Automatic Bilge Advice

Question:

I’d like to replace the 500GPH bilge pump in our 18′ boat with an automatic one.  Any advice on brands or installation do’s and don’ts would be appreciated.

Get the 1100 GPH Rule, the adapter to your smaller hose size so you don’t have to replace all the hoses and hull fittings and the Rule magnetic, non-fouling float switch.  Do NOT buy one of those damned computerized BATTERY KILLERS that come on every couple of minutes to see if they draw any current!!  The float switch only runs the motor WHEN YOU NEED IT, not to satisfy some computer chip’s curiosity. Larry….I know…My Sea Ray came with the CHEAPEST Atwood pump and NO float switch they could install.  Useless…..

Response:

- Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – I’d like to replace the 500GPH bilge pump in our 18′ boat with an automatic one.  Any advice on brands or installation do’s and don’ts would be appreciated. All you need to make your bilge pump automatic is a float switch that turns the pump on when the water level rises high enough to trigger it. Rule makes float switches, as do other bilge pump mfrs. Check the West Marine or BOAT/US catalog. Peggie If you moor your boat in the water and have a significant water inflow into the bilge problem, either from leakage or rain, you might want to consider whether frequent autocycling and use of the bilge pump will drain your battery. I’ve known about a couple of cases like that in the past. In one instance, the boat owner installed a solar panel battery charger to keep the battery ahead of the pump, but this was only partially successful because of excessive cloudy or rainy skies.

In this case wire the solar panel directly to the bilge pump. (using an a/b switch so that you can power it from the battery while you are onboard/underway) DAVe

Response:

- Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – I’d like to replace the 500GPH bilge pump in our 18′ boat with an automatic one.  Any advice on brands or installation do’s and don’ts would be appreciated. All you need to make your bilge pump automatic is a float switch that turns the pump on when the water level rises high enough to trigger it. Rule makes float switches, as do other bilge pump mfrs. Check the West Marine or BOAT/US catalog. Peggie If you moor your boat in the water and have a significant water inflow into the bilge problem, either from leakage or rain, you might want to consider whether frequent autocycling and use of the bilge pump will drain your battery. I’ve known about a couple of cases like that in the past. In one instance, the boat owner installed a solar panel battery charger to keep the battery ahead of the pump, but this was only partially successful because of excessive cloudy or rainy skies. In this case wire the solar panel directly to the bilge pump. (using an a/b switch so that you can power it from the battery while you are onboard/underway)

What?  Are you saying to wire a solar panel to the bilge pump and cut the battery out of the circuit?  You’d have to cover your entire boat with panels in order for that to work.  You need to have the panel charging the battery and the pump hooked up directly to the battery before any switches. Steve — / / / / / /

Response:

Wrong, there are many instalations (mostly farm) that use this technique. When the sun is out and the switch is closed the pump runs. If the solar panel bank is big enough and the pump is small enough it works just fine. Try hooking up a typical solar panel, or two, or three, without a battery to a 500gph bilge pump and tell me if it pumps any water high enough to get to the thru hull.

Key point: the farm pump operates when it’s sunny. You need your bilge pump to run when it’s dark and rainy.

Response:

- Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – Wrong, there are many instalations (mostly farm) that use this technique. When the sun is out and the switch is closed the pump runs. If the solar panel bank is big enough and the pump is small enough it works just fine. Try hooking up a typical solar panel, or two, or three, without a battery to a 500gph bilge pump and tell me if it pumps any water high enough to get to the thru hull. Key point: the farm pump operates when it’s sunny. You need your bilge pump to run when it’s dark and rainy.

Good point. I mentioned the battery less design because someone earlier in the thread was worried about killing their battery. DAVe

Response:

- Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – I’d like to replace the 500GPH bilge pump in our 18′ boat with an automatic one.  Any advice on brands or installation do’s and don’ts would be appreciated. All you need to make your bilge pump automatic is a float switch that turns the pump on when the water level rises high enough to trigger it. Rule makes float switches, as do other bilge pump mfrs. Check the West Marine or BOAT/US catalog. Peggie If you moor your boat in the water and have a significant water inflow into the bilge problem, either from leakage or rain, you might want to consider whether frequent autocycling and use of the bilge pump will drain your battery. I’ve known about a couple of cases like that in the past. In one instance, the boat owner installed a solar panel battery charger to keep the battery ahead of the pump, but this was only partially successful because of excessive cloudy or rainy skies. In this case wire the solar panel directly to the bilge pump. (using an a/b switch so that you can power it from the battery while you are onboard/underway) What?  Are you saying to wire a solar panel to the bilge pump and cut the battery out of the circuit?  You’d have to cover your entire boat with panels in order for that to work.  You need to have the panel charging the battery and the pump hooked up directly to the battery before any switches. Wrong, there are many instalations (mostly farm) that use this technique. When the sun is out and the switch is closed the pump runs. If the solar panel bank is big enough and the pump is small enough it works just fine.

