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Old 03-26-2016, 10:35 AM   #1
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Ultra Pumpswitch - high water alarm

My sump bilge-pump is controlled by an Ultra Pumpswitch Senior. There is no high-water alarm panel with built-in piezo buzzer, although the PumpSwitch has the wires to connect one.

I want to use the high-water alarm circuit to trigger an alarm-bell which will use rather more current than a piezo buzzer. The wires mentioned above are quite thin and, according to Tef-Gel (mfg of PumpSwitch) can only handle 100 milliamps. A 12 volt automotive relay could handle the bell current, but would the relay's operating current exceed 100 milliamps?
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Old 03-26-2016, 11:59 AM   #2
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They make an alarm for that unit as well as a bell interface, or if you want to DIY, can answer your question:

TEF-GEL - Ultra safety systems - Home page
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Old 03-26-2016, 01:45 PM   #3
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If I might suggest you can wire a new float switch to a bell, buzzer, light, etc...

Yes a interposing relay would work, but a dedicated bilge pump switch mounted a bit higher might be a good solution as well
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Old 03-26-2016, 01:49 PM   #4
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George, I know that a piezo alarm is available, but I want a nice loud bell. I did email the mfg, and in more detail than my question here. To my surprise, the response was "100 mA max". Just that, not even a greeting. I would have expected better from a company like Tef-Gel. Courtesy gets you happy customers, and the lack of it gets you negative advertizing in forums like this!

FWIW: I recently installed Aqualarm flow and temp alarms in my exhaust systems. I went for their bell option ($69.00!) in addition to the included piezo buzzer. The bell looks pretty enough, but a tiny electric motor moves the hammer instead of the usual electromagnet. It isn't as loud as I had expected and the motor arrangement looks flimsy. I believe this type of bell is used because Aqualarm's skinny wiring can't cope with the load of a conventional bell any more that Pumpswitch's can.

So, it's a conventional bell and a suitable 12v automotive relay. I am still hoping to learn whether such a relay's operating current would exceed 100 milliamps.
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Old 03-26-2016, 03:40 PM   #5
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Just that, not even a greeting. I would have expected better from a company like Tef-Gel. Courtesy gets you happy customers, and the lack of it gets you negative advertizing in forums like this!
I always had good experience calling him; he is a terse guy to be sure but always helpful. Using the phone these days seems to be a lost art.
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Old 03-26-2016, 04:30 PM   #6
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What!
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Old 03-26-2016, 05:06 PM   #7
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I changed all my bilge pump switches over to Ultras, as I do on all the boats I run if they don't already have them, and then I designed and made up a custom high water alarm control panel incorporating a 24v bell, lights and a mute button. So far everything works just fine.
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Old 03-26-2016, 05:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoalwaters View Post
George, I know that a piezo alarm is available, but I want a nice loud bell. I did email the mfg, and in more detail than my question here. To my surprise, the response was "100 mA max". Just that, not even a greeting. I would have expected better from a company like Tef-Gel. Courtesy gets you happy customers, and the lack of it gets you negative advertizing in forums like this!

FWIW: I recently installed Aqualarm flow and temp alarms in my exhaust systems. I went for their bell option ($69.00!) in addition to the included piezo buzzer. The bell looks pretty enough, but a tiny electric motor moves the hammer instead of the usual electromagnet. It isn't as loud as I had expected and the motor arrangement looks flimsy. I believe this type of bell is used because Aqualarm's skinny wiring can't cope with the load of a conventional bell any more that Pumpswitch's can.

So, it's a conventional bell and a suitable 12v automotive relay. I am still hoping to learn whether such a relay's operating current would exceed 100 milliamps.
If doubtful...just wire a second electronic relay that steps up from millivolts to whatever the auto relay needs. pretty common...there is often a remote relay on Lehmans and older Ford trucks that does the same for the relay that is actually on the starter.
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Old 03-26-2016, 05:23 PM   #9
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Mike, that's a good question. I sell Cole Hersee solenoids so I went to their website to see what I could find out. They don't say how much current is needed to close the connection on most of their solenoids.

They do say the control current for this one is only .02 amps.
Solenoids & Relays | Electronic Solenoid/Relays48785 | Cole Hersee - Littelfuse
Would that be 20 ma?
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Old 03-27-2016, 07:06 AM   #10
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Some of the CH solenoids (70A?) are latching style , and only require power to change the solenoid position.
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Old 03-27-2016, 12:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoalwaters View Post
My sump bilge-pump is controlled by an Ultra Pumpswitch Senior. There is no high-water alarm panel with built-in piezo buzzer, although the PumpSwitch has the wires to connect one.

I want to use the high-water alarm circuit to trigger an alarm-bell which will use rather more current than a piezo buzzer. The wires mentioned above are quite thin and, according to Tef-Gel (mfg of PumpSwitch) can only handle 100 milliamps. A 12 volt automotive relay could handle the bell current, but would the relay's operating current exceed 100 milliamps?
Look for a relay that uses less than 100 milliamps. Read the spec sheet.

You might do better with something from an electronics supplier than from the auto parts store.

I think someone may have suggested this, but you could just mount a separate float switch and connect it to your alarm and leave the existing system intact.
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Old 03-27-2016, 03:40 PM   #12
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Why don't you just buy the alarm panel Ultra sells and add a bell to it?

The panel is powered by two 9v batteries as I recall. So this bell should work: http://www.starmarinedepot.com/blue-...FUQ9gQodQ3oDcA
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Old 03-27-2016, 05:03 PM   #13
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Thanks for your input everyone.


I still like the idea of using the high-water alarm circuit built into the Pumpswitch I already have. I just have to find a 12 volt relay with the right specs.
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Old 03-27-2016, 05:10 PM   #14
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Mike, if I'm reading the specs right, the Cole Hersee one I posted a link to, only needs 20 milli amps to control an 85 amp current. That should ring a pretty big bell.
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Old 03-27-2016, 06:20 PM   #15
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Mike, if I'm reading the specs right, the Cole Hersee one I posted a link to, only needs 20 milli amps to control an 85 amp current. That should ring a pretty big bell.
Parks, I appreciate the research and the suggestion. That is one fine relay and 85 amps could really make a lot of noise. Unfortunately is exceeds my budget by about $180.
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Old 03-27-2016, 06:32 PM   #16
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Wow they are proud of that. I hadn't looked at the price. It should retail for around $130 but that's pretty steep for what you're trying to do.

How many amps would a bell like you want draw?
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Old 03-27-2016, 06:34 PM   #17
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Here you go:
http://www.amazon.com/uxcell%C2%AE-P...+volt+dc+relay


It's operated by light, not current so all you have to do is couple the relay sensor to an LED connected to your existing system. A piece of heat shrink tubing should couple them.


Seriously though, I think an electronic supplier could set you up with a relay that would couple your device to a bell or other loud warning device.
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Old 03-27-2016, 06:40 PM   #18
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https://www.radioshack.com/products/...ant=5717508037
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Old 03-27-2016, 06:44 PM   #19
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Signal Relays, Up to 2 Amps | Relays | DigiKey
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:34 PM   #20
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Wes: Thanks, looks like the little relay from Radio Shack would be ideal. Just have to get it here. BTW: I thought Radio Shack had gone bust, no?


Parks: I'm not sure, but 2-3 amps should make enough noise. Lots available on eBay, but many are 120 volt and many more are the same flimsy little toy bells that Aqualarm sells. Hard to sort the wheat from the chaff.


FWIW: I had two ordinary automotive 4-blade relays in my box of bits. Tested both with a digital multimeter. Current consumption is 0.18 and 0.2 amps respectively. Should have done this first!
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