Bilge switch wire question

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Bilge switch wire question

Postby Kikaboo » Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:56 pm

The 1st and 2nd switch in this pic is for the helm switch for the forward and aft bilge pumps.
There are 4 wires. Top blacks are wired to each other and then to negative side of 12v.
Top blue are wires to each other then out.
There is a middle orange wire on each switch.
The bottom of each switch has a brown/blue wire.

My question is which wire is the + side of the light on the switch.
In other words when the bilge is running , an indicator on the switch lights up. I need the + side of that circuit.

The intent is to wire the positive side of bilge running light to my remote boat monitor as that is required for the monitor.

6E5F6EE1-22D4-4984-A876-A21D65AE9A68.jpeg


I want to connect using the helm indicator light the as shown below.

B3063006-603C-4EC0-B973-9AABD70F7417.jpeg
Rob
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Re: Bilge switch wire question

Postby gofast24 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:57 am

Red wire should be B+, at least on older boats! So that red wire should also connect to your red "on" light in the switch. Most, if not all boats the bilge pumps are connected directy to either the house or starting batteries, no way to turn them off other than a fuse blowing or a separate breaker tripping. The helm switches you are talking about only allow you to manually turn on the bilge pumps as required but when the switches are in the off position the pumps are still powered directly by a battery somewhere. Why do you need to know what wire is powering the switches on light? The lights should only illuminate when you manually turn on the respective switch at the helm. If you turn them on manually dont forget to turn them off when you determine the bilge is fully pumped out so you dont accidentally leave them running and eventually burn out the pump motor! Most bilge pumps need water for both cooing and keep the motor speed within design RPM limits.
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Re: Bilge switch wire question

Postby Kikaboo » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:45 am

gofast24 wrote:Red wire should be B+, at least on older boats! So that red wire should also connect to your red "on" light in the switch. Most, if not all boats the bilge pumps are connected directy to either the house or starting batteries, no way to turn them off other than a fuse blowing or a separate breaker tripping. The helm switches you are talking about only allow you to manually turn on the bilge pumps as required but when the switches are in the off position the pumps are still powered directly by a battery somewhere. Why do you need to know what wire is powering the switches on light? The lights should only illuminate when you manually turn on the respective switch at the helm. If you turn them on manually dont forget to turn them off when you determine the bilge is fully pumped out so you dont accidentally leave them running and eventually burn out the pump motor! Most bilge pumps need water for both cooing and keep the motor speed within design RPM limits.



I am 95% the light on the helm bilge switch illuminates when the bilge is running regardless if I manually enable it or not. In other words, if the bilge comes on due to the float switch, the light on the helm illuminates even if the helm switch is in the off position. I know this is true for my bow rider.

The reason I need to positive side of that wire for the light is because my remote boat monitor will then keep track of how often the bilge is running. For example, if there is a slow leak and the bilge cycles on every few minutes I will be alerted to my phone. Currently I only get an alert to my phone if the high water alarm is triggered. However if there is a slow leak, the bilge would keep pumping out the water before the high water mark is reached.

If the light does NOT illuminate at the helm when the bilge pump is on, then I will have to wire to the positive side of the bilge pump itself. Just easier to take from the helm which is also one of the ways recommended in the install guide of my remote boat monitor.
Rob
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Re: Bilge switch wire question

Postby gofast24 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:18 am

Thanks Rob!
I am not really up to date on modern electronically controlled stuff! Remember, i graduated from a private engineering school in 1970 using a slide rule all the way thru college. Much better on engines and mechanical stuff :) and worked for OEM engine companies in R+D, test and development , application engineering, and toward the end of my career, sales . Hopefully you will get a more informed answer from another of our ROF folks!
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Re: Bilge switch wire question

Postby ImRich » Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:24 pm

On my boat the light does come one when the pump comes on automatically.

