SmartSwitch Technologies offers two solutions to bilge control:

The BC-4000 and BC-8000 Bilge Controllers have been developed to allow monitoring of fluid levels and to provide intelligent intervention for controlling pumps in up to either 4 or 8 bilge areas. It is a network system consisting of the Master Display Unit and up to 8 bilge monitor/pump control units located in bilge compartments. In addition, and as an option, any number of RB-800 Remote Display Units may be added to provide bilge status displays throughout the vessel. 

Click on the following document link for a .pdf file with full technical details and instruction/installation manual for the BC-8000 Bilge Control System 

Installation and setup:

Summary of Features  

All devices are interconnected by a 2-wire network cable similar to that used for telephone installations. The Master Display Unit (MDU) controls communication with all attached I/O Units and provides monitoring of bilge levels and pumps status as well as pump control - all from a central location. System components may be located anywhere on the network cable and the cable may be up to 1000 meters in length. 

Unique BC-8000 SM Bilge Control Features

These features, unique to the BC-8000, provide unmatched control capabilities for up to eight (8) bilge areas and maximum flexibility in locating components onboard the vessel while minimizing wiring costs. 

High-speed network connects all system components - Allows future addition of bilge controllers, monitors and remote display units in a “plug and play” fashion. Industry standard RS-485 network significantly reduces wiring costs for connection of system elements and with total cable length of 1000 meters, allows maximum flexibility for location of displays and controllers. 

Fail-safe Operation of Bilge Control - Assurance that in the unlikely event of a network communication failure, all bilge controllers revert to the “auto” mode providing maximum safety for vessel operations.

Multiple path alarm annunciation - Alarms for off-normal conditions in the bilge areas are routed by two independent paths. The first is via the high-speed network, annunciated at the master display unit, and the second is by hardwiring to a master alarm panel. This assures that no abnormal conditions will be ignored by the system.

Robust electrical system for pump control - Solid state (MOSFET) power electronics used to control the bilge pumps means zero maintenance and outstanding reliability. Outputs rated at 88 amps continuous (@12V) and 280 amps inrush means no concerns about matching pump motor characteristics with controls. Built-in features for overload, overheat, and short circuit protects motors

Direct measurement of bilge pump motor operation - Rather than monitoring only whether the command has been given to start a pump, BC-100/P Input/Output units monitor the actual current passing through motor windings providing alarms via Master Display Unit for any problems related to blown fuse, open motor winding, or jammed rotor. 

English language description of bilge areas on Master Display Unit - Bilge positions are identified by common English descriptions such as “AFT”, “FORWARD PORT”, and “ENGINE ROOM” providing instant recognition of bilge area during normal control operations or under alarm conditions. 

Bilge pump control programmable - Three programmable features provide unique capabilities:

  • Each bilge area is individually programmable to allow delay times in “pump on” or “pump off” to prevent nuisance  operation in heavy seas. 
  • An alarm time can be set to alert operator that a “pump-on” command has been issued by the controller, but the pump is not operating. 
  • An adjustable alarm time can be set to alert operator that, although the pump running, the high float switch is “on”, indicating water is still present. The alarm identifies a potential mechanical fault - such as pump-out hose broken or breach in hull. 

Master Display Unit - The BC-4000/8000 Master Display Unit (MDU) provides outstanding visibility into the conditions in each bilge area and provides several control options. Under normal conditions, the operator can select “auto/manual” for each pump and see the status display. In the event of an alarm condition in any bilge area, an audible alarm will be sounded and the MDU screen display will switch to the area where alarm is sensed. This display will show “High Float Switch On”, “Faulty Pump”, Faulty Network Connection”, “Delay Alarm Time Reached”.

Three Modes of Operation - The BC-8000 provides three modes of operation depending on the local regulations. These give a convenient and easy mechanism for switching between operations in-port and at-sea. 

  • Manual Mode - When any bilge area is placed in this mode the bilge pump can only be turned on and off manually. However should the high water sensor come on, the MDU will sound the alarm and the display will show the bilge area with the problem.

  • Auto Mode - When any bilge area is placed in this mode the bilge pump will be turned on and off automatically. Should any fault occur, the MDU will sound the alarm and the display will show the bilge area with the problem.

  • Semi-Auto Mode - Semi-auto mode means a particular bilge area has been programmed in the manual mode, but placed in auto mode by pushing the “Auto All” key. This feature has been designed as a quick and easy override function. For example, in port, where discharge from certain bilge areas may be illegal, the bilge area would be set for manual mode, but upon leaving port, all “manual” areas would be converted to Auto by pushing the “Auto All” key. When arriving back to port, simply push the “Auto All” key again and this will place all areas set as “manual” back into the manual mode. 

Click on these links for details on SmartSwitch  BC 8000 Bilge Controls


Installation and Operations Manual: 

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Bilge Control Solutions
BC-4000/BC-8000 System

Monitor and Control from Four (4) to Eight (8) Bilge Areas from a central location
Note: the BC-4000 and BC-8000 are identical in operation
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or call 412-720-3430