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Bilge Pump Strategy

Old 08-24-2011, 07:40 AM
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Default Bilge Pump Strategy

Need help to clarify direction on bilge pump strategy. Have an existing pump with integral float switch wired direct to house battery and switched to dash. This is a two way switch, auto or on.

Have added a second higher capacity pump in a slightly higher location in bilge with seperate output hose and thru hull. I have this switched thru a seperate mechanical float switch and wired direct to house battery as well. I currently have no on-off-auto switch on the second pump and have no switch available on the dash.

My current thinking is to add a small fuse block (to get rid of the inline fuses on both pumps) high and dry in the bilge with a switch and alarm for the second pump. The pump will remain in auto all the time but like option to turn off or on.

This direction seem alright and should the pumps be on separate batteries or is both to house ok?

Thanks
Warren
Old 08-24-2011, 10:56 AM
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They should be on separate batteries to give you a totally different system.

If they were wired to the same battery and that battery goes down, you lost both pumps.

Does this boat sit in a wet slip? If it does, then think a bout a bilge pump cycle counter also. If it's a trailer boat then I would not worry about that.

The cycle counter will tell you what is going on when your not there. This could lead you to look for something that may be amiss, by the pump running to often.

Just some suggestions.
Old 08-26-2011, 03:22 PM
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I have a constant hot power block on my boat for memory, and bilge pumps...Leave the emergency pumped unfused.
Old 08-26-2011, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by GatorContender View Post
I have a constant hot power block on my boat for memory, and bilge pumps...Leave the emergency pumped unfused.
Just curious as to why you would leave the emergency pump unfused?
Old 08-26-2011, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by VanW View Post
Just curious as to why you would leave the emergency pump unfused?
You want nothing in the way of that pump starting in an emergency!
Old 08-26-2011, 07:17 PM
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Unfused scares me, but I understand your reasoning. How about putting a 30 or 50 amp fuse in line to at least stop a fire? Just a thought for my 500th post.


And yes, Go Gators.
Old 08-26-2011, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 76 Stamas View Post
Unfused scares me, but I understand your reasoning. How about putting a 30 or 50 amp fuse in line to at least stop a fire? Just a thought for my 500th post.


And yes, Go Gators.


No, do not leave it unfused. Make sure you have good, non-corroded wiring, then install a high quality fuse holder with the properly rated fuse, either 7.5A or 10A, it will tell you on the pump housing.

The key is to have a properly stocked tool box on board. Should you have an emergency, where that pump is vital, and the fuse holder craps out, well, by that time, we are looking at dire circumstances. Get out the dykes (yeah, I know, I said that), cut the wires, then spice back together...
Old 08-26-2011, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by seabob4 View Post


No, do not leave it unfused. Make sure you have good, non-corroded wiring, then install a high quality fuse holder with the properly rated fuse, either 7.5A or 10A, it will tell you on the pump housing.

The key is to have a properly stocked tool box on board. Should you have an emergency, where that pump is vital, and the fuse holder craps out, well, by that time, we are looking at dire circumstances. Get out the dykes (yeah, I know, I said that), cut the wires, then spice back together...
Dykes can be a great friend on a boat in a "situation",
I do agree that a pump, that is in proper working order, should be fused according to the amp draw with a bit in reserve. I hate fires on boats while they are sinking.
Old 08-27-2011, 03:13 AM
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SeaBob,
You have any thoughts about pumps on different batteries and inline fuse versus fuse block?
Old 08-27-2011, 04:14 AM
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Here's what I did...

I have my second pump, a rule 2000 submersible (rated) pump with no float switch but with a high water alarm wired unfused to my second battery. . Keep in mind, I am connected after the battery fuse which is (50 amp). The pump is hard wired with #12 SIS wire to a set of knife blades, then to the pump. I control the off and on.... which means the knife blades are normally open.

Pumps do not catch on fire... at least that's been my experience in 35+ years, around pumps ... motors might and wiring does, but pumps do not. However I can't say never... but I've never seen one actually catch fire especially those that are in water. Sure the motor windings can go to ground and burn the case, but again I've never seen one actually catch fire. Again... it's the wiring that will burn and potentially catch fire, not the pump or motor.

This is not an absolute and many will disagree with me, call me an idiot, but when we manage risk we must manage the highest risk. To me... call me crazy... sinking is more of a risk than fire. So if you agree with that logic then that is how to proceed. This does not mean we disregard the risk of fire it just means we mange risk by priority... and always keep in mind the "unintended consequences" like running the wiring near fuel lines

Most knife blades also come with the ability to insert NON or NOS fuses, if fusing is a must. Keep in mind, I would NEVER have a unattended/unmanned motor hard wired without fuses or another means of limiting current. What I have described is the pump of last resort for what I perceive as the greatest risk.

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