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Old 10-29-2014, 10:55 AM   #1
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Integrated switch/bilge pumps

Anybody using the latest integrated switch/bilge pumps? It's time to replace one of mine and I was wondering about percormance.
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Old 10-29-2014, 11:05 AM   #2
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I'm not a fan. The only switch I try to use are the Ultrapump switches.

TEF-GEL - Ultra safety systems - Home page
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Old 10-29-2014, 11:21 AM   #3
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Not a fan of the combined units. MFR's seem to alternately make crappy switches and crappy pumps... If separate then you only need to replace one or the other. Two boats on my dock have had flooding events with the combined units, when a post mortem was done, they were absolute crap. Quality consistent of Chinese toys.

Blows my mind that they can make such crap that can lead to floodings and sinkings, and get away with it.
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Old 10-29-2014, 11:27 AM   #4
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Only if you can test them as easily as lifting a float
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Old 10-29-2014, 11:55 AM   #5
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Not a fan either. Have one in my Whaler though and it works OK. The pump will wake you up b/c they work by "testing" to see if there is water present by running and checking the amperage draw; so they start many time during the night.

I fail to see why more people don't use the diaphragm type switches. Easy to install and adjustable, they last decades, there is nothing to jam up, no wires anywhere near the bilge water. Groco and PAR both still make them.
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Old 10-29-2014, 12:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Bill11 View Post
I'm not a fan. The only switch I try to use are the Ultrapump switches.
I'm with Capt. Bill. Nordhavn uses the UltraSwitch Senior Float Sensors and they are pretty much idiot proof and are very easy to test/clean. I'm not a fan of the combined units.
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Old 10-29-2014, 01:10 PM   #7
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Iv'e had multiple of those rule automatic ones in my smaller boats. They're the biggest POS ever. Get a good Whale Pump coupled with a Ultra Float switch.
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Old 10-29-2014, 01:46 PM   #8
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On bilge pumps as with anything else, there are multiple points of view. Here are mine. I don't like integrated float switches on bilge pumps. I use Rule float switches and pumps and have had no difficulties with them. One issue with any bilge pump is keeping the strainers clean.
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Old 10-29-2014, 02:29 PM   #9
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The only integrated unit I would consider is the Whale. They have a neat model that is very low profile for fitting into tight spaces. I deployed one in an area where there was poor drainage at a time when fixing the root causes of water build-up there was going to take some doing (long story, eventually fixed them all, none of them were potential boat sinkers). It really worked well, though i have to say it was dealing with very clean water, no scum or other pollutants.



I switched all seven of my bilge and sump/bilge back-up switches to Ultras over time, replacing various mis-functioning Rules and SureBails.
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Old 10-29-2014, 02:49 PM   #10
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I've been through 10 different Rule pumps in 11 years on 4 different boats. I'm done with them. The last 2 were the 'run every 2.5 minutes' type. One melted a 1/2" hole in the top and the last one seized on a trailered Whaler sitting in the backyard with the battery disconnected. Looking for something that lasts longer than the warranty.
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Old 10-29-2014, 03:55 PM   #11
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Unless you have a good reason to do otherwise, it'by far the easiest to replace a failed pump with an identical pump or at least one that uses the same mounting or strainer.

I replaced one. No screws, no drilling, no filling holes. Just connect the wires and hose.
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Old 10-29-2014, 05:33 PM   #12
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I agree with the sentiment of the other posts. Every single Rule automatic pump that I have owned has failed, and I too am done with them. I have one of the Whale torpedo pumps on my dinghy and it has worked OK, but give the choice I'd go with separate float switch and pump.
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Old 10-29-2014, 10:13 PM   #13
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There are several different ways that integrated switch/pump combos work.

There are those that just enclose a typical float switch in the pump housing.

There are those that turn on every few minutes to check for resistance against the impeller.

There are those that use magic. By magic I mean things I don't understand like "Field Effect Technology" (Rule and Johnson) or "Electric Field Technology" (Whale).


On my boat I have two Rule 750 integrated switch / pumps. One is four or five years old and has the old style float switch. The other is only a couple of years old and has the Magic Switch.


I use the integrated pumps just because they are easier to install.
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Old 10-30-2014, 07:24 AM   #14
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New marketing/sales strategy to use....

"Sure I understand Field Effect Tech...but when I try to explain it, it scares people away from it so I just tell them it works fine"
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:41 AM   #15
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Field Effect Technology is a transistor that conducts electricity when exposed to a magnetic field. I used that to build a lighting system for my band years ago. It eliminates the problems associated with mechanical contacts.

For a float switch you would have a magnet attached to a float and arranged so as the float rises the magnet comes close to the field effect transistor which then conducts and powers the motor. Most likely the field effect transistor turns on another solid state device that can handle the current draw of the motor.

You can't buy them any more but a mercury switch was probably the best switch for a float switch.
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Old 10-30-2014, 09:16 AM   #16
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Below are GROCO and Jabsco diaphragm pump switch instructions.

http://www.groco.net/SVC-MAN-07/Sec3/pdfs/AS-100.pdf

http://www.pumpagents.com/pdf/Jabsco...34875-0000.pdf
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Old 10-30-2014, 12:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N4712;279521 et al
Iv'e had multiple of those rule automatic ones in my smaller boats. They're the biggest POS ever.
In all honesty I've been using rule pumps for around 25yrs in my trailer boats (small ally side consoles and tiller steers). I've never had one fail. I've replaced a few (broke the intake pipe on one and replaced maybe 3 just as precautionary updates on old fittings) but never had one let me down. Both manual and auto pumps.

Until this thread I'd always figured they were good pumps due to my experience with them. Never realised they had so many haters. I guess I've been lucky(?). IN any case, I'm about to update the pumps (or at least float switches) the PO put in so this thread has been very interesting and timely for me. Thanks all.
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Old 10-30-2014, 12:36 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by shufti View Post
In all honesty I've been using rule pumps for around 25yrs in my trailer boats (small ally side consoles and tiller steers). I've never had one fail. I've replaced a few (broke the intake pipe on one and replaced maybe 3 just as precautionary updates on old fittings) but never had one let me down. Both manual and auto pumps.

Until this thread I'd always figured they were good pumps due to my experience with them. Never realised they had so many haters. I guess I've been lucky(?). IN any case, I'm about to update the pumps (or at least float switches) the PO put in so this thread has been very interesting and timely for me. Thanks all.
I'm talking in regard to the computerized ones, that turn on every two minutes or so. I had my little skiff swamp because it didn't want to work. But the regular manual one Iv'e had no problems.
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Old 10-30-2014, 10:07 PM   #19
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I've used both the manual ones and the ones you describe with no failures ever.
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Old 10-30-2014, 11:58 PM   #20
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"For a float switch you would have a magnet attached to a float and arranged so as the float rises the magnet comes close to the field effect transistor which then conducts and powers the motor. "

Ron, what you've described may be how the Ultra Safety System switches work. They have a donut shaped float that slides up and down a tube. I assume there is a magnet in the donut float and transistors you describe in the tube, or maybe leaf switches.

The Rule, Whale and Johnsons pumps that use "Field Effect" don't have floats. They some how sense the presence of water and they know the difference between water and oil. They won't turn on if you flood your bilge with oil.

The Water Witch Switches use continuity of salt water and won't work well in very pure fresh water. The "Field Effect" switches will work in fresh water. I think I'm back to just calling it magic.
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