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shower sump Rule float switch

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shower sump Rule float switch

Postby Cliffm » January 14th, 2019, 10:45 am

It appears our aft shower sump Rule float switch died after 12yrs, so on the way home from the Marina, we stopped by West Marine and picked up Rule 35A float switch to replace it with.

After getting home, I looked it up on Amazon (same price) and was surprised to see numerous recent postings about this model failing in 3-4 months? this has me thinking of installing it with bullet connectors so I can easily replace in the future.

Since this model has the correct foot print for mounting, and I don't wish to re-do all the plumbing for a newer style shower sump box/pump, I plan to give it a try.

Has anyone else come up with a longer lasting/better model, that fits this mounting foot print?

Looking forward to the feedback,

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Re: shower sump Rule float switch

Postby Midnightsun » January 14th, 2019, 11:38 am

All of these units regardless of brand are rather simple bilge pumps. One brand is really no better than the other and all will fail due to poor maintenance. Unfortunately most shower sumps do not see the light of day until something overflows or just stops working. They will last for at least a decade if maintained. Normally the pump fails due to the buildup of shower/sink/soap crap it has to deal with. There is a rather large debris mesh that does little to prevent stuff from entering the pump. Most problematic is hair wrapped around the impeller. Bottom line is if you remove the pump every year (fall layup/winterization) and clean up the impeller and give the large box a cleanup you probably will outlive the pump. That being said it is not a bad idea to keep a spare pump and float switch on board for those WTF moments so yes bullet connectors or any easy to disassemble connector will do the job, I happen to prefer a couple of small wire marrettes.
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Re: shower sump Rule float switch

Postby Cliffm » January 14th, 2019, 11:55 am

Midnightsun wrote:Source of the post All of these units regardless of brand are rather simple bilge pumps. One brand is really no better than the other and all will fail due to poor maintenance. Unfortunately most shower sumps do not see the light of day until something overflows or just stops working. They will last for at least a decade if maintained. Normally the pump fails due to the buildup of shower/sink/soap crap it has to deal with. There is a rather large debris mesh that does little to prevent stuff from entering the pump. Most problematic is hair wrapped around the impeller. Bottom line is if you remove the pump every year (fall layup/winterization) and clean up the impeller and give the large box a cleanup you probably will outlive the pump. That being said it is not a bad idea to keep a spare pump and float switch on board for those WTF moments so yes bullet connectors or any easy to disassemble connector will do the job, I happen to prefer a couple of small wire marrettes.


That's funny! I was going to "wire nut" it first, to check it out, after I ohm it out before installing. I may just leave then on, with some dielectric grease inside? Thanks again, good idea on spare pump/switch to have aboard.
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Re: shower sump Rule float switch

Postby Midnightsun » January 14th, 2019, 12:16 pm

Technically the wires are tinned and therefor dielectric grease is not required non the less it cannot hurt, just keep the nuts out of the bottom of the bilge so if there is water there they are not submerged in it. Look at it this way, a crimp fitting gets no grease and is not any more water tight than a wire nut yet this is standard practice. ;-) The correct way of waterproofing a wire nut is with silicone but unless you are burying a connection underground I would not bother with that. https://www.amazon.com/Rain-Bird-WPCONN10-Waterproof-Connectors/dp/B0046735LO/ref=asc_df_B0046735LO/?tag=googleshopc0c-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=293000916636&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=17861403392144360129&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9000442&hvtargid=pla-307637861990&psc=1
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Re: shower sump Rule float switch

Postby Cooler » January 15th, 2019, 6:59 pm

When I see reviews on Amazon that disclose quick or multiple failures, it leads me to user error or incorrect part. A "friend" was having issues with his shower sump float switch. The box would not drain, water would overflow into the bilge, but the switch would test out fine. Turns out, he did not use a float switch that was low profile enough to get to the "on" position. Replaced the flat style Atwood float with a generic float switch. It hit the bottom of the hair strainer before it could raise up high enough. He never uses his shower, so we took that strainer out. The sump only cycles the air conditioner condensate. Problem solved.
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Re: shower sump Rule float switch

Postby Viper » January 16th, 2019, 7:32 am

Don't use marrettes guys, it's not a good practice in our application. While using them on stranded wire is doable and generally accepted in building applications, they are not the best for stranded wire in applications susceptible to movement, vibrations, etc., that's why we use stranded wire. All pros and cons aside, using them will be a red flag on your next survey.
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Re: shower sump Rule float switch

Postby Midnightsun » January 16th, 2019, 8:12 am

I do understand what you are saying Viper however do keep in mind the connection we are referring to is a single one at the shower sump to facilitate servicing so technically it will be taken apart and put back together every year/couple of years or so. If there is any concern then a wrap of electrical tape securing the wire nut will solve any issue. Regardless, the practice of using wire nuts throughout the boat is not accepted as you mentioned and should not be used in general.
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Re: shower sump Rule float switch

Postby bud37 » January 16th, 2019, 9:59 am

I like the perma seal type male and female bullets .....you can key them, only connect one way.

Something like this....https://www.waytekwire.com/item/30915/M ... onnector-/

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Re: shower sump Rule float switch

Postby Viper » January 18th, 2019, 10:41 pm

I'll just say this; marrettes can cut into the fine wire strands and actually cut them, effectively reducing the gauge of the wire which can lead to serious safety consequences. Remove and install the marrettes a couple of times and you'll likely need to cut the wire again anyway. The goal here shouldn't be to make it easier to service when it comes to wiring, it should be to ensure that the integrity of the circuit holds up when it's needed, especially for safety equipment in an emergency. The pump connections should be solid and waterproof, after all, the pump is there because chances are one day water will get in, for one reason or another, so you want to make sure nothing jeopardizes the pump's ability to do what it's designed to do for the sake of making it easier to service. Heat shrink adhesive lined butt connectors are the best way to go IMO, they're completely waterproof and make a solid connection that will outlast the pump. Sure you'll have to cut the wire again when you replace the pump or float but the connection won't be the failure point nor will it contribute to stray currents, hardware corrosion, nuisance tripping at the panel, etc. Don't know that saving an extra 5 minutes by not making a proper connection is worth it.

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