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CHECK your Auto Bilge FLOAT SWITCH!

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Old 08-23-2004, 02:20 PM
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Default CHECK your Auto Bilge FLOAT SWITCH!

Took the boat to Smith Mountain Lake this weekend, and while sitting in a restaurant; a pretty quick and heavy rain shower moved in. It came in so fast putting the cockpit cover on was useless. I did eventually make it down and cover up the dash and guages, and went back inside and kept an eye on the bilge pump outlets to wonder when the Auto Bilge was going to kick on. Some time went by, and no fountains coming out of the boat. I headed down and openned the engine hatch, and water was up to the bottom of my oil pans. I reached down and could manually twist the 'axle' of the Attwood Float Switches to make them kick on the auto bilge pumps; however, they would not float up on their own. I removed the float switches from the bottom of the boat, by removing the three screws holding each down, and figured they were gummed up and sticking to the bottom of the boat. When I layed the float switch down into the 4 inches of water in the bilge, the whole thing would float around a bit, but would NOT kick on. WTF??

This is the float switch I have; two of them:


Turns out, as water entered the bottom of the housings, air was being trapped in the upper portion of the float switch housing cover, and the float switch itself did not have enough floatation to overcome this pressure; and hence, float up to kick on. I would call this a factory defect/bad/terrible design. As soon as I bored a little hole in the top of each float switch housing cover, the air escaped, water entered and filled the housing, and hence, the float floated.

I had tested my auto bilge pumps float switches by just manually picking twisting the 'axles' of the float switch, but this is NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

FILL YOUR BILGE WITH WATER, and make sure they come on as they are supposed to. I did not have a close call, but I do not want anyone else to have one either.
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Old 08-23-2004, 02:25 PM
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Default Re: CHECK your Auto Bilge FLOAT SWITCH!

Float switches are crap! They get clogged, rusted, gunked up, etc. They never work for more than a season or two with any reliability.

Get the new kind that are solid-state, no moving parts, just a sensor that sends a signal when it comes in contact with water. They're bullet-proof and last forever. Check them out in the latest powerboat mag.
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Old 08-23-2004, 02:27 PM
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Default Re: CHECK your Auto Bilge FLOAT SWITCH!

The ones above are all plastic, and are working fine now, but man, what a crock they never worked right from originally installed.
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Old 08-23-2004, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: CHECK your Auto Bilge FLOAT SWITCH!

I hear ya, man...but I never had any luck with those things. A year is about the best I get out of them. It gets even better when they get stuck on and you fry your pump and kill your battery.
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Old 08-23-2004, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: CHECK your Auto Bilge FLOAT SWITCH!

Brian I am with Baja on this one. Get the solid state ones and you will be MUCH safer. I had my floats jam and it caused my boat to sink!!!

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Old 08-23-2004, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: CHECK your Auto Bilge FLOAT SWITCH!

OK, you got my attention. Got a link?
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Old 08-23-2004, 04:01 PM
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Default Re: CHECK your Auto Bilge FLOAT SWITCH!

The float switches have never worked for me. Often the float will jamb and the pump will run continuously. My pumps (white shoe boxes, can't think of the mfr.) are always coming apart too. Finally zip tied the buggers together so they can't separate. Of course, now the floats are not working again. What pieces of chit these pumps are.
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Old 08-23-2004, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: CHECK your Auto Bilge FLOAT SWITCH!

I bought one this year, just haven't got around to putting it in yet!

Automatic bilge pumps
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Old 08-23-2004, 04:53 PM
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Default Re: CHECK your Auto Bilge FLOAT SWITCH!

http://www.waterwitch.info/
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Old 08-23-2004, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: CHECK your Auto Bilge FLOAT SWITCH!

They sell them at Boat US

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