An automatic bilge pump combines a bilge switch and bilge pump motor in the same housing. We ran a pair of these units through our testing.
We tested the Attwood Sahara 1100 and the Lovett 1200. Size and construction of these two units is quite different.
The Lovett is by far the largest pump of its capacity we have tested. It is rectangular in shape and measures 5 inches by 8 inches by 6 inches high.
Other notable Lovett features include tough high quality construction, rebuildable design, sheath covered wiring, a Monel motor shaft, and an airlock-free design with no seals to wear out.
We found the Lovett power wires too short at 26 inches in length. If it proved necessary on your particular installation you could disassemble the pump and replace the wiringincreasing its length as needed.
The Lovett design is also available in a 900 GPH version. Various models of each pump can be purchased that work with 12, 24, or 36 volt DC systems. Our 12-volt Lovett test unit uses a 5-amp fuse.
Attwoods Sahara 1100, the other pump is this automatic bilge pump head to head comparison, is about one-third the size of the Lovett, is not nearly as heavily constructed, and has more rounded and traditional bilge pump appearance.
The Sahara has a vertically orientated motor and a base designed for horizontal mounting. The base also doubles as a screen to prevent loose debris in the bilge water from entering and jamming the pump motor. This unit uses a 6-amp fuse.
Both pumps use a 1 1/8-inch outlet to maximize flow and are equipped with 16 AWG power wires with top quality insulation.
Bilge Pump Performance
Our performance testing of this pair yielded similar results. On average the Attwood Sahara 1100 pumped at only 79% of rated capacity while drawing 3.6 amps. The Lovett output flow averaged 73% of its rating while using 4.6 amps of power. Both pumps passed our 9-hour dry run test without any problem.
Compared to similarly rated bilge pumps without an internal switch these pumps are expensive. The Attwood Sahara 1100 carries a street price of $75 while the heftier Lovett costs around $200.
If youve got unlimited funds for your boat, lots of room in the bilge area, and simply must have a unit with a built-in float switch we think the Lovett is top-grade pump.