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Author Topic:   Bilge pump wiring alternatives
Frank O posted 12-19-2008 11:11 PM ET (US)   Profile for Frank O   Send Email to Frank O  
After experiencing a lot of problems with the bilge pump on my 1995 Outrage 21, I found that there was a lot of saltwater infiltration in the wiring at the bilge end. I concluded that the best thing to do was to replace the pump, float switch and tunnel wiring.

I found the following article here to be very informative:

However, one issue has come up. The existing wiring on my bilge pump is per the following diagram:

I haven't had time to determine yet whether the rocker switch at the console is single-pole, single-throw (SPST), or if it could be a single-pole, double-throw (SPDT) in which one of the connections is unused. However, it is effectively being used as an SPST switch; it is only used to manually activate the pump. There is no switch position to disable the automatic operation of the pump that is triggered by the float switch.

It appears that the power to this circuit is provided by a direct connection to one of the batteries; the pump still operates, both automatically and manually, when the boat's main battery switch is turned off. I haven't yet traced all the circuitry to determine whether there is an inline fuse in this circuit near the battery, but this is something I'll definitely add in any case.

At this point, I have two questions:

1) Can anyone familiar with mid- to late-1990s Whalers tell me if my wiring appears to reflect the way they were originally installed in that era?

2) Is there any significant downside to keeping the wiring the way it is (adding of course a fuse if none is present)? If it's important to be able to disable automatic bilge pump operation (for example if the float switch gets stuck in the "on" position), perhaps instead of changing out the rocker switch on the console might I insert an inline switch near the fuse that I'll be adding in the +12V feed?

Thanks for any thoughts.

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