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Author Topic:   Auto bilge pump pros and cons
Cpt Quint posted 06-12-2002 12:26 PM ET (US)   Profile for Cpt Quint   Send Email to Cpt Quint  
I decided to treat myself to and auto bilge pump for my classic 16. There are basicaaly two types of auto pumps. One (type A) has an internal chip that cycles the pump every 2.5 minutes and then quickly shuts off if no water present. The other (type B)
has an internal float that pops on once 2 3/4 water is filled in.
Both West marine labels.
My question is which is more prevelant. Your battery runs down (type A) due to the every 2.5 minute switch and/or the chip burns out and the boat fills up anyway //or the float gets stuck (type B)and runs your battery down. What has happened in your case??
Bigshot posted 06-12-2002 02:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
They do not draw anything. They Rule pumps have a learning cycle. If you keep the boat dry all the time it will cycle less frequently(supposably). It will NOT wear down you battery, they literally come on for a second unless there is water. I love mine.
Cpt Quint posted 06-12-2002 02:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Cpt Quint  Send Email to Cpt Quint     
thanks, I was leaning that way. Someone told me that the internal float (type B) has a tendency to get stuck in the on position which would drain the battery eventually.
lhg posted 06-12-2002 04:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
There is much previous discussion of these various typs of pumps, and pro's and cons of all.

Even though I use a couple of these, successfully, in selected places, BW has never installed them, preferring instead the OLD RELIABLE separate (and visible) float switch and manual pumps. With the three way OFF-AUTO-MANUAL switching, these are the ultimate in reliablity if the going gets tough. Particularly in the old days, everything BW installed or recommended in a Whaler was for foul weather, life threatening safety. Today, many people inadvertantly rig their boats for "fair weather" boating only, a REAL mistake if you're in big water.

If you use the Rule Platinium "chip" pump, be ***SURE*** to install an on-off switch in the power lead.

whalernut posted 06-12-2002 05:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I have the Rule Platinum 500 pump in my Currituck and yes id does learn if it stays dry and only checks every 10 minutes after a while and I have started my boat after sitting for 3 weeks with a strong battery!! I have it hot wired to the battery, with a quick disconect and inline fuse, highly reccomended or as Jim H. suggested use an inline off/on switch. Jack.
larimore posted 06-12-2002 11:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for larimore  Send Email to larimore     
I had a rule platinum pump - Hated it... Cycled on and off constantly, would run the battery down after a long period. And I always forgot to turn it off. Never again. I have two small Rule integrated float/pumps that I like best, mainly for ease of installation and compactness. I also have a seperate pump/float. All have their problems. A note: Mount the float towards the bow and the pump towards the stern, gets more water out that way.
ratherwhalering posted 06-13-2002 01:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
I installed a Rule 500 Automatic. It has the auto pump feature, and a manual override. A three position switch on the dash allows for off-auto-manual(on). I replaced a float switch that was malfunctioning, and wouldn't go back. Too much gunk can clutter up the bilge and interfere with the float, in my experience. I like the manual position... if I take a boarding sea, I just have to pull the switch all the way out for instant relief.
wildeone posted 06-13-2002 03:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for wildeone  Send Email to wildeone     
I have a Rule automatic 500 in my 18 Outrage,(cycles every 2.5 minutes) this is not a Platinum series.
Last summer I had it hot wired to my cranking battery (easy and short run) after 2 weeks it drained the battery. The battery was suspect before, but this didn't help.
This year I have it hot wired to my deep cycle, and after 2 weeks idle, no problems. Although you can see that batery charging on the meter.

By the way, EVERYONE told me to install a 3 way switch, but what good is a three way if your not near the boat to turn it off!!!

Anymore thoughts on this, I was thinking of installing the Rule with internal float and automatic (they claim).

ratherwhalering posted 06-13-2002 04:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
The three position switch allows you to turn it off completely, leave it in automatic cycle mode when moored or raining, or turn it on immediately... without waiting for the next cycle or turning it off, waiting a few seconds, then turning it on.
gvisko posted 06-13-2002 09:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for gvisko  Send Email to gvisko     
i put a kill switch on my rule auto pump
so i can shut it down while iam on the boat
the sound every 2 min starts to get to you
when i leave i put it back on gv
CaptCornchowder posted 06-14-2002 09:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for CaptCornchowder  Send Email to CaptCornchowder     
As usual I have learned more in 5 minutes on this site than pages of blurb. Thank you. I installed the Rule auto, cylcled every 2 mins. Called Rule asked the diferance and advantage of auto or float. No one could give me a straight ansewer. One person said it was a matter of preferance, I stated jumping off a cliff is also a preferance but what's the advantage. They did not like my question go figure!
larimore posted 03-26-2003 07:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for larimore  Send Email to larimore     
If you leave the pump cycling, it will slowly but surely drain the battery.
Batteries last much longer when fully charged. If you are in a situation where you can shut off the pump when the boat is not in use, no problem. But if you need to leave the pump on(ie-rainwater) big problem.
andygere posted 03-27-2003 02:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Rule replaced 2 Platinum 500 gph pumps for me on warranty, finally sending me the standard automatic pump after the second one failed. Both times the "chip" went bad, once in the on postion, once in the off. Rule has since discontinued the Platinum pump. I like the standard one better because it has a 3 wire set up for auto or momentary/manual on. I selected this type of pump over a float switch type because of its compact size (fits nicely in a Montauk sump).
Clark Roberts posted 03-27-2003 06:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
I use the Rule automatic (chip) type and have had only one problem...a leaf found its way inside to the impeller and when pump cycled on it kept running (the leaf put resistance on the impeller and, since the pump uses impeller resistance as an indication of water, it just kept running) until fuse blew but not before the pump body partially melted! A fused circuit is a must for safety! Also check that pump for debris often! Safe Whalin'... Clark... Spruce Creek Navy
Bigshot posted 03-27-2003 08:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Andy....platinum pumps are alive and well. The only issue I have with mine is if you take a wave over the bow, you might have to wait a minute for it to cycle. Therefore I have it on a switch so once you turn it off and then on again, it starts running.
triblet posted 03-27-2003 10:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
The Rule Platinum automatics learn. The Rule
non-platinum automatics do not learn, they
just cycle on every three minutes and run until


andygere posted 03-27-2003 11:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
When I spoke with Rule a few months ago, they told me the Platinum line was being pulled because there were so many failures in the "smart" circuitry. I originally bought a Platinum because I liked the idea that it learned and cycled less frequently, and that its test cycles drew less current than the test cycles on the standard pump. When it worked it was terrific, with very low battery draw. When drift fishing in following seas, it always came on in time to keep the floor of my Montauk dry. Unfortunately, when it failed it left me with a dead battery one time and a bunch of rain water in the boat the next.
John W posted 03-27-2003 11:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for John W  Send Email to John W     
My father had one of the auto-cycle types in his 16 whaler...we both hated it. And it will drain the battery if the boat is left unused for long periods.

I use the type with the built in float switch. I then take some plastic mosquito type netting & secure it around the entire pump assembly before mounting the pump. The netting will prevent anything from clogging the impeller or the float switch. I have never had any problems with this setup.

Cpt Quint posted 03-27-2003 01:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Cpt Quint  Send Email to Cpt Quint     
well heck, I only asked this question (first post) 8 months ago. I did buy the float pump and like this set up. I didnt even hook it up 3 way...whats the only need it to come on when the water is in the boat and the float switch will do that for you. Plus, mine fits snug under throttle cables so I pull it every so oftern and flip it over to make sure its not clogged and then just wedge it back in the bilge area without permanent mount. Thanks for answering my question?

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