SailNet Community banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a Rule 800 fully automatic bilge pump. These are supposed to turn on every 2.5 minutes for a second, check the load against the impeller and, if there is a load, pump until there is not.

So I hooked up both the manual and automatic power lines and the common negative. Problem is, powering either line turns the pump on and leaves it on. No fully automatic.

Has anyone else run into this issue?
 

·
Splashed
Joined
·
572 Posts
No, but I've deliberately stayed away from those pumps, because i feared something like that might happen now and then (often).
I don't know how they're measuring "load", but it is just another complication to go wrong isn't it? I realize that switches fail also, but at least they can be separate from the pump, and then disabled.

Having said that, it clearly must be defective, as it seems that you've tested it correctly (no power on the manual, power on the automatic, but it still kept running).
Have fun with the installation of a new pump (whether or not you're going with a new Rule)
:)

I bought a Rule 800 fully automatic bilge pump. These are supposed to turn on every 2.5 minutes for a second, check the load against the impeller and, if there is a load, pump until there is not.

So I hooked up both the manual and automatic power lines and the common negative. Problem is, powering either line turns the pump on and leaves it on. No fully automatic.

Has anyone else run into this issue?
 

·
Hinterhoeller HR28
Joined
·
163 Posts
I have used two of these fully-auto pumps for over 10 years ago, and they both work well, but I have experienced a quirk now and then. I have one for the main cabin bilge, and one for the lazarette, with two different wiring setups. The reason I have the "fully-auto" pumps is so that if I accidentally leave the "auto" wire energized and go home, I don't have a dead battery and/or burned-out pump next weekend, since it only comes on for a second or two every couple of minutes. These pumps are also good if you have a relatively flat, shallow bilge, where a float switch won't trigger until you have a ton of water in the bilge, or sloshing might turn the pump on and off frequently.

I don't have anything connected to the "always-on" wire of the lazarette pump; just a toggle for the "auto" wire. That's because water in our lazarette is rare -- we only get it when surfing hard, but since the outboard is mounted in there, I want to be able to keep the motor above water in the event we go out and play hard, scooping water into the lazarette at the transom. We store so much junk in the lazarette that fouling a float switch would be a real problem, so the fully-auto pump works out very well.

The cabin-bilge unit is wired with a more complex setup. the "auto" wire is energized via a toggle in the panel, so it operates just like the lazarette pump. The panel is de-energized when the master switch is off (assuming I remember to turn it off when leaving the boat), so I wanted a "fail-safe" float arrangement per ABYC standards as well. So I have a separately-fused, full-time-hot, wire to a float switch that activates the "always-on" wire of the pump. I also went one step further, and mounted the float a little high in the bilge, and added a "high-water" alarm to it. So in the event of unusually high water in the bilge, the pump will run whether the master switch is on or not, and it will trigger the high water alarm if it does. The boat is pretty dry, so the only time the high water circuit has triggered has been when hosing down the bilge to clean it out.

As for the quirks I mentioned... First, if you get any debris in the impeller, it will add load to the pump, and the load-sensing circuit will think that it's still pumping water, so the pump will run continuously. Also, last year, I had one of the pumps run continuously, as in your case. I didn't find anything fouled at the impeller, but after cleaning everything, it's working fine again this year.

Since I have been selling these in our store, I have only had one return from a customer (who had the same issue as you do), and the warranty was honored, no questions asked. I would verify that your wiring is indeed correct, and if the pump is definitely running all the time, have it replaced under warranty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't know how they're measuring "load", but it is just another complication to go wrong isn't it? I realize that switches fail also, but at least they can be separate from the pump, and then disabled.
I would think all it needs to do is measure current draw, which should be near foolproof. No moving parts. Even the FET switches can be fooled by stuff in the bilge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Since I have been selling these in our store, I have only had one return from a customer (who had the same issue as you do), and the warranty was honored, no questions asked. I would verify that your wiring is indeed correct, and if the pump is definitely running all the time, have it replaced under warranty.
This is what I figured. But as the other poster said, its really hard to screw up the wiring. Even if I got it backwards, all that would mean is that switching it to manual would make it be automatic and vice versa.

This pump was brand new out of its package when I installed it. Pretty disappointing really.

The bottom of my bilge is small. Its not really wide enough for the FET sensor (which needs an inch clearance on one side) because if anything gets down there its going to land against the sensor.

Thanks everyone, I'll call Rule Monday.

Pvanv, do I return it to Rule or to the vendor? I was unable to find one of these locally so I bought it online. My boat is now int he water and no working automatic pump :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,942 Posts
no input here just a question? how do this work with back flow out of the hose. what i mean is a rule pump will not pump a bilge all the way, due to cavitation, then when it shuts off water back flows. when it comes on again will it just keep trying to clear what will back flow every time
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
no input here just a question? how do this work with back flow out of the hose. what i mean is a rule pump will not pump a bilge all the way, due to cavitation, then when it shuts off water back flows. when it comes on again will it just keep trying to clear what will back flow every time
I am hoping this won't be a problem but I don't know yet. It did occur to me. It's a 3/4 ID hose, which is why I bought the 800 (didn't want to change the thru hull) and a 15 foot run. If its a problem I'll put a high spot in the run. No check valve.

