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Author Topic:   Orientation of Float Switch
Smithsm posted 06-24-2008 10:54 AM ET (US)   Profile for Smithsm   Send Email to Smithsm  
I read the section that talks in length about how to install a float switch into the small bilge area of an 1988 outrate 20.

I have read and re-read this - and must admit I don't get it. (Years of math down the drain)

Anyway - can anyone provide a different explanation of how to orient the switch ? Should the floating piece be to the front, the back or sideways ?

Here is the description that is not clear to me:

First, the switch should be oriented so that the axis of its pivot is inline with the keel. This will prevent the switch from binding when it tries to float up and actuate. Then, the axis of rotation of the switch should be placed outboard

swist posted 06-24-2008 11:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
The switch should be *theoretically* level to operate best. You want it influenced as little as possible by the movement of the boat - as the instructions point out, in extreme cases this can cause the float to bind (although I think this is rare).

So you pick a position where the axis is parallel to the keel (the switch body will be parallel to the transom) - hence the float is influenced mainly by the side-to-side movement of the hull (i.e. rolling). Most boats' rolling moment is relatively short, and the boat tends to spends a lot of its time in a side-to-side level position.

If you orient it the other way, the switch will be influenced mainly by the bow angle, which is much more influenced by trim, sea conditions, boat loading, etc. And the pitching moment is longer and usually steeper than the rolling moment (witness: hole shots). So your switch is more likely to be out of level more of the time.

Frankly, I don't think it is a huge deal. All the switches I've seen will fall back to level via gravity even if temporarily pinned on (or off), by an extreme movement of the vessel.

Hope this helps.

Nauti Tauk posted 06-24-2008 01:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Nauti Tauk  Send Email to Nauti Tauk     
Buy an Ultima bilge switch from Cabelas it won't make any difference which way it faces. The footprint will also be smaller since there is no "float" to worry about. No moving parts at all, totally encapsulated. Switch costs about $40.00 soooo simple and reliable.
Nauti Tauk posted 06-24-2008 01:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Nauti Tauk  Send Email to Nauti Tauk     
Buy an Ultima bilge switch from Cabelas it won't make any difference which way it faces. The footprint will also be smaller since there is no "float" to worry about. No moving parts at all, totally encapsulated. Switch costs about $40.00 soooo simple and reliable.
Nauti Tauk posted 06-24-2008 01:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Nauti Tauk  Send Email to Nauti Tauk     
Hey I like the unit but not enough to post twice! Sorry.
Jerry
Smithsm posted 06-28-2008 07:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for Smithsm  Send Email to Smithsm     
does the Ultima bilge switch from Cabelas cause a slow but constant drain on the battery ????
Smithsm posted 06-30-2008 04:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Smithsm  Send Email to Smithsm     
I decided to use the ultima and attach it to a regular rule pump.

towboater posted 06-30-2008 04:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for towboater  Send Email to towboater     
Nice choice.

On the question of orientation...
There is no way to align a float switch in a way that the movement of the boat OR the bilge water itself does not influence it.

Prior to the high tech sensors, I found aligning the flapper in line with the keel, facing aft and placing a large alum wire mesh spagetti strainer over top of it worked great.

mk

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