Join Date: Apr 2006
Thanked 161 Times in 158 Posts
Rep Power: 12
Dan, I would remove the pump (unmount it) and remove the wiring. Then test the pump all by itself, with an ammeter (multimeter) to see howmuch power it is drawing. It is possible the motor is shot and is drawing too much current, in which case you trash it. (Bilge pumps seem to work for one or two years and then go belly-up no matter what you do.) It is also possible that the pump overheated, or picked up some debris, and it is jamming, and that's why it is drawing too much current. If you can clean out something that is making it jam--that might be all it needs.
But as to the wiring...that's pretty much simple. With or without the complications of switches and floats, what you need to a good waterproof connection to the pump (and for some reason, pump makers always supply cheap short wires so the connection is underwater) and from there a good run back to the power.
Cleanoff the wires, cutoff any black/green rotted wire. If they have gotten damp all the way back to the pump--throw it out. If you've got clean wire, splice it to the power leads using adhesive-filled crimps, and heat set the adhesive. That is a waterproof connection by itself, but since this is critical, test that it works, and then overwrap with 'self amalgamating butyl tape" or self-amalgamating silicone tape. Wrap is neatly and generously over the whole splice (degrease the splice and wire with alcohol first) and in 48 hours the tape becomes one solid mass--waterproof.
With that double waterproof splice and coating, you won't have to worry about the wires going bad. Just the anual pump failure/burnout, which always seems to happen.
Personally, I like the idea of using a small bilge pump all the way down in the bilge to suck up the first/last few drops. Runs frequently, can use a small hose so not much dribbles back. Then, mounted two inches higher up, you install the damage control pump--so it never really gets wet, or turns on, unless there is a real problem. That means the small cheap pump does all the routine work, and costs less to replace every time it goes out.