't have the time to change out to a new pump cartridge.

https://www.defender.com/product.jsp...yABEgIOLvD_BwE
Yeah, as I said, I used my similar spare portable pump to clear the water in the boat. It sure seems odd, tho, that the bugger works in the garage!

Bill
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  #8  
Old 09-28-2021, 04:02 PM
man164 man164 is offline
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It is wired to the switch wiring?

Is it a dual position switch with an auto setting and an on setting?
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  #9  
Old 09-28-2021, 05:48 PM
MuskieMat MuskieMat is offline
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If the above checks out check your connections. Especially if you have used crimps. Most people don't use the correct crimping tool causing all sorts of problems.
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  #10  
Old 09-28-2021, 06:44 PM
REW REW is offline
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Bill,
If you are going to fix your bilge pump, fix it right.

On every boat, the bilge pump should have a two position pump.

In one position, the pump should be solidly on.

In the other position, the pump should go on, only when the float comes up.

But, in the middle position, the pump should be solidly off so that the pump does not ever run when the boat is sitting on the trailer in storage.

Essentially, you want a single pole double throw center off switch.


For example in your case, with the bad float switch you could turned the switch to the manual on and the boat would have been pumped out.

For example:

https://www.amazon.com/Switch-OFF-si...2872572&sr=8-2

or:
https://www.amazon.com/Gardner-Bende...872572&sr=8-14

and:

https://newwiremarine.com/how-to/wir...e-pump-switch/
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