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Old 05-04-2014, 09:58 PM   #1
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Another Failed Float Switch!

Holy mackerel,
My 4th sump pump float switch just failed again.
What is up?
I've replaced the float switch almost every year for 5 yrs now.

I regularly clean the sump. I also squirt some "CP" clean potties (enzyme) in the Sump per Peggy's recommendation to help keep it clean.
Could the CP be the culprit or are there switches just junk?

With so much riding on a float switch, you'd think these would be robust. I spent around $60 for the last Rule switch.

Any thoughts here?

Has anyone used the Water Witch switch in a shower sump? Would all the crud contaminate the contacts rendering it ineffective?

Your help appreciated,

Taras
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Old 05-04-2014, 10:24 PM   #2
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Guilty!
I have swapped out my shower sump to the WW switch with complete success probably a year ago. I'm not sure how Rule is able to continue to build switches- though I have no complaints on the pumps. One of my two bilge pumps has also been swapped to the WW and when the "high water"/ never used switch finally fails- it TOO be replaced be the WWS. I also built a self contained battery box/ bilge pump/ WWswitch that I had sprayed with truck bed liner a couple of years ago that I left in the dink (which stayed in the water) until recently, and IT also worked fine. Need I mention that I am a huge fan of Water Witch Switches???


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Old 05-04-2014, 10:47 PM   #3
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I have had about 3 Rule float type switches fail over 12 years. Not as bad as yearly, but still, when you think how important they are, especially as I don't have a dripless stuffing box... I am therefore also interested in how these Water Witch switches differ in principle to the float type. Care to explain anyone..?
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Old 05-04-2014, 10:51 PM   #4
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Just start replacing those crap Rule switches with these and you'll never replace another switch. Well, OK, I have seen one fail. But that was the only one I've ever seen fail in about 20 years of using them.

TEF-GEL - Ultra safety systems - Home page
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Old 05-04-2014, 11:04 PM   #5
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Peter B, instead of a float the switch has a round "sensor" that measures the minerals in the bilge water- best as my old mind can recall. One nice feature is that it takes a few seconds to come on - and also continues to run a few seconds after the water is below the sensor, possibly removing the last bit of water normally left. The installation sheet mentions that there is a possibility if you are only removing rain water, that it may not contain enough minerals to trigger the pump- though I never saw a problem. To test the switch, you place a damp cloth over the round sensor and the mounting bracket. They really do work great.


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Old 05-04-2014, 11:06 PM   #6
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Capt.Bill11, for $135 you can buy enough WW switches to replace every switch you have 😊❗️


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Old 05-04-2014, 11:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Forkliftt View Post
Capt.Bill11, for $135 you can buy enough WW switches to replace every switch you have 😊❗️


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You get what you pay for. And like I said, I've only seen one ever fail. So $135 is cheap insurance to me.
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Old 05-04-2014, 11:43 PM   #8
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Every Rule pump or switch that I've bought in the past 5 years has failed. I buy other brands now.
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Old 05-05-2014, 12:17 AM   #9
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Every Rule pump or switch that I've bought in the past 5 years has failed. I buy other brands now.
What brand is better?
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Old 05-05-2014, 12:25 AM   #10
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Had to replace 3 Rule switches in last 2 years. Before this string of failures they had lasted more than 12 years.
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Old 05-05-2014, 12:25 AM   #11
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What brand is better?
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Old 05-05-2014, 12:29 AM   #12
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What brand is better?
I'm running a Whale pump currently, but it's a small one in a tender.

I was going to try Johnson next. I've used Attwood in the past too without problems.
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Old 05-05-2014, 03:44 AM   #13
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Had failures with several brands of hinged float switches, changed to Johnson Ultima a while back, no problems.
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Old 05-05-2014, 05:59 AM   #14
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With a wooden boat and a 12 cylinder Detroit my bilge floats get a good workout and I have had my fair share of failures.
Oil and crud that jams up the float draining the batteries was the main culprit and having the power in the water was always a concern for electrolysis.
My fix although agricultural is simple and so far works. I have mounted the float switch on top of a piece of PVC with slits cut out with a small soda stream bottle inside. The bottle floats in the PVC activating the switch leaving the switch high and dry.
Cheers
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Old 05-05-2014, 07:41 AM   #15
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Just listen to Bill. The UltraPumpSwitch. The Mini is perfect for sumps. Yes, it costs up front, but total cost of ownership is the lowest and reliability the highest. I know guys with the "solid state" type that had issues with them short cycling do to scum build up. Sumps, I suppose you could go cheap, but on my boat the sumps also act as high water back-ups. Eventually replaced four bilge and three sump switches to Ultras over time from a motley collection Rules, SureBails, Johnson. Six years of living aboard full time and heavy cruising, no issues. Of all the different people I know or have corresponded with that have these switches, and techs who have installed them, Bill is the only one that reports a failure out of thousands deployed.
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Old 05-05-2014, 08:20 AM   #16
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If you want a switch that will last decades and has no wires in the bilgewater, look at the Jabsco and Groco diaphragm type switches.

Beware the elecrtonic type switches. Complete read the instructions first. They don't work on rainwater and screw up with oil, soap, or doghair on their sensors.
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Old 05-05-2014, 08:53 AM   #17
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So it is the "exceptions and not the Rules"?..
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:49 AM   #18
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Tara's, LUV'N LIFE has had the same Jabsco Diaphram pumps with filters in front for the showers going on 25 years. No problems and we have lived aboard for the last 10 years. I rebuilt them last year strictly as preventive maintenance, they were still going strong.
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:18 AM   #19
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We have ultras, never had the first problem.
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Old 05-05-2014, 11:00 AM   #20
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By the way Hamilton Marine often puts the Ultras on sale for $99. Their regular price on them is $110.

http://store.hamiltonmarine.com/brow...hes/2,854.html
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