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DWrate 08-14-2007 03:48 PM

Rule Bilge switches
Hi all, I recently replaced a years-old Rule-A-Matic bilge switch with exactly the same product. It failed within 2 months. Has anyone experienced a life cycle this short?

Is there a better solution?


Cruisingdad 08-14-2007 04:49 PM

Oops, edit what I just wrote. You said the switch. Sorry, I am running here. Let's see, are you talking about the float switch? They have gotten clogged on me before and had to be cleaned out around the arm.

- CD

sailortjk1 08-14-2007 04:51 PM

I'm sure ours is the original from '01.
Never had a problem, than again, our float switch rarely kicks in.
We have very little water in our bilges.
I do check it perodically just to make sure its still working.

DWrate 08-14-2007 08:00 PM

The switch moves freely through the range of intended motion, nothing is stuck. I didn't have my multi-meter when I discovered the problem so I didn't check the switch continuity.

I bypassed the switch, the pump works great. When I first discovered this, it seemed like the pump was not receiving sufficient current because it was making only a slight 'whirring' sound and not the usual sound.

No matter what, I will replace the switch but I don't know if I had a defective switch or I have a different problem....:confused:

TrueBlue 08-14-2007 08:49 PM

In my experience troubleshooting bilge switches, nine times out of ten, a float switch failure is caused by improper wire connections.

In wet bilge areas, I've learned to only use marine grade wire crimp connectors with marine grade heat shrink tubing - which has an adhesive activated by the heat gun used to shink the tubing.

sailingdog 08-14-2007 11:49 PM

Keeping the electrical connections out of the bilge as much as possible is a good idea in general. If you do have to make electrical connections inside the bilge, either seal them with the adhesive-lined heat-shrink tubing as TB has suggested, or use the liquid tape electrical sealant to seal them.

sailaway21 08-15-2007 12:42 AM

Wiring deficiencies will result in heat in the wiring and the switch, as it trys to draw it's required amperage through compromised wiring, and the heat will fry the new switch. I'd look to the wiring first.

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