Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Amel 54 bilge alarm feedback

SV Perigee


Yes, I also had a 'learning experience' with the SM grey-water bilge pump not working - discovered by chance when opening the engine-room hatch to hear the engine running, only to see fresh-water visible lapping at the top of the bilge.  This happened during pre-purchase sea-trial, running all of the freshwater faucets together.

The prior owner had taken the precaution of adding another high-water alarm, and another bilge pump located at the head/top of the grey-water bilge in the engine-room.  However, when running the extra hose from the new pump, this was run alongside the grey plastic tube/chamber containing the float switch for the regular electric bilge pump.  The hose from the new bilge-pump had been installed so as to foul the horizontal pin that centers the float as it goes up and down, thereby preventing the float from rising, and hence the main bilge-pump could never switch on.  At the same time, the new switch for the extra bilge pump had failed - it was one of those switches without an external lever to test the functioning OK.  It was an insightful moment.

The fix for the fouled float switch was easy - re-route the new outflow piping away from the grey plastic housing.

The old switch was replaced with a new RULE-A-MATIC PLUS, which has the lever to test that it is working.

The routine bilge-check now includes checking full & free movement of the original float (fill the bilge with water), plus manually flicking the levers on the 3 float switches for the secondary bilge-pump and the two engine-room high-water alarms.

BTW, both the secondary high-water alarm and bilge-pump are powered independent of the 24V circuit board, by-passing the main battery switch.  The secondary high-water alarm is powered from the 12V starter battery, providing another level of redundancy.  Finally, I hold an extra 24V rule-a-matic float switch in spares.

Next: install those extra high-water alarms for the rudder bilge, the under-floor compartment in-front of the stove, and the bilge outside the forward head (am I missing any areas?).  Good idea to put in a 'silence' switch for the aural alarms, but I wonder if this introduces the 'human element'.


Perigee, SM#396
St Maarten

On Sunday, 8 April 2018, 9:19, "JEFFREY KRAUS jmkraus@... [amelyachtowners]" wrote:

On the outside of the switch. I replaced the original. It's easy enough to do, and it certainly is easier then wiring a switch into the circuit. 
I have no idea why a bilge pump switch would be made without a test lever.

On Sun, Apr 08, 2018 at 02:31 AM, Peter Forbes ppsforbes@... [amelyachtowners] wrote:


Where is the test lever for bilge alarm?

Peter Forbes

On 7 Apr 2018, at 23:05, JEFFREY KRAUS jmkraus@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

There should be a test lever to raise the float to set off the alarm to test it.
As to moving the switch, remember, offshore you are rocking and rolling often, so if you move the alarm, you may be hearing it more often then you'd like. I've had mine go off a few times, due to various issues, in various conditions, and never felt the water level compromised any pumps or other engine room components. 
Best Regards,
Jeff Spirit Amel 54 #14

On Sat, Apr 07, 2018 at 07:18 PM, 'S/V Garulfo' svgarulfo@... [amelyachtowners] wrote:

Hi all,

Today's maintenance task was testing the bilge alarm. We had heard recently of at least one 54 owner who found out the hard way it didn't work. So it was high on the list and, sure enough, the test failed. It turned out the buzzer was dead and the lamp burnt within 5s. The floater trigger worked ok. 

So we replaced the light bulb and the buzzer. We heard the original buzzer in a friend's SM2K and the new one and they are equally loud. 
Which made me think I'd like to add a 3 way switch to test/silence it, as it would be pretty counterproductive/unsettling to have the siren scream while troubleshooting why you're sinking. 

I also thought the position of the floater trigger in the bilge to be rather high. A few components (pumps, engine, c drive) would have their feet wet before it triggers. So thinking of relocating it lower in the sump, while not compromising access/maintenability.

Any thoughts?

Test your testers!

Fair winds 

A54 #122
Saint Martin, FWI

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