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Author Topic:   Reference: Bilge Pumps
jimh posted 06-03-2001 05:19 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
This message thread is for discussion of the Reference Article on Bilge Pumps:


Barry posted 06-03-2001 08:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barry  Send Email to Barry     
Jim, your timing is perfect as usual. I just received a used Rule-Mate 750 that I bought on eBay for my '74 Montauk. The only problem was no manual or instructions. So I log on here to look for help and what do I find but a new reference section on bilge pumps.

Thanks again!

simonmeridew posted 06-03-2001 10:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for simonmeridew  Send Email to simonmeridew     
When I put a bilge pump in my Montauk, I hated to drill holes in the sump, so I bought the kind of pump, Rule 500, that if the pump goes bad, you pull the top part, the "guts", out and replace with new guts. You continue to use the old base. Moreover, instead of drilling holes and screwing it down, I put a bead of 4200 around the bottom rim of the base and put it in place overnight. I think I remember using masking tape to keep it from shifting. By morning it was cured and I clipped the guts in, and ready to go.
jimh posted 06-06-2001 08:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
After receiving some e-mail on the subject, I am beginning to wonder if the installation of the bilge pump in my Whaler is really in stock condition. The length of the leads look like they might be long enough to have been run originally under the gunwales, instead of being routed via the tunnel.

Anyone else familiar with the path of the wiring on a Revenge or Outrage between the helm and the pump? Does it go in the tunnel or under the gunwales?


Sam Collins posted 06-06-2001 08:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sam Collins  Send Email to Sam Collins     

Much discussion on Bilge Pumps in earlier post within Repairs/Mods dated 4/11/2001 or 6/3/2000
lhg posted 06-06-2001 09:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Jim - on my 25, with the factory bilge pump in the starboard sump, the 3 wire harness from the console runs in the tunnel. But all the connections are made well above floor level. The switches and pumps come with wires long enough to do this.

I have the BW bilge pump schematic drawing, and I will send it to you. It shows the 3 pronged round connector (hate these things - see other Forum posts). At some point before 1989 they stopped using this and switched to a terminal block mounted high on the hull sidewall instead. That is how mine came rigged.

I am now going to use the "boat trailer connector style" flat 2 or 3 pronged connectors on my bilge pump connections in the future. These float switches and pumps have a life (about as long as a coho salmon!) and after the cramped work of replacing a lot of these, being able to plug and unplug them makes some sense. That way I'll only have to crimp on the plug leads to a new pump or switch on the kitchen table, making sure they are good, take it to the boat and plug it in!

Incidentally, I checked the Whaler options catalog, and for boats 17' and less, the factory bilge pump option was the square Rule 800 gph model. For 18' and larger, it was the Rule 1500 GPH model. So if yours (in the 20) is running 3/4" hose, that was not original, as the 1500 gph model uses 1 1/8" hose. A lot of owners have unwittingly under-sized bilge pump installations in Whalers, as have I. For conditions like "compounder" just described, when you really need to get rid of water, the larger pump can be critical, and that's why they used these sizes. As usual with the BW Classics, everything was well thought out, over designed and sized, and first class.

Now the Montauk gets a 500 gph pump instead of the original 800 gph. 40% reduced pumping capacity is not a big deal, but it saves a few bucks. I hate to see BW scrimping on simple things like that!

Dick posted 06-06-2001 09:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
I new I had an automatic bilge pump in my 99 Montauk, that it worked and had not payed any more attention to it. After reading your post I went out and pulled off the sump cover. It's an Attwood 500 gph auto pump. Probably ok for the Montauk where I run it, but I'm not crazy about Attwood pumps (being a Rule distributor may have something to do with that). Attwood 500gph automatic about $30.00 retail Rule 800gph with auto switch about $66.00 retail. At the price we pay for Whalers what is another $36.00?

