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  • Bilge Pump

    Does anyone know roughly how much water needs to be in the bilge for it to activate automatically? I forgot to take a photo of the bilge when it had water in but it was quite high, above the central drain plug. It kicks the water out as soon as I turn it on manually from the touch screen but it isn't a solid stream which is why I am wondering if I am being overly dramatic or if it isn't normal. You can somewhat see the waterline from this photo at the bottom and across the pipe at the top.

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    If that's the pump I believe it is, there are two little circles on the face of the black box part of the pump (the sensor). When water contacts the two of them together (upper and lower circle), it will turn on. You can test it by contacting both of the "circles" with two fingers on the same hand... it should turn on. The top circle dictates the water level when it'll activate.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by 86Skier View Post
      If that's the pump I believe it is, there are two little circles on the face of the black box part of the pump (the sensor). When water contacts the two of them together (upper and lower circle), it will turn on. You can test it by contacting both of the "circles" with two fingers on the same hand... it should turn on. The top circle dictates the water level when it'll activate.
      Hi Skier, thanks for the response!

      I'll have a look tomorrow when I'm back at the boat. However, all of that including the pump was fully submerged and after around 2 minutes of manual draining, I was able to see what is in that photo.

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      • #4
        Your's would not be the first (or last) bilge pump to have the auto sensor quit working (I just replaced mine for the same reason this spring).... if it was over-topped with water, it should have activated.

        Here's a snapshot of the pump that I believe you have. I added arrows showing where the two sensors are. When water connects those two circles, the pump should activate.... if it doesn't, it's likely faulty. With your bilge switch set on auto, try connecting the two with your fingers just to confirm if it works (or doesn't) when you're back at the boat next time.

        If it works when set on manual (like it sounds you can), then you can rule out the fuse.


        Click image for larger version

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 86Skier View Post
          Your's would not be the first (or last) bilge pump to have the auto sensor quit working (I just replaced mine for the same reason this spring).... if it was over-topped with water, it should have activated.

          Here's a snapshot of the pump that I believe you have. I added arrows showing where the two sensors are. When water connects those two circles, the pump should activate.... if it doesn't, it's likely faulty. With your bilge switch set on auto, try connecting the two with your fingers just to confirm if it works (or doesn't) when you're back at the boat next time.

          If it works when set on manual (like it sounds you can), then you can rule out the fuse.


          Click image for larger version

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          Perfect! I really appreciate the help.

          It's a 2022 model so a bit crap that it's already out of action, I'll check tomorrow and give the dealer a call if it still shows no sign of working.

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          • #6
            It activates at 2" and deactivates at 3/4"

            https://www.spxflow.com/johnson-pump...pump-switches/
            2000 Prostar 205V

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dpb185 View Post
              It activates at 2" and deactivates at 3/4"

              https://www.spxflow.com/johnson-pump...pump-switches/
              Thanks for the link, my best guess would be that it was at around 5" when full with no automatic activation.

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              • #8
                Those level switches are pretty delicate, mine just died as well, try the two-finger activation and see if it's working at all. Some gas in the bilge killed mine, I think. I replaced switch and pump over the weekend.
                2000 Prostar 205V

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                • #9
                  Well, got to the boat today and did the test Skier had kindly shown me how to do, and the bilge did not automatically start, so I am guessing the sensor has been faulty since we got the boat. Contacted the dealer to add it to the to-do list

                  Thanks again for the help!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MarcusP1 View Post
                    Well, got to the boat today and did the test Skier had kindly shown me how to do, and the bilge did not automatically start, so I am guessing the sensor has been faulty since we got the boat. Contacted the dealer to add it to the to-do list

                    Thanks again for the help!
                    Just for confirmation, you did hold your hand there for awhile, right? I believe they have a delay (3 sec maybe) before they kick on.

                    That said, I have no doubt your sensor failed. An overtopped sensor should fire.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 86Skier View Post

                      I believe they have a delay (3 sec maybe) before they kick on.
                      ^^^^^^^ Yep, hold your fingers on the magic spots for 3 seconds to get the pump to kick on. Plus your pump has to be in auto .
                      2000 Prostar 205V

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 86Skier View Post

                        Just for confirmation, you did hold your hand there for awhile, right? I believe they have a delay (3 sec maybe) before they kick on.

                        That said, I have no doubt your sensor failed. An overtopped sensor should fire.
                        Probably held it on for around 30-40 seconds just to be sure.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dpb185 View Post

                          ^^^^^^^ Yep, hold your fingers on the magic spots for 3 seconds to get the pump to kick on. Plus your pump has to be in auto .
                          Now, this may sound silly, but on the touch screen is there a way to put it into auto? To turn it on manually you press the icon then to turn it off you press again, I am assuming that it is on auto when not on manually but am I wrong?

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                          • #14
                            86Skier and dpb185 Thank you both for helping me out, dealer came and swapped them both out today, and now it's nice and dry! He did mention that it was very odd to have both faulty with 30 hours of run time so I imagine it arrived like that.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MarcusP1 View Post
                              86Skier and dpb185 Thank you both for helping me out, dealer came and swapped them both out today, and now it's nice and dry! He did mention that it was very odd to have both faulty with 30 hours of run time so I imagine it arrived like that.
                              You're welcome. Gas in the bilge killed both my level sensor and pump.
                              2000 Prostar 205V

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