Bilge Pump Replacement Suggestions

anamealreadyinuseanamealreadyinuse Posts: 7 Greenhorn
I've just gotten about a year of life out of my Rule auto bilge pump and frankly it's not the first time these pumps have let me down. I'm considering the Atwood or Johnson controls but the online reviews are pretty bad?

I'm also looking at switching it up and am looking at the TRAC outdoors 800GPH pump: http://tracoutdoor.com/shop/pumps/trac-automatic-bilge-pumps/

I've heard they are pretty heavy duty but wanted to throw it out here to see if anyone has any experience with these? Is there another brand you've had good experience with BESIDES Rule in the 500-1100 GPH range?

Thanks in advance for the help.

Replies

  • FS DanFS Dan Posts: 2,348 Moderator
    depending on the boats design and rigging, bilge pumps by default are placed into the worst part of a boat for an electrical system.
    More modern designs utilize self bailing decks and overboard discharge of fishboxes to minimize waters entry into the bilge. This reduces the duty cycles the bilge pump will need to perform. A lot of older boats drain everything into the bilge requiring the pump to discharge the water. This in essence, means, your flushing all the trash in your bilge, fishboxes and deck into your bilge pump. Wet bilges also promote growth which can cause float switches to stick.
    As for who makes the best pump, all of the ones you mentioned use similar designs for the actual mechanics. Most of the differences being the cosmetic plastic housings. I've had all of the ones mentioned fail at some point with the exception of Trac which ive never seen or used. I tend to prefer the rule pumps after all these years, but for no other reason than familiarity.

    FSD
    Formerly Catmandew
  • FishinMcNutFishinMcNut Posts: 536 Officer
    I pull my plug at the ramp and let saltwater drain out before putting it back in and spraying down the bilge with fresh water from hose until the auto pump kicks on. Basically, it rinses the bilge pump and get salt spray off of everything else in the bilge.
    My current rule pump is 3-4 years old and going strong. The one before lasted a long time too.

    Second suggestion is to rinse your livewell pumps as well.

    Third suggestion is to carry a manual bilge pump. You never know...
  • MACDMACD Lee CountyPosts: 4,820 Captain
    I've just gotten about a year of life out of my Rule auto bilge pump and frankly it's not the first time these pumps have let me down. I'm considering the Atwood or Johnson controls but the online reviews are pretty bad?
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    Thanks in advance for the help.

    One of the major failures with electrical motors on a boat is "low voltage" , due to corrosion of the wiring.

    As corrosion builds within the wiring(multi strands) , so does the voltage drop.

    Re-occurrence of failures cannot always be attributed to manufactures defects.

    Whatever pump you purchase, check the voltage at the end load.

    Checking to make sure the voltage is within the manufactures specifications is crucial for longevity..
  • reel stamasreel stamas Posts: 6,153 Admiral
    Ever since they moved the manufacturing of the Rule pumps (to Mexico I think ?) their 'auto cycling' pumps have been a POS w/a very short life span (per the Internet it's a known problem). After replacing my ~$100 pump every ~1-2 yrs I bought 1 at WM w/their OTC extended warranty, so now I just pay the ~$15-$20 to renew the warranty & get a new pump every time it dies... I didn't want to have to deal w/ different wiring for a non-auto pump, or a float switch or a different base as it's rather hard to get to the bilge area on my boat...
    There should be NO Commercial Fishing for any fish species considered 'Over-fished' , 'Undergoing Overfishing' or Subject to Recreational Seasons, Limits, or Closures... Game Fish Status IS the Answer !!!
  • jawzjawz Posts: 137 Officer
    MACD wrote: »
    One of the major failures with electrical motors on a boat is "low voltage" , due to corrosion of the wiring.

    As corrosion builds within the wiring(multi strands) , so does the voltage drop.

    Re-occurrence of failures cannot always be attributed to manufactures defects.

    Whatever pump you purchase, check the voltage at the end load.

    Checking to make sure the voltage is within the manufactures specifications is crucial for longevity..


    checking wiring with voltmeter,sounds like a good idea - however....with marine grade wiring - a single strand wire of that,may be the only one making contact,it will read battery voltage...believe it or not,an old school test light,an "ice pick with a safety cord" is a better tool - it makes the circuit "work" by lighting the light...
  • jawzjawz Posts: 137 Officer
    Ever since they moved the manufacturing of the Rule pumps (to Mexico I think ?) their 'auto cycling' pumps have been a POS w/a very short life span (per the Internet it's a known problem). After replacing my ~$100 pump every ~1-2 yrs I bought 1 at WM w/their OTC extended warranty, so now I just pay the ~$15-$20 to renew the warranty & get a new pump every time it dies... I didn't want to have to deal w/ different wiring for a non-auto pump, or a float switch or a different base as it's rather hard to get to the bilge area on my boat...


    very true !! the rule pumps are known for being a big problem....

    the cartridge pumps,the Johnson pumps,these are great for small boats - that's the style I use
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 5,078 Admiral
    The small rule pumps, the ones that are smaller than the 1500 type, are pure junk. If you get a year out of it consider yourself blessed. I have had a few and they never last more than 6 months it seems, they will lock up. I have used the larger models the 1500 or 2000 and they have lasted me many years without any issues, the small ones are totally useless waste of money.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.
  • MACDMACD Lee CountyPosts: 4,820 Captain
    jawz wrote: »
    checking wiring with voltmeter,sounds like a good idea - however....with marine grade wiring - a single strand wire of that,may be the only one making contact,it will read battery voltage...believe it or not,an old school test light,an "ice pick with a safety cord" is a better tool - it makes the circuit "work" by lighting the light...

    Test lights don't measure voltage. You are mistaken that a test light will give
    any type of accuracy as a multi meter....

    Test lights have their purpose, but not for accurate critical measurements. Even an old school shade tree mechanic should know that.
  • jawzjawz Posts: 137 Officer
    MACD wrote: »
    Test lights don't measure voltage. You are mistaken that a test light will give
    any type of accuracy as a multi meter....

    Test lights have their purpose, but not for accurate critical measurements. Even an old school shade tree mechanic should know that.


    perhaps you should go back and re read what I typed...clearly,you missed a few points...
  • jawzjawz Posts: 137 Officer
    think of wire as a garden hose :

    at the end of the hose -the water flows with the same pressure that's at the beginning...now,add a few more people tapped into that same hose - the flow/pressure at the end is diminished,yes ???

    get it ??

    with wiring :

    a single strand of that wire,making contact will show full battery voltage - will that circuit "flow" enough to run a device ?? nope...

    can a "volt drop" test be done ?? yes....
  • MACDMACD Lee CountyPosts: 4,820 Captain
    Throw your test light in the garbage for marine 12/24 volt problems.

    Spend your money on a cheap multi-meter.....

    Test lights are for school boys in shop class .
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