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View Full Version : Bilge Pump non-op in auto


typhun
06-20-2005, 01:58 AM
I have a '89 tristar. The auto bilge pump functionality does not work. Manual works fine via the switch on the dash. I also have an auto pump switch on the dash as well. I cant get the pump to work when i raise the float switch by hand no matter what position the auto pump rocker switch is in. Looking at the wiring harness in the bilge i see a black wire that has a crimp connector (previous owner repair?) on it that is only connected on one side. There is another black wire in the same area just loose there. I am thinking that this is the feed through the float switch and is my problem. Is the feed running through the float switch breaking the negative (-) or positive side of the auto pump circuit. I can see it being negative but if its positive how does that work being submersed under water if the bilge has any significant water in it (short). I read somewhere that the black color code in marine wiring indicates a ground (-) wire. Any one know where i can get a wiring diagram or have any insight? Also assuming the circuit is fully fuctional does the dash auto rocker switch need to be on to get the bildge pump/float assembly to operate automatically?

BG1772
06-20-2005, 07:29 AM
I use to have an '87 Prostar 190 and ran into the exact same problem. The float switch stopped working, but the manual continued to work. I found that the connections were about a foot towards the bow of the boat from where the switch was located. If memory serves me correctly, both wires were black (not sure if that was due to bilge sludge or how it came from the factory). I reconnected the wire and everything worked fine. You could try using a simple test light to see if the wire is hot. Good luck.

whitedog
06-20-2005, 08:56 AM
You need to reconnect the black wire. It is most likely on the - side. That is how mine is wired. The rocker switch on the dash needs to be in the on or up position in order for the auto pump to work.

School Skier
06-23-2005, 06:56 AM
I have the same problem with my 97 Prostar.

EFiles
06-23-2005, 09:42 AM
Got around to fixing my float swich last weekend. Mine was a pretty simple fix since all the wires were still connnected, just badly corroded from being immersed in water so much. I've ordered some waterproof connectors from West Marine (part #291294) that are made for bilge pump wiring that I'm hoping will help maintain a good connection.

Here's what I wrote down in my crude wiring diagram. I have a bundle of 3 wires coming from the panel - black, brown, and brown w/black stripe. The pump has 2 wires - black and brown. The float switch has 2 black wires coming from it(?) Not sure if they were always black or if they've deteriorated over time. Anyway, I just hooked them back up the way they were as follows: Black from panel to black from pump. Brown w/stripe from panel to black on float switch. Brown from panel, brown from pump, black from float all tied together. Both the pump and float switch are Mayfair Marine and I think they are the original to the boat.

I was happy to find that it was just bad connections and not necessary to replace the float. Hope you find the same.

ktn_cmu
06-23-2005, 10:23 AM
In general, it is not recommended to break the negative. If you do, you always have hot thru the device (bilge pump in this case). It is generally better to break the positive before the device so the hot ends at the switch.

Also, in this case with two switches (the float and the dash switch) you can run into another problem when breaking a negative:
The negative is the only wire going to ground (this assumes you only have one ground wire on the device as you should). If you break the path to ground, the device will not work.

So, lets say you have the 3-way switch set to "AUTO", the wire from the switch is always hot in that position. The hot wire travels to the pump through the windings out the negitive side of the motor to the float. Float breaks path to ground and the bilge turns on when the float switch connects the path to ground, so it seems to work as it should.

Now, lets put the switch to the "ON" position. Same as before, the wire from the switch is always hot in that position. The hot wire travels to the pump through the windings out the negitive side of the motor to the float. Float breaks path to ground and the bilge ONLY turns on when the float switch connects the path to ground. This is not desired.

Really, the "AUTO" side of the switch should run through the float, and the "ON" side of the switch should run directly to the pump....on the hot side of the pump.

Kyle

LakePirate
06-23-2005, 10:39 AM
You mean the auto bilge is supposed to work? ;)
Great something else to fix. :mad:

bigmac
07-04-2005, 12:05 PM
You mean the auto bilge is supposed to work? ;)
Great something else to fix. :mad:

Of the three wires, one is ground, the other two are hot. One of them is hot through the dash switch, the other comes directly from the battery and is always hot. The one from the dash switch goes to the pump motor, the one that is always hot goes to the float switch. The other goes to the common ground that comes out of the pump and is connected to both of them.

Some boats have an automatic position on the dash switch so you would have run-automatic-off, but I like the concept of not having to worry about whether or not I've remembered to switch it to automatic, in case it's out in the rain, for example.

On my 2004, the float switches on both pumps are always hot. My dash switch has three positions, forward pump on - both automatic - aft pump on. The downside to this is that if there is a malfunction in the float switch due to corrosion or whatever, it will continue to run and run down the battery as well as probably ruining the pump.

You can get bilge pumps that are either automatic with a built-in float switch, or pumps that work off of a separate float switch. In that case, the float switch needs to be located higher than the pump.

Cloaked
07-04-2005, 12:56 PM
Thanks for the wiring info folks... I'll archive this info as well.


You mean the auto bilge is supposed to work? ;)
Great something else to fix. :mad: :D

Pirate, how was yEr shin-dig in Knoxville a few weeks back??