Think I'll upgrade.

lhg posted 06-07-2001 12:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Dick - I agree. My 25 outrage came with that same big, boxy Atwood 500gph pump installed in the rear splash well, necessary because of the full transom design. These self contained units save labor installation costs, which is probably why they use them. It worked for about 2 years and quit on me. I've had much better luck with a Rule and separate float switch, although each of those has also been replaced once. Over 12 years, I guess that's not too bad.
hauptjm posted 06-07-2001 11:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
Wow! I can't be sure, but I think mine may be an original. I always thought the previous owner over did it with a Rule 1500. It looks like its 16 years old. In fact, I was going to buy a new one this summer for the day the old one dies. Still works though. I have to admit though, I've never seen a bilge pump make it that long. Maybe the previous owner just stayed with the original design.
triblet posted 06-07-2001 12:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
My Montauk came with 350 GPH rule. On-off,
no smarts, no float switch. I replaced it
with a 500 GPH smart Rule on the same base.


bigz posted 06-07-2001 01:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Of note on bilge pumps, I would add remember these pumps are fused and the fuse will go generally before the pump, make sure if your having a problem to check that first (some pumps have internal resets make sure you check that if so equipped). Also, the on/off/auto switch can play havoc another area to suspect before you rush out for a replacement.

Might find this review interesting of 20 bilge pumps --- you will notice if you pull up the pdf document on the performance ranking overall the Attwood came in 1st and 2nd the Rule Mate 3rd and the Lovett 4th though the Lovett ranks as the number 1 for the most reliable pump.

Here is my favorite surveyor (say that tongue and cheek) since I don't always agree with his recommendations expounding on bilge pumps --- draw your own conclusions if you happen to read this ---- ]

bigz posted 06-07-2001 01:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
oops [url[/url
bigz posted 06-07-2001 01:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
guess can't get either link right so if you want to read these you'll have to cut/paste

sorry about that

JohnT posted 06-07-2001 02:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnT  Send Email to JohnT     
I'll give it a try:

bigz posted 06-07-2001 02:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Thanks JohnT, appreciated since I usually don't have problems with the UBB code -- must be my finger slips or my old eye sight again.

Interesting articles I think.


lhg posted 06-07-2001 02:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Chuck - your pump must have been a Dealer installation. To the best of my knowledge, BW would never install a pump with out a mechanical float switch, either integral or separate. The inadequate size also gives it away. The high price of the automatic "micro chip" pumps seems to be a deterrant, and I don't think BW uses those either. Like you, I have installed an 1100GPH Rule Platinum in the sump of my 18 Outrage. I like the simplicity of installation, but not the on-off cycling system. I actually prefer a mechanical float switch.
Chesapeake posted 06-07-2001 02:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Larry: I also purchased a "platinum." Given the way it operates, should it be wired on-off? I would think the design and operation would eliminate the need for On-off-auto. Do you concur or am I missing something?


lhg posted 06-12-2001 03:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
The Rule automatic micro chip sensing pumps only need an on-off switch, but this is IMPORTANT to have.

I definitely think one of these pumps makes some sense in the small tunnel sump of the Montauks. They are simple to install and don't take up much space. The other alternative is to use the self-contained mechanical switch pumps, such as a "Rule-Mate" 750gph model.

Makaira posted 06-13-2001 02:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Makaira  Send Email to Makaira     
After long and careful consideration, I decided to install a through-hull transducer on my 19 Outrage. I've had poor performance with transom mounted transdures at speed due to interference caused by turbulence. Of course the foam core construction was a major consideration, but so was location. Fortunately, the only place thin enough for a thru-hull to be mounted is in the deck sump. This also provides an ideal location to avoid turbulence and the resulting interference when on plane. I did have to modify the transducer by adding a four inch brass threaded nipple to the end of the one supplied with the factory unit. I also built a teak faring block to ensure proper alignment on the hull. I must admit that drilling that hole did make nervous but with good measurments and plenty of 5200, I've had no problems. The unit is an Interface Probe and I can get accurate bottom readings at 25+ kts in water up to 140 ft.
broadws posted 11-13-2002 04:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for broadws  Send Email to broadws     
Bilge warning. I have a 2001 Montauk. The little white hose from the bilge pump to the transom hole crushed like an eggshell in one summer of sun. I needed to remove it to check the bilge float and it crumble at my touch. Why Whaler would be so cheap on a hose is beyond me. I replaced with high-grade water hose. By the way if this hose breaks on you your pump can go off an shot water into the air that simply goes back into the well. You need to catch in a bucket in order to get the pump to stop or disconnect at the switch.
Jay A posted 11-15-2002 12:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jay A    
For what it's worth department: Rule Industries is in my home port (Gloucester,Ma) and a co-worker of mine has a second job at Rule. He says that the "Platinum" series has been discontinued. They were having "problems" in the field. He didn't know the specifics but did say their standard series of pumps were far more reliable.
Swellmonster posted 11-16-2002 04:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Swellmonster  Send Email to Swellmonster     
Any one try those float switches that activate when 2 probes short out with water?
lhg posted 11-18-2002 04:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Jay - I'm sure BW wouldn't be surprised about those electronic switch pumps. They have never installed them, as they have no manual override if the switching mechanism fails and keeps the pump shut off.

