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Bilge pump wiring connections. Pics?? Help please

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Bilge pump wiring connections. Pics?? Help please

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Old 03-11-2016, 08:24 PM
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Default Bilge pump wiring connections. Pics?? Help please

I'm wiring in new bilge pump this weekend. Anyone have any pics of the connection, mainly two wires connected to one. I have some heat sharing 3 way connectors but not sure they are proper to use.

I'm connecting pump with separate float switch with a dash switch--on off auto. All rule products. Kind of confused with the wiring diagrams. Pics are better for me.
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Old 03-11-2016, 08:38 PM
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Name:  Rule-Auto-Bilge-Pump-Wiring.gif
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Hope this helps
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Old 03-11-2016, 09:18 PM
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It will help if you remember that both wires from the float are positive (+)

1. Combine one brown wire from float with the positive wire of bilge pump
and run that combo to 'manual' of dash switch.

2. Connect the other brown float wire to the 'auto' of dash switch.

3. A positive (+) wire goes from the power prong on your dash switch
(usually middle prong on three way switch) to battery with an inline fuse
(fuse size is noted in the pump specs).

* The negative (-) wire of bilge pump goes to your ground terminal.

.
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Old 03-12-2016, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Gnrphil View Post
Attachment 627267
Hope this helps
Thanks it does help. My major issue is how do I connect the wire from the float to the pump and have the wire from the manual side of switch come in? 2 wires in one side of a butt connector? I have some three way connectors but not sure if they work in this instance.
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Old 03-12-2016, 04:19 AM
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Default Bilge pump wiring

Three way connectors are fine as long as they are completely sealed and waterproof (http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-Way-Connec...EM5OFQ&vxp=mtr). The bilge pump and float switch in my cc is under a sealed deck panel with limited access (6" round hatch) so I mounted a terminal block for the pump and float switch in an adjacent compartment. This keeps terminal connections out of the bilge, allows 3 way connection on the terminal block and makes float switch and pump replacement easier.
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Old 03-12-2016, 07:03 AM
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I disagree w/ the diagram above as the switch used has an off position where the float switch is cut out of the circuit. Further, it uses a single fuse and wire to send power to the pump. Much better (IMHO) is shown below.

Noted the fuse is direct-connected to the batt (any batt isolation switch can't turn it off), two separate + wires are run to the bilge near the pump (a single + wire breaking won't completely disable the pump).

If you have more than one batt you might think of powering the dash switch from one batt and float sw from another, but that is not good as you are combining the +s of diff batts and will result in any imbalance between the batteries flowing thru the path you have established between the + terms (ignore if confused, just don't use multiple batts to power the pump).

Regarding the 3 wires out of 1 butt splice, if you are concerned you can use an extra piece of marine heat shrink tubing over the splice. Position the shrink tubing and squirt 4200 or marine sealant into the tube, shrink the tubing after the sealant dries.

And consider using an ultra safety float switch instead of the guaranteed to fail attwood or rule.
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Old 03-12-2016, 07:12 AM
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I agree with you about the switch but op did state he's using an on/off/auto switch, some people like it that way some don't.
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Old 03-12-2016, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Gnrphil View Post
I agree with you about the switch but op did state he's using an on/off/auto switch, some people like it that way some don't.
The drawing is correct. While you can switch the auto side of the pump, for safety it should be wired directly to the battery with a thermal re-setting breaker instead of a fuse.
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Old 03-12-2016, 07:33 AM
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Oh I'm not saying NEBassMan's drawing is wrong, mine is the same way and is how I prefer it. Just saying some people use an "off" circuit and some don't.
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Old 03-12-2016, 08:08 AM
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OP did say he wanted switch to also turn off the auto function. Suppose there may be an advantage there if fuel/oil spill happened in the bilge and perhaps for some bilge scrubbing tasks, but I would prefer the direct to battery connection with easily accessible fuse/breaker.
"....if you are concerned you can use an extra piece of marine heat shrink tubing over the splice. Position the shrink tubing and squirt 4200 or marine sealant into the tube, shrink the tubing after the sealant dries. "
Just can't stress that enough. Bilge water in any contact with metal of any wire will cause a nearly instant change of that metal to a non-conducting green paste. Not to mention causing further galvanic corrosion on any other metal in contact with the bilge water.

In addition to the most thorough seal of connections, try and run as much of the wiring as possible above any bilge water as all that is needed would be an invisible pinhole void in the wire''s insulation along any 'wet' point.
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Old 03-12-2016, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Gnrphil View Post
Oh I'm not saying NEBassMan's drawing is wrong, mine is the same way and is how I prefer it. Just saying some people use an "off" circuit and some don't.
And I'm not implying you're wrong. My point was without a switch it can't be turned off and water can't fill the bilge while you're away.
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Old 03-12-2016, 09:15 AM
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Thanks guys, lots of good info here. I want to be able to turn it off since it will be on a trailer with the plug out.
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Old 03-12-2016, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Stickbo View Post
Thanks guys, lots of good info here. I want to be able to turn it off since it will be on a trailer with the plug out.
Not sure why that matters
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Old 03-12-2016, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by NEBassMan View Post
Not sure why that matters
Matters because I don't want to run the batteries down or burn out the pump just in case for some reason it would turn on. Its only one of the reasons I went with the switch that I did.
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Old 03-12-2016, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by NEBassMan View Post
I disagree w/ the diagram above as the switch used has an off position where the float switch is cut out of the circuit. Further, it uses a single fuse and wire to send power to the pump. Much better (IMHO) is shown below.

