Proper Float switch positioning for bilge pumps - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
 Not a Member? 
  #1  
Old 09-16-2010
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 239
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
LittleWingCA is on a distinguished road
Proper Float switch positioning for bilge pumps

Hi Everyone:

After washing down the sailboat this past weekend, after a great day of sailing, I noticed the bilge pump was running but no water was exiting the boat. Further inspection showed that the float switch was being activated by about 1 inch of water in the bilge, but that wasn't enough to cover the input grating of the bilge pump so the pump couldn't get rid of the water. I guess the previous owner mounted the float switch too low. Is there a recommended height above the pump that the float switch should be set up to? I guess you want to ensure the pump is immersed first, but is there any standard? Are float switches the best way to go, or are the 2 prong water sensors better?
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

LittleWingCA
1980 Pacific Seacraft Orion 27
Sailing Grounds: Southern California
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 09-16-2010
Classic30's Avatar
Once known as Hartley18
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,565
Thanks: 33
Thanked 48 Times in 48 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Classic30 will become famous soon enough Classic30 will become famous soon enough
A good question...

There isn't really any "standard" since every boat is different, but it is pretty important to follow the instructions that came with the bilkge pump and float switch. In most cases, having the switch 1" higher than the pump inlet is enough. Perhaps you can refit your switch on a block of wood to make it start later?

As to which type, I prefer the float-type because they're cheaper, more readily available and easier to replace. They also have built-in hysteresis (on and off isn't in the same place, meaning your pump isn't as likely to be stopped and started continually) which the 2-prong types don't usually have..

Hope this helps.
__________________
-
"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 09-16-2010
tdw's Avatar
tdw tdw is offline
Super Fuzzy Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 14,560
Thanks: 5
Thanked 72 Times in 67 Posts
Rep Power: 10
tdw is a jewel in the rough tdw is a jewel in the rough tdw is a jewel in the rough
Oh for a bilge pump that can actually get to that last inch of water.....
__________________
Andrew B

"Do you think God gets stoned? I think so... Look at the platypus." Robin Williams.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 09-16-2010
Classic30's Avatar
Once known as Hartley18
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,565
Thanks: 33
Thanked 48 Times in 48 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Classic30 will become famous soon enough Classic30 will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
Oh for a bilge pump that can actually get to that last inch of water.....
Oh, they do exist.. it's called a "wet vac" and you can buy one at Whitworths for less than a float switch.

Every boat should have one!!
__________________
-
"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 09-16-2010
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 239
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
LittleWingCA is on a distinguished road
I agree. I have a wetvac as well, and will use it to remove the 1" of water, but now I need to reposition the float switch as well. Question is, can you adjust the turn on and off settings to try and get most of the water out between the switch and the top of the pump opening.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

LittleWingCA
1980 Pacific Seacraft Orion 27
Sailing Grounds: Southern California
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 09-16-2010
Classic30's Avatar
Once known as Hartley18
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,565
Thanks: 33
Thanked 48 Times in 48 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Classic30 will become famous soon enough Classic30 will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWingCA View Post
I agree. I have a wetvac as well, and will use it to remove the 1" of water, but now I need to reposition the float switch as well. Question is, can you adjust the turn on and off settings to try and get most of the water out between the switch and the top of the pump opening.
Not usually. You need to position the switch at the correct height instead.
__________________
-
"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
bilge pump/float switch 3rd wire QuickMick Gear & Maintenance 3 08-27-2010 04:09 AM
Shallow Bilge, Bilge Pump Switch labestia Gear & Maintenance 1 07-10-2009 02:40 PM
Pump Float and Three-Way Switch Install max-on Gear & Maintenance 38 05-27-2008 03:45 PM
Float Switch addition maboyer S2 6 12-06-2007 02:28 PM
Quick question - bilge pump float switch pmoyer Gear & Maintenance 3 04-17-2007 04:43 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:23 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.