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Old 14 November 2006, 17:23   #1
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rule bilge pump

Hi

I have just bought a ribcraft 585 and the last owner has had the automatic feature of the bilge pump diabled due to battery drain and the boat being stored on racking.

any idea's how he may have done this? I have the boat in a Marina now and would like the pump working when required.

He did mention that "a wire may have been cut" it was my understanding that the auto pumps worked on a float switch.

is it just a case of replacing the pump or could a wire have been cut in the console for example?

cheers

Tom
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Old 14 November 2006, 17:49   #2
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Assuming it's the type that pulses every 2 mins to check for water then there should be 3 wires. Black and Brown are normal feeds - the other brown should go straight to the battery via a fuse. I assume it's this brown wire that's been cut - just splice another wire straight to the battery.
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Old 14 November 2006, 17:56   #3
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Our bilge pump drained our battery, no trouble.
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Old 14 November 2006, 18:03   #4
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My battery is fine - it's a new 120amp/hr - the old one was useless but it was knackered anyway(thanks Jason).

Obviously a bilge pump will drain a battery if it has lot's of water to pump. When mine wasn't working the boat could easily fill with about a ton of water in just a day of torrential rain. That's 1000 litres which takes about 40 mins to pump out so that is about 4 or 5 amps a day if it's very wet.

If there is NO water to pump the cycling on and off uses a tiny amount.
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Old 14 November 2006, 18:08   #5
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I would prefer to leave our on, but its all rather disapointing when one goes down for a whizz and the engine won't turn over.

To be honest, I don't understand about amps and hours etc.
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Old 14 November 2006, 18:15   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codprawn View Post
My battery is fine - it's a new 120amp/hr - the old one was useless but it was knackered anyway(thanks Jason).

Obviously a bilge pump will drain a battery if it has lot's of water to pump. When mine wasn't working the boat could easily fill with about a ton of water in just a day of torrential rain. That's 1000 litres which takes about 40 mins to pump out so that is about 4 or 5 amps a day if it's very wet.

If there is NO water to pump the cycling on and off uses a tiny amount.
[pedantic mode = ON]
Codders - normally you are such a stickler for units . The correct unit for battery "size" is Ah, rather than A/h . Similarly I assume you mean 4-5 Ah per day.
[/pedantic mode = OFF]
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Old 14 November 2006, 18:32   #7
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No I meant it uses 4 to 5 amps of current per day in total or to put it another way 48 to 60w - of course these are very approximate figures as rainfall is rather erratic to say the least!!!
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Old 14 November 2006, 18:33   #8
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Our bilge pump drained our battery, no trouble.
Yes but that's cos it was draining your bilge - the only solution is an overall cover or a windmill.....
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Old 15 November 2006, 04:24   #9
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On my Ribcraft the automatic bilge pump can be isolated by a switch on the console so it doesn't cycle when not required. I know you will have checked it's not just a switch, won't you?
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Old 15 November 2006, 04:49   #10
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How about a little solar panel, like you find on agricultural electric fencing units, to keep the battery topped up?
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Old 15 November 2006, 05:26   #11
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My Rule auto bilge pumps has black (-) and brown (+) cables for manual switching and a brown with white stripe (+) for the auto function. Its a float type, but I guess the pulse type will be the same.

In my case it is wired through a 3 position switch (On/Off/Auto) so you can switch it off when not in the water or over-ride the float if needed.
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Old 15 November 2006, 07:25   #12
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How about a little solar panel, like you find on agricultural electric fencing units, to keep the battery topped up?
Slight problem is the only time you need one is when there's lots of rain - bilge pumps don't work very hard on nice sunny days.....
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Old 15 November 2006, 09:35   #13
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This could help SAILGB EXTREME PRODUCTS/ SUNSEI SE 400 6W
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Old 15 November 2006, 09:53   #14
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With the amount of light we get this time of year no chance!!! The amount of rain we had yesterday was scary - flooding everywhere. Miserable today as well. I have a solar panel and it is next to useless except in high summer.
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Old 15 November 2006, 10:06   #15
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If it's a float switch type it won't use any 'standby' power from your battery. If it's the computerised type (as is my current Rule) it will use negligible power while it checks if there is any water. There are 3 connections on this pump:

A negative - always used
A feed which will cause the pump to run all the time (this is switched on and off if it's wired as a manual pump)
The third connection is used instead of the above feed if the pump is required to run automatically so just swap the wires and connect this one if this is the mode you wish to use.

Important - Make sure your supply is via a fuse and not straight from the battery as mentioned in a previous post as you could have a nasty fire on your hands if it malfunctions/gets shorted etc. Just check the isolator does not take away this feed if you switch it off when leaving the boat.

I presume you only need the pump on auto when you use the boat as you can leave the bung out in storage and it will always be draining whatever the rainfall - or am I missing something ?
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Old 15 November 2006, 11:48   #16
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If it's the computerised type (as is my current Rule) it will use negligible power while it checks if there is any water.
That "negligible" amount of power will add up over a week.. If it runs for approximatley 3 seconds every 2 minutes, it works out at 4.2 hrs per week.. Thats if it's not raining, and that doesn't take into account any extra power needed when it turns its self on..
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Old 15 November 2006, 12:14   #17
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That "negligible" amount of power will add up over a week.. If it runs for approximatley 3 seconds every 2 minutes, it works out at 4.2 hrs per week.. Thats if it's not raining, and that doesn't take into account any extra power needed when it turns its self on..
As there is no load present the current drain is tiny - when there is load present and it needs to pump out water it draws 2 amps. Mine doesn't run for 3 seconds - more like about 1.5. There is a hell of a difference in current draw on a free spinning electric motor and one under load.
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Old 15 November 2006, 12:32   #18
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I use a small 11 watt solor panel and i find this keeps the batteries topped up even when the boat is not used for long periods.
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Old 15 November 2006, 12:42   #19
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I use a small 11 watt solor panel and i find this keeps the batteries topped up even when the boat is not used for long periods.
They are great for stopping the natural drain of the batteries but they don't help much in this weather with any sort of a load.
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Old 15 November 2006, 13:10   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottyDog View Post
If it's a float switch type it won't use any 'standby' power from your battery. If it's the computerised type (as is my current Rule) it will use negligible power while it checks if there is any water. There are 3 connections on this pump:

A negative - always used
A feed which will cause the pump to run all the time (this is switched on and off if it's wired as a manual pump)
The third connection is used instead of the above feed if the pump is required to run automatically so just swap the wires and connect this one if this is the mode you wish to use.

Important - Make sure your supply is via a fuse and not straight from the battery as mentioned in a previous post as you could have a nasty fire on your hands if it malfunctions/gets shorted etc. Just check the isolator does not take away this feed if you switch it off when leaving the boat.

I presume you only need the pump on auto when you use the boat as you can leave the bung out in storage and it will always be draining whatever the rainfall - or am I missing something ?

cheers for the info it is a computerised type, I will have a look at the electrics on the weekend, i need the pump to work in auto mode when the boat is in the marina the switch on board is only 2 position currently on or off but hopefully after re connecting the brown/white cable it will be on or auto,so i will need to keep an eye on battery drain.
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