Electronic Auto Bilge Switches, yay or nay? - SailNet Community
 3Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 38 Old 01-27-2012 Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
L124C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,411
Thanks: 51
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
Electronic Auto Bilge Switches, yay or nay?

What's been your experience with electronic bilge switches? I had bad luck with Witch Switch, and have a Johnson Ultima that works well so far. However I just read about some Ultima failures with the same symptom I experienced with the Witch Switch - sticking on. I recently needed one of the features of the Witch Switch and thought I would give it another try. My supplier told me he stopped carrying Witch Switch because they had issues, and they wouldn't warranty the product for more than a year. This guy would sell his mother for the right price, so they must have had a lot of "issues"! I'm aware of at least one SN member who has a Witch Switch and likes it. I like the concept (as opposed to float switches), however, I'm getting the idea the technology might not be ready for the marine environment. Thoughts?

Last edited by L124C; 01-27-2012 at 04:29 PM.
L124C is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 38 Old 01-27-2012
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 34
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
As a marine mechanic for many years I like the (kiss) theory. As one of the most important items on any boat a bilge pump sgould be maintained as every other safety item if not more . Most people dont check there bilge at all let alone keep it clean . I would say 75% of all boats that have sunk have so because debris was lodged in the pump impeller. We have always used the 3rd wire type float pumps so that you can override the float with a manual switch when needed . Cheers and strong winds
JRA1968 is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 38 Old 01-27-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,077
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 11
 
yup bilge debris will eventually bite you on the a** and at the most unopportune time,i've yet to see a float switch that works everytime-all the time,almost every boat i've seen that the autobilge pump kicks on frequently sooner or later sinks,i don't like nor will i have anymore thru hulls than absolutely necessary and inspect those often,i keep my batteries off completely and no external power supply when i'm away,nothing is fool proof,everytime i approach my boat i'm relieved that its still floating
sawingknots is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 38 Old 01-27-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Nanaimo B.C.
Posts: 2,521
Thanks: 3
Thanked 56 Times in 56 Posts
Rep Power: 4
 
Since float switches are relatively inexpensive I mount two on a pump.at different levels. If the first one don't get you, the second one will.Actually there are three in a row as the top one is alarm. Debris in the pump is another issue but SS wire mesh boxes help with that.
Capt Len is online now  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #5 of 38 Old 01-28-2012 Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
L124C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,411
Thanks: 51
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
Thanks folks! But now....about those electronic bilge switches!
L124C is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #6 of 38 Old 01-28-2012
Senior Member
 
jimrafford's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: ct
Posts: 636
Thanks: 1
Thanked 16 Times in 16 Posts
Rep Power: 5
 
I installed one on my power boat a couple years ago. I constantly found the pump stuck on when I checked on the boat. I switched it back to a float after a few months of that.
Jim

S/V Deja Vu
CS 40
jimrafford is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #7 of 38 Old 01-28-2012
Reward for lost Kraken!
 
hellosailor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 11,494
Thanks: 5
Thanked 133 Times in 130 Posts
Rep Power: 11
   
If you mean the electronic switches that are "no moving parts" and rely on water touching two contacts/rods to turn on the switch?

PS tested a batch of them years ago, and found that eventually oil in the bilge would cause them to fail. They don't jam, but contamination apparently causes them to either false or fail making them no better or worse in the long run.

If you need one bilge pump with one float switch, you need two bilge pumps with two float switches, because everything in the bilge eventually fails. Usually at an inconvenient time.
mbianka likes this.
hellosailor is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #8 of 38 Old 01-28-2012
Closet Powerboater
 
MedSailor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Anacortes PNW
Posts: 3,556
Thanks: 256
Thanked 111 Times in 100 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
Yay. DEFINATELY Yay.

Trust me, I'm a recovering wooden boat owner. (hands shaking as he types)

This is the one you want.

Whale Pumps Electric Field Sensor Switch WHA-BE9001 - Bilge Pumps And Accessories - JMSOnline.net Marine Supply and Boating Store

Also, do yourself a favor. ONLY buy Rule bilge pumps. They, well, "Rule." I went through several pumps in the 6 years I lived on my wooden boat. The two Rule pumps that came with the boat continued to function without a hitch despite the abuse I heaped on them. One of them was running dry for a week while I was out of town as an example.... This switch is the only one that lasted in my bilge as well.

MedSailor

I have a sauna on my boat, therefore I win.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
MedSailor is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #9 of 38 Old 01-29-2012
tdw
Super Fuzzy Moderator
 
tdw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 16,497
Thanks: 15
Thanked 104 Times in 97 Posts
Rep Power: 10
     
We have one on the Womboat , I'm ashamed to admit I forget the brand. I throw a bit of water into the bilge every now and then just to make sure and on one occasion it failed to kick in. Pulled it out and wiped the scum off it. Thats now a routine measure. Its never stuck on. Secondary pump is float. Both have manual overide.

Andrew B

“Life is a trick, and you get one chance to learn it.”
― Terry Pratchett, Nation

Malo 39 Classic
tdw is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #10 of 38 Old 01-29-2012
Wandering Aimlessly
 
PBzeer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Cruising
Posts: 21,093
Thanks: 0
Thanked 94 Times in 91 Posts
Rep Power: 15
     
Like Fuzzy, I have two pumps. A small Rule Auto at the lowest point of the bilge, and a larger, float type, about half way up. It has worked well for me. As was also said, any piece of mechanical equipment is only as good as how well you maintain it.

John
Ontario 32 - Aria

Free, is the heart, that lives not, in fear.
Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
JCP


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

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
PBzeer is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bilge Pump Switches Off danaka Gear & Maintenance 12 04-19-2010 10:01 AM
Manual to Auto bilge pump RocktheBoat Gear & Maintenance 0 06-23-2009 07:44 AM
Bilge Pump Switches Sailormann Gear & Maintenance 10 08-27-2007 12:26 PM
Rule Bilge switches DWrate Gear & Maintenance 6 08-15-2007 12:42 AM
A/C Light switches oz_hole Gear & Maintenance 4 06-15-2005 06:50 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome