Join the C34 Association Today!
[C34 Home] [C34Tech Notes] [C34 Tech Wiki] [Join!]
Please login or register.
Advanced search  

News:

Pages: [1] 2   Go Down

Author Topic: Confused by bilge pump wiring  (Read 388 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Sailing Amok

  • Forum - Seaman
  • **
  • Karma: 0
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
Confused by bilge pump wiring
« on: June 02, 2021, 07:22:14 PM »

Carrying on from my previous post about filling screw holes in the bilge after removing a failed float pump switch, I figured this question deserved its own thread. Now that I've removed the electrical tape and tubing from around the old SureBail float switch and Jabsco bilge pump wiring, I can see that the old float switch had two wires, whereas the new switch I've bought to replace it has three (see photos, yes those are Kleenex wicks to dry out the screw holes). My hope was that  this swap would be as easy as cutting the old switch wires, and splicing the new switch in, however this does not seem to be the case. I'm not sure that tracing and running the wires for the new switch is something I'm comfortable with. Also, the previous owner was an electrician, so everything is done perfectly, but is also fairly complex.
If I understand correctly, the reason bilge pumps have a third wire is to connect them directly (through a fuse) to the battery. I took a peak at our battery bank, and don't see anything that resembles the gauge of wiring from the bilge. Feeling around blindly, it feels like all the wires from the bilge pump and float switch run towards the electrical panel. Would there possibly be an additional wire that runs back from the panel to the battery or something like that?
Anyway, I guess what I'm really wondering is if there is a simplified way for me to get this installed, or is the only solution to run the wires from the switch, all the way to the panel, and to  some location on the battery?
« Last Edit: June 02, 2021, 07:22:42 PM by Sailing Amok »
Logged
Aaron & Kristina
1998 C34 MKII "Coral Wave" M35B
The Great Lakes

KWKloeber

  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 34
  • Posts: 3990
  • "Positive Impact" 1984 C-30 mk-I #3573 trbsfk M-25
    • View Profile
Re: Confused by bilge pump wiring
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2021, 07:57:45 PM »

A/K

Your pictures do not open (corrupted) but no matter.  Since the switch is electronic, it needs power to it -- it does more that simply interrupt the connection on the power wire going to the pump (which that the old switch interrupted.) The new switch itself needs a power AND negative wire.  You don't need to run any new wires (if you don't want to) you just tap into the black wire that goes to the pump. 

* The two brown wires get connected to the two wires that went to the old switch.  One wire is the power from the panel, the wire is what powers the pump.  That is the power to the pump that that switch turns on and off.
* The black wire on the switch is a negative for the electronics inside.  You need to connect it to the negative (black) wire coming back from the pump to the panel.  Or you could run a new negative wire back to the panel but there's no need to do that.

That the simple explanation, hollar if you need more.  The instruction manual shows the wires and where to connect them.

It's best to keep any connections high and out of the bilge.  And of course always use waterproof, heat-shrink connectors.  FTZ brand are about the best you can buy retail -- Ancor connectors are inferior.

The pump may be powered from the battery selector switch or wired to someplace other than directly to the battery.  There's different ways to hook that up so without seeing your boat and panel and batteries, it's difficult to say why you didn't find it connected at the battery.

-ken
 
« Last Edit: June 02, 2021, 07:59:23 PM by KWKloeber »
Logged
Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

Stu Jackson

  • C34IA - Secretary
  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 71
  • Posts: 7961
    • View Profile
Re: Confused by bilge pump wiring
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2021, 08:34:30 PM »

I am sure that your instruction manual has a wiring diagram.  If you don't have one, then go to the Rule website, they have plenty, but they're all pretty similar.  Good luck.
Logged
Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

Noah

  • Administrator
  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer
  • *******
  • Karma: 19
  • Posts: 1994
    • View Profile
Re: Confused by bilge pump wiring
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2021, 08:44:56 PM »

Just be really carefully to properly protect/seal/securely attach all wires terminating in the bilge. 12v current leakage and bilge water can cause a lot of damage.
Logged
1990 hull #1014, San Diego, CA,  Fin Keel,
Standard Rig

Sailing Amok

  • Forum - Seaman
  • **
  • Karma: 0
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
Re: Confused by bilge pump wiring
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2021, 06:12:03 AM »

Since the switch is electronic, it needs power to it -- it does more that simply interrupt the connection on the power wire going to the pump (which that the old switch interrupted.) The new switch itself needs a power AND negative wire.
Ken,
Ahhhh! Of course! That makes perfect sense now. The old switch was just a simple mercury switch. Like you said, it just interrupts the power to the pump. I'm not sure what happened to the photos, but one showed the three wires on the new pump, labeled as such:
Brown wire - "Fasten to brown pump lead only"
Brown and red wire - "Power lead, fasten to + power only"
Black wire - "Fasten to pump negative (-) only"
The wires from the old switch are both black, but I suppose one of them would be a stand in for what the instructions are referring to as the "brown pump lead" and the other would be the one you mentioned as the power from the panel?
The cable coming out of the pump is a single thick one, but I'd guess if I cut it open, I'd likely find 3 wires, one of which is the negative that I need to splice the black switch wire to eh?
Thanks again!
Logged
Aaron & Kristina
1998 C34 MKII "Coral Wave" M35B
The Great Lakes

