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Help with battery/bilge pump problem?

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  • Help with battery/bilge pump problem?

    This probably will be an easy one for you guys!

    On two occasions, battery #1 has been completely dead when I go out to the boat after a few days have passed. My Rule switch has been set to OFF when this happens. The only thing that is hardwired to battery #1 is the bilge pump/float switch combo. Battery #2 is not affected by any of this and I have used it to start the boat both times. I can run the boat with the Rule switch set to BOTH and battery #1 charges just fine.

    Is it possible that my bilge pump has some sort of internal short and may be putting a slight draw on battery #1 even when there is no water present in the bilge? I disconnected the bilge pump wires from battery #1 as a test and plan to go out this afternoon to see how things fared. The pump is probably original, so maybe these things have a life span?

    Thanks in advance for any help/advice! Feel free to recommend a new bilge pump if you think I need one.

    Brad Earl[br]\"Hooked Again\"[br]1993 Mako 201 Carolina Edition [br]1993 Yamaha 200[br]Boston/Swampscott, MA

  • #2
    Key Word's here are


    bilge pump/float switch combo

    There's your problem. they turn off & on all the time. When they sence water or a load. They stay on until there is no more water, but still keep turning off & on.

    I hate those pump's. Get rid of it. You have named one of their downfall's. Dead Batteries.


    • #3
      My mistake. I actually have a Rule 1500 with a seperate float switch. The switch works fine and is not jammed and the pump still works with the manual toggle. Any thoughts?

      Brad Earl[br]\"Hooked Again\"[br]1993 Mako 201 Carolina Edition [br]1993 Yamaha 200[br]Boston/Swampscott, MA


      • #4
        Charge the battery and have it load tested.


        • #5
          How old is the battery?
          \'81 21\' CC Mako[br]Beaufort, NC


          • #6
            The battery is about a month old (Group24, Exide Nautilus) and starts the engine easily once recharged. I am sure it cannot be good for it to be completely drained like this, which is why I disconnected the leads that tied it to the bilge pump.

            The battery is not dying due to excessive bilge pump operation, since both times I had rain water in the bilge and a dead battery. Once I switched the batteries to BOTH, the bilge pump would turn on and do it's job (since battery #2 is tied to #1).

            I will load test the battery, but does anyone know if a bilge pump can go "bad" and put a load on the battery even when it is not in use? The pump operates fine otherwise.

            Thanks for the help,

            Brad Earl[br]\"Hooked Again\"[br]1993 Mako 201 Carolina Edition [br]1993 Yamaha 200[br]Boston/Swampscott, MA


            • #7
              First, don't just check the float switch by moving it. Test it with the plug in the boat and the real thing. . . . WATER! Put water in the bilge with a hose until the float actuates. Once it does, make sure is cuts off by itself. What I am saying by this is that it might not move freely on it's own weight as it should and have a habit of sticking.

              Second, make sure all the wires going to the bilge are in excellent shape. Salt and water are conductive and can indeed drain a battery all on it's own. Sea water is no different.

              As a matter of being safe, never use bullit connectors inside the bilge. If a connection must be made in that area, soldering is best with the use of the liquid rubber insulating coating. All marine store have it, and I swear by it. It's called liquid electrical tape or something of that effect. Coat it several times.

              Good luck with it.
              Bill Moore[br]Eden, North Carolina[br]\'81 Mako 21 Center Console


              • #8
                Are both batteries the same type and size? If not, and if not purchased at the same time, then when you put your switch on "both" you will not fully charge the dead battery and probably drain your good battery. Try cleaning all connections and replacing your float switch. I bet that would solve your problem.
                1978 Mako 25 - Blind Hog
                1985 Mako 20c - sold
                Fort Walton Beach, FL


                • #9
                  Bad float switch, not handling the amps required when the pump is under load.