Friday, December 15, 2023

Replacing the Bilge Pump

Replacing the powered Bilge Pump 

It was working ok but it's 8 years old and due to be replaced.

We have 4 bilge pumps onboard. 2 manual, this one - non-automatic 2000 GPH 12v and our Dry Bilge Pump.

The main one, this one, is 8 years old, and it's just time to replace it.

The hold down clips ( those two red bits on the sides  above the base ) had broken a while ago and I had replaced them with Zip Ties.

When testing the Bilge pump before leaving the dock, I noticed that the 'Manual' operation did not work. Automatic worked fine, so I figured there was a wiring issue somewhere but it could wait till we got to the Haul Out Yard at Playboy Marina.

The replacement was easy:- 
  • Dry the bilge so that no water would get into the screw holes when the base is removed.
  • Cut the wires from the old pump close to the Butt Joints in the wires from the control switch. 
  • Cut the Zip ties to release the pump from the base. 
  • Remove the 4 screws holding the base to the bottom of the bilge.
That's the demolition complete.

This wiring diagram was from the site but it's basically the same as the one included in the installation sheet that came with the Bilge Pump.

Our wiring is slightly different. The join in the wires from the pump and float switch are actually on a Terminal Block that is behind our electrical panel at the Nav Station. My reason for doing that was to move the join from the bilge area.

With the old pump removed I spent a few minutes cleaning up the bottom of the bilge, it's pretty shallow on Eximius compared to some other boats. It cleaned up pretty good and I was able to remove the old 4200 sealant from the holes and applied some fresh 4200 to seal them.

Screwing the base back onto the bottom of the bilge and seeing the sealant squishing out was reassuring. 

I cut back the old wiring close to the original heat shrink tubing and slid some 1/4" Heat Shrink tubing over the wires. Then I crimped Blue Butt joints onto the supply wires. Next I slide a larger Heat Shrink tube that was long enough to extend pass the ends of the butt joints over the whole assembly. With that done I just needed to crimp the pump side of the butt joints onto the pump wires and use my heat gun to shrink the tubing to completely seal the wiring joint.

I knew that the wiring to the pump was ok as the old pump ran when I operated the float switch, so the issue had to be in the wiring from the electrical panel to the terminal block. I opened the panel and straightaway could see the spade terminal on the Manual side of the switch had pulled off. Pushed it back onto it's terminal and tested the pump on Manual - works. Operated the float switch - works! All done.

The issue with the spade connection on the switch is just another reminder that I really need to work on that electrical panel. One more reminder!  It's on my to-do list and just moved up a notch.

Pump working - next job on the list - Packless Shaft Seal ( PSS )

Getting close to being back in the water.


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