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Light in my bilge... dangerous?

Old 02-05-2003, 03:09 PM
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Default Light in my bilge... dangerous?

I've often thought about this, figured I'd get your opinions on it. I have a small utility light installed in my bilge, so I can see in there at night, check pumps... whatever. However, my fuel filters are in there, fuel feed lines from tank to motors, and oil tanks. If there was a fuel leak, and the light decided to go out (which sometimes causes a spark), ga-bang!!

BUT, there is also a bilge pump, washdown pump, trim tab pump and all associated wiring..... so, is the light really dangerous?

Should I remove it? Leave it? OR, replace it with an LED type light which I believe are safer??

Birdman, Capt of
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Old 02-05-2003, 03:18 PM
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Default Light in my bilge... dangerous?

LED lights rule period.

That said the ignition source, if any, will come from the switch that powers the light.

You can buzz by Radio Shack, and pick up a .01uf 100V ceramic cap, (they should know what that is ). Solder it across the switch's terminals, and no spark will come from that one.
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Old 02-05-2003, 03:19 PM
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Default Light in my bilge... dangerous?

LED all the way. Since they draw so little current I'm putting on in the bilge, in my baitwell & in my CC. As other lights burn out (courtesy lights & running lights) I'll look to replace them with LEDs. I have them on my trailer now & they work great. See some of the comments in a thread below... I mistakenly referred to them as LCD vs. LED.
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Old 02-05-2003, 03:53 PM
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Default Light in my bilge... dangerous?

Being a outboard,USCG regulations do not require any ventilation thur that compartment.If it was mine or as a designer i would like to see some air exchange to stop what you and i both feel is a accident waiting to happen.I have purchased a bunch LED Lamps By HellaMarine like those below;


[http://www.hahndesign.cc/eibl/hella/.../8538-021.jpg]

I have installed these and their other models, replacing lamps with their bulbs/sockets thurout my small fleet.They are very bright and come in different colors(white,blue ,red & yellow) .No more burnt out bulbs,corrosion in the base sockets,glass bulbs to break with exposed filliments as a point of ignition.Also like you down i have them mounted in the bilge so you can see the thurhulls and pumps at night. They run app $20.00 apiece but should outlast me and never need to be replaced again.
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Old 02-05-2003, 04:13 PM
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Default Light in my bilge... dangerous?

Check Ebay, LED bulds going for 7-14 bucks........
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Old 02-05-2003, 04:17 PM
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Default Light in my bilge... dangerous?

Birdman,

A 4-D-Cell Maglight costs $20 at Wal Mart. A box of last-forever Alkaline batterys for it will be another five bucks. It can save a lot of worrying.

Thom

"For every complex question, there's a simple answer. And it's wrong."
(--H. L. Mencken)
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Old 02-05-2003, 05:50 PM
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Default Light in my bilge... dangerous?

Thom...you took the words right out of my mouth! That is diffucult thing to do... I guess if you're really worrying about the 'big bang' you could put in fiber optics.

"Never enough time to do it right; ALWAYS enough time to do it over." Boston Whaler, "MUMBLER", 24' Outrage (1996), twin 175 HP Evinrude Ocean Pros. Snowball, the cat...
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Old 02-05-2003, 05:52 PM
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Default Light in my bilge... dangerous?

there are more ignition sources than the switch. You could hit the bulb with a tool and bust it, or cold water splashes on a hot bulb and cracks it...either way you've exposed the filament. The other devices you mention usually do not fail in a way that "lets the sparks out".
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Old 02-05-2003, 09:17 PM
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Default Light in my bilge... dangerous?

another way i had seen was glow sticks cheap and worry free
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Old 02-06-2003, 05:23 AM
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Default Light in my bilge... dangerous?

I agree with the lamp filament itself being a source of ignition. I didn't think of it in terms of a failure mode. Just normal day to day use.

To be the safest, go LED, use a sealed switch, and vent the area.
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Old 02-06-2003, 10:46 AM
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Default Light in my bilge... dangerous?

Thansk for the reply's. I'm not worries about the switch though, that is on the helm and if my helm switchs are going to cause a problem, then I have BIG problems!!

Anywho, I think I'll change it to an LED light.

Birdman, Capt of
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Old 02-06-2003, 05:46 PM
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Default Light in my bilge... dangerous?

Birdy...
Find yerself an explosion proof housing...from a marine or mining supply house...install whatever light strikes your fancy inside...Done! No worries!
http://www.visilume.co.uk/sanitary_services.shtml

http://www.macleanmarine.com/acatalog/

Are but a few that came up on yahoo using "explosion proof lighting" as a search string...

We'd hate to read a thread about that purdy Scout toasting up...

Wrap that rascal!
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