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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My bilge pump stopped working and because of a left open intake valve for the head the bilge got filled. The bilge was a mucky mess. I found both wires were broken. This is a group owned boat and some of the maintenance leave the boat in less than Bristol condition. Even the wire stripper on the boat would not strip the wires adequately.

It looks like the previous connections were made with some type of crimp. I used some wire nuts to get the bilge going and then left the wires hanging outside the bilge for a temporary fix. I am going back on Saturday to do it correctly.

My plan is to solder the wires, then put heat shrink tubing over the joints, then secure the joint above the bilge water level. My other plan is to do it the other way if you guys tell me there is a better method.

One other question is how to reduce the water level in the bilge? This boat is an Ericson 32. The bilge pump and float switch are on a piece of wood together and raise it up a bit. Would it be better to mount them right onto the bottom of the bilge? How do I do that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As regards the connections - I'd use a DECENT crimper (one of the ones from around $100) with decent heat shrink butts.
The boats tool box has a set of $1.99 stripper/crimper that was not even capable of stripping the wires I needed from it. I will be bringing my own tools next time and may be able to borrow the boat next doors really nice crimper that came with his boat. He says they are the really nice ones that cost like $30. Hopefully they are the $100 kind and I can do a proper job of it this time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions guys.
I knew crimping was the way to go. I have even looked at picking up a ratcheting crimper in the past even though I did not have a boat with an electric system, now I have an excuse to buy the single most expensive hand tool I will own so I can do this right. I am a little rusty but have decent electrical skills and want to make sure things are done correctly.

It isn't unusual to have the pump and float screwed to a piece of wood, and then have the wood secured to the hull.
You mean the board should not be free floating in the bilge? Also I think the board is at least an inch thick, so maybe a thinner board secured would lead to a bilge with less water and less broken wires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I was looking at the splice joints today. They are wire gauge specific. I would guess the wire coming from the battery is 12 or 14 gauge the wire to the float switch looked like 18 gauge or smaller.
How do I join two different sized wires?

The electric bilge pump is plumbed through manual pump, is that correct?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Hellosailor for all the details. I have not owned a boat bigger than 22 feet so many of these details elude me and the maintenance so far has been half assed. Up to now I have just been enjoying sailing the boat but need to figure out to make things right when they break.

I knew it was not right when I saw the boards free floating in the bilge, that combined with the shoddy crimps, it was just a matter of time before a broken connection.

" There are actually crimp connectors that are made for a different size on each side, i.e. 10/12 on one side and 14/16 on the other. But what some folks have been known to do, is simply double or triple up the skinny wire until it is now as thick as the thicker wire. And use whatever crimp fits that one size. If you've made a good solid crimp, there should be no problem with this.
I checked out West Marine but could not find these. I believe the wires are greatly different in size. Do i triple over the exposed wire portion of it before inserting to be crimped?

I am not sure of the details but think the wire to the pump come from right from battery without a switch. I have seen Auto-off-On switches on other boats. Should I install one?

The discharge hose from the electric bilge pump takes a serpentine route to a hand pump in the cockpit locker that is mounted sideways so that when you pump the motion is horizontal, which I found out was very awkward. I am considering mounting a larger wood block and mounting this so the pumping motion is vertical instead. The hose then drops down a bit before exiting above the waterline. Should I make this discharge hose as direct as possible?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Solder is not recomeded:

1. Causes galvanic corrosion.
2. Vibration breaks the filaments in the cable because the solder moves inside the wire and stiffens idividual filaments.
Got a crimper on the way. Gonna do this right.

"The discharge hose from the electric bilge pump takes a serpentine route to a hand pump in the cockpit locker ..."
Well, sometimes installations are a compromise and sometimes they're just wrong.
I am going to go with just wrong on this one. There was a problem when I bought into this boat a month ago with the bilge pump system in terms of the old hose was kinking and not allowing the electric pump to work without being primed with the manual to get it started. Someone recently replaced some of the hosing and from what I saw did not cut the hoses to length. so there is excess that serpentines around the locker. One other detail of the repair was the hose clamp put on for the outflow of the whale pump has the barrel positioned just under the handle so that each pump gets you a slightly more bruised hand. All while being bent over pumping horizontally.

My thinking is if you do really need this pump, you want it to be as comfortable to use so you can be efficient with it. I got fatigued just emptying the bilge with it. What I'd like to do is mount this so the pumping motion is vertical. Right now the pump is mounted onto a stout piece of wood that is screwed into the side of the cockpit locker. If I was to mount it vertically I would need to mount an even larger piece of wood to support it and spread out the forces of the pumping motion. Is there a type of wood or other product I should use to mount this on?

If there is a one way valve on this setup near the through hull would it make sense to route a second hose for the manual bilge pump to a "Y" valve above the one way valve so each bilge pump has its own intake?
 
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