I'd get out a volt meter and check it to see which wire is live when the pump is on. But you'll need someone to help by getting into the bilge to activate the float switch.
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Re: Bilge switch wire question

Postby Kikaboo » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:48 pm

ImRich wrote:On my boat the light does come one when the pump comes on automatically.

I'd get out a volt meter and check it to see which wire is live when the pump is on. But you'll need someone to help by getting into the bilge to activate the float switch.


Yep. My boat is currently wrapped up for the winter. I can get to the helm but not the engine room where the bilge pump is. Also, the batteries are disconnected. I was trying to get a jump on things but I suppose I will just have to wait 3-4 more weeks when I pull the wrap off and connect the batteries.
Rob
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Re: Bilge switch wire question

Postby gofast24 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:17 am

ImRich wrote:On my boat the light does come one when the pump comes on automatically.

I'd get out a volt meter and check it to see which wire is live when the pump is on. But you'll need someone to help by getting into the bilge to activate the float switch.

Couldn't he just turn on the pump switch at the helm and then check with a voltmeter which terminal is on B+ ? In reverse, when he turns the helm switch to off (or actually "auto") that B+ energizing the switch light would go off to confirm that is the terminal he is looking for?
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Re: Bilge switch wire question

Postby Kikaboo » Fri May 18, 2018 12:22 pm

Update.

I put a voltmeter on the wires at the switch and this is what I found out.

Top black (- ) and blue (+) wire control the backlight of the switch. This comes on when I turn on the nav lights.
Middle orange wire (+) has power from the battery.
The brown/blue bottom wire is the manual override/operation of the bilge pump. When I trigger the switch, it connects the + from the orange wire to the brown/blue wire and that turns on the pump.

I looked at the wiring diagram for the bilge pump from its manual and my regal is NOT wired how the manual indicates. There are two 3 wires at the pump, a black (-) and a brown (+) automatic operation and brown/white + ( manual override). Both are shown to be wired to a 3 way switch at the helm. Instead I only have the one wire going to the switch from the pump.

I sent an email to Rule-Mate's tech support asking about this. They replied that the brown/white manual wire will backfeed a positive current when the auto/internal float switch within the pump turns on. If that is the case, then that's pretty smart. That would not only light the helm switch when the pump turns on, but allow me to tap into that wire (brown/blue) at the switch and feed that to my remote monitor unit. This would energize when either I turned the switch on but also will be energized when the pump turns on automatically.

I will try that out this weekend. I also saw something about a test button on the pump that should allow me to active it without having to fill my bilge with water :)

Rob
Rob
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Re: Bilge switch wire question

Postby Kikaboo » Sat May 19, 2018 4:28 pm

Confirmed. When the pump activates in automatic mode it back feeds current on the brown/White manual override wire.
This lights the switch at the helm and now also activates my remote monitor.

I have set to text me if the pump runs for more than 30 seconds, cycles more than 2 times in and hour or more than 10 times in a day.
Rob
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2015 Regal 32 Express. T-Merc 5.7 Seacore (Cloud Nine)
2018 Achilles LSI-290E (Cloud One)
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Re: Bilge switch wire question

Postby gofast24 » Sun May 20, 2018 10:58 am

Glad you got it figured out! Also interesting that Regal used Merc engines/drives in your vessel as Merc owns Sea Ray (or visa versa)?
gofast24
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Re: Bilge switch wire question

Postby Kikaboo » Sun May 20, 2018 12:38 pm

gofast24 wrote:Glad you got it figured out! Also interesting that Regal used Merc engines/drives in your vessel as Merc owns Sea Ray (or visa versa)?


I ordered my Regal with Mercs because I wanted Seacore. Not on the standard option list but at that time Regal allowed me to special order. Not sure they are so accommodating any more.
Rob
New York
2015 Regal 32 Express. T-Merc 5.7 Seacore (Cloud Nine)
2018 Achilles LSI-290E (Cloud One)
2011 Stingray 215LR. Merc 5.0
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