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  Problem In Control of Electrical Device in Bilge

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Author Topic:   Problem In Control of Electrical Device in Bilge
nats posted 05-17-2011 08:14 PM ET (US)   Profile for nats   Send Email to nats  
[Some electrical device, probably a pump in the boat's] bilge works on [the setting of its control for] "auto" but will not work [on the setting of its control for] "manual." [Are there] any remedies[?]
Jefecinco posted 05-18-2011 09:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
Make the usual electrical checks. There may be a fuse or breaker on the manual side of the switch. If so, check that first. I would visually check all connections next. Then a meter or test light to check the switch and fuse holder/circuit breaker would make sense. If those checks don't reveal a problem it may be time to check continuity throughout the circuits.

Depending upon what model boat you have the circuit breaker may be mounted just above the bilge pump switch. Sometimes the automatic side of the pump circuit is not fused for obvious reasons. If so, the breaker/fuse may be open but the pump could continue to operate on the automatic setting.

Butch

Jerry Townsend posted 05-18-2011 01:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
I use only an manual bilge pump - but in your case, there will be one circuit-breaker/fuse between your switch and the terminal strip. That breaker and the ground(negative) are fine - or else the pump would not operate.

Your problem will be 1) a poor connection (terminals or wire) in the manual line, 2) a bad switch or 3) a bad connection within the pump.

To find your problem - use a multi-meter. If you do not have one, get the best quality one you can afford. See if there is voltage at the switch output connection for the manual operation. If there is voltage, the switch is good - if not, the switch is the problem.

If the switch is good - the problem is in the connection (terminals or wire) between the switch and pump. With the switch on manual, check the voltage at the pump - voltage, the main line and connections are good. No voltage, the problem is a poor connnection, corrosion, broken wire - or the same but within the pump - which may not be repairable by yourself. --- Jerry/Idaho

jimh posted 05-19-2011 11:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
First, make a schematic diagram of the circuit that controls the device giving you a problem. Then, review the circuit and look for paths or branches in the circuit where a discontinuity could produce effects that fit your situation. Finally, investigate those portions of the circuit that seem likely to be related to the problem. In this case, since the device works the device is obviously functioning and has power supplied to it. The discontinuity will likely be in the control circuitry.

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