High water alarm

Overvolted

Active Member
Feb 28, 2023
135
Boat Info
1987 Sea Ray 268. Covered slip
Engines
7.4 Mercruiser
I'm wanting to add a bilge high water alarm mostly for when we are sleeping. I searched and only found info for boats much newer than mine with systems electronics. I would like the alarm below deck so it will wake me in the event of a leak seacock or otherwise.
Leaning towards the Safe T Alert or Rule Hi water bilge alarm.
Any thoughts are appreciated.
 
Also have two on the 99 290, one very close to the transom the second about three feet up both centerline between the engines. The aft (transom) is wired to the manual switch with its own float switch for activation. The more froward one has it’s own float switch and energizes the high water alarm, all tested, I overwhelm the first pump with 2-3 gallon buckets of lake water then turn the hose on until it gets to the second pump, alarm goes off and pumps run and do their thing.
Jon
 
Those bilge alarm kits are nice but a bit expensive. All you need is a float switch, a piezo buzzer and a red light. Its a good idea to put an on/off switch in the 12v feed so you can silence it once it has your attention. Wire it to your battery with an in-line fuse so it operates when the battery switches are off.
 
I only have one on my small boat but it does work well. As mentioned, I have a Rule 3500 and float switch that functions like any other bilge pump would work. When the float is activated in addition to turning on the pump it also has a wire ran to an alarm. The high water pump is above the other two pumps in the engine room by a few inches. That way if that ever activates it's a true alarm.

Don't use alarms with water sensors as they can falsely alarm. Using a float switch is a sure way to know if there is actually something to worry about.
 
Great information guys, exactly what I was looking for. I like the idea about being able to silence it.
If you go that route, wire it up with a momentary push button to operate a latching relay. That way, you can silence the alarm, but it'll reset itself once the error is cleared. A regular switch by itself is too easily forgotten once you silence the buzzer, then won't alert you if you get another high water occurrence.
 
Going to the boat tomorrow to replace fuel lines, fuel vent lines, oil change , spark plugs ect. I'm going to plan out the alarm. I'm leaning towards a float switch in the bilge, buzzer, light and silencer relay in the cabin. Any recommendations on how high up the float should be? I was thinking 6 inches above the bottom of the bilge.
Have to replace the fuel filler hose as it is dry cracked pretty bad. You can still see 1987 stamped on some of the hoses. For the fule filler hose I checked out my local chain marine store and they want over $32.00 per foot. $150.00 is quite a bit for 5 feet of hose. I looked on the web and several marine stores sell A2 USCG 1-1/2 wire wound hose for $11.00 per foot. I know my local marine store is proud of their products and it reflects in their pricing. Question is if it is A2 USCG approved hose does it matter on the price. I want quality and will pay lots if I have to however, I like to save where I can and I'm wondering about quality.
5 feet of 5/8 and 8 feet of 3/8 marine grade fuel line along with two 4 inch hose clamps were $125.00. Again don't want to cheap out just want to make the most of my money.
 
Any recommendations on how high up the float should be? I was thinking 6 inches above the bottom of the bilge.
'Not sure I'd go that high. It needs to be a bit above the first float switch so as not to cause nuisance alarms, but low enough to let you know early on if the first pump becomes overwhelmed.
Question is if it is A2 USCG approved hose does it matter on the price. I want quality and will pay lots if I have to however, I like to save where I can and I'm wondering about quality.
As long as it meets the criteria, you should be good to go. You have to expect a marine supply store is going to demand a premium; it all depends on your loyalty to the brand.
 
If he has 2 bilge pumps, put the level between the 2. Or maybe measure where the existing kicks on plus another 1-2" above that.

As for the alarm, maybe a 30 second delay so boat rocking doesn't set it off accidentally
Going to the boat tomorrow to replace fuel lines, fuel vent lines, oil change , spark plugs ect. I'm going to plan out the alarm. I'm leaning towards a float switch in the bilge, buzzer, light and silencer relay in the cabin. Any recommendations on how high up the float should be? I was thinking 6 inches above the bottom of the bilge.
Have to replace the fuel filler hose as it is dry cracked pretty bad. You can still see 1987 stamped on some of the hoses. For the fule filler hose I checked out my local chain marine store and they want over $32.00 per foot. $150.00 is quite a bit for 5 feet of hose. I looked on the web and several marine stores sell A2 USCG 1-1/2 wire wound hose for $11.00 per foot. I know my local marine store is proud of their products and it reflects in their pricing. Question is if it is A2 USCG approved hose does it matter on the price. I want quality and will pay lots if I have to however, I like to save where I can and I'm wondering about quality.
5 feet of 5/8 and 8 feet of 3/8 marine grade fuel line along with two 4 inch hose clamps were $125.00. Again don't want to cheap out just want to make the most of my money.

I would double clamp the fuel lines, if there is room.
 
Actually, you already have a high-level switch that can trigger your alarm. It's the second/upper float switch. Merely tap into the triggered power side of the float switch that feeds the bilge pump. That's the one you want to know if it goes off.
 
Actually, you already have a high-level switch that can trigger your alarm. It's the second/upper float switch. Merely tap into the triggered power side of the float switch that feeds the bilge pump. That's the one you want to know if it goes off.
I only have one bilge pump, it has a built in float switch and a manual override switch. There is no float switch.
The other pump is the step down pump at the bottom of the aft cabin.
 
I only have one bilge pump, it has a built in float switch and a manual override switch. There is no float switch.
The other pump is the step down pump at the bottom of the aft cabin.
Gotcha. Well, drop in a second pump. You don't want to wake up with a wet backside!
 
Gotcha. Well, drop in a second pump. You don't want to wake up with a wet backside!
No I do not. I'm going to rewire the existing pump as po used regular butt connectors and I have a great location to mount the new float switch and pump. Just need to figure out the discharge.
 

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