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    Bilge pump question-gctid384777

    I have an Attwood Sahara 1100 pump to install this weekend (yes, built-in float switch). My question is, can such a pump be installed on a gentle angle? The written directions say to install flat, but further down the line say to ensure that the float switch always stays level or above the outlet. Reason I ask is I have a gently sloped area in my bilge (

    #2
    Just face the side with the float switch on the uphill side that way it isn't trying to pump water that is too low to pick up.
    Boatless at this time

    A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including their life."

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      #3
      The Sahara's are the Walmarts of bilge pumps, a Rule would serve you much better.

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        #4
        I've seen people argue that religiously in both directions. Frankly, on this boat, if I see a bilge pump pumping, I've got bigger problems than brand loyalty.

        Thanks for the input, folks, sideways it will be. Saves me the trouble of crafting a ramp out of Starboard.

        ishiboo wrote:
        The Sahara's are the Walmarts of bilge pumps, a Rule would serve you much better.

        Comment


          #5
          ishiboo wrote:
          The Sahara's are the Walmarts of bilge pumps, a Rule would serve you much better.
          Not exactly relevant, eh?

          Comment


            #6
            Pau Hana wrote:
            Not exactly relevant, eh?
            I thought it was very relevant since that's the model he's about to install - I would want to know the potentially life-saving device I purchased was considered to be one of the most inferior, before I screwed/glued it to my hull.

            I had a Sahara 500 as my "primary" on my Contessa since it was cheap, and then a Rule 2000 as the "high level". I had nothing but problems and ended up throwing it out.

            My apologies for responding in a way that was not relevant enough for Pete, I was just trying to help. Many people see it on a shelf and buy it, without knowing others experiences. If I would have mentioned when I bought it but before I installed it, I could have returned it and bought a much more reliable model for not much more money.

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              #7
              Positive- negative. Black- white. Oil- water.

              Such is the arena of public opinion. You had a bad experience with that pump- others have nothing but praise for it. The same can be said of just about any product.

              Such is life.. .

              Comment


                #8
                I keep one with alligator clips on it and a 3 foot chunk of corrugated hose for when I take a 16 foot seanymph "dipnetting " for salmon, It works like a dream to pump the salmon blood outta the boat (well and the water that comes in from the bazillion rivets that weep) This is in a narrow river so the leaking isn't a factor.
                Boatless at this time

                A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including their life."

                Comment


                  #9
                  Maybe he should buy a SeaRay brand pump, I hear they're better than all the rest!

                  Seriously, I'd agree with the float facing up hill, with the pivot parallel to the keel and level. It'll come on a little later than if it was flat, but no different than if you had a fairing block under it to level it off. Not sure if that's what you meant by "sideways". You don't want the float to be fighting to go up and down on an angle (pivot perpendicular to the keel and at an angle) where it could bind and stick.

                  As for the pump itself, it'll pump from any angle, even upside-down, as long as the intake is under water. You just need to make sure the float comes on and goes off when you want it to. The float is usually the cause of pump failure. Debris in the bilge can hold them down so they don't work, or hold them up so the motor burns out.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    OK, thanks for the input. I was going to place the pump so that the float was level with the output, which would make the pivot on the angle. I see you are advising against that, and I understand the point.

                    This is an outboard and so far the bilge, with 12 engine hours on the clock, is as dry and pristine as the day I bought it. I'm not going to have quite the bilge worries the I/O designs have, this is just for my peace of mind when I take the little thing out into 3-4 foot seas and it starts raining on me, or some such situation.

                    CaptTom wrote:
                    Maybe he should buy a SeaRay brand pump, I hear they're better than all the rest!

                    Seriously, I'd agree with the float facing up hill, with the pivot parallel to the keel and level. It'll come on a little later than if it was flat, but no different than if you had a fairing block under it to level it off. Not sure if that's what you meant by "sideways". You don't want the float to be fighting to go up and down on an angle (pivot perpendicular to the keel and at an angle) where it could bind and stick.

