Re: Bilge Tube Float Switch

Eric Freedman

My switch from the factory was originally an all all plastic bat. No copper.
That must have been from the PO.
Fair Winds,

On September 19, 2020 at 1:25 AM Gary Wells <gary@...> wrote:

I know this was addressed before, but searching through the earlier posts I didn't run across the "answer" I was looking for.


This morning the bilge pump did not come on and while doing some laundry I got a high water alarm.  It only took a minute of troubleshooting to discover that the switch attached to the bilge tube float was dead.  Not a huge issue, just have to run the bilge pump manually whenever necessary ... which means keeping a close eye on it.


So, I don't have any pictures so will try hard to describe the assembly I have:  The switch looks to be a standard SPST (on/off) toggle that Amel (or a previous owner) has modified to have an extra long handle, or "bat".  The lengthening is accomplished with a sturdy piece of copper, apparently a tube, about 50cm long which is drilled on one end for the control strings and attached to the switch via a slip-fit which has been soldered or brazed into position.  At any rate, I could not get the "bat" apart from the switch.  

I did a lot of internet search and a couple of hours cruising Home Depot, the auto parts stores and Ace Hardware and couldn't really come up with anything I thought would be a viable solution.  There are automotive switches with longer toggles, maybe 25cm at most, but those toggles are plastic and I didn't think they would be as robust as the original.  I considered press-fitting a roll-pin over the "bat" of a standard switch and securing it with JB Weld.  That would likely be fine,but I'd have to figure a way to drill through the other end for the strings, the roll pins are mild steel so they'd rust quickly and they are heavier than the existing setup.


So, while I am asking if someone knows of a better solution/direct replacement (I have not written to Maud yet, wondering if anyone has already asked) I wanted to let everyone know that I solved the problem, at least temporarily, by actually disassembling the existing switch itself and scraping/cleaning the contact points.  The switch came apart with a pocket knife and some care and there was really only one moving part inside it.  Once it was cleaned and reassembled it functioned just fine. 


OK, that's today's essay on "the little things" aboard Adagio. 


Be safe!


Gary W.
SM 209, Adagio

Galesville, MD




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