KWKloeber

  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 34
  • Posts: 3990
  • "Positive Impact" 1984 C-30 mk-I #3573 trbsfk M-25
    • View Profile
Re: Confused by bilge pump wiring
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2021, 09:12:43 PM »

>>> The cable coming out of the pump is a single thick one, but I'd guess if I cut it open, I'd likely find 3 wires, one of which is the negative that I need to splice the black switch wire to eh?<>>

Most likely- there should be a constant power wire (fed from your panel Auto/Manual switch ďAutoĒ position) that the old float switch would interrupt. A negative. And a switched power lead direct to the pump (powered by the Auto/Manual switch ďManĒ position.

But where are all the connections made?  i.e., the pump pigtail to switch pigtail and pump pigtail to the panel negative, switch Man wire to pump pigtail, etc.  Itís odd if you have a 3-wire to the pump.  Pumps with an external float switch would have two pigtails (pump power & pump neg).  To where does the heavy cable lead? Is there a terminal strip somewhere or are the wires all butt crimped? Repost or email pics and Iíll take a look.
Logged
Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

Paulus

  • Forum - Chief Petty Officer
  • ******
  • Karma: 4
  • Posts: 553
    • View Profile
Re: Confused by bilge pump wiring
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2021, 03:22:23 AM »

Your pics open up just fine. Not corrupted.
Paul
Logged
Cool Change 1989 #944

KWKloeber

  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 34
  • Posts: 3990
  • "Positive Impact" 1984 C-30 mk-I #3573 trbsfk M-25
    • View Profile
Re: Confused by bilge pump wiring
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2021, 09:43:49 PM »

Your pics open up just fine. Not corrupted.
Paul

Darn I've downloaded them 3 times.  Tried 6 different image apps, none will open them.
Strange thing is that the forum post does not display the images below the message, as it usually displays on other messages.    Only the download links show up.

Aaron, could you email them to me so I can check this out further?
Logged
Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

Sailing Amok

  • Forum - Seaman
  • **
  • Karma: 0
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
Re: Confused by bilge pump wiring
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2021, 08:16:39 AM »

Apparently Apple changed their photo format on the iPhone at some point recently, so it no longer shoots spec and now shoots something else. I converted the photos to jpeg, but I wonder if the issue is that people who can open the photos are on a different operating system than those who can not open the photos. Anyway, Ken, you've opened a can of worms now! This is basically going to turn into an "explain my electrical system" post. I'm going to try to re-upload photos here, as well as some others from my deep dive into the battery area last night. If it doesn't work this time, I can definitely email. I really appreciate the advice.
If I'm understanding the way our 4 golf cart batteries are wired, they form two pairs to make it a 12 volt system, with 460ish amp hours?
To safely work on electrical, I would disconnect the connections I've labeled Main Neg and Main Pos(as well as my starter battery)? Or am I missing anything ?
The connections along the wall are totally confusing me. Partially because one of them has yellow shrink, and a red cap. And then the big red cable has a black cap.  Would one of these be the best place to connect the brown and red terminal of the new switch? Or should I connect it directly to one of the positive terminals on a battery? It's actually very easy for me to run from the bilge to the batteries, but not to the breaker panel.
Logged
Aaron & Kristina
1998 C34 MKII "Coral Wave" M35B
The Great Lakes

KWKloeber

  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 34
  • Posts: 3990
  • "Positive Impact" 1984 C-30 mk-I #3573 trbsfk M-25
    • View Profile
Re: Confused by bilge pump wiring
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2021, 07:29:08 PM »


Apparently Apple changed their photo format on the iPhone at some point recently, so it no longer shoots spec and now shoots something else. I converted the photos to jpeg, but I wonder if the issue is that people who can open the photos are on a different operating system than those who can not open the photos.



I can't figure out Apple.  Sometimes emailing a pic it goes PNG, sometimes JPEG.  Who knows why?  Apparently Windows (and this forum platform) didn't like the HEIF -> JPEG however you converted them, but they display just fine now.  I changed my iPh X to JPEG (the HIF doesn't save THAT much space for the hassle.)


Quote

If I'm understanding the way our 4 golf cart batteries are wired...


Yes two wired "in series" (= +12v) and the two halves wired "in parallel" (= 460 amp-hr for the total bank.)

