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Old 28 June 2013, 16:12   #1
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Attwood Sahara bilge pump (help needed)

We have our lovely redbay, it had been outside since its launch back in 2002.

I bought it 2 months ago, needed a thorough clean.

I was amazed to find that when the battery and terminals were replaced that the bilge pump still worked including the permanent live float feature.

Whilst on holiday four weeks ago we left the boat on a swing mooring and the auto bilge worked find, one day i noticed when travelling that we had water in the boat and then I noticed it didn't automatically work. I manually operated it and emptied the boat.

When you operate the manual override switch on our console the pump works fine, but when you put the console switch on auto mode and then lift the float on the pump housing situated in the well next to the transom nothing happens, when I operate the bilge float manually on the pump I can hear the switch contacts inside clicking but nothing happens, I have checked the feeds on the console switch for manual and auto and both are live.

Question is do these pumps have a habit of doing this, I am wondering if something has happened inside the pump, I can't see how these pumps come apart, it clicks out of the bracket ok, I can see underneath where the float and intake are but can't see how I can get at the wires on the top.

Any advice folks, got a holiday coming up in west Scotland and we will be leaving it on a swing mooring and hence want the bilge to help me.

I have looked at the wiring diagram online and it looks like the wires are sealed inside the pump

Any advice or help please
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Old 28 June 2013, 16:43   #2
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You need to put a multimeter on the float switch to see if it actually is making a circuit when you lift it. Float switches are notorious for packing up, I've never heard of a pump that would run from one of its feeds but not the other.
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Old 28 June 2013, 16:45   #3
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Hi I'd check that there is power going to the constant live part and that its not just a blown fuse. If that is ok then it's inside the pump that's failed. Very common on most makes of pumps so I'd just replace it and you'll be fine.
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Old 28 June 2013, 16:54   #4
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I had one of these that did just that - auto float switch failed but still ran on manual. The pump is sealed so if you want Auto (and you do) I fear it's for the bin.
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Old 28 June 2013, 16:58   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterwhite View Post
Hi I'd check that there is power going to the constant live part and that its not just a blown fuse. If that is ok then it's inside the pump that's failed. Very common on most makes of pumps so I'd just replace it and you'll be fine.
Forgot to say that the auto and manual console switch is live all the time, so don't think it is the feed.

My frustration is finding how to get to the float switch inside the pump, I agree it is something inside the pump.

Will do some more messing on Sunday if this weather finally lets me
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Old 28 June 2013, 17:03   #6
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I didn't realise it was a built in float switch, in which case Willk speaks the truth, especially as its a mercury switch
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Old 28 June 2013, 17:08   #7
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I didn't realise it was a built in float switch, in which case Willk speaks the truth, especially as its a mercury switch
Are you tilting at windmills again?
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Old 28 June 2013, 17:10   #8
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I had one of these that did just that - auto float switch failed but still ran on manual. The pump is sealed so if you want Auto (and you do) I fear it's for the bin.
Can you get a seperate float switch and wire it into the manual feed in parallel?
SEAFLO AUTOMATIC BILGE PUMP FLOAT SWITCH 12, 24 OR 32 VOLT - BOAT - YACHT | eBay
I realise that might be extra clutter in the beauty of a Redbay...

Assuming the wiring is something like this you'd just add the bit in Red...
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Old 30 June 2013, 16:59   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShinyShoe View Post
Can you get a seperate float switch and wire it into the manual feed in parallel?
SEAFLO AUTOMATIC BILGE PUMP FLOAT SWITCH 12, 24 OR 32 VOLT - BOAT - YACHT | eBay
I realise that might be extra clutter in the beauty of a Redbay...

Assuming the wiring is something like this you'd just add the bit in Red...
Thanks for your feedback

Following your advice I have ordered a floating switch as it seems a shame to throw away a good pump.

Will let you know how I get on
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Old 08 July 2013, 16:32   #10
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If you all fancy a laugh

Ordered a float switch, came to fit it on Saturday evening and guess what as I followed the wiring along the loom, the connecting wire to the automatic feed on the pump had corroded and separated.

The inline connectors had not been finished off re the heat shrink and water had attacked

Quickly joined them together and hey presto, automatics back working again.

Just goes to show, keep to basics. Got a spare float now though, ready for the switch when it decides to give up.

Thanks again
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