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    Auto bilge pump not working

    Ok so I checked the bilges on my 1994 4788 here in the PNW...and they were full of water...fresh from the snow and rain we got lots of. 2 bilges were dry the aft bilge was full. I have a 2-pole on-on carling rocker switch that operates the 2 pumps. One is always in auto the other is strictly manual. The manual came on...with the switch down...the auto would not work with the float switch in the up position. Ok...I wired the pump to the manual side...and it immediately through the breaker. I tested it agin and the breaker opened up. The pump is old as well as the float switch...so I changed out to a like and kind new pump and float switch. Wired exactly...no go. Tested the wires...ground is solid but there is no power to the 2 remaining wires. What did I miss? Thinking it must be the panel rocker switch or trace the wires and look for a short. Well the switch is easier so I went that way. Can I remove and clean this rocker switch? Having no luck locating a replacement switch...fisheries, west marine, blue sea systems, Bayliner dealers or carling switch distribution. I guess Bayliner ordered a thousand to fit in the boats when they were building them...then they threw away the mold. Carling custom makes to order. Any suggestions from this group of heavyweight knowledgeable boaters would be much appreciated. I don’t want to move for fear the manual side wood crap out and I’d have no aft bilge pumps...HELP 😬

    #2
    Your auto float switch should have a direct connection to the battery. In my boat it is connected to the cable coming from the battery on the MBBS, and has a fuse in it. Check for that fuse and corrosion in that wire. Your wire from the battery meets the one from the helm somewhere. The helm wire gets power from your fuse panel, through your helm switch. If your pump was bad both fuses might have blown. On my boat the helm switch has a 7.5A fuse in the fuse panel, and a 15A inline fuse in the hot wire from the battery. Depending on how many pumps you have, you might have higher amp ratings, or more fuses.
    1989 2159 Trophy Hardtop
    5.8L OMC Cobra
    2 1/2 year restoration project after "all you need to do is put the rebuilt engine back in".
    Mountlake Terrace, WA

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      #3
      On older boats, I always wire around the old wires with new tinned stranded wire directly from the battery to the float switch on/for your bilge pump. Make sure to install a proper inline fuse. The reason for this is many boats built in the 90's and before did not use tinned wire and the bare copper is corroded through much of the wire run. I also replace one bilge pump per compartment every 3 years (assuming they have not failed during monthly testing before that period). Bilge pumps will quite often not stop a sinking caused during your operation of the boat but the pump can quite often hold off a sinking at the dock. Treat them like your most prized possession.
      Current: 1998 Bayliner 4085 - Cummins 6BTA 370's
      Past: 2004 Monterey 322 - Volvo 5.7 GXi's
      Past: 1987 Silverton 34X - Crusader 454's

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        #4
        ......................
        Originally posted by Timicrinn View Post
        ...............
        I have a 2-pole on-on carling rocker switch that operates the 2 pumps. One is always in auto the other is strictly manual.
        FYI.... for a main engine bay bilge pump, you do not want to rely on a On-Off-Auto helm switch for the float switch's power supply.

        1...... typically the boat's 12 volt power supply must be ON in order for the On-Off-Auto switch (while in Auto Mode) to even supply power to the float switch!
        2...... your main engine bay bilge pump's separate float switch should receive Un-Interrupted power at all times. In other words, no easy or accidental means of disrupting the 12 volt supply.



        The manual came on...with the switch down...the auto would not work with the float switch in the up position.
        Again, if you are asking about your main engine bay bilge pump, there should be NO switch that would disrupt the power supply to the float switch.
        There will be what we refer to as an Over-Ride circuit. In other words, a helm switch may over-ride the float the switch for testing for the pump ONLY.


        Ok...I wired the pump to the manual side...and it immediately through the breaker. I tested it agin and the breaker opened up. The pump is old as well as the float switch...so I changed out to a like and kind new pump and float switch. Wired exactly...no go. Tested the wires...ground is solid but there is no power to the 2 remaining wires. What did I miss? Thinking it must be the panel rocker switch or trace the wires and look for a short. Well the switch is easier so I went that way. Can I remove and clean this rocker switch? Having no luck locating a replacement switch...fisheries, west marine, blue sea systems, Bayliner dealers or carling switch distribution. I guess Bayliner ordered a thousand to fit in the boats when they were building them...then they threw away the mold. Carling custom makes to order. Any suggestions from this group of heavyweight knowledgeable boaters would be much appreciated. I don’t want to move for fear the manual side wood crap out and I’d have no aft bilge pumps...HELP 😬
        The only help that I can offer you, would be to NOT power a bilge pump's float switch from the helm.
        The helm power is typically disrupted when you leave the boat unattended, and have turned your MBSSs to the OFF position.

        You will want the main engine bay bilge pump's float switch to have an Un-Interrupted power supply.
        The best source for this un-interruptible power supply, would be a connection (NOT at the battery bank itself) at the rear of your BS (battery switch) or your MBSS (main battery selector switch), and from your largest Amp Hour battery bank.


        Here is an image that I put together several years ago.

        Click image for larger version

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        .
        Rick E. (aka RicardoMarine) Gresham, Oregon
        2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
        Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
        Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
        Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

        Please, no PMs. Ask your questions on forum.

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          #5
          Had the same issue a coupla times. Mine turned out to be a blown fuse at the back main battery panel. There's a fuse for each of the three automatic bilge pumps. As Metro mentioned, these should ALWAYS have power connected straight to them. The warning light on your panel is merely to let you know the circuit has completed and the pump is receiving power because the float switch made contact. My 1st issue turned out to be debris clogging the impeller pump, causing it to draw too many amps and blowing the fuse. The second time was due to improper wiring of the whole circuit by PO, using electrician tape instead of waterproof connectors. That one was a real pain to find. Go to the leads on your pump and work backwards; You may find the issue a lot faster that way.
          1997 Bayliner 4788
          'Southern Charm'
          Vancouver WA

          Comment


            #6
            The switches shown in the post by 2850 bounty are designed to sink your boat. There should be NO way to disable an automatic (float switch) either accidently or on purpose. My business partner had his boat sink at his dock because of one.
            That said, troubleshoot it. maybe a pinched wire from the front to the pump. Happens...
            Note: if you have a manual switch on the binnacle, put a bike horn and light from the brown wire going to the pump to ground. ANY operation of the pump, either manual or auto will result in an audio and visual alert.
            Captharv 2001 2452
            "When the draft of your boat exceeds the depth of water, you are aground"

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. Turns out there was a broken fuse in line. The light on the panel does, as mentioned, indicates that the auto pump is working. There is no switch to kill the auto bilge pump. Problem solved again with the help of you guys

              Comment


                #8
                Try to figure out why your fuse blew. Just an old fuse? Yes, they do fall apart yet look good. Pump got blocked?
                1989 2159 Trophy Hardtop
                5.8L OMC Cobra
                2 1/2 year restoration project after "all you need to do is put the rebuilt engine back in".
                Mountlake Terrace, WA

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