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  Bilge wiring, 3-way switch, gremlins.

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Author Topic:   Bilge wiring, 3-way switch, gremlins.
skylimit1959 posted 10-16-2009 01:26 PM ET (US)   Profile for skylimit1959   Send Email to skylimit1959  
A couple of hours ago, I had a nicely written set of questions and symptoms, but didn't click send. Since then I figured it out and thought I'd share as I've not seen this before (20yrs boater and currently faking it as a Marine Mechanic, specializing in wiring/electronics.

Two Rule Auto bilges connect thru lighted 3way switches (Auto, Off, Manual).

1) 12vdc in, 2.7vdc out. Rear bilge no workie workie in auto-mode. The wiring was insulated 3wire, home run, new, shiny new. Yet test light shows no VDC at the pump, while there's 12vdc at the switch term. I traced the entire length and all is well (nicely wired boat). Finally grabbed a meter, saw 2.7vdc at the pump end (confirming some connectivity, but not enough to lite the test-light nor pump. I must confess, I let the young age and near perfect wiring to cause me to second guess the about a dozen times. Clock ticking, ran new home-run wiring all is well.

2) 12vdc back-feeding up the Manual wire. I used the second (reportedly good) bilge/switch in troubleshooting the above, but found 12vdc on both terminals when in auto (should only be 12vdc on one (auto), then one on manual. Pulled wires from switch and found 12vdc coming from the PUMP. Sure enough when I pulled the pump, there was clear meltage from a short inside it (Rule750 auto).

So lessons I learned and passing... Trust yourself :)
1) new wires are or go bad. Even strong ones. Use a meter.
2) Power on both Auto and Manual wires when in Auto mode, indicate Pump has failed.

Big lesson I'll be hammering to the owner, a little 750 is NOT big enough for a 31'r owned by a marine who runs up and down the coast regardless of weather.


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