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  #21  
Old 03-17-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Alan, as long as you are replacing panels you really should consider tracing out every wire that will be involved. And then either labelling both ends of it, if the wiring is good, or pulling and replacing any wiring that is bad. Pinched, corroded, chafed, a bit crispy, undersized...Sometimes you will find the PO spliced a wire by twisting the ends and taping over them. Sometimes there are dead wiring runs from removed equipment, which you may want to pull. Or. "leave 'em just in case" as so many folks do.

So while you've got the panel end off, explore. Take notes. Next time there's an electrical mystery on the boat, you'll be glad you did.
Sounds wonderful, but since I am not an electrician - this will be very difficult.
I am now learning how to use a multimeter to see how power is in my batteries.
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Old 03-17-2011
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I think the safest way to go about this is to physically trace the wire coming off the switch to whatever it is connected to. One side will likely go to a power bus, which won't tell you anything. The other should go to the device it is switching.

Checking for voltage or continuity can be a little complex, if you're unfamiliar.
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  #23  
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I think I am going to have to pay someone to replace the panel - too scary for me to do alone.

I will replace the bilge pump myself tonight - straight to the battery!
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Originally Posted by SpcAlan1 View Post
.....I will replace the bilge pump myself tonight - straight to the battery!
Since you've suggested this is a bit outside your familiarity, I'll point out that you should be sure to have an in-line fuse as close to the battery as possible on the positive side.

That said, it usually makes sense to have a bilge pump go through the panel too. You can shut it off easily, when you might be servicing a filter or filling with antifreeze and many switches allow you to set to manual or auto.
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I read about the fuse - will do.
my current panel is the original off/on from factory ( 1979 ).

I am looking for a new panel with 6-8 switches - any suggestions?
send me links.
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Old 03-17-2011
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Actually, I would put the bilge pump on a separate switch--not one on the panel. As posted above, though, put an inline fuse on the positive line running from the battery to the switch. Most bilge pumps have three-way switches that allow you to pump manually, or use the automatic feature, which routes your positive line through the float switch, then to the pump. The center position of the switch is for turning it off.

The second reason is most of today's panels have indicator lamps that will eventually drain your battery, even if the bilge pump's not running--not something you really want to do.

For a panel, look at West Marine's panels.



Rule makes an inexpensive, but rugged bilge pump switch that's available from West Marine for about $25.



Good Luck,

Gary
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My current bilge pump ( Rule 1100 GPH ) does not have a float switch.
I suppose it is all self contained ( I would not know since it hasn't worked since I bought the boat ).

Thanks for the pics of possible panels. I am not 100% sure what type of panel I need - I know its DC, but should it be a 'breaker' or 'fuse' panel?
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Old 03-17-2011
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Quote:
I do have a windvane at the top of the mast, so maybe this was part of the equipment.
I will never race this boat ( not need a wind speed indicator ) so i may just cut the wires to remove it. ( safely of course ).
You might want a wind direction indicator. If it works, leave it be.
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The Rule 1100 GPH pump is an automatic with a built-in switch. I don't recommend them because of the constant, low-power drain on the battery that occurs when in the standby mode. If I recall it's only a few millivolts, but over a long period it can drain your battery by a significant amount.



The submersible, non-automatic series with a separate float switch does not draw any power until it turns on, which is preferable on smaller boats.

RULE INDUSTRIES Submersible Electric Bilge Pumps at West Marine

Good Luck,

Gary
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Don't flip the switch! it's for the explosive keel bolts!
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