Noted the fuse is direct-connected to the batt (any batt isolation switch can't turn it off), two separate + wires are run to the bilge near the pump (a single + wire breaking won't completely disable the pump).

If you have more than one batt you might think of powering the dash switch from one batt and float sw from another, but that is not good as you are combining the +s of diff batts and will result in any imbalance between the batteries flowing thru the path you have established between the + terms (ignore if confused, just don't use multiple batts to power the pump).

Regarding the 3 wires out of 1 butt splice, if you are concerned you can use an extra piece of marine heat shrink tubing over the splice. Position the shrink tubing and squirt 4200 or marine sealant into the tube, shrink the tubing after the sealant dries.

And consider using an ultra safety float switch instead of the guaranteed to fail attwood or rule.
If we are going to be really safe about it, your diagram is incorrect unless the only thing being powered by the "house breaker" is the bilge pump. House circuit protection should be sized with the wiring and the anticipated full load from all the devices on the house. There should be separate circuit protection for the bilge pump.

In addition, to be truly technically correct, the pump should be powered by a single source, regardless of the number of switches involved. In other words, the fuse should power both switches. The reasoning behind this is having more than one path to power, i.e. separately fused auto and manual switches, could lead to a hazardous condition under a couple of scenarios.

That being said, it is highly unlikely to ever become an issue. But if you can avoid it, why not. Setting up a separate 24 hour circuit to power the bilge pump circuit is no big trick.

Originally Posted by mikefloyd View Post
The drawing is correct. While you can switch the auto side of the pump, for safety it should be wired directly to the battery with a thermal re-setting breaker instead of a fuse.
If you are referring to auto reset breakers, they are frowned upon by ABYC. If a fault occurs, an auto reset breaker will supply power every time it resets which could lead to equipment damage or worse, fire. If you are talking about manual resettable circuit breakers, please disregard this.
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Old 03-12-2016, 06:02 PM
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NEBassman,

Your diagram is the worst bilge pump wiring diagram I have ever seen.

You've connected the positive and negative battery terminals to each other.

The diagram itself looks like a topographical map of a section of a river.

And, the instructions you've included just heighten the confusion.

No offense.
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Old 03-12-2016, 09:05 PM
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Not sure why that matters

Mine is wired that way, did it so I can completely disconnect all electrics in the boat. It's a trailer boat, first item at launch is 'auto' on the switch, even before turning on the batt switch or connecting the fuel line. Boat hasn't sunk, exploded, or burned up any wiring ...
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by oreely View Post
if we are going to be really safe about it, your diagram is incorrect unless the only thing being powered by the "house breaker" is the bilge pump. House circuit protection should be sized with the wiring and the anticipated full load from all the devices on the house. There should be separate circuit protection for the bilge pump. yep, forgot the manually resetable, dash mounted breaker.

in addition, to be truly technically correct, the pump should be powered by a single source, regardless of the number of switches involved. In other words, the fuse should power both switches. The reasoning behind this is having more than one path to power, i.e. Separately fused auto and manual switches, could lead to a hazardous condition under a couple of scenarios. having separate paths to power is the reason for doing that. Everything comes w/ tradeoffs. What i drew is fairly common.

that being said, it is highly unlikely to ever become an issue. But if you can avoid it, why not. Setting up a separate 24 hour circuit to power the bilge pump circuit is no big trick.



If you are referring to auto reset breakers, they are frowned upon by abyc. If a fault occurs, an auto reset breaker will supply power every time it resets which could lead to equipment damage or worse, fire. If you are talking about manual resettable circuit breakers, please disregard this. yep, usually the fault is not going to go away, esp. In a dedicated circuit.
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Old 03-13-2016, 02:33 PM
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Step-down/reducing heat shrink butt connectors can be a handy way to have 2 conductors splice to a 3rd.
https://jet.com/product/detail/da074...FY4lgQodABgBmg


Or just find a butt connector that will just allow 2 conductors to fit in one end and bend the longer-bared single conductor doubled-over into the other end to be crimped in.

If you don't use heat shrink , seal well with liquid tape and secure the splice well above pump level. .
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Old 03-13-2016, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Gnrphil View Post
Attachment 627267
Hope this helps
This is also how I have mine wired. I also trailer the boat and don't want the float switch to make current when I hit a bump or hump in road if it bounces the switch up. If it were moored I would go with the direct battery connection diagram.
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