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Old 12-01-2017, 08:54 PM   #1
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High water alarm

Why not
I gotta ask. Why not.

Don't care if its a rule float switch or a mouse trap with asprin. that triggers any kind of alarm. ( Fire bell good. imo )

Anything that gives you or anyone else notice of water entering the basement. EARLY.

Based on years of experience this simple addition to ones boat can save not only the boat but lives.

Just saying.

PS

Never underestimate the power of some adrenalin and a 4 or 5 gallon bucket.

Just sayin
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Old 12-01-2017, 09:28 PM   #2
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One question for my fellows TFers, what do you consider as high water, 1 inch, 1 foot? Any scale?

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Old 12-01-2017, 09:34 PM   #3
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Depends on the vessel. Two high water alarms might be appropriate depending on bulkhead arrangements.

I like about 2 inches above my secondary pump. In a location low where my main pumps are located.
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Old 12-01-2017, 10:14 PM   #4
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I installed a Borel alarm system that includes 3 exhaust temp, 2 high water and 2 water in fuel sensors. Simple install. The high water alarm sensors are installed about 2-3Ē above the bilge pump inlets. I want to kmow quickly if the pumps are not keeping up.
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Old 12-01-2017, 10:17 PM   #5
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It all depends on the shape of the bilge.

My bilge has a sump that is about 18" deep and holds about 20 litres. There is only room for one pump in the sump, so I have secondary pump, switch and alarm 18" higher.

The difference should be based on volume of water rather than height. On a flat bottomed boat, an 18" difference would be large volume of water.

Another thing to keep in mind is nuisance alarms if there is little difference between the primary pump and alarm level. You may need an alarm switch that has a delay program built in to avoid an constant alarms when the boat is rockin & rollin in rough water.
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Old 12-02-2017, 01:40 AM   #6
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I have bilge counters and warning lights on the dash. If the bilge pump is running I see a light. If I want to know what the bilge pump has been doing I check the counter, gives me frequency and time period. I donít feel I need a high water alarm. If I have a light for more than 10 seconds I have an issue. The question in my case is should I add an audible alarm.
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Old 12-02-2017, 07:25 AM   #7
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Why are you asking? Did somebody/thing/where suggest otherwise?
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Old 12-02-2017, 08:21 AM   #8
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I have bilge counters and warning lights on the dash. If the bilge pump is running I see a light. If I want to know what the bilge pump has been doing I check the counter, gives me frequency and time period. I donít feel I need a high water alarm. If I have a light for more than 10 seconds I have an issue. The question in my case is should I add an audible alarm.
Your counter and dash light won't tell you that oily hair has fouled your level switch. Or, the fuse to the pump has blown due to a cut tie wrap in the impeller.
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Old 12-02-2017, 10:51 AM   #9
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Your counter and dash light won't tell you that oily hair has fouled your level switch. Or, the fuse to the pump has blown due to a cut tie wrap in the impeller.
True diverdave. Yet there is no guarantee that an ignored high water alarm will work when you need it.

There certainly is no disagreements more is better.

I also failed to mention my boat has dual bilge pumps in each compartment.
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Old 12-02-2017, 11:20 AM   #10
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True diverdave. Yet there is no guarantee that an ignored high water alarm will work when you need it.

There certainly is no disagreements more is better.

I also failed to mention my boat has dual bilge pumps in each compartment.
I feel better. The second pump can count as a HW alarm. Best to mount it a bit higher, so bilge sludge wont get it for the years its not seeing water. If you do an audible, it would be those pumps.
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Old 12-02-2017, 11:37 AM   #11
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My boat's factory wired ER high water alarm is about 8" up. It has never seen 2". I have not yet gotten around to it, but have thought about wiring up a monitor that will sound the high water alarm if any of the bilge pumps run for more than say 30 seconds in any given 5 minute period -- that would warrant investigation since it would never happen absent a failure somewhere.
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Old 12-02-2017, 11:49 AM   #12
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I have a little different take on this topic. On my boat there are two bilge areas served by separate pumps but there is a spill over weep hole that lets the forward one flow into the sump in the back. In this area there is a high volume pump set about 4" above the smaller one and it is alarmed.

The point is you need both a high volume bilge pump and an alarm and I don't see anything wrong with them being combined. You could add a separate alarm for redundancy set an inch above the high volume pump and alarm, but if you test the high volume level switch periodically so you know it works, then that is ok with me.

