[QUOTE=Classic30;3584721]Well, I suppose not using a bilge pump controller (with in-built fuse for 'bonehead prevention') under the circumstances you describe could certainly be classed as a bonehead move. They're not expensive.. really.
In this particular case the bonehead is clearly the person who previously placed their dirty grabbing appendages on the electrical system without adult supervision. No question I dodged a bullet here.
I feel I ought to clarify my criticism here as there is not enough context for an uninformed reader to appreciate the harsh tone of the above comment. Firstly, my remarks over "dodging a bullet" are accurate, but are not entirely based on my observed state of the bilge pump wiring. It is a no-brainer to observe that wiring subject to water immersion should not allow conductors to come into contact with said water. Never. But on a boat piloted in salt-water it is not unlikely that sea water will get into the bilge for one reason or another, and the existing setup guarantees that the automatic bilge pump will fail in short order if this occurs. Strike one.
This was not the only problem with the electrics. As delivered, the boat came with three batteries. Two 6V golf-cart batteries wired in series were also mated with a single 12V marine battery also wired parallel to the GC batteries. The 12V was completely destroyed as evidenced by warped and buckled plates which had fractured and expanded almost out of the electrolyte fill ports. Quiescent voltage on this battery was approximately .6V after removal. I have do not have the diagnostic capability to properly assess the GC batteries, but they seem to hold a half-decent charge despite the abuse they must have suffered. Strike two. The main battery switch, which is typical and allows for two battery banks was wired 'backwards and sideways', for lack of a better term. A serious hazard. Strike three. The batteries themselves were unsecured in the engine-space and could have easily bounced around the EC in heavy seas or as the result of a collision while tethered to their respective cables. Strike four. As I mentioned in another message, engine compartment bilge water was allowed to reach the engine flywheel without bailing and splashed all over the electrical system mounted to port of the engine. Sufficient running time under this condition has led to corrosion on the engine block and notably to two engine mounts which will require replacement sooner rather than later. Strike five. All of these electrical system defects are easy fixes, requiring only trivial expenditure to remediate, destroyed batteries notwithstanding. It is apparent that the boat has been used extensively while these extant defects permitted to fester. Strike six. Lack of an engine-space bilge pump is a further regrettable oversight. Strike six point five.
The Internet is sometimes a small place and the responsible PO might become known and it would be unfair to level the 'bonehead' label on the basis of the bilge pump alone. Lacking electrical competence, he should have refrained from working on it and referred the matter to a competent professional.