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Old 11-25-2012, 04:17 PM   #61
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Good point on having to explain to your insurance company that you made your own switch....
There's no legal requirement to have a bilge pump or automatic switch so "making your own switch" shouldn't be a problem.

Not that that's something I would do or recommend.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:26 PM   #62
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its all very confusing what is the bottom line or general opinion on the best bilge pump
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:29 PM   #63
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its all very confusing what is the bottom line or general opinion on the best bilge pump
Don't worry about it, it's all just "opinions" anyway. Visit a different forum and they'll be bashing some other product.

If you want to cover all the bases, install one of each. Don't connect them together, each needs its own hose and thru hull.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:17 PM   #64
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Decision made,considering all posts including the older ones, I chose and ordered 2 Johnson Ultima sealed switches, one for each bilge pump, from Amazon online, replacing my 2 flippers. With shipping, 2 cost $84. Here one is $80. For various reasons incl labour cost, this is an increasingly expensive place to live and do business.
Now how do I stop Amazon spamming me twice a day.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:26 PM   #65
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No harm in connecting 2 float switches to a bilge pump for back up...the bilge pump doesn't care where it get's it's juice from...
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:54 PM   #66
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No harm in connecting 2 float switches to a bilge pump for back up...the bilge pump doesn't care where it get's it's juice from...
I am only fitting one switch per pump, though 2 would be good "belt & braces" backup. Were I using flipper type switches I`d reckon on more than 2 per pump to be sure it would come on when needed.
With flippers, keep checking they are working and the hinges are free of gunk.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:43 AM   #67
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BruceK
Interested in understanding the reasoning why you decided to go for Ultimas vs Water Witch coz there were a lot of folk (like me) who gave WW a big rap?

Also as I have a slow hull leak that is fwd of the stern gland and my yard tells me theyre not sure where its coming from (possibly poor original fibreglass overlapping joint in centre hull in manufacture that has had repair attempts before) Im monitoring it but thinking about this new Whale pump for the very bottom of the bilge. Apparently it will take out almost the last dregs.

Whale Marine - Products

Anybody have comments or an experience?
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:40 PM   #68
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BruceK
Interested in understanding the reasoning why you decided to go for Ultimas vs Water Witch coz there were a lot of folk (like me) who gave WW a big rap?
Gemma, I especially appreciated you taking the trouble to respond and weighed it all. The older posts tended to favour the Johnson Ultima as did another site, sailnet.com I think,which I found while researching; from memory it was not so kind to the WW. Also,the concept of batteries in the switch seemed odd.
I suspect they are probably equal,it was a close run decision,but anything is better than those sticking flippers. I did not go for the diaphram type as it is not retailed here and insurers may be unfamiliar with it. I hope I made a good choice and will try to remember to post again after a while how it turned out.
Can`t wait to get the deck work finished and the boat back from the shipwrights in time for NYE fireworks.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:35 PM   #69
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The Johnson Ultima switch is fitted for the fwd pump and tests fine. I like the absence of external working parts. The wiring connects differently to the flipper it replaced.
Replacing the aft pump auto-switch involves unscrewing the ER walkway,that`s for another day when we get the boat back with the new decks completed.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:46 PM   #70
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I guess I have a different point of view, in that this to me is one of the last pieces of equipment to cheap out on. I have systematically over the years switched out all to the Ultra Pump Switches, saving one sump which is not critical, and when that switch goes, an Ultra Mini will replace it (I have Juniors everywhere else; the boat is equipped already with high water alarms in every bilge. On my boat, two of the sumps act as high water backups to other bilges. I have 8 pumps and switches on board. My choice in switches came at first after a lot of references and research, and then after years of extensive personal experience.

A shower sump, especially if you live aboard as we do, is in many ways an acid test of a switch given that it gets used a lot, and the nature of what it sits in. I have another bilge that gets used frequently because we have to clean the A/C strainer frequently. The proof's in the pumping, as they say. I have stuck with the Rule pumps with one exception and try to make a habit of pre-emptively changing them out every few years and keeping the old ones as spares. The exception is one of the cool little Whale low profile pumps with integrated switch that I add to an adjunct bilge (connected via limber holes to a "main" bilge, long story, but I kind of felt uncomfortable with that and it was a cheap and easy add-on; an I'm not sure you can have too many bilge pumps)

Testing your pumps and switches on a regular basis needs to be a regularly scheduled exercise whether you use the boat or not. The majority of changes have made were as a result of testing a fairly dry bilge and finding the switch was bad.
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:24 PM   #71
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I guess I have a different point of view, in that this to me is one of the last pieces of equipment to cheap out on. I have systematically over the years switched out all to the Ultra Pump Switches, saving one sump which is not critical, and when that switch goes, an Ultra Mini will replace it (I have Juniors everywhere else; the boat is equipped already with high water alarms in every bilge. On my boat, two of the sumps act as high water backups to other bilges. I have 8 pumps and switches on board. My choice in switches came at first after a lot of references and research, and then after years of extensive personal experience.

