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Bilge pump tripping breaker

Old 07-03-2009, 06:26 PM
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Default Bilge pump tripping breaker

Within about 5 seconds of turning the bilge pump on the breaker trips. I don't know much at all about electrical wiring, but I'm thinking bad ground. It just started doing this a week or so ago. Can anyone confirm/refute this before I start digging around in the console?

Thanks
Fin
Old 07-03-2009, 06:43 PM
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At the risk of too obvious, could it be bilge pump?


Tom
Old 07-03-2009, 06:50 PM
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I was thinking that, too. But if the pump was dead would it still trip the breaker? If it was dying or something was wrong internally then would it? Questions I'm not able to answer unfortunately! I guess that's why I'm here. Ahhh...the joys of boats.

Edit...I might mention that it makes no noise, nothing. Just trips the breaker.
Old 07-03-2009, 07:01 PM
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Does it pump water during that 5 seconds?
Old 07-03-2009, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Rubberhead View Post
Does it pump water during that 5 seconds?
It does not. It's almost like the pump's dead. No water, no noise, no anything. The breaker just trips.
Old 07-03-2009, 07:53 PM
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disconnect the pump and reset the breaker if it does not trip then the pump is bad if it still trips then you have a short in the positive side of the wiring to ground This is most likely not the case as that would trip breaker instantly.

try the disconnect that is most likely your problem
Old 07-03-2009, 07:55 PM
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Check the electrical connections at the pump and the float swich. Chances are one of them is corroded.
Old 07-03-2009, 08:03 PM
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you have some junk in the pump keeping it from spinning and causing the breaker to trip. check inside the pump for some kind of crap blocking the impeller.
Old 07-03-2009, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by frank1861 View Post
Check the electrical connections at the pump and the float swich. Chances are one of them is corroded.
Just re-did all of those earlier. They were somewhat corroded but that didn't help at all.

capybob - I let the pump trip the circuit, disconnected it, reset the circuit and flipped the switch and the circuit didn't trip. That means a bad pump I guess. Thanks for getting this solved so quickly guys.

offshore31bfin - would the pump at least make noise if that was the case? Going to check that now.
Old 07-03-2009, 08:42 PM
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oook

Here's the deal now. I took the pump apart, no clogs but apparently I couldn't hear it running because now it runs for a few seconds then the breaker trips. Sorry for the misinformation before. Any ideas now? I'm going to do a search to see if I can find and similar problems.
Old 07-04-2009, 12:03 AM
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bad pump motor
Old 07-04-2009, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by fmoore View Post
oook

Here's the deal now. I took the pump apart, no clogs but apparently I couldn't hear it running because now it runs for a few seconds then the breaker trips. Sorry for the misinformation before. Any ideas now? I'm going to do a search to see if I can find and similar problems.
try spinning impeller with fingers, if its hard to spin or wont spin its pulling to much current thus popping the breaker also replace breaker they start popping easy after many over currents.
Old 07-04-2009, 06:34 AM
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Same thing happen to me a few weeks ago. The Breaker tripped the fuse blew and the motor lasted 3 seconds before never turning on again. I got a brand new bilge, not something to mess with or try. The new pump was 100 bucks but I also had 7 inches of water in my boat after a week of rain. New pump and things are working great. I reccomend you not play with fire and install a new pump.
Old 07-04-2009, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by ReelyHooked716 View Post
Same thing happen to me a few weeks ago. The Breaker tripped the fuse blew and the motor lasted 3 seconds before never turning on again. I got a brand new bilge, not something to mess with or try. The new pump was 100 bucks but I also had 7 inches of water in my boat after a week of rain. New pump and things are working great. I reccomend you not play with fire and install a new pump.
That's what I'm going to do. I'm just going to get the same one. This one lasted 9 years anyway. Can't complain.

Thanks for the help guys
Old 07-06-2009, 09:54 AM
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If something electrical is tripping a breaker or blowing a fuse, it's not because of a bad ground. A bad ground would cause it to draw less (or no) current. Same for a corroded connection. A breaker trips or a fuse blows because too much current is flowing in the circuit, not too little.

If you have an electric motor (your bilge pump) that is drawing too much current, it is most likely because it is not turning or not turning up to speed. Usually, in the case of a pump, debris is caught in the pump and keeping it from turning. The other, less likely cause is bad bearings on the pump or motor.

If it turns out to be debris in the pump, you can remove it, reset the breaker, and everything will be fine. If it's a problem with the pump or motor, replacement is the only solution.

