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Old    Bryce Collins (bltcollins)      Join Date: Feb 2007       06-20-2007, 5:59 PM Reply   
Just bought a float switch to connect to my current bilge pump rather then spend the extra money on an automatic pump. I'm not exactly what you would call an expert, or even an amateur for that matter, with these things so I could use some assistance if you don't mind.

I looked at the wiring instructions and the "simple" diagram merely had you connect the float switch between the power lead, coming from the panel, and the pump. I could be wrong but doesn't this defeat the purpose, i.e. the panel switch would have to be on for it to work. Also, doesn't this negate my ability to turn on the pump manually unless the float is up?

I kind of checked around and it looks like the better setup would have a power lead w/fuse, from the battery, connected straight to the float switch and then to the pump. Does this sound right? Seems like it so I'm basically just looking for confirmation. Seems like this would allow me to both turn on the pump manually and have the float power the pump automatically. If this is correct, do I just connect the second wire from the float switch to the pump along with the lead from the panel...so both the panel lead and float switch lead to the same power wire for the pump? I tried to upload a diagram but it exceeded the limit no matter how small I made it. Anyway, I appreciate any help. Thanks.
Old    Peter_C (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       06-21-2007, 10:38 AM Reply   
You want it wired three ways. ON OFF AUTO. On will force the bilge pump to turn on. Off is just that, no power. Auto will allow the bilge switch to control it. Hopefully the switch you bought is not the float type as those suck. Instead a unit that uses two prongs and senses the water is far more reliable. No debris can stick the pump on or off, like with a float.
Old    P. Van Every (boss210)      Join Date: Jun 2006       06-21-2007, 12:50 PM Reply   
rewire the swith to be a ground switch.And the constant power from the fuse to the pump. Than take the ground wire of the pump run one wire through that switch and to ground. Than run the lead from the dash switch from the pump to ground. This way the pump runs on eithr the switch or by it`s self due to water in the bilge.
Old    Hey, You scratched my anchor! (bftskir)      Join Date: Jan 2004       06-21-2007, 9:13 PM Reply   
yes the panel switch would have to be on but it would only run when water was present to float the switch. why would you need it to run if there is not enough water to float the switch on?
Old    Peter_C (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       06-22-2007, 12:38 AM Reply   
Switches can fail, especially mechanical ones. Redundency is better than sinking.

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