Originally Posted by erps
I'm currently with FarCry on this. I use heat shrink connectors pretty much everywhere on the boat along with terminal connectors. I hate butt connectors. Almost every failure I've had in old bilge wiring has been at butt connectors.
Will an open terminal connector short out if it goes underwater? I don't know, but I think it's easier for the electricity to pass through the pump and make it work than it is to jump a gap through sea water to bypass the pump.
This is due to improper use of tools, the wrong tools and the wrong butt splices.
The vast majority of artesian water wells in the country use adhesive lined heat shrink butt splices feeding the well pump some 100 - 300 feet down. They are 100% submerged in water for 15-20+ years before the pump finally fails.
I have never had one of my installed butt splices fail or leak. They are 100% water tight when installed properly. Problem is most are not installed with the right tools or properly shrunk to create a water tight seal. People over heat, use open flame or under shrink them and destroy them. They also cut them by using the wrong crimp tools.
If you want to use a bus bar I'd recommend making extensions for the switch and pump wiring and keeping it in a settee or other higher location above the cabin sole..
My personal rule is no open current carrying connections below the cabin sole. Some of the bus bars I've pulled out from below sole locations don't even resemble a bus bar any longer. To make the point to one customer I stuck a hygrometer in his bilge and closed the cabin sole. 30 minutes later it was reading 96% humidity. Inside the cabin it was reading 65% humidity... Bilges are nasty inhospitable places for an open connection so try to get them higher and out of the bilge.