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Semi-automatic bilge pump query

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  • Semi-automatic bilge pump query

    Is there any such thing as a bilge pump that will be turned on by a float switch, but then will run until no more water?

    My problem is that my old 20 takes on rainwater pretty easily. It then gets to where the water in the bilge is just boucing the float switch (mounted a couple of inches up). So the pump will run for a sec or two every time the boat rocks, but never enough to fully empty the bilge. My concern is that with the pump constantly cycling but never really accomplishing much, it will run down my batteries.

    Idealy, I'd like a pump setup that will only turn on once water reaches a pre-determined level, but then will not turn off until there's no more water. (and not on of those fully automatic Rule's that cycle every 5min whether there's water or not). Any ideas?

    Thanks -
    NYC & L.I. - 1974 \"Classic\" Mako 20\' - Suzuki 2006 DF150 - Fly & Light Tackle, C&R[br]My boat:[br]Personal website:

  • #2
    You might want to consider a solid state pump switch instead of a mechanical float switch. The specifications and an explanation on how they work can be found in the link below.

    The neat thing about these switches is that it is impossible to foul them as there are no moving parts.

    I replaced all of my float switches this past winter with these, and so far I've been very pleased with them.
    Capt Kevin ~~~><((((*>[br][br] 2520 MVSC \"Chesapeake Edition\"[br]Annapolis, Maryland[br]


    • #3
      You could mount a manually operated bildge in the lowest part of your bildge. When you notice the float controled bilge bumping on and off, just flip the switch and pump everything out until dry. Maybe even just put a switch on the float operated bilge to turn it on manually in that situation.
      Artie Sutherland[br]Rude Attitude -\'76 Mako 25 CC. - SOLD[br]1976 Mako 21[br]2002 Yellowfin 31 - 300 hp Suzukis[br]Gulf Coast, Mississippi[br]


      • #4
        I want the whole process to be FULLY automatic.

        I want to leave the boat, and know that if I get a rainy week, it's not going to spend the whole week, after the first downpour, bouncing the switch on and off with every rock of the boat.
        NYC & L.I. - 1974 \"Classic\" Mako 20\' - Suzuki 2006 DF150 - Fly & Light Tackle, C&R[br]My boat:[br]Personal website:


        • #5
          Rule makes a pump that starts every few minutes. If it detects water it will run until all the water is pumped out.

          Link to it on the boaters world site is:

          Sarasota, Florida