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Project Log:  Sunday, April 19, 2015

In April 2014, I'd wired up the new automatic bilge pump.  I'd pre-wired the Cole Hersee bilge switch I installed earlier, since it had to be wired from the back side only because of its design, and I'd run its wires to a terminal block in the console without any particular regard to which wire was which, though I'd noted the wire colors at the switch and terminal for future reference.

The pump itself had three wires, and I used a three-conductor cable to extend these wires forward and into the console where, back then, I'd wired them to the terminal block to conjoin them with their appropriate terminals on the switch itself.  For this, I relied on the crude wiring diagram supplied with the Whale pump, plus a schematic of the bilge pump switch from Cole Hersee.

Later, once I'd energized the electrical system, I found that the pump didn't switch on as it should have.  But before long I'd moved on to other things, and troubleshooting the issue languished for some time--for just over a year, as it happened. 

Now, with the boat sold to a new owner and charged with completing various tasks on board, I turned to the pump wiring once more, with a fresh outlook.  Obviously I had something mixed up, whether it was the wires from the pump or those from the switch.  Studying the diagrams from Whale and the switch itself, I eventually determined that I had the hot wire--the lead directly from the battery switch--led to the wrong terminal on the pump switch.  Previous information I had noted on the switch's diagram had led me to connect the "1" terminal on the switch to the hot wire from the battery (#62).  This was incorrect:  the hot wire actually needed to go to terminal "B".  I made the switch, and tried the pump again. 

This time, the pump operated, but it was clear that I had the other two terminals reversed:  switching to "auto" caused the pump to come on, while switching to "manual" did not.  So now, I reversed the other two wires from the pump (those entering the bottom of the terminal block in the photo).  Red now led to the black wire from the switch (terminal "1", auto), and brown now led to the brown wire from the switch (terminal "2", manual).  Finally, it worked the way it should.

I'd only installed one of this type of switch in the past, and for some reason I'd mis-labeled the diagram that I'd kept for future reference.  This caused me to wire the pump originally according tot he diagram, but since that was labeled incorrectly it led to this issue.  I created a new diagram now more clearly marked for this boat (specifically), and for any future installations I might do using this switch.

In the event, the three images below represent the correct way to wire this particular switch and automatic pump on this specific boat.


Meanwhile, I prepared for some of the additional work on board by specifying and ordering various materials that I'd require in the near future.

Total Time Today:  1.5 Hours

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