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Old 11-11-2011, 06:17 AM   #21
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RE: Bilge float switch

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psneeld wrote:
I'll be interseted to hear about Water Witch switches these days.* Back around 2001-2003 when I worked for a marine electronics firm...I think we had to replace every water witch switch that we ever sold/installed.
*I*installed one in my previous boat, circa early 90s. It was flawless for the 10 years I had the boat.
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:19 AM   #22
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RE: Bilge float switch

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rwidman wrote:
It would seem so easy to detect a rising water level and make a set of electrical contacts, yet this seems like one of the most common complaints about boat maintenance - failed float switches.

Where are the engineers? Where are the inventors?
True. I have a clean bilge and my primary pump may get triggered every couple of months due to a packing that needs to be tightened. Another thought. Maybe my supply voltage source is low. I know initally I would heat shrink the wire connections and make sure everything was good at the pump. When I install the new switch I will check voltage to the switch and then again with it triggered. I/E=R. Wonder how to test a switch with no moving parts??
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:34 AM   #23
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RE: Bilge float switch

Wonder how to test a switch with no moving parts??


Water in a pail.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:28 AM   #24
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RE: Bilge float switch

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FF wrote:
Wonder how to test a switch with no moving parts??


Water in a pail.
That's gonna be a pain with it screwed down in the bilge. I hope there is a better way. It will arrive any day.
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Old 11-13-2011, 01:03 PM   #25
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RE: Bilge float switch

Dump the pail of water on the switch.
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Old 11-13-2011, 01:25 PM   #26
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RE: Bilge float switch

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Dump the pail of water on the switch.
*No disrespect to Forklift but that is damn funny! I never thought of that either! LMAO
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Old 11-13-2011, 01:28 PM   #27
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RE: Bilge float switch

(5 minutes later) I'm still laughing!** LMAO
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Old 11-13-2011, 03:23 PM   #28
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RE: Bilge float switch

I don't know about the Water Witch but other non moving switches I've played with said to touch both sensors at the same time to test.
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Old 11-13-2011, 03:33 PM   #29
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RE: Bilge float switch

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I don't know about the Water Witch but other non moving switches I've played with said to touch both sensors at the same time to test.
Parks, I was sort of hoping for an answer like that! (:biggrin
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:02 PM   #30
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RE: Bilge float switch

I recieved the new 101 switch today. Rated for 15 amps, 5 year warranty. I hope this is an indication of expected service life. This unit has three wires as opposed to two. You install a battery negative to one wire. The wiring is 2' long. The unit is also stamped with a build date and a country of manufacture. USA/ Mexico X . Sorry, FF, no bucket test. Hold a damp rag across mounting tab and sensor for 10 seconds. Should have it installed this weekend.
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:03 PM   #31
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RE: Bilge float switch

Steve, It looks different from what I remember a Water Witch looking like. I'll be interested to hear how it works out. Two complaints I've heard about other non moving bilge switches are that they can be slow to turn on and then slow to turn off. In the first case I think there is a built in delay so that splashing doesn't turn the pump on and in the second case I think it takes a few extra seconds to dry out after the water drops below the sensor.
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:37 AM   #32
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Bilge float switch

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HopCar wrote:Two complaints I've heard about other non moving bilge switches are that they can be slow to turn on and then slow to turn off. In the first case I think there is a built in delay so that splashing doesn't turn the pump on and in the second case I think it takes a few extra seconds to dry out after the water drops below the sensor.
*I used one in a shower pan that had a bilge pump plumbed*directly*over the side exit.* The one I used was from West Marine and it did test by just covering the*sensors (one above the other)*on the front of the case*with your fingers.* It did take a higher amount of water in the pan to start it but depending on how high off of the bottom it was mounted it would get all of the water that the bilge pump was capable of sucking up.**But once the water was below the bottom sensor it shut down instantly.

The only problem I had was that soap scum would collect on the sensors.* But some Clorox wipe down would solve that quite easily.

Keep us posted.


-- Edited by JD on Thursday 17th of November 2011 10:41:30 AM
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:16 PM   #33
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RE: Bilge float switch

I got the new switch installed Sunday. It was very straight forward but I did have to fabricate an L shaped bracket to mount on. That area of my bilge has a "coving" of sorts that would require me to mount the switch higher than it needed to be. I used a wet rag to test and it came on afetr 10 *seconds and then shut off about the same after removing the wet rag.*
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:49 PM   #34
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Couple of months back I replaced a Johnson "flipper" type which kept getting stuck but was otherwise still working, with a "Shurflo" (? "NoFlow"), of similar design but seemed much more easily actuated. Came with its own cage which works well, it has not escaped, but it too is getting stuck and not actuating. It freed up ok today, no obvious obstruction, now works but I`m thinking to replace it with a Water Witch or Johnson Ultima,(they cost $80 here), to avoid having exposed moving parts.
Experiences and thoughts most welcome.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:43 AM   #35
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Dont know if its still being made but the most reliable style switch I have seen was an air diaphram that was mounted high and dry.

Only a tube went into the bilge water , so as the water rose the switch would operate.

If a Rule cheapo is used a second higher switch that only operates after the first has failed should also be connected to an alarm.

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Old 11-18-2012, 08:59 AM   #36
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The rule switches do not last and their pumps are no better ,,,,for my money
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:22 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forkliftt View Post
......... Wonder how to test a switch with no moving parts??
It's an old thread, but the answer is still relevant:

Although you can test a float switch by raising it and you may be able to test a switch with no moving parts by touching the contacts with a wet finger or rag, testing the switch is of little use by itself. You need to test the pump and hose as well. Specifically, you need to test the entire system's ability to remove water from the bilge.

Personally, I was once cleaning my bilge and had filled it with water. The switch came on, the pump came on, but after a few minutes I noticed that the water level was not getting any lower. Investigation showed that the impeller had come off the pump motor. The motor was running but the impeller was not turning.

Other potential problems would be a defective bilge pump, a pump jammed with debris, a blocked strainer, or a blocked hose.

My point? Put water into the bilge with a hose and make sure that the system actoally comes on and removes the water, then turns off. That's the best test.

Why is it that some boaters refuse to leave the dock without two radio checks, yet they never check their bilge pumps?
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:07 AM   #38
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FF, Both Jabsco and Groco make diaphram switches like you describe. Here's the Jabsco version.

Hydro Air Switch



Ultra reliable bilge switch, which will automatically operate bilge pumps once water level reaches 2 1/4" (55mm).


Model No.: 59400 series
  • Air Operated
  • No Submerged Electrics
  • Safe and Reliable
  • Ignition protected (to ISO 8846 Marine)
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:22 PM   #39
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Water Witch switch

I gotta say I test occasionally and the WW switch has no problems. I also used one for my dink pump I fabricated which has worked flawlessly. Keeping water out of dink
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:18 PM   #40
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Thanks guys, Jabsco and Groco diaphragm switches are not yet stocked here, so I`m left seeking opinions on submersibles with no external moving parts to jam up ,like WW or Ultima.
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