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Old 04-03-2011, 05:06 AM
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Default What's the best bilge pump for the buck?

I removed the original equipment pumps a few years ago and started using the Rule 1100 Automatics that cycle every 2.5 minutes, one in the back and one midship. After about a year, they fail. A year ago someone suggested I install float switches and no longer cycle the pumps (test for water). Now both pumps are shot and the switches intermittently don't work so I'm at it again. The combination switch and pump or automatic pumps both cost under $100 each.
We go north every year for about 4 months and I am afraid to trust either method unattended for that long.
What's your advice?
BTW, I currently have the drain plug pulled and keep it on my lift but since that is located under the fishbox and inconvenient for the boat broker who has the boat listed for sale.
Also, the bow is high on the lift and the transom drains okay but I still have to pump out
lots of water when I return in November due to failed bilge pumps and/or debre plugged transom drains..
Anybody?
Dry Rot
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Old 04-03-2011, 05:14 AM
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Get a rule 1500 and ultra switch and you're done.
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Old 04-03-2011, 05:29 AM
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Not a big fan of any of those automatic pumps or any of those float switches.It seems like they are like zincs;change em every year!
The Rule pumps work well and I teamed mine up with the water witch switch.It has been bullet proof for 2 yrs.now,Keeping my fingers crossed!
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:42 AM
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I pay my neighbor in FL (6 pack capt) a couple hundred bucks to run the engine and charge the batteries every couple weeks. Look for someone in your area you trust with your boat keys.
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:03 PM
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Any other thoughts?
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:14 PM
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I have a Johnson 2200 in my boat with one of their solid state switches for 10 yrs with no problems.
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:18 PM
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I like my rule 1500's. I have 3 of them. The last one I replaced was due to old age, a decade? It still worked fine.

Yet to find a float type switch I can count on, so a few years ago I tried one of those electronic eye switches. Awesome. Also a 3 second delay, so no cycling and you can test them.
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:22 PM
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Rule 1500's with Ultra switches here, not the cheapest but you will be happy spending the extra coin on these switches http://www.tefgel.com/contain.php?pa...mpswitch_price
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:57 PM
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Get a 110v sump pump with a float switch. leave it in the bilge and run a garden hose over the side
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Old 04-03-2011, 04:16 PM
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I use Rule pumps with Johnson Ultima Switches. Have yet to lose a pump!
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Old 04-03-2011, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeper View Post
Rule 1500's with Ultra switches here, not the cheapest but you will be happy spending the extra coin on these switches http://www.tefgel.com/contain.php?pa...mpswitch_price
Those ultra switches look pretty serious. Will give one a try next time around. Thanks for the link Sleeper.
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Old 04-03-2011, 04:24 PM
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Old 04-03-2011, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
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Any other thoughts?
Ya, Pull the drain plug out when it is on the lift for extened time periods. Put it in a bright red bag on the helm.
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:00 PM
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Float switches burn out because they are improperly mounted in the bottom of the bilge, constant flicking on and off burns them out ,
they need to be raised up above the slosh zone, 2 inches is good.

Mount a (second) manually switched pump on the bottom of the bilge , if the auto pump goes on, turn the manual switched pump on too.
If you only run one pump you're asking for bigger trouble anyway.

My auto switched pump is going on 4 yrs old, still looks brand new because its never been used yet. But theres usually an inch of water in the bilge that woulda burned it out if it were down there.
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:03 PM
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The smaller the boat, the bigger the bilge pump!
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absolute View Post
The smaller the boat, the bigger the bilge pump!
Big time!!!
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:28 PM
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I believe Rule pumps are the best. I agree with having two in the bilge. Also a high water alarm is always good in case they don't work. How often do you check on your boat? Bilge pumps are better when they are used and not sitting for long periods of time.All pumps are! If they sit, they can rust internal parts. Your wiring should be shrink tubed and sprayed. You said the drains get clogged, put a raised screen cover over them and that will help. Sounds like its a maitenance issue all around to me. I have never had a bilge pump fail, ever! There are more boats that sink at the dock than offshore just because of clogged drains and poor maintenance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Rot View Post
I removed the original equipment pumps a few years ago and started using the Rule 1100 Automatics that cycle every 2.5 minutes, one in the back and one midship. After about a year, they fail. A year ago someone suggested I install float switches and no longer cycle the pumps (test for water). Now both pumps are shot and the switches intermittently don't work so I'm at it again. The combination switch and pump or automatic pumps both cost under $100 each.
We go north every year for about 4 months and I am afraid to trust either method unattended for that long.
What's your advice?
BTW, I currently have the drain plug pulled and keep it on my lift but since that is located under the fishbox and inconvenient for the boat broker who has the boat listed for sale.
Also, the bow is high on the lift and the transom drains okay but I still have to pump out
lots of water when I return in November due to failed bilge pumps and/or debre plugged transom drains..
Anybody?
Dry Rot
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:39 PM
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Red face Johnson

There was a comparison done by Practical Sailer that said the Johnson was the best.
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:38 PM
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All Rule here, (2) 3700's (4) 2500's, (17,400 total gph) will be replacing all switches with Ultra's asap.

Are you comfortable with your pump's capacities?? 2200gph on a 30' vessel? Just asking.
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonesg View Post
Float switches burn out because they are improperly mounted in the bottom of the bilge, constant flicking on and off burns them out ,
they need to be raised up above the slosh zone, 2 inches is good.

Mount a (second) manually switched pump on the bottom of the bilge , if the auto pump goes on, turn the manual switched pump on too.
If you only run one pump you're asking for bigger trouble anyway.

My auto switched pump is going on 4 yrs old, still looks brand new because its never been used yet. But theres usually an inch of water in the bilge that woulda burned it out if it were down there.
You are dead on here! I have two pumps in the bilge, one on a float switch which is a couple of inches above the bilge and another on a manual switch. I have never lost a pump, just get one plugged up every once in a while. If you think about it, a bilge pump is pretty simple, an impeller and a motor. Not much to go wrong. It seems like all the problems are with the float switches. Any switch is only rated for x amount of cycles and if it's constantly going on and off as a little bit of water sloshes around the bilge, it's going to have a short life. I would never buy a pump with a built in switch.
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