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Testing a Float Switch

Old 04-19-2007, 10:06 PM
  #1  
jxg
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Default Testing a Float Switch

is there way to test if a bilge pump float switch is bad (i.e. put an ohm meter on it or something). the boat a bought last year has never had a working auto bilge. the guy I bought it from said he had just put a new one in, so i suspect that he may have wired it wrong. it looks ok, but I want to see if the switch is ok, without buying a new one.

thanks,

John
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:45 PM
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Default Re: Testing a Float Switch

Mine has a little knob on the side. I turn it and it raises the float until I hear the pump kick on. Mines a Rule 1000 GPH I think, yours might be different.
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:53 PM
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Default RE: Testing a Float Switch

Yes,

You can check it with a OHM meter but at least 1 lead should be disconnected from the circuit.

Most have internal mercury switches and you should measure very close to 0 ohms.

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Old 04-19-2007, 11:27 PM
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Default Re: Testing a Float Switch

Mine has two wires going in together at the little round nipple. You can turn that nipple up and see if the pump comes on. Or you can penetrate both wires with a meter and turn it up and down and see if the switch opens and closes. I have never had a bad float switch it is always a corroded connection from the switch to the pump.
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Old 04-19-2007, 11:57 PM
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jxg
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Default Re: Testing a Float Switch

mine has the knob to test. BW23 gave me the answer I was looking for. i am reading 0 ohms, so i guess it is bad (i have had these switches fail in the past on my old whaler), not just corrode).
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Old 04-20-2007, 12:20 AM
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Default RE: Testing a Float Switch

If you are ohm testing the float switch out of the circuit. Attach one probe to each lead of the switch. With the knob in the test position 0 ohms would indicate continuity, a good switch in other words. Resistance should be infinite in the off position. With the switch in the circuit you should have B+ on one lead all the time. The other lead going to the pump should go B+ in the test position, probably a brown wire going to the pump. The black wire on the pump should be ground. Look at the rule's web site for a wiring diagram. I would avoid piercing any wiring for testing. That would only allow water into the core of the wire.
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Old 04-20-2007, 10:01 AM
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jxg
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Default RE: Testing a Float Switch

Los Mentirosos - 4/19/2007 11:20 PM

....

I would avoid piercing any wiring for testing. That would only allow water into the core of the wire.
that's exactly my problem. both the pump and the switch have prewired sockets, so without scoring the wire, all i can do is unplug the switch, although i suppose i can just put some jumper leads on it. Simplest solution will probably be just stop and buy a new one, i think you can return them??
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