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Old 08-19-2011, 12:45 AM   #1
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Default automatic bilge pump

I have a 1994 1800sr, and am looking for an automatic bilge pump. Any suggestions?
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:19 AM   #2
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I assume you already have a bilge pump on the boat with a manual on/off switch on the dash? If so then all you need to do is get a float switch and wire it up to the pump.

You can go with this "name brand" unit for $37:
http://www.iboats.com/Rule-A-Matic-P...view_id.341712

Or you could go with this "economy" unit for $22:
http://www.iboats.com/Seachoice-Auto...--view_id.4621

Your local marina probably stocks them as well, just may not have many choices of brand or model.

On my 96 2100SR it has a factory installed float switch. There is a flat pedestal glassed into the bilge area and it sits on top of it. So that means there must be about 8" of water in the bilge to trip this switch and start it pumping. Personally I wish it were a bit lower so maybe I will re-locate at some point in the future, who knows.

So the float switch connects directly to the battery (with an in-line fuse of course) and then connects to the pump power feed. So either the float or the manual switch can power it when needed.
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Old 08-19-2011, 04:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mcoffey View Post
On my 96 2100SR it has a factory installed float switch. There is a flat pedestal glassed into the bilge area and it sits on top of it. So that means there must be about 8" of water in the bilge to trip this switch and start it pumping. Personally I wish it were a bit lower so maybe I will re-locate at some point in the future, who knows.

So the float switch connects directly to the battery (with an in-line fuse of course) and then connects to the pump power feed. So either the float or the manual switch can power it when needed.
Is how my 2004 2400 SC3 is set up too Murl. One small project I do want to do is to wire in a lamp on the dash that will illuminate when the bilge pump come on when the switch is in the "auto" position. My boat never seems to get water in the bilge so the only time the pump runs is when I test it. But, if the bilge did fill enough to trigger the pump, it's unlikely I'd notice it unless we were at anchor. So, on my boat, if the pump comes on there's likely something very wrong and the lamp would alert me.

Dan
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:56 PM   #4
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That is a great idea Dan. Not hard to do at all either, just need to drill that hole in the dash for the light
I also never get much water out, never really sits in the water enough to build up I guess. Had it in for 9 straight days back in July and still only drained about 1 to 1-1/2 gallons when I pulled the plug.
The first time I tested the float (using a hose to fill bilge), it failed miserably. Seems the original white plastic, twist a bit to open, AGC style glass fuse holder was not up to the task of a marine application so no power was getting through. Grabbing it and wiggling a bit made it come right on though. It now has a nice new ATC blade style fuse holder in it that actually accepts the same fuses the main fuse block uses. Everything in this thing took 5 and 10A blades with this one thing using a glass fuse, not sure what rocket scientist thought of that one. Now it has a 5A blade in it so if it blows, I have a spare, even if I have to pull it from the main panel and take down lights or something (though I do keep 1 spare box of each size anyway).
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:58 PM   #5
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I've wondered about installing a float switch too as the bilge is not something I'm regulary looking at while out.. I seem to end up with a very small amount when out - not anywhere near enough for the pump to get at it.. It is on a board glassed over to the hull so about an inch and a half or two has to be there before it will pump. The indicator light is an excellent idea too, otherwise wouldn't know when it was on unless all is quiet.
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Old 08-19-2011, 07:24 PM   #6
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Yep, very, very easy to install. Just mount the float right next to the pump and wire it up. Should only take 15-30 minutes to do including heat shrinking the wires. Nice peace of mind if you leave it in the water unattended at times (like overnight).
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Old 08-19-2011, 09:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
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...just need to drill that hole in the dash for the light...
Always tough to drill holes into a perfectly good boat - no matter where. I had zero fun when I had to drill about 22 holes into the transom to mount the trim tabs.
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Old 08-19-2011, 09:56 PM   #8
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Always tough to drill holes into a perfectly good boat - no matter where. I had zero fun when I had to drill about 22 holes into the transom to mount the trim tabs.
Yep, I have the same issue. Always measure 6 times, then 6 more times just to be 120% sure, then drill once
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:13 PM   #9
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there are plenty of bilge pumps with internal float switches. They are a bit easier to install. It has a common ground and two positive leads. One positve lead goes to the helm switch, the other to hot lead. The hot lead will only complete the circuit if the internal switch on the pump detects water. The switch at the helm will always manually activate the pump. these pumps are a bit more, but if you have to buy an external float switch anyway, then a pump with an internal switch is easier to install and wire. JMHO.
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