Westsail Owners Alliance - Post: "High Water Bilge Alarm Tips Sought"
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Post: "High Water Bilge Alarm Tips Sought"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012

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- Archived Message from Inactive Forum -

Randell 'Randy' Kocurek

Ouch! had to make a third engineering effort to get this right. On further reflection the Radio Shack siren alarm and red light were not going to work. They were both very lightly wired, and any motion of the boat would have quickly snapped the wires, no matter how carefully soldered. So, I ditched that plan and went with the 12v horn as an alarm, cost of horn about $24. It looks and sounds good now.
Also found a Rule commercial package online for about 65$ that had an 85 decibel alarm. That should be enough (but the Rule I tried first was a solid very high pitched tone with not much character-- hard to explain but probably would not wake up a dog). I did not try the newly located commercial unit as I had already started my own custom package and had the float switch installed.
Then, when the 12v horn came out of its box, it was a surprisingly heavy current draw (probably explaining why the original Rule commercial package I bought was so weak on the alarm sound level-- allowed for cheap installation as heavy copper wire is no fun paying for). Luckily, the previously purchased and installed wiring was adequate.
So, it may be possible to wire the second/bigger 12v bilge pump directly to the high water bilge alarm float switch-- but I may need to run dedicated wire due to the anticipated high current draw on a Rule 3700 pump. Just have to do the math.
All in all, it would have been nice to use a commercially packaged high water bilge alarm product, but I sure know that horn sounds like an alarm neighbors can hear, and no doubt it will wake up a snoozing sailor.

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