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Old 29 October 2008, 12:53   #1
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Country: UK - Channel Islands
Town: Jersey
Boat name: rib n' roll
Make: Ribcraft 750 Sport
Length: 7m +
Engine: Suzuki DF250
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Problems with my bilge pumps

I wondered whether any of you have experienced similar problems with the working of the auto bilge pumps on your RIBs. If you have, then I would be very grateful for some advice - I donít know whether I need an electrical engineer, a mechanical engineer or Iím just plain stupid!

The boat is a 2006 Ribcraft 750 sport, however I donít know what type of bilge pumps are fitted as they are not readily accessible (the 750 sport has a rear bench seat and locker arrangement that is moulded to fit the hull and whilst this looks very smart, it prevents ready access to the bilge).

The pumps work with the battery switched on or off, and I understand from Ribcraft the usual arrangement is to leave the boat with the battery off, and both bilge pumps switched on. If I do this the boat fills with rain water as the pumps donít switch themselves Ďoní automatically however when I step on board, if I move the electrical switches from their Ďoní position to Ďoffí and then to Ďoní again, then hey presto, the pumps work and quickly empty the accumulated rain water.

This happens regardless of whether the battery master switch is left on or off.

Anyone got any ideas?

Many thanks

Charles
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Old 29 October 2008, 13:38   #2
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The usual problem is the auto switches pack up .......... have a search & there are a few threads about bilge pump problems. MIne packed up on the main pump so its a manual only effort now as the crappy switch ended up in the drink ! I still have a small automatic rule pump (I am expecting it to quit soon) that deals with rain water.
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Old 29 October 2008, 14:43   #3
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are your pumps switched just as on-off or manual-off-auto?
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Old 29 October 2008, 17:22   #4
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Sounds like there could be something faulty with the float switch. They could be the electronic sensing type which will pump until there is no resistance against the impellor, but that they need some sort of kick start which happens when you flick the switch on-off-on.

However, if you've got two and neither are working right then I think you need to check you're actualy leaving them in the correct switch position (i.e. on auto). Some pumps (e.g. Shurflo) will always run for 10 or 15 secs when first turned on, and this could be what's happening when you flick the switch. Maybe they're wired to be in auto when the main switch is in the 'off' position.
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Old 29 October 2008, 18:14   #5
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Country: UK - Channel Islands
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Thanks guys

Thanks Erin, I hadn't thought that auto might be the "off" position.

Given there is going to be no shortage of rain over the coming days I can test that theory for real, and failing that perhaps I'm going to have to find a way to get at the float switches.

Polwart, the switches just have "on" and "off" positions however as Erin has suggested, perhaps auto is "off".

Thanks Blackroady, should really have searched first, was being a bit lazy!

If Erin's idea comes up trumps I'll let you know, in the meantime thanks for the responses.

Cheers

Charles
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Old 31 October 2008, 08:50   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wellchilled View Post
I wondered whether any of you have experienced similar problems with the working of the auto bilge pumps on your RIBs. If you have, then I would be very grateful for some advice - I donít know whether I need an electrical engineer, a mechanical engineer or Iím just plain stupid!

The boat is a 2006 Ribcraft 750 sport, however I donít know what type of bilge pumps are fitted as they are not readily accessible (the 750 sport has a rear bench seat and locker arrangement that is moulded to fit the hull and whilst this looks very smart, it prevents ready access to the bilge).

The pumps work with the battery switched on or off, and I understand from Ribcraft the usual arrangement is to leave the boat with the battery off, and both bilge pumps switched on. If I do this the boat fills with rain water as the pumps donít switch themselves Ďoní automatically however when I step on board, if I move the electrical switches from their Ďoní position to Ďoffí and then to Ďoní again, then hey presto, the pumps work and quickly empty the accumulated rain water.

This happens regardless of whether the battery master switch is left on or off.

Anyone got any ideas?

Many thanks

Charles
I have the same model (albeit delivery taken Feb 2007) in which my bilge pumps work as indicated to you by Ribcraft and will run irrespective of whether the battery is 'on' or 'off' provided the twin (left and right) switches on the console are left 'on'. They are Rule pumps, although I am not sure which model (I believe 1100, but you will need to check this with Ribcraft).

My original pumps lasted eighteen months and both failed within a couple of days of each other (which initially made me suspect a wiring problem which turned out not to be the case). Although their warranty was only 12 months, Ribcraft impressively replaced them free of charge and the only cost to me was the journey to Yeovil to exchange them (they would have posted the new ones upon receipt of the old, but I wanted them repaired asap) and the cost of installation of the new ones (1.3 hours labour owing to the awkward rear bench seat arrangement which you mention) which I had done in connection with an engine service which was due.

Mine also can be 'forced' to come on by turning the console switches 'on' and 'off' but also work on automatic as and when required which yours seem to be failing to do. with yours being now some two years old, they may well need replacinghaving outlived mine by at least six months!

Hope the above helps.

David
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Old 31 October 2008, 11:20   #7
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Thanks Avocet

Hi David,

Thanks for the information, really helpful.

Unfortunately it's difficult for me to get to Yeovil as I am based in Jersey however it sounds like removing the rear seat and replacing the pumps is the answer.

Have to do some research and see who is competent to do the work here as it doesn't look that easy to remove the seating, and get it back in place as originally fitted. Can you recall what has to come out - is it just the back seat rests, or does the bench and the locker underneath have to be removed as well?

Aside from this minor niggle, I'm delighted with the boat.

Once again, thanks for your help, much appreciated.

Cheers

Charles
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Old 31 October 2008, 12:56   #8
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Like you, I'm delighted with the boat.

Although I had nothing to do with the physical replacement of the pumps, I have tried to investigate an ongoing problem with the transducer (failing to read from time to time) which investigations involved the removal of the rear locker. It's not actually that difficult but involves removing the seat cover (itself not easy in view of its weight!) and then unscrewing eight (I think) bolts in the floor of the locker which then enable it to be removed providing access to the hatch which in turn unscrews to give access under the deck. Replacement is an exect reversal of the propceedure. It takes a bit of time but is not difficult if you can get under cover and out of the cold/rain.

A telephone call to Charlie at Ribcraft will give you the model number for the bilge pumps so that you can have them available before you start the work and so finish it all in one go if you decide to do it yourself.

If so, the best of luck!

David
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Old 31 October 2008, 14:02   #9
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Quote:
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minor niggle
thats an optimistic way to describe a job that aparently takes the manufacturer an hour and half to fix. Bilge pumps fail - its a fact of life. The are also known for blocking. IMHO bilge pumps should be readily accessible for inspection and replacement.
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