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Old 25 August 2004, 16:51   #1
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Opinions on float switches?

Having a bit of trouble with my float switch. Sometimes won't come on, and then last night after all the rain it came on and didn't turn off. Fortunately not a major problem as the boat's out of the water at the moment, but the last thing I want is a drained battery and burnt out pump just before I go to use the boat.

Now this may not sound like a major deal, but the switch (well the boat as well actually) is only three weeks old, so it shouldn't be giving me any grief yet The pump and switch are made by Piranha Shur-flo and I thought looked quite reliable. Clearly not. The plastic casing seems to have gone a bit rough, almost like lime-scale which may not be helping. Needless to say I'm trying to contact the boat maker ProSport... (you'll know this is easier said than done if you've read any previous posts) and I've already spoken to Shur flo.

So the question is... after all the waffle above... what's the most reliable make or type of float switch?
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Old 25 August 2004, 16:56   #2
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I get the impression that float switches arn't the best in the world.......

You can get some switches that work on electricty passing through two little terminals when the water level rises (someone give me the proper name!). This has no moving parts and is probably a much more reliable sort than the float sort....
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Old 25 August 2004, 17:06   #3
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yes thats what youu want it's the only one I have found reliable.

It's made by Jabsco and it's called a hydroswitch

http://www.jabsco.com/prodInfoApp/se...E&typeId=JMBPA
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Old 26 August 2004, 10:14   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
Having a bit of trouble with my float switch. Sometimes won't come on, and then last night after all the rain it came on and didn't turn off. Fortunately not a major problem as the boat's out of the water at the moment, but the last thing I want is a drained battery and burnt out pump just before I go to use the boat.

Now this may not sound like a major deal, but the switch (well the boat as well actually) is only three weeks old, so it shouldn't be giving me any grief yet The pump and switch are made by Piranha Shur-flo and I thought looked quite reliable. Clearly not. The plastic casing seems to have gone a bit rough, almost like lime-scale which may not be helping. Needless to say I'm trying to contact the boat maker ProSport... (you'll know this is easier said than done if you've read any previous posts) and I've already spoken to Shur flo.

So the question is... after all the waffle above... what's the most reliable make or type of float switch?
I had the same prob with the Piranha, took it back into the marina ang got a new one that was better it lasted 4 weeks, so changed it for a Jabsco...no probs since.
Andy
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Old 26 August 2004, 14:29   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I've been sent a replacement so I'll see how long that lasts before I try an alternative.
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Old 26 August 2004, 16:36   #6
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Lets have a sweepstake. I've reckon 150 hours on the water
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Old 26 August 2004, 17:25   #7
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If float switches are unreliable is the 'Hydroswitch' a worthwhile upgrade ? I checked out the website but did not see a price, how much are they ? Are they 24v only ? I have just bought a Pro Sport and am keen to eliminate any gltches before they happen. Erin, you seem to have had a response from Pro Sport as you mention a replacement is on it's way within 24 hours of posting the start of the thread mentioning difficulty in getting service.
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Old 26 August 2004, 17:42   #8
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If you are able, make one. The pic below is the circuit I used for mine. Sorry it's a bit scruffy but it's all there.

----------------
27-08-04 Edit: Updated at Wave's request.

The circiut is very simple to build on a small piece of vero. The TIP122 is a darlington power transistor but it is not strictly necessary, I just happen to have a bag of them. I would use a darlington though, it gives a good clean switch on of the relay.

The board can be housed inside a waterproof box. B&Q have a range of them which use gland nuts for the cables
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Old 26 August 2004, 23:29   #9
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Jeff 3/10 (see me) you couldn't do that again in a darker colour could you?


Scottydog I have found float switches/ auto bilge pumps to be extremely unreliable. I believe it is because the switch contacts are immersed in water and although sealed osmosis erodes the contacts.

The hydroswitch is different in that the switch and contacts are a long way from the water 100 cms and therefore doesn't degrade so quickly. the switch is a passive one so the rating of 24 volts means it can handle 24 v circuits but it will work fine on a 12v
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Old 27 August 2004, 00:34   #10
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SensaSwitch

Just getting ready to kit out my new xs-550 and came across a solid state switch that senses the water level.It's completely sealed in plastic with no moving parts and would appear to be ideal for RIB applications.
It has 2 raised circles marked on the case ; the higher one being the on marker(2" up ) and the lower ,being the off level.(3/4" up)
Will handle pumps up to 20 Amps and comes with a 3 year limited warranty.
Also easy to test ; you put two fingers on the raised circles to switch on/remove the top finger pump stays on/remove bottom finger and turns off after short delay.
So thought it was worth a try and will let you know how it performs.
cheers Dal
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