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Back up bilge pump

Old 06-22-2019, 03:55 PM
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Default Back up bilge pump

I want to add a back up bilge pump, should I just use an automatic one or is it better to put a second float switch in with it? And how much higher should it be than the main pump?
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Old 06-23-2019, 01:46 PM
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I’d install it as low in the bilge as possible, with the float switch just a little higher than that of your primary pump.
also wire up an alarm that notifies you when the secondary pump comes on, so you’ll know when the primary pump has failed.
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Old 06-23-2019, 03:49 PM
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Different strokes for different folks.
Some say you should mount it just above the level where water sits in the bilge so it stays dry and hopefully last longer.

I would put a float at the low point of the pump and wire it so it operates in manual and auto mode. I used a rule model 43 switch on my last boat for manual/auto modes. But there might be something better out there maybe with a built in alarm.
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Old 06-23-2019, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by CaptnJuff View Post
there might be something better out there maybe with a built in alarm.

Might?

https://www.ultratef-gel.com/ultra-pump-switches/


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Old 06-23-2019, 04:24 PM
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My preference is a back up bilge pump to be at least 3" higher than the primary pump. Have a separate fail safe (Magnet?) switch, to have as large a size as possible, with smooth bore hose, and wire an alarm and strobe light into the pump circuit. When the back up switch triggers the alarm, and pump, it is a serious problem, and you want attention fast.

I also have several other pumps even in my 25 foot pilot house boat--since underway, and at rest the low point of the bilge is different.
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Old 06-23-2019, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by popeyeiii View Post
Thats a float switch, Im talking about the rule 43 panel switch for manual/auto operation. Nice try, but your attempt at sarcasm failed like those cheap plastic rule float switches.

Only the ultra senior has an alarm, and you still have to connect a piezo buzzer to the two alarm wires. That float switch is too big to mount high on a bilge. Youd want the mini for that. Hence the need for a panel switch with auto/manual modes and an alarm. Maybe water witch makes one?
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Old 06-23-2019, 05:06 PM
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Google "All about bilge pumps" by David Pascoe. Execellent article about best practices for rigging, brand, etc.
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Old 06-23-2019, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by CaptnJuff View Post
Only the ultra senior has an alarm, and you still have to connect a piezo buzzer to the two alarm wires. That float switch is too big to mount high on a bilge. You'd want the mini for that. Hence the need for a panel switch with auto/manual modes and an alarm.
Actually, you can add an alarm to any of the Ultra switches.. How do I know? The owner of Ultra personally told me when we spoke on the phone, I asked his advice on which model to use. Yes the Senior model does have a separate set of wires but you can wire the alarm in by using a relay in series with the bilge pump, however the hysteresis built in the Senior model is designed for long hoses from the pump to the hull fitting.

I have a 25 Mako and he told me I should be using the Mini model for my primary and backup switches with an alarm wired in line on the backup pump. That is exactly how I wired it up.
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