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Bilge pump wiring ideas?

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  • Bilge pump wiring ideas?

    My bigger pump died and some testing seems to indicate that it's actually the connector. It was connected using a three prong connector that's allegedly waterproof, but of course we know that nothing is really impervious to moisture when it's submerged for long periods of time. Since the area around the pump is will always have some standing water, I'm curious to know if others have come up with any ingenious ideas to keep the connectors out of the drink while keeping them easily accessible given that you need to change the pump every few years!

    I'm thinking a seminal block on top of the pump, but I'm open to ideas!

  • #2
    I don't have any clever ideas about keeping the connection out of the water except to ....make sure they are out of the water....ty-rap them high.

    The manor in which h the connection is made is as critical or more so. For many connections in wet locations on a boat I like to solder them, cover with silicon gel and heat shrink over it. The heat shrink will compress over the gel, slightly squeezing some out the ends making a faily fail resistant connection. Other connections i will crimp, but fill the crimp with gel and heat shrink over.

    The gel slows the presence of water and air to the connection , making it last....a long time..

    Hope that helps.


    • #3
      I coat all crimped or soldered butt connectors with 3M Scotch coat. No need for the heat shrink which will fail over time. Above or below water Scotch coat stands up.

      regards Holty


      • #4
        No reason the connections have to be in the bilge water. As Sparky said, ty-wrap them up high.
        1988 26' cuddy
        1975 20' open
        31 Grand Slam
        16' Sandpiper
        14' Certified Fiberglass


        • #5
          I use the heat shrink crimp connectors with a heat activated sealant. Easy to make the connection and seals it
          Atlantic City, NJ
          1982 Cuddy, Rebuilt 351 .060 rings, Edelbrock carb


          • #6
            It does seem like soldering them would make the best connection. However, I was looking for something that’s easily undone and re-done because it seems these stupid things need to be replaced every few years.


            • #7
              Last one I put in was 17 years ago. I left the wire long (joint is never submerged) and soldered, heat shrinked and covered everything with liquid electrical tape. Still going strong...

              If you solder, just use rosin flux -- no acid! I also stagger the joints such that even if there were no insulation, the two bare joints couldn't touch each other.


              • #8
                I used waterproof connectors similar to these for the bilge pump connections. Found them at NAPA. Put heat shrink on leads, soldered, coated in liquid tape, then heated the heat shrink for water proof connection. Also hung the connector high enough to stay out of the water. When joining the connector coated the pins with silicone grease for added protection.


                C Rhodes
                26' Mackinaw - 1990
                351 Indmar (1990-2006: Great Engine)
                351 PCM (2006 - Current)
                Southport, NC


                • #9
                  When i rewired my boat all the connections where done with Bullet connectors that way i can unplug them and you never have to cut your harness. I used the male for the ground and the female for the hot wire coming from the panel
                  1984 26 Cuddy- currently under construction
                  1977 20’ Cuddy- SOLD