The proof's in the pumping, as they say. I have stuck with the Rule pumps with one exception and try to make a habit of pre-emptively changing them out every few years and keeping the old ones as spares, an I'm not sure you can have too many bilge pumps)

Testing your pumps and switches on a regular basis needs to be a regularly scheduled exercise..
Where did the idea I was "going cheap" on bilge pumps come from? The only actual pump failure resulted from a defective jammed on flipper switch. Of late I`ve fitted 2 different flippers I was not happy with though they still worked, sort of,I`m now replacing with Johnson Ultimas, keeping the flippers as spares. Sure I brought Ultimas in from USA at around half what I`d pay here, but that`s hardly compromising, just sensible, and a comment on local retailers avaricious pricing.
I can`t know how your boat is configured, I agree you can`t have too many bilge pumps,but 8 might be getting close.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:03 AM   #72
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I agree you can`t have too many bilge pumps,but 8 might be getting close. __________________

It is doubtful that all 8 together could actually clear the inrush from a missing 2 inch seacock.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:43 AM   #73
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Too many electric ones unless they are all in the 3000 gph range is probably a waste of time, energy and electrical management.

If you truly need dewatering at those capacities, an engine driven, genset driven or separate motor driven trash pump is about the only thing I would bet my life or really my boat on.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:35 PM   #74
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Where did the idea I was "going cheap" on bilge pumps come from? The only actual pump failure resulted from a defective jammed on flipper switch. Of late I`ve fitted 2 different flippers I was not happy with though they still worked, sort of,I`m now replacing with Johnson Ultimas, keeping the flippers as spares. Sure I brought Ultimas in from USA at around half what I`d pay here, but that`s hardly compromising, just sensible, and a comment on local retailers avaricious pricing.
I can`t know how your boat is configured, I agree you can`t have too many bilge pumps,but 8 might be getting close.
Bruce, I apologize, I wasn't replying to you directly, but some here who were looking for a budget solution, so take it personally only if you feel that applies to you, but regardless no insults intended, just caution.

As for the number of pumps, it really depends on the size and design of the boat now doesn't it, along with to some extent, where you will be using it. No place to beach the thing out in open ocean, or even on many rocky coasts. I didn't even mention the auxiliary dewatering pumps, just the Rules! Which may doom me to sinking my boat someday.

FF, I don't recall where we were discussing mitigating a 2 inch hole, through hull or not and I tried not to represent that my pumps would do so. If you can't get something stuffed into the hole, time to either beach if you can or its life raft time.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:00 PM   #75
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When it comes to bilge pumps I'm in the camp of more is better. Bilge pumps are time machines. The more pump capacity you have, the more time you have to deal with the hole.

If you put a big enough hole in a boat, it's going to sink no matter how many pumps you have. But the more pumps you have, the bigger that hole has to be.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:30 AM   #76
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its all very confusing what is the bottom line or general opinion on the best bilge pump

www.practical-sailor.com/

Subscribe and it wont be a mystery

Actual side by side product testing is more expensive than free on line opinion.

"You get what you pay for,,",
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:01 PM   #77
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If you do not trust one pump and or switch then install a second one! Or better yet take out and fill in through hulls not needed/used. The Eagle has only two below the water through hulls which are for the engines. The Eagle has three sections, bow mid/engine room/stern lazarete and each section has two bilge pumps with switch and alarms. If the water is more than the bilge pumps can handle then I would use the engine/gen sets raw water intake. I been thinking about change the engines raw water intake that way. We also have a spare extra portable bilge pump just in case.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:12 PM   #78
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I am leaning to buying a Johnson float switch #36303 $37.17 Om Amazon
Do you recommend this switch and can you give me a price I am in Fort Pierce FLa.
thanks Bert
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:48 AM   #79
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Amazingly the twin engine ("its safer") folks didn't chime in.

The possibility of dual switch failure at the same time is very low.

A simple solution would be 3 float switches.

2 would be set to operate the pump , with or with out the other one working.

#3 would be a simple alarm (bells work best) that tells you the first two have failed and you are sinking. A different battery power source for #3.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:39 AM   #80
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I would hope a high water alarm is installed on any boat. My Hatteras came OEM with 4, one in each "main" bilge. They are easy to test at the same time you test the bilge switches. If you don't have high water alarms, Ultra and Aqualarm have good ones. Guys that are even more belt and suspenders than me will rig a highwater pump, say 3700 GPH that gets switched on when the HW alarm sounds. Pascoe has a good article about this. I haven't done it, though very tempted in the forward bilge, because there is a sump mounted higher that would kick in too and it has a standard 2000GPH pump. May add it to The List when we get back to longer distance open water cruising.

Gemma, that little Whale is what I installed to dewater the adjunct bilge mentioned in my first post. I wasn't happy with the way that bilge drained via limber holes, and one of my stabilizer assemblies is right there and was getting too wet for my taste after a few strainer cleanings and a particular air/con running in humid weather. It is a nice item for that purpose especially for hard to fit spots, it has one of their solid state switches built in. Pretty cool little device. Not sure if I would use it as a primary bilge pump due to relatively low capacity.
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