Try hooking up a typical solar panel, or two, or three, without a battery to a 500gph bilge pump and tell me if it pumps any water high enough to get to the thru hull.  And 500gph is the absolute bare minimum size bilge pump for ANY boat.  You really should have at least a 1500gph pump on a boat any bigger than a PWC.  Farm installations aren’t in danger of sinking Steve — / / / / / /

Response:

- Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – I’d like to replace the 500GPH bilge pump in our 18′ boat with an automatic one.  Any advice on brands or installation do’s and don’ts would be appreciated. All you need to make your bilge pump automatic is a float switch that turns the pump on when the water level rises high enough to trigger it. Rule makes float switches, as do other bilge pump mfrs. Check the West Marine or BOAT/US catalog. Peggie If you moor your boat in the water and have a significant water inflow into the bilge problem, either from leakage or rain, you might want to consider whether frequent autocycling and use of the bilge pump will drain your battery. I’ve known about a couple of cases like that in the past. In one instance, the boat owner installed a solar panel battery charger to keep the battery ahead of the pump, but this was only partially successful because of excessive cloudy or rainy skies. In this case wire the solar panel directly to the bilge pump. (using an a/b switch so that you can power it from the battery while you are onboard/underway) What?  Are you saying to wire a solar panel to the bilge pump and cut the battery out of the circuit?  You’d have to cover your entire boat with panels in order for that to work.  You need to have the panel charging the battery and the pump hooked up directly to the battery before any switches.

Wrong, there are many instalations (mostly farm) that use this technique. When the sun is out and the switch is closed the pump runs. If the solar panel bank is big enough and the pump is small enough it works just fine. I mentioned it becaus eof the concern of killing the battery. BTW yopu could also spent the $ on a controller (about $100) that will disconect the battery when it reaches a preset voltage. DAVe

Response:

Good point, Harry. However, mounting the float switch a little high should cut down on the time the bilge pump runs. Finding and repairing the leak or a boat or cockpit cover is an even better solution. Peggie – Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – I’d like to replace the 500GPH bilge pump in our 18′ boat with an automatic one.  Any advice on brands or installation do’s and don’ts would be appreciated. All you need to make your bilge pump automatic is a float switch that turns the pump on when the water level rises high enough to trigger it. Rule makes float switches, as do other bilge pump mfrs. Check the West Marine or BOAT/US catalog. Peggie If you moor your boat in the water and have a significant water inflow into the bilge problem, either from leakage or rain, you might want to consider whether frequent autocycling and use of the bilge pump will drain your battery. I’ve known about a couple of cases like that in the past. In one instance, the boat owner installed a solar panel battery charger to keep the battery ahead of the pump, but this was only partially successful because of excessive cloudy or rainy skies. — Harry Krause – - – - – - – - – - – - The cow ate bluegrass and mooed indigo.

Response:

I’d like to replace the 500GPH bilge pump in our 18′ boat with an automatic one.  Any advice on brands or installation do’s and don’ts would be appreciated. All you need to make your bilge pump automatic is a float switch that turns the pump on when the water level rises high enough to trigger it. Rule makes float switches, as do other bilge pump mfrs. Check the West Marine or BOAT/US catalog. Peggie

If you moor your boat in the water and have a significant water inflow into the bilge problem, either from leakage or rain, you might want to consider whether frequent autocycling and use of the bilge pump will drain your battery. I’ve known about a couple of cases like that in the past. In one instance, the boat owner installed a solar panel battery charger to keep the battery ahead of the pump, but this was only partially successful because of excessive cloudy or rainy skies. — Harry Krause – - – - – - – - – - – - The cow ate bluegrass and mooed indigo.

Response:

I’d like to replace the 500GPH bilge pump in our 18′ boat with an automatic one.  Any advice on brands or installation do’s and don’ts would be appreciated.

  If the 500gph pump is still shipshape just add a float switch, fuse, and wire it to the positive battery terminal prior to the battery disconnect switch.  This will provide you with automatic operation in addition to the manual operation via the bilge switch at the helm.                                 Michael

Response:

I’d like to replace the 500GPH bilge pump in our 18′ boat with an automatic one.  Any advice on brands or installation do’s and don’ts would be appreciated.

Response:

I’d like to replace the 500GPH bilge pump in our 18′ boat with an automatic one.  Any advice on brands or installation do’s and don’ts would be appreciated.

All you need to make your bilge pump automatic is a float switch that turns the pump on when the water level rises high enough to trigger it. Rule makes float switches, as do other bilge pump mfrs. Check the West Marine or BOAT/US catalog. Peggie

Response:

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