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You should probably setup one bilge pump that is hard-wired to the batteries with a float switch of some sort. Having a switch for this might not be a bad idea either. This way, you don't have to leave the master DC switch on when you leave the boat. If you don't do this... the chance that you'll accidentally leave the VHF radio or some thing else on that will drain the batteries is pretty high.
If you do install a bilge pump that is hard wired to the batteries (with a fuse in-line of course)—you should have a bilge pump counter attached to it. By noting the number on the bilge pump counter, you can see if the pump is cycling more often than usual or not.
Get the connectors and switches from West Marine, since you really want marine grade for this purpose. As for switches, I prefer manual bilge pumps with separate dedicated bilge switches... the electronic bilge switches can be more reliable than the mechanical ones.
BTW, you might want to put an oil trap on the output line for this bilge pump if it is your "maintenance" level pump and you have any oil in your bilge, so you aren't fined for oil discharge via your bilge pump.
If you want help with a wiring diagram for this, let me know.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Last edited by sailingdog; 05-23-2008 at 12:10 PM.