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Old 12-02-2017, 12:40 PM   #13
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Why not
I gotta ask. Why not.
Don't care if its a rule float switch or a mouse trap with asprin. that triggers any kind of alarm. ( Fire bell good. imo )
Anything that gives you or anyone else notice of water entering the basement. EARLY.
Based on years of experience this simple addition to ones boat can save not only the boat but lives.
Just saying.
PS
Never underestimate the power of some adrenalin and a 4 or 5 gallon bucket.
Just sayin
I think you are right, saved my bacon a couple of times.. A loud horn can bring one of your mooring mates when you are not there too.
My father used to say: "Best bilge pump is a scared man with a bucket"
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Old 12-02-2017, 12:58 PM   #14
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2nd out of 3 inline bilge pumps gets the alarm going
First pump has an $11 resetable counter at the helm showing activations
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Old 12-02-2017, 02:38 PM   #15
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My primary bilge pump and high water alarm are located almost directly below the helm, so I have attached a bit of monofilament fishing line to the floats and routed it inconspicuously up under the dashboard where I can easily raise the floats anytime to check function.
A bit of a Rube Goldberg solution, but it works well, and I check it frequently, because I can.
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:34 PM   #16
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Why are you asking? Did somebody/thing/where suggest otherwise?

Kind of, I get to be the marina watchman , along with doing a lot of dewatering around the river. Boats taking on water at sea can be very dramatic , best case. Having a loud alarm grabs your attention quick. Enabling a response prior to the bilge being full of water reducing ones ability to deal with an issue. But keeping an eye on stuff while cruising will reduce that risk.

However lots of boats simply take on water dock side. This time of year in BC on the coast the weather gets really wet and windy. So lots of owners just don't get down to there boats, for a check. Hard for me to keep an eye on , or get up close and personal with hundreds of boats.

High water alarm with a big bell gets my attention, along with any other staff and or users.

Sure wakes a difference to me having an early shot at saving a boat or at least the owner a bunch of cash by getting to the problem early.

Always interesting the ways water will enter a boat, and create issues. Every year that list just gets bigger.

Tooo a dry bilge !
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:16 PM   #17
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...Tooo a dry bilge !
Hear, hear!

And thanks for being one of those great guys who keeps an eye out for others.

How many of us have walked past an unoccupied boat with a solid stream of water puking out the side and wondered whether or not it should be doing that?

Now walk past the same boat but hear a loud bell ringing inside. There's the simple difference between rescue and salvage!
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Old 12-04-2017, 05:21 PM   #18
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Ah, I was thinking only of the high water alarm that would alert the captain and crew while underway. I hadn't considered the alarm on an unattended boat that would alert everyone in the marina or anchorage and wake the dead. My boat had that capability, but the electronics have gone bad in the panel that monitored all of the sensors and set off alarms. When I was inspecting that panel, I noticed that a switch had been added to disable the external/loud/wake the dead alarm or siren.

When I was flying and a serious problem occurred, the lights and aural tones that alerted the crew could be punched out so that the crew could still fly safely, work through the checklist, and communicate intentions to the outside world. Like that switch in my panel that disabled the siren, I'd want the same 'punch out' capability on a boat. I'd want to be able to hear it in the worst conditions, but then I'd want to be able to silence it so that I could THINK through the solution and communicate with the crew and passengers. I'd also want to be warned again if another catastrophe occurred which the switch on my panel would not allow, so that system needs modification. Easy enough to do with a little logic, and I'm working on it.
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:53 PM   #19
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I've been working on this stuff. After speaking to the guys at Aqualarm more, here is what I will go with:

20090 Heavy Duty Pump Switch [] - $49.00 : AQUALARM, Warning Systems For Land And Sea

20361 Three Compartment Bilge Warning Panel [] - $46.00 : AQUALARM, Warning Systems For Land And Sea

When the switch is activated, it will turn on the bilge pump AND trigger the audible alert on the alarm panel. The idea is that when high water is present, you will always want the bilge to go on, so a separate switch to turn the bilge on/off/auto isn't necessary.
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:12 PM   #20
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By the way, I did install the Aqualarm switch and alert along with a Rule 2000 gph pump. If water reaches the level of the switch, the bilge pump goes on and alarm panels at both the lower and upper helm signal.
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