Also, I should mention that I don't expect this pump to save my boat if a thru hull gives way or if an errant torpedo from the testing area hits it. Last year when everything was leaking like a sieve I was down there every rain storm turning on the manual pump (the FET sensor had failed). Now that I plugged all the big leaks (that I know of so far) I am hoping to be able to not rush down to the boat every rain storm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
994 Posts
pump

I have one of these pumps and mine will not shut off. I tested it in my garage and it basically would not shut off no mater how I had it wired. I guess I am going to put a switch on it so I can turn it off since it has used up a couple of batteries already.

Troy
 

·
Splashed
Joined
·
572 Posts
That was that i thought too, but it does not change that a SEPARATE switch can be disabled, whereas the simple Op-amp or whatever they use are integral to the pump = the pump is toast. Also (as someone else has said here) what is the threshold (and hysteresis) of the circuit, what does it take to make it decide that there is "load"? Growth within the pump or grease in the bilge, or way more? So I would still prefer a separate switch. Johnson (which I think You've looked at) produces a separate switch, that we've had great success with in several boats (not just mine).. I've also made switches some myself with two pieces of metal and an op-amp covered in epoxy, but the stuff in the bilge sometimes fool these (although I used a similar circuit to measure - or rather estimate - the silver content within large pools of water)

/Joms

I would think all it needs to do is measure current draw, which should be near foolproof. No moving parts. Even the FET switches can be fooled by stuff in the bilge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
994 Posts
Jarcher - if you call Rule and can send yours back, let me know what they say. I have the exact same problem you do.

I guess I will try another one? Perhaps something is wrong with the way these are made?

Troy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Jarcher - if you call Rule and can send yours back, let me know what they say. I have the exact same problem you do.

I guess I will try another one? Perhaps something is wrong with the way these are made?

Troy
Troy I am calling them Monday (tomorrow). If this is going to be an ongoing issue I'll try some other solution, probably the FET switch from Johnson. The boat came with one that did not work. It needs some space but I can probably find it.

You would think that someone could come up with a reliable way to turn a bilge pump on and off. Maybe I'll install an ultrasonic water level sensor or something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well I had no luck contacting anyone at Rule. They don;t list a phone number on their web site and I was unable to locate a US web site or a US distributer.

I called the vendor, Intercept Marine, and all extensions are answered by voice mail. Hopefully they will call back.

Looks like I bought my first and last Rule pump.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
I have an auto 500 and it works great. The brown wire with white stripe is the "always on" manual connection - the plain brown wire is the auto connection. It keeps the bilge dry. I have 2 big pumps mounted above this one in case of big water ingress, ala Don Casey.

I have a 15 ft run to the thru-hull, so I installed a bronze check valve about a foot from the pump. It works fine, although everyone says never put a check valve in a bilge pump line, I think it is fine with this little pump, since I have the 2 back-ups if there is a problem.

It is unfortunate that you have a problem - I have many Rule pumps and they are all fine. I hope their quality isn't slipping.

Best Regards,

e

.::.
 

·
Senior Mumble
Joined
·
320 Posts
A question: doesn't the periodic cycling on and off use more power than will a mechanically switched pump?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
The 2.5 minute cycling of the 500 Rule uses 0.2 Ah / day if it doesn't have to pump anything. Not enough to worry about.

Every float switch I have ever had has failed somehow - either gets stuck, stops working, or gets covered in gunk and won't float anymore. The auto pump doesn't have those problems :).

Best Regards,

e


.::.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Every float switch I have ever had has failed somehow - either gets stuck, stops working, or gets covered in gunk and won't float anymore. The auto pump doesn't have those problems :).
Yup, all it needs to do is turn itself off...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
695 Posts
You have one to many wires hooked up. With this pump if you only want it to work in the auto mode, that is every 2.5 minutes just hook up power to the auto connection. The manual connection is for a separate switch in case you do want the pump to run continuously.
That of course is what is happening as you have power to both connections. I have one and my experience with Rule pumps has been very good.

Gary
 

·
Tartan 27' owner
Joined
·
5,241 Posts
We installed a new Rule bilge pump (and I think it was an 800 g/p/h model) on our Tartan 27' this spring but it was a manual switch model. We have a fairly deep and narrow bilge under the companionway and the thin pump (2 1/8" round model) fit down there nicely.
Unless you have some kind of log on how often your automatic bilge pump turns on or how low your batteries have become because of a 'cycling' problem you may run out of power to start the engine.
We try to visit the boat weekly or better but we are able to monitor how much water gets in our bilge which probably holds about 30 or 40 gallons before coming above the cabin sole in calm water.
I like the manually operated electric Rule pump I installed and it is way quieter then the diaphragm Jabsco pump we used to have.
$50 = new Rule pump @ 800 GPH
$250 = new Jabsco diaphragm pump (@250 GPH and $80 for repair kit which I have had bad luck with).
You decide.
Manual or Automatic?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You have one to many wires hooked up. With this pump if you only want it to work in the auto mode, that is every 2.5 minutes just hook up power to the auto connection. The manual connection is for a separate switch in case you do want the pump to run continuously.
That of course is what is happening as you have power to both connections. I have one and my experience with Rule pumps has been very good.

Gary
No I didn;t screw that up. There is a pump control toggle switch. When it is off, neither side is powered. When it is set to automatic, only the automatic wire is powered. There is a spring loaded manual side that only powers the manual side.

Never do both leads have power applied at the same time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
599 Posts
No I didn;t screw that up. There is a pump control toggle switch. When it is off, neither side is powered. When it is set to automatic, only the automatic wire is powered. There is a spring loaded manual side that only powers the manual side.

Never do both leads have power applied at the same time.
And have you tested the switch to make sure that it is working properly?
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top