Quote

disconnect the connections I've labeled Main Neg and Main Pos (as well as my starter battery)? Or am I missing anything?


To be disconnected you need only to remove the MAIN POS, the NEGS can remain.  (But you should be able to simply isolate the batts using a battery selector switch somewhere?? and not mess with the cables.)
Did PO leave you a schematic how he wired her?

Quote

The connections along the wall are totally confusing me.  Partially because one of them has yellow shrink, and a red cap. And then the big red cable has a black cap. 


I'm not seeing what you describe about the confusing wiring, but if that helps any?:
     - Yellow is the new black for a NEG wire.
     - He may not have had a red cap and used a red one?


Quote

Would one of these be the best place to connect the brown and red terminal of the new switch?  Or should I connect it directly to one of the positive terminals on a battery? It's actually very easy for me to run from the bilge to the batteries, but not to the breaker panel.


Is there a NEG bus in the batty compartment - is that what you are indicating (unclear from the congested wiring in the pic) -- other than connecting right at the btty terminals?
 
What bothers me is not knowing how the old switch was powered, fused, where grounded (per Murphy one day in an emergency you WILL need to know this.)   Also, the old switch pigtails look too light a gauge.   A heavy POS and NEG should run to the pump, and then short, lighter switch pigtails powering the pump are ok because the length will cause virtually no V loss.  But the switch doesn't run directly to the pump -- I'd find out what's going on -- I wouldn't just rewire and not be sure I had good (high) power to the pump -- i.e., the shortest run you can get.)  The way the pump appears to be wired, it looks like you have unnecessary POS wire length.  (Unless he put a relay in there that the float switch trips and it powers the pump?)

Somewhere he **must** have a fused POS to the AUTO/MAN pump switch (it may come off a POS feed to a selector switch?), and the pump NEG is probably run to the panel NEG bus?  To where does the batt POS MAIN connect -- is there a disconnect switch?

If I need to do any connections at the bilge I use an FTZ adhesive butt crimp, covered by FTZ doublewall adhesive heat shrink tubing (belt/suspenders.)  While the shrink tubing is still hot, I put a narrow zip-tie around each end of the AHS tubing (belt/suspenders/garter belt) so the ends stay tightly sealed w/ adhesive.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2021, 07:29:42 PM by KWKloeber »
Logged
Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

Kyle Ewing

  • Forum - Petty Officer 1st Class
  • *****
  • Karma: 1
  • Posts: 252
    • View Profile
Re: Confused by bilge pump wiring
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2021, 09:14:45 AM »

Regarding bilge pump switch wiring, I noticed this season a slight (0.2 amp) power draw when my bilge pump switch is on auto.  There's no draw when off and the pump runs when the float is raised.  I assume this means there's a fault in the wiring or a bad switch.  Correct?

 
Logged
Kyle Ewing
Donnybrook #1010
Belmont Harbor, Chicago
http://www.saildonnybrook.com/

KWKloeber

  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 34
  • Posts: 3990
  • "Positive Impact" 1984 C-30 mk-I #3573 trbsfk M-25
    • View Profile
Re: Confused by bilge pump wiring
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2021, 10:46:02 AM »

Kyle-
Most likely. 
Some leakage to ground or a negative, in the switch or wiring circuit but what kind of switch matters. A simple float? Troubleshoot to isolate the cause/location.
Logged
Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

Sailing Amok

  • Forum - Seaman
  • **
  • Karma: 0
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
Re: Confused by bilge pump wiring
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2021, 05:34:21 PM »

Thanks Ken,

To be disconnected you need only to remove the MAIN POS, the NEGS can remain.  (But you should be able to simply isolate the batts using a battery selector switch somewhere?? and not mess with the cables.)
Did PO leave you a schematic how he wired her?

I've always been under the impression that when disconnecting a battery it was imperative for safety to remove the negative first, before removing the positive. Can you really just remove the positive without removing the negative? I guess it's just a matter of being extra careful not to short any tools?
We do have a standard 1/2/Both/Off switch, but if the old pump and switch are wired directly to the battery as is often suggested, would turning the switch to off make it safe for working on, cutting and splicing etc? My impression is the old switch and pump would still be live.
Unfortunately I haven't come across a wiring schematic. Sadly, the PO passed away and that is why the boat was sold. I'm sure he had a schematic, but perhaps it never made it back to the boat after the sale.

Quote
I'm not seeing what you describe about the confusing wiring, but if that helps any?:
     - Yellow is the new black for a NEG wire.
     - He may not have had a red cap and used a red one?

That's what I mean by confusing, there's a black cap on a red cable, and a red cap over a bunch of black cables with yellow shrink. I'm assuming the Red cable is + and he just had a black cap to fit, and similar situation with the Red cap on the negs.
 
