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Remember you're a womble
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Went to the boat the other day and the bilge had water in it. Turns out the wiring that goes through the float switch had blown a fuse. I replaced the butt connectors in the bilge and put a new fuse it and it seemed fine. I was there today fixing up some other bits and bobs and noticed that when the bilge pump is operated manually, it pumps just fine but when it operates via the float switch, it doesn't seem to be able to pump properly - turns but doesn't really pump anything out and likely was the same after my "fix" previously.
Basically looks like when it is running via the float switch the pump is not able to draw enough current.
It's an old Rule float switch in there, mercury job from what I can tell. Also, when you run the pump for a while via the float switch, the wire from the switch starts to heat up so clearly there is some resistance in the circuit. Is the float switch on the way out and starting to cause problems? When I tested it previously it had almost no resistance when engaged. Alternatively, is it likely a wire has suddenly started to degrade?
Should I just replace the switch?
 

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Remember you're a womble
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2,328 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I re-did the connections already so they should be OK, and the wire that heats up is the wire coming from the switch itself so there's no way to replace that. Clearly the problem must have existed in some way previously as it blew the fuse in the first place - that's why I went and redid all the connections in the bilge. Of course there is always the likelyhood that my re-done connections are rubbish.
 

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Remember you're a womble
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2,328 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's this wire that gets hot:


Switch panel is the standard OFF/MANUAL/AUTO type with a 10A fuse, also a 10A fuse between the float switch and the switch panel.
Note that I didn't install this. I need to get this sorted as at the moment I don't have an automatic pump in there, not going to run the risk of the wire burning (which it will).
 

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Remember you're a womble
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2,328 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It's a 1500. The original fuse between the panel and float switch was 7.5A, and the switch panel had a 20A installed! The closest I had to 9A was 10A, which I figured was better than 20A.
I guess I will go and cut out my connections and make a temporary one instead and see if the problem goes away. If it does then I'll remake everything again. Those Ancor adhesive heat shrink butt connectors aren't cheap.
If the connections aren't at fault, it could only be the wiring from the switch panel to the float switch, or the float switch itself?
 

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Remember you're a womble
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2,328 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Cut out a connector and just twisted the wires together and it seemed much better. Replaced that connector, not sure why it didn't connect well originally but there you go. Onto the next problem :)
 
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