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Old 25 June 2011, 09:42   #1
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Exploding Float switch

I'm not having a lot of luck with the Bilge Pump float switches at the moment. I fitted a Rule switch last year and it suffered from oil contamination from the steering ram. This resulted in the plastic becoming soft and eventually breaking. The construction was in my opnion a bit flimsey.

So I spotted Fladen float switch on Ebay which looked a bit more substantial or so I thought. Well all has been well and it has been working fine on the drive clearing the rain water, apart from the other night when I heard the pump going at 4am in the morning. the pump is an 1100 GPH Rule so it will clear the water in the sump in about 10 seconds max. So I had to get out of bed and try and work out what was causing the problem. I got out there and the sump was dry pump running. I lifted and lower the float several time before it stopped. today I went back to check it and the sump was half full so I lifted the float to check the operation. It was then it exploded in my hand!!!
It looks like petrol has seeped into the float void and when I lifted it the micro switch sparked and ignited the fuel.

So what shall I waste my money on now??

Has anyone else had problems with float switches?

Can any of you recommend a decent make that is tough and chemical resistant?

Thanks,

Paul
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Old 25 June 2011, 10:09   #2
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The first thing I would tackle is where the fuel is leaking in to the sump.

Then I would have a look at solid state level switches. Ones that don't involve moving parts.
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Old 25 June 2011, 10:30   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hightower View Post
The first thing I would tackle is where the fuel is leaking in to the sump.

Then I would have a look at solid state level switches. Ones that don't involve moving parts.
The sump is directly below the transom so a little leak from the carbs on full tilt happens occasionally.

The solid state idea is good but the couple I have looked at can't sense rain water as it is too pure therefore the sensor won't detect the boat is full and the trailer is about to break in two
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Old 25 June 2011, 12:44   #4
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try one of these:

39 Eco Switch, 12 volt d.c. > Bilge Pump Accessories > JabscoShop - Jabsco & Rule Pumps and more - from the experts

works on air pressure, as the bilge recess fills up the water forces air up the pipe and it forces a diaphram to switch and micro switch and bilge pump engaged, the working part/electrical part can be mount out of harms way and out of the water!!! i fitted one to a RIB i had a few years back, worked ok for me....
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Old 25 June 2011, 13:06   #5
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I use a Water Witch solid state switch going to a Rule 1100GPH pump, but normally just run the bilge pump on manual. The WW does work quite well (it gets tested occasionally), but I'm not sure I've got the height mounted for reliable auto on/off operation. The On part works, but the Off, not so much. As the boat lives on a trailer, it's not a big deal.

jky
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Old 25 June 2011, 18:29   #6
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Brilliant, thanks for the ideas, I like the pressure one especially so much better than having a moving float.

I have spent two housr looking for an answer and didn't find it, this forum is ACE

Thanks,

Paul
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Old 25 June 2011, 18:41   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butty View Post
try one of these:

39 Eco Switch, 12 volt d.c. > Bilge Pump Accessories > JabscoShop - Jabsco & Rule Pumps and more - from the experts

works on air pressure, as the bilge recess fills up the water forces air up the pipe and it forces a diaphram to switch and micro switch and bilge pump engaged, the working part/electrical part can be mount out of harms way and out of the water!!! i fitted one to a RIB i had a few years back, worked ok for me....
Great switch's, lasted way longer than any other i used, fitting these to my project rib.
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Old 26 June 2011, 07:06   #8
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I have an ECO air one too so far so good !
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