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Old 11-22-2016, 02:01 PM   #1
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What's Your Favorite Float Switch?

Rule seems to rule the market on float switches but after a couple failures of Rule A Matic switches, I want to make a change. Suggestions?
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Old 11-22-2016, 02:30 PM   #2
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Only ones I use in most cases are:

TEF-GEL - Ultra safety systems - Home page
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Old 11-22-2016, 02:44 PM   #3
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Oops, sorry. Didn't read the whole title...
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Old 11-22-2016, 02:58 PM   #4
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Ha!!
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Old 11-22-2016, 03:43 PM   #5
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Only ones I use in most cases are:

TEF-GEL - Ultra safety systems - Home page
Used these on our last boat. Great when they work which is most of the time. Terrible company/owner to deal with if there is a problem.
The new boat comes with Rule switches I believe, I welcome not having to call the guy at Tefgel ever again!!!
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:04 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info on that brand, Bruce.
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:31 PM   #7
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I had exactly the opposite experience from Bruce with the guy at TefGel, who was always very helpful with advice and spare parts. I ended up using 7 of the UltraSwitches on my old Hatteras, with nary a failure (nor have I ever met someone first hand who had a failure) over the course of several years. This included a few bilges and sumps where they got a pretty good workout and in the latter case exposed to all sorts of soap and gunk.

I wouldn't consider using anything else. Mine replaced a few Rules, a couple of SureBails and an Aquaalarm.

I'd like to know a little more of Bruce's story, since it is such an outlier in my direct and indirect experience.
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:49 PM   #8
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Maybe two different guys......good cop, bad cop??
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:51 PM   #9
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For the record then. I've used the Ultra Safety Switch made by Tefgel on two boats over the course of 20 years now.
The switch used in the first boat worked as advertised for 9 years.
As a result of the good results we had with that switch I specified one in the build of our next boat. That switch failed in 24 months while on a cruise. I replaced it at my own cost in order to simply get on with the cruise. That switch failed in less than a year. I contacted the manufacturer/owner who told me that his switches don't fail! End of story!!!
He was arrogant and rude and unbelievably condescending! All I was trying to do was order a switch when I mentioned that I'd had two failures and he went off.

I'm glad your switches are working. I will never use one again as a result of the way he treated me.

Be forewarned...
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:54 PM   #10
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Maybe two different guys......good cop, bad cop??
When I called I got the owner of the company.
He is happy to tell you how bright he is, how good his product is, how many people/companies have tried to steal the idea etc.
I should have recognized the pattern...
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Old 11-22-2016, 05:48 PM   #11
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My favourite float switch is a backup system. They all fail at the worst time.

Besides the float switch failing there are too many other things that can go wrong; - a wiring short, blown fuse, debris stuck in the impeller, blocked pump intake, a kinked hose, the skin fitting broken, pump under sized.
A second independent system installed slightly higher and stays dry 99.9% of the time is cheap insurance on any component failing.
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Old 11-22-2016, 06:55 PM   #12
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All I can say is, I've never had to deal with the guy at TefGel, because after using his switches for 20 plus years on many, many boats, I've only had one go bad.

And that was after years of service.
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Old 11-22-2016, 07:58 PM   #13
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All I can say is, I've never had to deal with the guy at TefGel, because after using his switches for 20 plus years on many, many boats, I've only had one go bad.

And that was after years of service.
I tried to convey the thought that the product is a good one...
I believe the basic design is very good.

It's funny how a bad experience can impact you thoughts though.
2 of the 4 I've owned failed too quickly. Both should have been replaced under the "lifetime warranty". From what I've seen there is no warranty...
For the price of my 4 Ultra Safety Switch Jr models I can purchase 12 Rule switches...
Having no experience with the Rule switches beyond helping friends on their boats...I think I'll give them a try!
In another 20 years I can report back and share what I've learned...
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Old 11-22-2016, 07:59 PM   #14
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In 1977 Rule was the only choice. On my next boat, in 1988, Rule was still in full control of the market. In 1994, there were a few other choices, so, due to several failures, I switched. None of the others that I tried lasted more than a season. Rule at least usually lasted a couple of seasons. So I went back to Rule. The switches on my main and backup bilge pumps are at least 10 yrs old now, and I have had no failures. They finally got it sorted out.
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:17 PM   #15
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I did away with external gloat switch. All my bilge pumps have internal sendor that activates pump periodically and tests for resistance. No float switch trouble since i made this change.
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:24 PM   #16
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I did away with external gloat switch. All my bilge pumps have internal sendor that activates pump periodically and tests for resistance. No float switch trouble since i made this change.
Are you referring to the Rule automatic pump type?
I've always wondered if the noise they make every couple of minutes is annoying...
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Old 11-22-2016, 09:19 PM   #17
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Johnson Ultra. Flipper type switches have too many issues, no matter who makes them.
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Old 11-22-2016, 09:50 PM   #18
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Two naked wires, when water comes in contact with both the switch is closed. No any way of failure.

Of course I am joking, please do not mind me
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Old 11-22-2016, 11:03 PM   #19
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Last time this came up, or maybe the time before, there was a simple switch which involved water rising in a tube,it was almost DIY, though I think it was commercially marketed in USA. But not here, so I decided not to risk upsetting insurers with some device unknown here. I don`t recall the detail, but it seemed a sensible device. Now, what was it....
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Old 11-23-2016, 12:24 AM   #20
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I have not had good experiences with Rule switches lately.
I purchased two packages of a Rule 800 bilge pump and a switch (the cheaper Rule switch) from Amazon. I have the same switch in my trawler which was installed by the PO and has worked for over 10 years.

The first switch failed after one summer of use in my skiff. It just quit turning the pump on. Rule sent me a warranty replacement (2yr warranty). To be safer, I installed both the replacement and the other new switch in parallel. Tested both switches in the boat at home, all good.

I took the skiff to the marina, and had a rain. One of the new switches stuck in the 'on' position, could have drained the battery if I had not caught it in time.

So, two out of three new Rule switches failed. One after three months of use, the other after one day.

I think I will try a Johnson brand switch as I have lost faith in Rule, a long time standard in the bilge pump industry.
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