Rule Mate 2000 Bilge Pump sticking on? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 28 Old 10-18-2011
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I installed a Water Witch a few weeks ago - the same as any other switch as far as installation is concerned.

Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
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post #12 of 28 Old 10-19-2011
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Originally Posted by L124C View Post
What was tricky about installing the Water Witch?
In my case I made up a small piece of starboard to mount the water witch to, as I did not want to run another screw in to the bilge itself. I then used some 3M to mount that to the side of the bilge where both the switch and the pump were where they needed to be.

The wiring is the same as any other switch, and they give you enough wire to get the connections way high, dry and out of the way.

I have a two tier (actually three) setup in the bilge, and two sump pumps (smaller johnsons) for the showers. Been over a year and not a single pump failure, or switch hang. I test them monthly to make sure.
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post #13 of 28 Old 10-19-2011 Thread Starter
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Finally recieved a lame response from West Marine "Tech Support", basically suggesting I buy a West Marine pump instead.
My response to West Marine pretty much says it all!:
Your response was slow in coming, was non responsive and nothing short of disrespectful! You told me what I already knew, which was the very reason I sent West Marine the email. The Rule pump has "some issues". You could have talked to me like an adult and answered my questions, i.e., "The problem was a defective chip which has been replaced". However, the fact you were so vague, and suggested another product despite your claim that the "engineers" have assured you the problem has been addressed, tells me they either didn't tell you that, or you don't believe them. In either case, (as I asked previously) why is the product still on the West Marine shelves? At the very least, why don't your sales people know about the "issues". I wanted to get a automatic switch and bilge pump back in my boat ASAP. I don't have time to "consider options" about defective equipment sold by incompetent suppliers and sales people. By the time I received your response, I had returned the Rule pump, purchased (from another vendor) and installed a Johnson pump and switch which pumps 200 GPH more than the rule, and sells for $70 less.
How can you be of "further assistance"? By answering questions in a honest, straightforward and timely manner. You might also stop selling products when they are being returned on a regular basis, especially when the products are safety equipment!
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Last edited by L124C; 10-19-2011 at 12:35 PM.
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post #14 of 28 Old 12-26-2011 Thread Starter
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Ironically....Rules don't rule! IMHO

An update. Both the Johnson pump and switch are great! More GPH, simpler (love how the switch slips onto the pump!) and less expensive! I'm done with Rule!
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post #15 of 28 Old 12-26-2011
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GREETINGS EARTHLINGS ; To protect your float switches from detrightess one of the sailing clubs mount them on a bit of wood that lives in a pipe with holes in the bottom, it allows fluids in but keeps out solids and a lot of oils or emusified gunck and can be retreeved or repossitioned with relative ease hope this helps GO SAFE
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post #16 of 28 Old 12-26-2011
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We install Rules on the 300+ Harbor 20 daysailers. We selected these after some extensive review of all the small pumps. We do not install Rules on the larger boats.

About 97-98% of the H20 owners love the pumps (if one can ascribe love to something as prosaic to a pump). They find them reliable and never have to worry about them.

However ,about 1-2% of the Harbor 20 owners dislike them with a ernest & vocal passion. (insert salty language)

As a result, we have learned more than we'd ever want to know about the minutia of small bilge pumps. We had one of the Engineering guys at the company write a full blown report on the pump and its competitors. Rule, despite its limitations remains the best solution at this time. Rule has been helpful and quick to respond to our requests, but a 1-2% unsatisfied rate is outrageous and unacceptable. So we have been struggling with the subject for some while.

They operate differently than typical mechanical float switch pumps in that their electronic 'float' switch turns on when the impeller encounters mechanical resistance. (ie a water load) The Rule pump switches on every few minutes to turn the impeller -

A) no impeller resistance = no water = pump turns off
B) impeller resistance = water = pump runs until impeller resistance ends

There is a nice mesh screen at the base of the pump designed to keep out leaves and debris from providing false positives. However, sand or other fine grit can accumulate at the impeller and load it up = false load = pumps runs 4ever = burned out rotor = boat filling with rain water = angry boat owner = salty language

The Rule pump sits very low, so it can suck out nearly every last drop of water in a sump/bilge. The Rule manual states 'No Check Valves !' - so depending on the design of your system, you may be cycling water back to the Rule pump in an endless loop. ( see equation in prior paragraph)

In 2012, we are going to try and collect data on the 2% of owners who experience consistent failure. There is likely a recognizable root cause which a bit of corrective action might solve.

Last edited by WDS123; 12-26-2011 at 10:49 AM.
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post #17 of 28 Old 01-26-2012 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by WDS123 View Post
We install Rules on the 300+ Harbor 20 daysailers. We selected these after some extensive review of all the small pumps. We do not install Rules on the larger boats.
What do you install on the larger boats, and why?
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post #18 of 28 Old 01-26-2012 Thread Starter
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As I indicated in a prior post, I went with the Johnson pump and Johnson "Ultima" electronic switch. So far, so good. Though...I just read a SN thread in which the OP states he is having the exact same problem with the Ultima as I had with the Witch Switch (it wouldn't shut off).
In addition, I was going to give the Witch Switch 217 a try (I had the single sensor unit before), as it fit my purposes better than the Ultima for another pump I have. My supplier says they no longer carry it, because Witch Switch won't warranty it for longer than a year! Seems like electronic bilge switches might not be up to the job. Hope thats not the case because I like the concept. How are the other Witch Switches mentioned in this thread doing?

Last edited by L124C; 01-26-2012 at 02:52 AM.
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post #19 of 28 Old 08-28-2012
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Re: Rule Mate 2000 Bilge Pump sticking on?

YES, I have the exact same problem. The Rule Mate 2000 bilge pump is sticking on. I must lift it up and out and hold it 90 deg to normal to make it stop. The instructions say no one way check valve. ...but I tried a small rubber flapper type check valve very near the pump to see if trapped water in the 1 1/8 inch line was causing this. Negative results. It still sticks on. The manufacture should be alerted to this bad design and recall them. Seems no body cares. I will try to contact Rule...somebody has to stop this.
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post #20 of 28 Old 08-28-2012
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Re: Rule Mate 2000 Bilge Pump sticking on?

My Rule float switch recently failed - it lasted for nearly eight years. I replaced it with it Jabsco float switch. Let's see how long this one lasts.

[/B]S/V Wind Orchid
Catalina 350 (hull# 273)
Annapolis, MD

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