When ‘3’ Is A Charm!

Darren testing the Float Switch for our Bilge Pump
It’s been a ‘3 is a charm’ kinda day on board today!
I had just read a blog post where a couple had been enjoying their evening on board.  She was making dinner and he at the chart table when he noticed water lapping at his feet.
Now there’s a ponder…
Luckily they managed to save themselves from sinking and discovered a faulty bilge pump to be the culprit.
Good reminder to check ours I said – so Darren set to!
We were making water at the same time and Darren noticed water already in the bilge. Lucky strike! As it happens the watermaker had a slight leak. Now to fix this Darren had to remove our engine’s air filter. Naturally he thought to give it a check also. Turns out the rubber inside was perished and would soon have been sucked directly into the engine!
Now there’s a ponder…
With a note made to order a new filter Darren then tightened up the loose filter fitting on the watermaker, then got back to the original task of checking the engine room bilge pump.
We usually test the float switch by pulling it up with a piece of wire. Good result!   However this time we decided also to do a controlled flood of the bilge with sea water to give the most accurate test. Result?
FAIL!We tested it twice just to make sure.FAIL!So in an actual sinking our engine room bilge pump wouldn’t save us.
Now there’s a ponder…
So our Float Switch is mounted to a piece of stainless which sits in the bilge. One would think it would float up as the water rises and trigger itself to pump. Turns out, it actually sits down on an angle, which doesn’t allow the Float Switch to come up high enough to trigger the pump.
How many years have we been testing the bilge pump in this way?
And how many years have we been happily thinking our auto bilge safety system was ready for action?
Now there’s a ponder…
So that’s our 3 saves for today.   After some pondering we have decided to hang the Float Switch down from the engine on a piece of flat bar.  That should hold it at the correct angle to allow it to do its job.
In the meantime, we remain grateful to the original couple for sharing their story.
Now my question to you is.  How do your bilge pumps test in the flooding the bilge scenario?

Let us know how yours tested!
wishing you a wonderful day!

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