This is another of those BW traditions in ultimate safety. The old fashioned bilge pumps, with separate float switch and manual override, is much safer and reliable. The weakest part of any bilge pump system is the on-off float switch. The Rule 1500 GPH pump in the sump of my 25 outrage has outlasted at least 3 of their float switches!

andygere posted 11-18-2002 06:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I have a Rule Platinum 500 gph in my Montauk and the first one failed in just a few weeks. Rule told me there was a problem with the integrated circuit and West Marine exchanged it for a new one, which has been flawless for over 2 years. The labor (mine) to solder and seal a new waterproof connection was at my expense. I do like the pump however, because it comes on and empties the tunnel before water is slopping around your feet. This is great when drift fishing in snotty conditions and there is a lot of splashing over the transom. Also, it keeps my boat bone dry in the slip and hasn't killed my batteries once.

The bilge pumps in my Outrage 22 look woefully small, and none of them seem to be working either. The previous owner said he always left the plugs out and didn't worry about the pumps). The pump HOA switch panel on the console has a Whaler logo, and I assume that is original. Both are equipped with a float switch, which I'll probably use since the Platinums are no longer available (West didn't have any yesterday). If it will fit, I'd like to install at least a 1500 gpm pump in the aft sump. Any ideas on pump sizing for the forward sump (under the deck, aft of the cuddy doors)?

lhg posted 11-18-2002 07:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Andy - The Whaler factory bilge pumps, all Outrage/Revenges, 18-25, used the Rule 1500 GPH pump, with separate float switch. This is one of Rule's most reliable products. They just keep on working.

The pump in the bow locker was much smaller, about 500 GPH I assume. On mine, the Mayfair float switch has failed, and I can't get to it to replace it. But the pump still works manually.

andygere posted 11-19-2002 09:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Larry- I looked at the Rule 1500 today; will it fit in the sump with the teak cover closed? The Rule Mates are more compact, but with the built-in float swith cost a bunch more as well and I already have the float switch. The basic Rule 2000 is the same size as the 1500 but $25 more. Worth it, or is the 1500 more than enough?
andygere posted 11-20-2002 02:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I answred my own question with a tape measure last night: It looks like the 1500 will fit in the aft sump just fine. The current pump is mounted in the starboard sump, with the discharge hose coming out of the sump cover notch and draining into the motor splash well. The port side aft through-hull is connected to a small bilge pump located inside the in-floor fish box/live well. The switch in the Whaler dash panel for this pump is labeled "aerator" Does anyone know if this is more or less the stock set up? In any event, the article on bilge pumps is both timely and very informative.
lhg posted 11-20-2002 05:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Andy, It sounds like your sternwell areator detail is factory. I have same on my 25. There should be two Mayfair valves to use it either as a live baitwell areator spray head, or to discharge out the thru-hull. This system recently had to be completely replaced on mine, as the valves wore out.

It sounds like your boat came without the factory bilge pump option. Definitely use the Rule 1500, with separate paddle style float switch and Rule 3-way dash panel switch with indicator light. If factory installed, there would be a fitting on the hull inside, terminating in a plastic thru-hull on the outside, and a dual bilge pump switch on the console. I would get rid of the discharge into the splashwell, opting instead to strap a black discharge hose to the engine cables and discharging over the transom in the starboard corner. I use this system on my 18 Outrage, and the absence of a thru-hull is not missed, and it works well and does not look "jerry-rigged". Use the higher grade smoothwall hose.

andygere posted 11-20-2002 07:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Larry, thanks for the info. I'm going to look for the starboard side through-hull since I think a bilge pump (not the current one) was factory installed. My console has the Whaler fore/aft bilge pump switch panel that looks just like the one on your Outrage. I think the sprayhead/discharge system is long gone on my fish well, but I had planned to build one pretty much the way you described it. Right now it's rigged just as a pump out. Would you happen to have a snapshot of the interior of your fish well showing the sprayhead and valves? If I'm going to make my own, I'd like to duplicate the original as much as possible.

By the way, I'm having fun learning all about my new boat, and I really appreciate all the help from the forum membership.

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