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Old 04-14-2015, 07:13 AM   #1
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Shower sump float switch replacement

I can't seem to find the exact replacement float switch for my shower sump.
The old failed Rule switch shown in the second picture below has no model number or any other identifying numbers on it. It does have a max 14 amp rating imprinted on it.

The third picture shows a rule float switch closest to the failed one copied from a Rule spec sheet. The new switch is a half inch longer than the failed one and clearance from the screen filter as shown in the 1st picture will be very close.

Anybody come across this.
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:38 AM   #2
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IIRC these are cheap and the last time I just bought a whole unit and removed all the parts and put them in the existing pan.
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:46 AM   #3
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Actually the new sumps have a completely redesigned float switch that is completely housed in a plastic cover. It won't fit my existing sump. New switch show below.
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timjet View Post
Actually the new sumps have a completely redesigned float switch that is completely housed in a plastic cover. It won't fit my existing sump. New switch show below.
Tim...
From another discussion on the yahoo Mainship Forum - the Atwood's also have a different wiring due to the built-in sw. The other poster replaced the complete sump box & pump/sw but was having traouble w/ wiring as he had an indicator light that showed when the sump was operational and he couldn't get that to function w/ the simple 2 wire connection for the new Atwood.
Don't know if you have an indicator light but if so thought you'd like to know before any purchase.

Also - I've gotten into troubleshooting float sw problems in the past and find that frequently it is a wire failure that was repairable via soldering on new leads - don't know if that helps or not but might be worth a look.
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:34 AM   #5
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Those Rule switches are junk. Fix it now, fix it again later.

Try one of these: Standard Liquid Level Switches – Innovative Components
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:40 AM   #6
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Those Rule switches are junk. Fix it now, fix it again later.

Try one of these: Standard Liquid Level Switches – Innovative Components
I never had a rule switch in a shower sump last more than two seasons. I pulled the whole sump out and installed an Attwood sump. Works well so far.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:02 PM   #7
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Get rid of the whole junk setup. Leave the existing discharge hose in place, purchase a Whale Gusher pump, install it under the shower tied into the existing discharge hose. Connect the power leads to the power leads from the old pump. Eliminate the float switch completely as the Whale can run dry. It can pump hair fingernails etc. with no clogging. Will eliminate all future pump/switch problems. I've done it and it was worth the effort.
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:23 PM   #8
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On my 355, this appears to be what the PO replaced the failed float switch with.

http://mobile.walmart.com/ip/Attwood...16?type=search



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Old 04-14-2015, 08:26 PM   #9
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Here is a pic of the setup

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Old 04-15-2015, 01:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacchus View Post
Tim...
From another discussion on the yahoo Mainship Forum - the Atwood's also have a different wiring due to the built-in sw. The other poster replaced the complete sump box & pump/sw but was having traouble w/ wiring as he had an indicator light that showed when the sump was operational and he couldn't get that to function w/ the simple 2 wire connection for the new Atwood.
Don't know if you have an indicator light but if so thought you'd like to know before any purchase. ... snip...
ACTUALLY... Assuming you are referring to my post over there, I haven't had a chance to install it yet, but I also received an email advising that it CAN be hooked up to activate the indicator light. The issue is the Mainship loom has three wires for this sump pump, while the Attwood sump pump only has two. (Existing Rule has 4 wires!)

Real busy with work, so not sure when I'll get a chance for a boat project day. Boat relaxing day tends to over-rule if I make it aboard.
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:56 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone for the helpful replies.
The picture in the first post showing the sump is not the one on the boat, it is an extra apparently the PO included with the sale of the boat. It is however identical to the one currently in the boat.

Next, I went to West Marine yesterday and found the replacement float switch, Rule A Matic Model 35A. It does not fit the existing mount. However I can fabricate a mounting that will allow it to fit. So for $40 it's done. Interesting that Xylem maker of the sump and switch would not support their older units.

I don't have a light telling me when the pump runs so no issue there.

I chose to repair rather than replace the entire unit for now. If it happens again I will look at the attwood set up as a replacement. So far I've had to replace the fwd sump pump (switch OK) and now the aft switch. I've had the boat 5 years so not too bad.
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:25 AM   #12
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I went down the same road. I now have an Attwood. Next will be the Whale shower sump. It looks to be much better made than the crap from Rule.

Whale Marine - Products

I hope that new switch works for you. These things get expensive when you have to fix them every couple of years.
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Old 04-16-2015, 07:00 AM   #13
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Some folks dont bother and simply drain the shower into the bilge.

