scum in the shower sump sticking the float switch

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Apr 11, 2008
Vessel Name
Vessel Make
DeFever 48
Is there a product I can put in the shower sump that will desolve the soap scum etc. so the float switch doesn't stick?
Thats a good one?** How about dumping a pot of near boiling water down the shower drain once a week?

Tried the hot water but not the vinegar. Will give it a try!
Another thing you might do is to go to the root cause, meaning the soap you use. We use Campsuds on the boat. You can buy it by the gallon at a sporting goods store, and it's biodegradable. We have used it on our boat for sixteen years with no problems with the float switch. We use it in the bath, but it's also great for dishes. You might even send the dishes into the shower with your wife. Two birds with one stone.
When we bought our boat the PO advised us to only use Dove soap cakes in the shower. Not only does it not leave residue, it is low allergenic as well, (actually it is not a true soap, but works as well), so we even started using it at home. 10 yrs later, no clogging and we love it.
We tried just about everything and finally came to the conclusion that it is the float switch design and not the soap scum. We replaced the switch that attaches to the side of the pump with a standard float switch and have not had any problems at all since then. We use our shower every day. Chuck
after going thru this with the standard bilge float switches, rule brand and the like, I tried a 'water witch' no moving parts switch.

Problem solved.

I imagine I will have to clean residue off the sensors at some point, but so far have not need to.


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Would a bromine tablet do the job?
Switch to a liquid shower body soap. It does not leave the sticky scum that come from bar soaps. Then put a rubber cup strainer in the shower drain to catch the hair. Problem solved.
Ya know... I used to think I would modify our 1977 Tollycrafts two showers drain systems by installing sump containers with float activated pumps... for auto drain while taking shower.* Then I learned of*too many boaters having to clean/service the sump and/or pump and its switch due to clogs that occur. *So... Im currently going to stick with the good ol straight-line pump that activates via pull switch adjacent to shower.* Seems to never have a problem!* However, some posts did offer good alternatives to help keep the sump and switch and pump operational!
DavidM wrote:
This just seems like a routine maintenance chore. Pull up the floor board, unscrew the cover to the shower sump and pull out the hair and scum that fouls the switch. Takes maybe 5 minutes. All of the chemical treatments mentioned aren't going to do anything about the hair which is the real problem.

* could resort to the recognised cure for this problem, (if you use the shower sump system), and that is replace the sump pump with a manually switched Gulper pump, which will not be blocked with hair, or anything else.
Scout was a 'send everything to the bilge' boat when I started re-fit. When I got to the shower drain an in-line pump was my first choice because of the maintenance issues stated above. There was also an AC condensate drain line nearby that I wanted to contain so I went with a sump pump. Turned into a big project but I did get the sump located where it can be easily maintained. Time will tell if I made the right decision.

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