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Old 02-15-2022, 03:49 PM   #1
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Float switch failure again - piece of junk

RULE-A-MATIC plus float switch failed again. Made in China. Installed 2016 but less than 3 years of real-time, summertime operation in a relatively dry bilge. Fresh water boat. This float switch is what is keeping you from possibly sinking! Anyone suggest a better brand? These things are not cheap.
I cut it open to see inside and the contacts are steel and the spring is rusty. Looks like a bad factory seal. Guess the days of mercury switches are gone. See picture.
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Old 02-15-2022, 04:23 PM   #2
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RULE-A-MATIC plus float switch failed again. Made in China. Installed 2016 but less than 3 years of real-time, summertime operation in a relatively dry bilge. Fresh water boat. This float switch is what is keeping you from possibly sinking! Anyone suggest a better brand? These things are not cheap.
I cut it open to see inside and the contacts are steel and the spring is rusty. Looks like a bad factory seal. Guess the days of mercury switches are gone. See picture.
Barrie
I've always used a Rule pump with separate float switch. I don't trust the switch and pump combination.
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Old 02-15-2022, 10:42 PM   #3
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Ultra bilge pump switches are considered to be the most reliable in the industry. I bought 3 years ago and that had zero problems. I will no longer will by rule products
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Old 02-15-2022, 10:43 PM   #4
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An ultra films pump switch will not fail you. They are expensive but well worth the money. My experience with the roll switches has been they fail in the on position and then the bilge pump runs with no water and burns up
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Old 02-16-2022, 08:53 AM   #5
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Ultra bilge pump switches are considered to be the most reliable in the industry. I bought 3 years ago and that had zero problems. I will no longer will by rule products
Agreed! Rule products, no bueno'.
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Old 02-16-2022, 09:58 AM   #6
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Bilge Guard.
electronic bilge pump switch that will not pump oil or fuel, just water.
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Old 02-16-2022, 10:21 AM   #7
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Gypsy,
I'm just wondering if you ever use products with any Bleach in them in the area where this float switch lives? The reason I ask is that I had similar issues with float switches until I started to completely eliminate bleach and products that contain bleach that come in contact with the float switch. My shower sump(s) have been very reliable since I made the change to "Clean Potties" instead of all the other products.
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Old 02-16-2022, 01:18 PM   #8
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We have 2 Ultra switches in the main bilge, no problems after 8 years. Just replaced 2 pumps with failed float switches in our lazerette. Used Water Witch switches. Had to adjust the mounting height but working well so far. They have built in delay so they don’t activate due to sloshing and will run for 15 seconds after low level activates to help empty bilge.
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Old 02-16-2022, 03:56 PM   #9
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I buy them from Ebay, although they are made in China for bilge and 2 shower compartments.
Average cost for 750 GPM auto pump with simpler wiring down in the bilge area, 18€, about 15£ delivered.
Never had one fail since they replaced the Rule pumps,
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Old 02-16-2022, 04:34 PM   #10
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We have 2 Ultra switches in the main bilge, no problems after 8 years. Just replaced 2 pumps with failed float switches in our lazerette. Used Water Witch switches. Had to adjust the mounting height but working well so far. They have built in delay so they donít activate due to sloshing and will run for 15 seconds after low level activates to help empty bilge.
Absolutely, Ultra Senior and/or Junior switches. Also, I'm now buying Rule Gold series bilge pumps which have been completely reliable as well.
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Old 02-17-2022, 10:49 AM   #11
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Bilge switch failure has me worried too.
Has anyone ever tried wiring switches in parallel in order to have redundant switches if one fails? Wouldn't be hard to do.
Periodic testing to make sure both switches are working would be easy too
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Old 02-17-2022, 11:03 AM   #12
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Bilge switch failure has me worried too.
Has anyone ever tried wiring switches in parallel in order to have redundant switches if one fails? Wouldn't be hard to do.
Periodic testing to make sure both switches are working would be easy too
Why?
Each bilge pump should have a switch direct bypassing the float automatic switch. Failure is often the float switch, not the direct switch seldom used. If wired parallel the cause of a failure may affect more than one.
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Old 02-17-2022, 11:29 AM   #13
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[QUOTE=Max1;1078591]Bilge switch failure has me worried too.
Has anyone ever tried wiring switches in parallel in order to have redundant switches if one fails? Wouldn't be hard to do.
Periodic testing to make sure both switches are working would be easy too[/


three of my failures have been the switch in the on position which burns up the bilge pump itself I don't think switches in parallel would have help this situation
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Old 02-21-2022, 02:04 PM   #14
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Our Mariner 37 has separate float switches on our three bilge pumps. They need routine cleaning, but seem reliable.
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Old 02-21-2022, 03:30 PM   #15
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Anyone have experience with "Water Witch" bilge pumps switches? I have two of them someone gave me but I"ve never installed them.
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Old 02-21-2022, 04:44 PM   #16
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The Water Witch seems to have developed a poor reputation, though I can not understand why nor find any current evidence of problems. I suspect their product was perceived or even sold as requiring no maintenance. If you never clean the contacts and they become coated with bilge scunge, oil or bacterial slime, then you have a maintenance problem, not a defective product.

I have no connection to Water Witch, but I would sure like them to work for my boat when I eventually replace the float switches.
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Old 02-21-2022, 05:09 PM   #17
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Thanks all for your response. To be clear it was the float switch that failed not the pump. No bleach, just water. But these switches are suppose to be sealed.
Can't get the suggested other switches in Canada. Any links appreciated.
Think i will go with old faithful from the cottage. LOL
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Old 02-21-2022, 05:19 PM   #18
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FWIW...We use 3 water witch switches in our system. We have a deep bilge, so I mounted the primary pump on the bottom of a PVC "L". then attached that pumps output to the 2nd PVC"L", and attached the water witch switch to that "L". I added a 3rd "L", with a backup pump and a dedicated water witch switch, and then a Johnson Hi Water alarm higher up that tree. All 3 "L"s are zip-tied together, along with the wires, and the discharge hoses attach to the top of the respective "L". I pull the system out 1/year to clean, and have had no issues/problems for the past 8 or 9 years. I also added a Bilge Pump counter (by Water Witch!) to the primary(bottom) pump. Makes it easy to monitor how many times the pump runs. I'm a fan of the Water Witch switch...will never buy another float sw again! But you do need to keep them a little clean(an oil coating will not let them work normally, from my experience).
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Old 02-21-2022, 05:40 PM   #19
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I have seen just about every switch made. I use Ultra.
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Old 02-21-2022, 06:04 PM   #20
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FWIW...We use 3 water witch switches in our system. We have a deep bilge, so I mounted the primary pump on the bottom of a PVC "L". then attached that pumps output to the 2nd PVC"L", and attached the water witch switch to that "L". I added a 3rd "L", with a backup pump and a dedicated water witch switch, and then a Johnson Hi Water alarm higher up that tree. All 3 "L"s are zip-tied together, along with the wires, and the discharge hoses attach to the top of the respective "L". I pull the system out 1/year to clean, and have had no issues/problems for the past 8 or 9 years. I also added a Bilge Pump counter (by Water Witch!) to the primary(bottom) pump. Makes it easy to monitor how many times the pump runs. I'm a fan of the Water Witch switch...will never buy another float sw again! But you do need to keep them a little clean(an oil coating will not let them work normally, from my experience).
Do you happen to have any pics of that setup? I'm struggling with understanding!
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