Some bilge pumps have replaceable cartridges. Just cut the wires, twist it out, twist the replacement in, and reconect the wires.
Old 07-06-2009, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by airbrush View Post
bad pump motor
Old 07-06-2009, 01:27 PM
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Not sure if you solved the problem yet.

If possible, disconnect the wires from the switch to the pump at the pump. Tape the wires with electrical tape them make sure the breaker is reset and turn the switch back on. If the breaker trip, the problem is in the wires or the switch itself. Replace it. If the breaker doesn't trip, the problem is the bilge pump. If possible rotate it manually to check for any obstruction inside the pump housing. If an object is stuck inside preventing the motor from turning, it goes into a lock rotor condition when power is applied. This means it acts like a short circuit and draws up to 50 times the ampere raring of the motor. The breaker trips when this happens but not instantaneously. it could also be that the motor has a short in the armature or the winding. This is normal due to aging and extensive use. You mentioned the breaker tripped after 5 seconds of being turned on. I don't know how you got that but 5 seconds in electrical term means a great deal in trouble shooting the problem.

Electrons move at nearly the speed of light which is approximately 300, 000 km/s. When the switch is turned on, if the motor has a short, electricity goes from the switch to the pump and back to the breaker and trip instantly. because the breaker did not trip as quickly, it indicates the motor was trying to turn which means there an obstruction somewhere.

A short circuit can be of many things.

1) if the winding is shorted, it will not turn or make any noise.

2) if the brushes are worn out, the motor may still run but not in a normal fashion. It draws more current do to contacts between the brushes and the armature are not seated properly. Ultimately, at some point the current draws by this condition is greater than the breaker limit thus causing it to trip.
Old 07-06-2009, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Space and Time View Post
Electrons move at nearly the speed of light which is approximately 300, 000 km/s. When the switch is turned on, if the motor has a short, electricity goes from the switch to the pump and back to the breaker and trip instantly. because the breaker did not trip as quickly, it indicates the motor was trying to turn which means there an obstruction somewhere.
The speed of electrons has nothing to do with it.

Electricity flows from the battery positive terminal through the fuse or circuit breaker, through the switch (if it's turned "on"), through the motor, and to the negative battery terminal.

"Fast acting" fuses will blow very quickly if there is an overload, particularilly if it is a direct short. "Slow blow" fuses and circuit breakers take longer to blow or trip under the same conditions. This is by design.
Old 07-06-2009, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
The speed of electrons has nothing to do with it.

Electricity flows from the battery positive terminal through the fuse or circuit breaker, through the switch (if it's turned "on"), through the motor, and to the negative battery terminal.

"Fast acting" fuses will blow very quickly if there is an overload, particularilly if it is a direct short. "Slow blow" fuses and circuit breakers take longer to blow or trip under the same conditions. This is by design.


Actually, the Conventional Theory doesn't apply. Electron Theory is what in use today. Electrons flow from negative to positive.

The purpose of a slow blow fuse is to prevent premature tripping of the circuit due to high volume of inrush current created when an inductive load such as a motor is switched on. I don't believe the boat in question has a slow blow fuse in the work.

Breakers for the last 10 to 20 years are better designed. They trip instantaneously if and when currents flowing through exceed the rating. 5 seconds is way too long for a breaker to trip.




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Old 07-06-2009, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Space and Time View Post
Actually, the Conventional Theory doesn't apply. Electron Theory is what in use today. Electrons flow from negative to positive.

The purpose of a slow blow fuse is to prevent premature tripping of the circuit due to high volume of inrush current created when an inductive load such as a motor is switched on. I don't believe the boat in question has a slow blow fuse in the work.

Breakers for the last 10 to 20 years are better designed. They trip instantaneously if and when currents flowing through exceed the rating. 5 seconds is way too long for a breaker to trip.




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I've read that (the electrons) but you're going to confuse a lot of people. Electricity is generally considered to flow from positive to negative and circuits are designed with this in mind. Otherwise, circuit protection would be in the negative side of the circuit, not the positive.

As far as breakers, many circuit breakers use a magnetic and a thermal component. If a breaker sees a large overload, say 100 amps on a 20 amp breaker, the magnetic component trips the breaker immediately. If it sees a small continuous overload, say 25 amps on a 20 amp breaker, the thermal component will trip the breaker if the condition continues for a time (say one minute).

You are entirely correct on the slow blow fuses and I neglected to state why there would be different types.

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