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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just bought a RM 2000 pump which contains the float* switch and pump in one unit. I like the fact that the switch is covered, as I always thought my old float switch was vulnerable. However, I now see several customer reviews that say the pump (and those of several other similar models) sticks on, after the bilge is dry. IMO, a bilge pump is a safety device. If in fact, this problem exists, it should not be tolerated. As I understand it, a centrifugal pump will destroy itself if allowed to run dry. In addition, at 8.4 Amps (in the case of the 2000) it will drain batteries in a hurry without the motor running or shore power. I've emailed several vendors, asking: what the problem is; has it been fixed; and if not, why are they still selling the pumps? I will post their response. Has anyone else had this problem with Rule pumps?

*When I ordered the pump, I was under the impression the "float switch" was electronic. According to the info on the box, it seems that the one I received consists of a mechanical float and electronic monitoring of resistance on the impeller.
 

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In my experience no matter which bulge pump you install on which battery you should install at least two bulge pumps on at least two separate batteries. Learned that the hard way.
 

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We have had your exact same problem with that same pump. It worked just fine until the warranty expired. Re-wired it to an external float switch, which has worked fine for the last few months. Will not buy another like it.
 

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for the most part the Rule is not the rule it used to be, cost is still a premium, but the pump quality is NOT. After having several fail as you did, I went to Johnson pumps with WaterWitch electronic switch and that has solved that. At least I am not replacing a pump every six months any longer.

The electronic switch takes a bit to install correctly, but so far no free run, no sticking on (or off) and with the Johnson pumps, I can keep a spare pump that fits multiple housings in a pinch..
 

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Discussion Starter #5
for the most part the Rule is not the rule it used to be, cost is still a premium, but the pump quality is NOT. After having several fail as you did, I went to Johnson pumps with Water Witch electronic switch and that has solved that. At least I am not replacing a pump every six months any longer.The electronic switch takes a bit to install correctly, but so far no free run, no sticking on (or off) and with the Johnson pumps, I can keep a spare pump that fits multiple housings in a pinch..
Not encouraging news regarding Rule!
I used the Water Witch switch on my maintenance bilge pump several years ago. My old diesel sits mid ships, directly over the bilge. Though it's not a big leaker, it apparently leaks enough oil/fuel into the bilge to coat the sensors on the Water witch, so the switch would stick on. I understand Water Witch has overcome this problem, but have not verified it. Ironically, this Water Witch situation, led to the wires getting ripped out of the Rule (long, weird story!), which had functioned perfectly for over 8 years. Now...you tell me I'm replacing it with junk! The fact that Rule would release a product with this apparent defect doesn't say much for their R&D!:mad:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
In my experience no matter which bulge pump you install on which battery you should install at least two bulge pumps on at least two separate batteries. Learned that the hard way.
A little off topic, but sounds like a story others (namely....ME!) can learn from. Did you post about it elsewhere? If not, please tell it here.
 

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Had the same problem but bought the 500 manual as auto on the 2000 wasn't crucial. Got the old one home and the float freed up so I keep it for a backup. I, too was surprised how much charge the 2000 used compared to the 500. I just use it to empty the bilge on my skiff and use a solar charger.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Had the same problem but bought the 500 manual as auto on the 2000 wasn't crucial. Got the old one home and the float freed up so I keep it for a backup. I, too was surprised how much charge the 2000 used compared to the 500. I just use it to empty the bilge on my skiff and use a solar charger.
"Auto on the 2000 wasn't crucial"? Please explain. The majority of pleasure craft that sink, go down in their slip. Here's one that went down in my marina last week. The owner had been on her the day before she sank! The bill to pump out her tanks and bring a crane in to float her...$60,000! The value of a 2000 GPH pump connected to shore power with an auto switch...Priceless!
 

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As I said I used the pump on my skiff which has styrofoam flotation! I have an automatic pump on my powerboat but only a manual pump on my [email protected] 24' sailboat. Hooking up my auto bilge pump on the sailboat would be a good spring project! Also, good insurance is a must!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
for the most part the Rule is not the rule it used to be, cost is still a premium, but the pump quality is NOT. After having several fail as you did, I went to Johnson pumps with Water Witch electronic switch and that has solved that. At least I am not replacing a pump every six months any longer. The electronic switch takes a bit to install correctly, but so far no free run, no sticking on (or off) and with the Johnson pumps, I can keep a spare pump that fits multiple housings in a pinch..
Sent the Rule back and took your advice. Ordered a Johnson 2200 GPM and Johnson's electronic switch. 200 more GPH, and about $70 less than the Rule. I think the switch slips into a mounting slot on the pump. Still haven't heard back from West Marine, or Jamestown's "customer service" regarding the Rule. Guess they don't want to deal with pesky questions like: Why are you still selling these pumps when you know they are junk! What was tricky about installing the Water Witch?
 

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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.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
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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Discussion Starter #14
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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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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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
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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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
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?
 

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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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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.
 
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