Quote
Also, the old switch pigtails look too light a gauge.   A heavy POS and NEG should run to the pump, and then short, lighter switch pigtails powering the pump are ok because the length will cause virtually no V loss.  But the switch doesn't run directly to the pump -- I'd find out what's going on -- I wouldn't just rewire and not be sure I had good (high) power to the pump -- i.e., the shortest run you can get.)  The way the pump appears to be wired, it looks like you have unnecessary POS wire length.  (Unless he put a relay in there that the float switch trips and it powers the pump?)

So, I got deeper into the bilge today and discovered that the wires from the pump and the old switch run into a length of hose, where they are spliced and sealed. The 16 awg wires enter the hose, and 3 10awg wires emerge. So, the length of 16 is pretty short, and I suspect the 10 is a sufficient gauge to avoid significant voltage loss? Given this, I assume my best approach is to cut open this hose, and replicate the splices with the new switch, while additionally splicing the negative switch wire to the negative pump wire. Now, the question is, what is the best way to splice 10-16 wire? A terminal strip wouldn't be waterproof, and butt connectors donít  seem like they would be able to accommodate such difference in gauge.

« Last Edit: June 07, 2021, 05:58:58 PM by Sailing Amok »
Logged
Aaron & Kristina
1998 C34 MKII "Coral Wave" M35B
The Great Lakes

KWKloeber

  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 34
  • Posts: 3990
  • "Positive Impact" 1984 C-30 mk-I #3573 trbsfk M-25
    • View Profile
Re: Confused by bilge pump wiring
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2021, 10:33:02 PM »

[edited]

Quote

imperative for safety to remove the negative first, before removing the positive.


Only when jump-starting a car to prevent a spark at the battery terminal (kaboom.)  (The NEG clamp should be on the engine or chassis, not btty terminal.)

If the POS MAIN is disconnected you can't short any tools.

Quote

My impression is the old switch and pump would still be live.


Could be, depends how it's wired. You said the bilge pump wasn't wired to the Batts?  Is the pump Man/AUTO switch fed from the selector switch? 
Just disconnect the MAIN at the batty to be sure if you don't know. 
But you should verify and document it.  You'll need it someday.

Quote

there's a black cap on a red cable, and a red cap over a bunch of black cables with yellow shrink. I'm assuming the Red cable is + and he just had a black cap to fit, and similar situation with the Red cap on the negs.


Use your multimeter to verify what's POS and NEG in the batty box, despite the color mismatch.
Switch the caps!

Quote

wires from the pump and the old switch run into a length of hose, where they are spliced and sealed. The 16 awg wires enter the hose, and 3 10awg wires emerge.

what is the best way to splice 10-16 wire? A terminal strip wouldn't be waterproof, and butt connectors donít seem like they would be able to accommodate such difference in gauge.


Somewhow you should be able to slide the hose out of the way (he didn't crimp them while inside the hose!)

You'll need to not only butt splice in the #16 but also pass the #10 through.  So you need #10 in one end and #10+#16 out the other end.  You're right there's not an easy way to do that.  If I HAD TO, I'd probably use a step-down butt connector (#8 [for the #10+#16] x #10.)  They are uninsulated, need a special crimper, and then get covered w/ heat shrink tubing. 

You might fit a #10 and a #16 into one end a yellow crimp terminal -- I'll hafta check on that tomorrow. 
It would be interesting to see how PO crimped the #10s to the #16 pump and switch pigtails - he prob either used a yellow butt and doubled up on the #16 pigtails or step-down butts. 

The new switch #1, #2 pigtails could be crimped to the old switch pigtails - no need to disturb the PO's crimps unless you want go right back to where he crimped the old switch pigtails. 

He has to have crimped together:

   - pump #16 NEG pigtail to #10 NEG (from somewhere, panel NEG busbar?)
      [a step-down butt - yellow x blue?]

   - switch #16 pigtail to +12v #10 POS from switch AUTO position.
      [a step-down butt - yellow x blue?]

   - pump #16 POS pigtail + #16 Switch pigtail to #10 POS from switch MAN position.
       [yellow x blue step-down butt?]

You said it's fairly easy to pick up the NEG from the btty compartment?   Can't get to the panel? All you need is a #16 wire to the new switch.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2021, 10:44:50 PM by KWKloeber »
Logged
Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

Jon W

  • Administrator
  • Forum - Chief Petty Officer
  • ******
  • Karma: 11
  • Posts: 983
    • View Profile
Re: Confused by bilge pump wiring
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2021, 11:53:21 PM »

Use a 16-14 to 12-10 heat shrink step down butt connector. Ken used to sell them, or you can purchase online from Del City.net in packets of 10 for $16.50.

FWIW - I found itís best to trace the wires from one end to the other before making any changes.
Logged
Jon W.
s/v Della Jean
Hull #493, 1987 MK 1, M25XP, Std Rig
San Diego, Ca
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up