What is the issue?Whilst underway the sound of the automatic electric bilge pump is often drowned out by the general boat noise. This is particularly the case when operating under power.
Why address this?Bilge pump operation is indicative of a build up of water and it is essential for the boats safety to be made immediately aware of this. A sudden leak may go undetected until a build up of oily water becomes visible on the cabin floor. By this time the situation has escalated and the resultant clean up is less than desirable.
How to address this?Fit a flashing red bilge pump warning LED where it will unmistakably catch the eye of the helmsman, such as the face of the bridge deck. As LEDs are completely inexpensive a second or third LED on the navigation table or in the captains sleeping cabin for off-watch reassurance is an equally good idea.
To fit, simply connect into the pumps positive feed, downstream from the float and manual switch, before it arrives into the bilge pump. Pick up the negative from the opposite side of the pump or the boats negative. Hence the light(s) have power when the pump is powered.
This is a simple and cost effective safety feature that leads to peace of mind and an excellent reminder of needed maintenance such as the tightening of a stuffing box.
With thanks to:Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.
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