Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: St Thomas USVI
Thanked 38 Times in 36 Posts
Rep Power: 11
Re: Is this bilge pump wiring as bad as I think?
You didn't mention if the strip is on the Pos or Neg side of the circuit (a pictures worth a thousand words BTW). Sounds like in an emergency situation it could be submerged, (potentially leading to a bigger emergency where the entire boat is submerged!). If it is positive, would this short it out (I don't know, had never thought about it)?
In any case, IMO, cutting crimping/soldering and waterproofing wires is easy enough. I want all wiring related to my bilge sealed. Bilge pumps and switches can be problematic enough, even when properly wired. No sense complicating the issue!
Regarding a second pump: I installed a diaphragm pump as a bilge maintenance pump. Worked out well. Search for my thread here if interested.
I used a dual type terminal strip that had continuity between the two lugs much like this IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. - Terminal Strip (.625 Spacing)
There is both positive and negative wiring (labeled) on the strip. I had it mounted just under the highest part of the sole (there is a 6" elevated area at the base of the companionway stairs that is above most of the sole) and above the highest point of the batteries. If the batteries are submerged Far Cry would have about 4' of water in her bilge, water over most of her sole and probably hundreds of gallons of water inside. At that point I believe I would have far greater concerns than whether the terminal strip was submerged. This system was in place for about 6 years and made trouble shooting and replacing the float switch very easy. I resprayed the terminal strip after installing the new conductors. There was no visible corrosion and it was still shiny. If one had to respray it every time a pump or switch failed, I could live with that. It may not work in other situations but I feel it was the best solution for me.
I do not have a simple way to measure humidity above and below the sole nor do I really care. According to the NWS this time of year the humidity is in the 90% range so I doubt another possible 10% will make much of a difference.
I no longer own Far Cry or I'd be glad to take a photo to post if there was further confusion. I do appreciate that it does not meet ABYC standards. If I had the smallest safety concern, I wouldn't have done it.