The bit of soap or shampoo will assist in taking off the usual bilge drippings , and even a Jabsco can remove dead skin cells.

Long hair will need to be cleaned at times if there is no screen or strainer below the shower pan.

Not fancy , but the less to buy ,install, maintain , repair and replace , the more time there is for fun.
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Old 04-16-2015, 10:23 AM   #14
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That's how it was in my previous sailboats. I think it's worth the small amount of effort to keep the bilge as clean as possible. Lot's of water goes through the shower sumps as the air conditioning condensation drains there too.
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Old 04-17-2015, 06:53 AM   #15
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"Lot's of water goes through the shower sumps as the air conditioning condensation drains there too."

Condensed water is even cleaner than rain water (no condensation nuclei) so what is the problem with dumping it in the bilge where it can help carry off gunk?
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Old 04-17-2015, 07:28 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmason View Post
Get rid of the whole junk setup. Leave the existing discharge hose in place, purchase a Whale Gusher pump, install it under the shower tied into the existing discharge hose. Connect the power leads to the power leads from the old pump. Eliminate the float switch completely as the Whale can run dry. It can pump hair fingernails etc. with no clogging. Will eliminate all future pump/switch problems. I've done it and it was worth the effort.

How does that work? Manually start the pump prior to showering? Manually stop the pump afterwards?

Trying to understand whether this would be an option for a shower sump that also catches and "forwards" AC condensation...



Quote:
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Next, I went to West Marine yesterday and found the replacement float switch, Rule A Matic Model 35A.

I chose to repair rather than replace the entire unit for now. If it happens again I will look at the attwood set up as a replacement.

What would have been the difference in cost, between float switch only and whole sump unit?



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"Lot's of water goes through the shower sumps as the air conditioning condensation drains there too."

Condensed water is even cleaner than rain water (no condensation nuclei) so what is the problem with dumping it in the bilge where it can help carry off gunk?

FWIW, our forward AC condensation is also routed to the shower sump. The drain pan is rusty, so condensate is rusty, so sump box is rusty, so discharge outlet has a rusty drip line on the hull (mitigated somewhat with a small length of hose to offset drip from fiberglass)...

Wouldn't relish rust all over the bilge...


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Old 04-17-2015, 08:29 AM   #17
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Quote:
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"Lot's of water goes through the shower sumps as the air conditioning condensation drains there too."

Condensed water is even cleaner than rain water (no condensation nuclei) so what is the problem with dumping it in the bilge where it can help carry off gunk?
My bilge has a small amount of residual fuel and oil along with a bunch of other nasty stuff. Allowing the AC condensation to fill the bilge to the point where the bilge pump would pump it out would also pump out the mixed fuel and oil.

But actually it was not the condensation that was the problem, that water goes into the sump and is pumped overboard without any fuel or oil. My problem was the stuffing box's were leaking and filling the bilge to the point that the bilge float switch activated pumping that residual fuel/oil overboard.
All it takes is a drop of diesel to look like a massive fuel leak.

Don't ask me how I know this; it does get peoples attention.
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:46 AM   #18
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Chris, don't know how much a new sump system would cost, but the time and cost to install it would be much higher than just replacing the float switch. Plus routing or re-routing the hoses that connect to the sump can be a night mare and of course you have to make sure any new sump fits the existing space.

This is the first float switch I've replaced in five years so I guess I've been lucky.
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Old 04-17-2015, 10:56 AM   #19
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Some folks dont bother and simply drain the shower into the bilge.

The bit of soap or shampoo will assist in taking off the usual bilge drippings , and even a Jabsco can remove dead skin cells.

Long hair will need to be cleaned at times if there is no screen or strainer below the shower pan.

Not fancy , but the less to buy ,install, maintain , repair and replace , the more time there is for fun.
Letting the water from the shower and AC units drain into the bilge is a bad idea and a mess.. dead skin and hair make a stink that can be smelt through the boat.. not to mention mixing with oil/diesel/grease is a disaster. Rarely do boats any bigger than a trailer boat dump into the bilge
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Old 04-17-2015, 03:14 PM   #20
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Chris, don't know how much a new sump system would cost, but the time and cost to install it would be much higher than just replacing the float switch. Plus routing or re-routing the hoses that connect to the sump can be a night mare and of course you have to make sure any new sump fits the existing space.

This is the first float switch I've replaced in five years so I guess I've been lucky.

Ah, yes, I can see where fit would be a deal. Just wondered if the cost of a whole sump is maybe only a buck-two-fifty more than just a float switch... and I hadn't ever shopped on 'em before.

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