                    As for the pump itself, it'll pump from any angle, even upside-down, as long as the intake is under water. You just need to make sure the float comes on and goes off when you want it to. The float is usually the cause of pump failure. Debris in the bilge can hold them down so they don't work, or hold them up so the motor burns out.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      No offense, but throwing a pump into the bilge, tossing the hose over-board, and then connecting alligator clips up to a battery supply, doesn't sound like much of an emergency plan to me. Ole Murphy will be right there with you!

                      Whether mooring or just day use, all of our boats should be equipped with a permanently and correctly installed bilge pump..... or two... that are capable of handling a fairly worst case scenario.

                      Please steer clear of the bilge pumps with the integral float switches. :thumb

                      There are more issues with these than with a standard style pump and a separate float switch that is mounted just higher than the pump's lowest draw-down ability.

                      Power the float switch from a power source that cannot be switched off.

                      And say NO to these!

                      Attached files [img]/media/kunena/attachments/vb/688628=28090-Manual OFF Auto bilge pump switch.jpg[/img]
                      Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
                      2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
                      Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
                      Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
                      Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

                      Comment


                        #12
                        In my case, both bilge pumps have float switches wired straight to battery, and a manual override switch up at the helm. However, I'm struggling to understand the differences between an integrated float switch and a separate one, as far as one being more or less reliable than the other. My experience is they both fail nicely if you don't keep things clean. On the other hand, I'm not a marine mechanic, and my experience is not as broad.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Don't assume that a pump is unreliable just because it has an integral switch. That's untrue of higher-end pumps. Quality pumps, such as Johnson pumps, have integrated auto switches that are highly reliable. And the pump is fully rebuildable.

                          And pumps with integrated switches have the switch already set to exactly the right level for the pump.

                          And don't assume that a bilge pump helm switch that has an "off" position really kills your bilge pump. In many cases, if it's wired properly, "off" means the switch at the helm is no longer supplying power to the pump. In other words, you've stopped manual operation only. Auto operation is still working if float switch is lifted. You need to test this yourself to be sure; don't assume anything.

                          This Johnson control is an example. When "OFF" your pump is not running but it is still available to run and will run if it senses a high level. All of my bilge pumps run this way. Select ON to run them now manually. Select OFF to leave them in auto.

                          Attached files [img]/media/kunena/attachments/vb/688656=28091-BilgeControl_180px.jpg[/img]

                          Comment


                            #14
                            A separate remotely located float switch lends itself to an easy inspection and easy testing. There is also a much lessor chance of debris causing one to NOT float.

                            They can be fixed at a slightly higher elevation than the pump since they are not integral.

                            Where as the integral float switch is not easily viewable, nor as easy to clean and test.

                            They are also at the same elevation as the pump itself.

                            I don't know why anyone would want to risk this, when a separate float switch is so easy to install and wire up.

                            I've said before that the companies that make and sell the Auto/OFF/On bilge pump switches should be ashamed of themselves.

                            I think I now need to include these integral pumps in with that same category! :thumb

                            .
                            Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
                            2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
                            Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
                            Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
                            Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

                            Comment


                              #15
                              whiskywizard wrote:


                              And don't assume that a bilge pump helm switch that has an "off" position really kills your bilge pump. In many cases, if it's wired properly, "off" means the switch at the helm is no longer supplying power to the pump. In other words, you've stopped manual operation only. Auto operation is still working if float switch is lifted. You need to test this yourself to be sure; don't assume anything.

                              This Johnson control is an example. When "OFF" your pump is not running but it is still available to run and will run if it senses a high level. All of my bilge pumps run this way. Select ON to run them now manually. Select OFF to leave them in auto.
                              Agreed! I see no issues with the standard On/Off helm switch as you describe.

                              It's the Auto/OFF/On helm switches that offer an inherant problem.

                              These are commonly powered via helm power.

                              Helm power is typically arranged so that it is cut by the MBSS when we leave the boat unattended.

                              No helm power...... no float power!

                              Let's not forget that the switch can be accidently bumped off from Auto mode....., or completely forgotten to be left on Auto mode.

                              Even so.... the MBSS must also be left ON, unless otherwise wired differently!

                              If going to the trouble of wiring it differently...... why not do it in a fashion that eleminates that silly Auto/OFF/On switch completely?

                              .
                              Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
                              2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
                              Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
                              Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
                              Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

                              Comment

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