Water pump breaker blows - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 02-15-2010
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Water pump breaker blows

Took the boat to False creek for the Olympics this weekend and the fresh water pump breaker tripped on us a few times. I've never had that happen in this or any other boat - any thoughts? (its a '98 Bene 461 and it only seems to happen when someone is in the shower completely lathered up)
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Old 02-15-2010
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Could be the wire is shorted somewhere between the breaker and the pump. Or the pump could have an issue. Does the pump seem to be working properly. If the pump is stalled for some reason, like a clog, the breaker could go. If you have a multimeter check for continuity between the positive after the breaker and ground. If it shows continuity there is a short.
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Last edited by mitiempo; 02-15-2010 at 01:23 AM. Reason: add
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Old 02-15-2010
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And check connections also. An arcing connection will cause over heating/resistance.
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Old 02-16-2010
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Thanks much for the input guys. I replaced the pump this past summer and as I recall the displacement of the the new one was around 10% more. I will go down to the boat this weekend with a meter and get to the bottom of it.
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Old 02-16-2010
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Presumably you also have at least one filter in your line. If so, check to ensure that the element is clean and not in need of replacement. Our dock-side neighbor had a similar problem with a new (to him) boat and upon tracing down the lines to check for a blockage dicovered the there-to-fore unknown filter cannister which was grossly obstructed. The pump had to work so hard to force water through the element it would overload and blow his fuse.

In addition to both sediment and charcoal filters in our water line I have a portable cannister with a sediment filter element (from Lowes) that I hook-up to our hose when we need to re-water our tanks and the amount of gunk, rust, etc. that gets pulled out--even after we have let the water run a while to presumably purge the lines--is often quite remarkable.

FWIW...
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Old 02-27-2010
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Well I got down to the boat with a meter and I found that the pump was drawing from 10 amps to 13 amps consistantly depending where in the cycle it was. The wires and connections were stone cold. There was no short indicated in the circuit. There is a suction filter up stream of the pump and it was clean. The breaker is a 10 amp which explains the tripping and the pump is marked "max 10 amps".
I'm at the point of replacing the pump I bought 6 months ago if no one has any further suggestions.
There looks to be an accumulator plumbed in, but the bladder must be gone because as soon as you crack a valve the pump will start up, and wiil only run a couple seconds after you close the valve. Don't know if that would have any affect.

Vexxed in Vancouver
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Old 02-27-2010
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how much pressure does the pump build up when the faucet is closed ? if the pressure switch does not shut the pump off when it should, the pump current draw will be enough to trip the circuit breaker.
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Old 02-27-2010
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Thanks for your input, That's a good thought. But the pump still draws 10 amps at the start of the cycle so it seems there must be some thing else at play.
I think I'll change it out and see if West Marine will stand behind it.
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Old 02-27-2010
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Get the WM 2yr warranty so if it goes out or when you get close to the 2yr point take it in and replace it for 30-40 bucks, I have this on all pumps and water heater and glad I do

Also, if you have one of those VSR type pumps, you can do away with the accumulator
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Old 02-28-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dillybar View Post
Well I got down to the boat with a meter and I found that the pump was drawing from 10 amps to 13 amps consistantly depending where in the cycle it was... The breaker is a 10 amp which explains the tripping and the pump is marked "max 10 amps"...

Vexxed in Vancouver
Vexxed in Vancouver,

If it's a 10 amp pump behind a 10 amp circuit breaker, it sounds to me like MAYBE everything is working as it should. You could either increase the breaker to 15 amps or get a pump that draws something like 8 amps instead.

If you are increasing your breaker, make sure your wiring to the pump is ok with that or replace the wiring with thicker wires. Also make sure whatever is supplying power to the circuit breaker (e.g. main breaker and wires) is ok with the increased current.

In the mean time, you could try running some thicker wire from an existing 15 amp circuit breaker and seeing how the pump functions, while monitoring/watching the pump closely. Not sure you want to go changing things like circuit breakers. A test done this way will give you some more information for you to work with.

**My lawyer just called. He says to tell you... Don't do any of this. Just go get a smaller pump.**

Regards,
Brad
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