New Bilge Pump Switch/Counter

Today saw a fun project — fun if you’re a nerd like me 🙂 — installing an Aqualarm 20145-02 pump counter with 3 way pump switch, 2 pumps.

The project took about five hours. Before and after photos below.

Was the existing bilge pump switch broken? No. But this one offers two important benefits:

  1. It has a counter that increments each time the bilge pump runs. This will help me identify when there may be a leak, if the bilge pump is operating more than usual.
  2. It is designed for two bilge pumps, and I will be adding a second (high capacity) pump in the near future.

Now, I’m not one who’s prone to adding unnecessary complexity or electronics just for fun. The counter does add a little complexity, although it offers valuable visibility into an important metric. Plus, even if the counter portion completely fails, the switch (and hence the bilge pump) remains functional.

Another good feature of this switch is that the “manual” position is not momentary. That is, when you depress the switch to manual, it does not spring back to “off” when you release your finger–it remains in the manual position with the pump powered. This is a crucial feature in my opinion. If you’re in the kind of situation that warrants putting the bilge pump into manual mode, you likely need all hands doing something besides baby-sitting a momentary switch.

Shout out to my little sis for helping with the wood work!

Bilge Pump Switch – Before

Bilge Pump Switch – After

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