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Bilge Pump Spare

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Nov 10, 2010
Hunter 356 Jefferson Marina
My current setup is a separate float and motor/pump. I was going to pick up a spare to keep on the boat and was wondering what the pros and cons were of the combine switch/pump units?
Dec 2, 1999
Hunter Vision-36 Rio Vista, CA.
Personally I have had better luck with these all-in-one units that seperate float switch & pump.

The problem most of the time is the float switch. I think there are some units that are much better than the Whale units.

Wema USA makes a nice unit as well as Ultra pump switch Jr.

I don't know if any unit is really fool proof, but I don't have much good to say about the Whale units.
Sep 15, 2009
S2 9.2a Fairhope Al
the water witch ...switch is warrented for 5 years and you can get them here at sbo store if you like the float switch pump combo


Jan 22, 2008
Cherubini 37c HULL#37 Alameda
If you were to Buy and use the same one you would be able to hook it up to the existing wiring in an emergency.
Apr 8, 2010
Frers 33 41426 Westport, CT
I dont think the all in one units are necessarily better than seperate units, but most of the newer all in one units are using water sensing solid state "float switches" now as opposed to an actual switch that floats, so that part is far more reliable. If you buy a seperate water sensing "float switch", and wire it to a stand alone pump, i think you will acheive the same exact reliability, assuming you seal the electrical connections properly.

I chose an all in one model with a water sensing switch vs seperate pump and water sensing switch only because it fit much easier than installing two seperate units would have... It is probably cheaper up front for the combo unit also, but may be more expensive in the long run as the switch will outlast the pump 2 or 3 to one...
May 24, 2004
CC 30 South Florida
Why a spare and not a backup? You can set a 2nd pump in the bilge with it's switch a little higher so it will only turn on if the primary fails or becomes overwhelmed. When the boat is unattended it is better to have it in the bilge rather than on a shelf.
Nov 26, 2006
Hunter 31 1987 Fly Creek Marina Fairhope,AL.
Agreed with Benny

If the cows are on the highway too late to close the gates.

The second pump // switch is better if you have room. Some bilges are smaller than others.
there fore my back up is on the shelf but on the boat with other spares.
Dec 2, 1999
Hunter Vision-36 Rio Vista, CA.
The only problem with a second pump is that you usually have two bad float switches!<g>
Apr 5, 2010
Catalina 27- 1984 Grapevine
I carried both Atwood Saharas that failed me back to West Marine, with little humor, and they obligingly credited me for both. I found in both cases the float switch was still working, but the pumps were no longer providing enough lift to push the water past the manual pump aft. After hooking up my backup little Tsunami it was spraying water several feet out the back of the discharge.
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