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Author Topic:   Adding "switch on" capability to an automatic bilge pump cConverting
Keith Silliman posted 01-07-2002 08:38 AM ET (US)   Profile for Keith Silliman  
I was reading in another post about bilge pumps and their capabilities. I have a Rule 27S 1100 gph automatic bilge pump in my Montauk. The boat sits on a mooring all summer; I have had no problem with the pump. It is wired directly to the electic connections located on the transom.

The one thing I lack is the ability to switch the pump on manually if I get a lot of water in the boat. My approach has been to pull the plug and get the boat on plane, thus draining the boat.

It would be nice to be able to switch the pump on manually, at times. Any thoughts on the easiest method of installing a switch (and where to mount the switch-- I have an unused switch on the console).


jameso posted 01-07-2002 09:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for jameso  Send Email to jameso     
I do not understand?? you have an automatic bilge pump but you get water in the boat and the pump won't come on? Sounds like the auto function is not working, is the pump equiped with a float or the newer auto feature? My friends 19 Wahoo has two pumps one (small) is automatic, the other is wired to a switch on the console. We had two pumps in hand and said why not, redundant systems can't hurt.
my 03 Jim Armstrong
dfmcintyre posted 01-07-2002 10:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Keith -

If you go to a local marine store, like WEST, you'll find a switch and mounting plate that will to just what ou need. The only additional item is a thrtee conductor wire, also available there. Be sure to make the connections waterproof.


lhg posted 01-07-2002 01:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Jim, as mentioned elsewhere, these Rule computer bilge pumps only "test" for water every 3 minutes or so. They don't work like a conventional float switch. So, once shut down after water is pumped out, you can't get them to come back on until another 3 minutes is passed, even if your boat is filled with water! But an on-off switch breaks this cycle when the power is disconnected, then when re-applied, the pump tests for water immediately, and begins pumping again.

Keith, the switch is simply inserted in the positive lead to the pump. So you will have to run a pair of wires up to the console. It seems your vacant switch is the one to use, unless you are saving it for something else.
Then the Rule on-off switch (about $16) recommended by Don makes sense. This is what I have used for mine.

andygere posted 01-07-2002 02:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
My Rule 500 gph smart pump is set up like Larry's. To manually start it, I just toggle the power switch off/on the console and it fires right up. Don't forget to use an in-line fuse. I think Rule reccomends a 2.5 amp fuse for the smaller pumps.
Whaler15 posted 01-08-2002 08:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whaler15  Send Email to Whaler15     
I think lhg has a good point. A switch in the positive lead is the simplest solution if it an automatic pump that cycles every 2-3 minutes using a timer rather than a float.

My only concern is if the switch is in the "off" position (accidentally left in that position or bumped) the pump will not function at all. I would recommend that you use a "momentary" switch (pushbutton, normally closed) that only stays in that position as long as the button is pressed, and returns to a closed position when released. When the pushbutton is released the pump would cycle and continue to run as long as water is present.

To do this, I would run a wire from the down side of the fuse (you definitely need a fuse0), through the new switch, then back to the positive lead of the pump. Also note that the new switch needs to have a current rating sufficient to handle the pump current ( I would guess 2-5 amps dc), check with the pump manufacturer.

Hope this helps.

kingfish posted 01-08-2002 09:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Further to Whaler15, I have also seen (in fact have one) spring-loaded toggle switches that you push against the spring to defeat the normally closed circuit; let it up and you are back in the automatic mode.


lhg posted 01-08-2002 04:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Just remember that one still needs to shut this pump down for long periods of time when it's not needed, such as in storage, when "fair weather boating", when on a trailer, etc.
misterca posted 01-15-2002 08:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for misterca  Send Email to misterca     
Wired mine to the unused acessory swith on my console (1996 Montauk). Seemed to worh out great as I can turn it on when the water has not risen enough to activate the float switch.

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