Water level in bilge

JoeStangJoeStang Metro DetroitPosts: 574Member ✭✭✭
How deep should the water get before the bilge pump kicks on? I got some rain water in the bottom this past week and decided it was time to clean it out good. I figured I would dump a couple buckets of fresh water in and let it pump it out and then wipe of the remaining with a couple towels.

Well, I got 6 buckets in and the pump was half covered with no activity. I turned the bilge pump on manually and it started humming, but it didnt seem like it was moving any water at all. I had probably close to 4" of water under the engine, so I expected it to pump that out.

So, I gave up and vacuumed the water out with a shop vac I keep on board, but that was a pretty big PITA. Good thing I have an understanding wife!

So, does it sound like something is wrong, or am I expecting the pump to kick on too early? I cant imagine wanting anything close to the amount of water it allowed.........
2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3


  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaPosts: 993Member ✭✭✭
    Two things are wrong.

    If the water was 4" deep and nothing happened, your float switch is not working.

    If you turned on the pump and it did not move any water, the pump is not working.  It should pump 4" of water down to about 1/4" in about 20-30 seconds.

    I would replace it ASAP!
  • pepmysterpepmyster Posts: 307Member ✭✭✭
    Try moving up and down the float switch  which activates the pump and see if it turns on.

    All I've wanted was to just have fun.

  • JoeStangJoeStang Metro DetroitPosts: 574Member ✭✭✭
    Will do, gonna check it out this weekend. Good news is normal operation my bilge is pretty much bone dry, but obviously it needs to be working right in case of emergency.
    2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3
  • TonyWalkerTonyWalker Palmetto, FLPosts: 545Member ✭✭✭

    Jtkz, I don't know which boat you have but on our 342 back in '06 I installed a secondary pump in the ER space.  It is a bit above the standard pump.  I lift the levers occasionally to hear the pumps come on just to verify all is well.  I suppose I should put a secondary pump in the forward bilge but there are far less reasons for a catastrophic water inlet failure there.  Still it would make sense to double protect that area too.

    Anyway  my point is there is no level of bilge pump capacity that is too much IMHO.


    Salt Shaker 342

  • JoeStangJoeStang Metro DetroitPosts: 574Member ✭✭✭
    I've got a brand new 276 Captiva Cuddy. I guess if I feel the need in the future I'll install a secondary, but first I gotta figure out wtf is going on with this one......

    2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3
  • pepmysterpepmyster Posts: 307Member ✭✭✭

    All I've wanted was to just have fun.

  • JoeStangJoeStang Metro DetroitPosts: 574Member ✭✭✭
    So it appears that I have a Rule-mate 500A. This is one of the newer models without an actual float, but instead a circuit board that "reads" the water level and pumps when its gets 3" high and turns off at .5".

    So, maybe I didnt get the water quite 3" high, but it still should have pumped it out when I turned it on manually.

    Now, I MAY have had a tiny bit of oil in the water (just changed the oil), and the pump is designed to only operate when it senses water. So I wonder if the tiny amount of oil caused it to think it shouldnt pump it out??

    I dunno, after readings TONS of negative reviews on the 500A I am really anxious to make sure it works correctly, but my bilge is normally bone-dry, so I'll have to literally put a garden hose in there and fill up 3"+ of water to get it to turn on......
    2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3
  • JoeStangJoeStang Metro DetroitPosts: 574Member ✭✭✭
    To get the pump to turn on automatically the water level has to be above the blue circle on the side, which seems like a ton of water to wait to fill up.

    2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3
  • OldDogNewTrixOldDogNewTrix Ottawa, ONPosts: 166Member ✭✭✭
    Can you lay it on its side? There's no way that was designed to pump down to half an inch!
    Wayne '09 340 EC
  • JoeStangJoeStang Metro DetroitPosts: 574Member ✭✭✭
    Yep, believe it or not its designed to work just the way it looks:

    05041_B.jpg 40.8K
    2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3
  • Robyw1Robyw1 Cypress TXPosts: 53Member ✭✭
    You cannot lay any bilge pump on it side. If you do it will suck in air while the water level is still quite high. In my opinion it is common to get a. little bit of water in the bilge. If your auto pump runs a couple of times in a 12 hour period it should be no problem.
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