Need help with live well pump

Neil E.Neil E. EsteroPosts: 13 Greenhorn
Thought my live well pump went bad so I replaced it. After connecting I tested it and nothing. Checked the connections and all was good. Took the connections apart , hooked up a tester and no power. There is power across the switch and when I opened the console all connections to the switch were fine. What could the problem be?

Replies

  • mr300smr300s Posts: 282 Officer
    So it appears there is a bad connection or a break from the switch to the pump. Maybe run a separate wire from the switch direct to the pump just to verify its in that wire. If there a circuit breaker next to the switch make sure its not tripped try pushing it in to reset it.
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  • Neil E.Neil E. EsteroPosts: 13 Greenhorn
    No breaker between switch and pump. Was trying to avoid running a new wire to the switch. The mess of wires behind the console is a little intimidating. Is it worth running a new ground from the battery to the pump?
  • mr300smr300s Posts: 282 Officer
    You could but what I was saying just run a temporary wire even if it just lays on the deck just to see if it would work that way then you know its the power wire. Also sometimes there will be a inline fuse try to find the wire. There is a good change it will be red
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  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,293 Officer
    Don't forget to check the ground wire going to the pump. I would disconnect both wires feeding power to the pump and touch them together (Briefly) to see if you get a strong spark. If you do not get a strong spark, one of the wires or both are not making a good connection to either ground and/or B+ (B+ is the positive side of the 12 volt battery power). I use a LONG wire with small alligator clips at both ends to test low voltage circuits. A test wire like this is much easier to use then volt meters on low voltage circuits like 12 volt DC. Make up a test wire like this and then connect it to the ground wire to the pump and a good ground spot like on the engine, and see if the pump works. (for this test Leave the pump's positive wire hooked up to the pump with the pump switch in the ON position. If the pump doesn't power up then reverse the setup and connect the test wire to the positive wire going to the pump after reconnecting the ground wire. Then connect the test wire to the positive side of the battery, by passing the pump switch.

    Occasionally, i use two long test wires that both have small alligator clips attached at both ends to test a device directly off a battery to see if the device is faulty. A jump battery can be useful for these tests if your boat's battery is in a place that is hard to access.
    Giimoozaabi
  • Neil E.Neil E. EsteroPosts: 13 Greenhorn
    Thanks for your suggestions. I'll let you know how it goes.
  • screamin seamanscreamin seaman Posts: 1,492 Officer
    If you touch the wires together you will probably pop what ever fuse/breaker is in the circuit.
    Use your meter.

    To check the ground, touch your meter between known good positive and the ground wire. Should have 12.5V.
    To check the Pos. wire, turn switch on and touch meter between livewell pos. wire and known good ground. Should have 12.5v.

    With doing that you should have 0v one one of the wires and finding the issue with that single wire is your next step.
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  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,293 Officer
    If you touch the wires together you will probably pop what ever fuse/breaker is in the circuit.
    Use your meter.

    You should never have a fuse blow if you just brush the wires together with a quick flick in a 12 volt circuit, since 12 V fuses are not that sensitive and need quite a bit of amps before the connection in the fuse melts.

    A volt meter on a 12 volt system will not tell you how much amps a long 12 volt wire can pull from the battery. Now if you attach a 12 V spot light to the wire, l it can give you a good indication according to how bright it gets, but a spark test to a trained eye is easy and quick. If you don't like my visual amp test, try and do an amp load test with a meter on a 12 V circuit that you are trouble shooting.

    (I once worked as a Electronics Trouble Shooter for the USAF and 12 volt systems are child's play compared to the stuff i was around).
    Giimoozaabi
  • rehartlinerehartline Posts: 786 Officer
    Chances are you have bad wiring. As others have suggested the easiest test is to run some temporary wiring to the pump. Run both the hot and the ground. If it works disconnect one wire at a time and hookup the original. When you get to the combination that doesn't work you'll know which wire is bad. You can get a good jacketed bilge pump cable from best outside.com that has three #14 awg wires in the cable.

    Touching wires together can blow a fuse or trip a breaker depending on the rating of the fuse or breaker. It's not likely on boat if you're fast enough, but don't discount that it can happen. If you have a meter you can take a reading at the switch and the source of the ground. You should see at least 12 volts, deoending on you or battery. You can take your meter and move one test lead at a time to the other end and determine if you have a bad wire. If you read 12 volts at the source end and and lower amount on the other end then you have a wire or wires that have deteriorated. You can check the pump end with the pump disconnected and see if you have 12 volts. If you connect the pump and the voltage drops on the pump end and is still good on the switch end, you have has wiring.
  • CountryBumpkinCountryBumpkin Fla. Piney WoodsPosts: 1,434 Officer
    You should never have a fuse blow if you just brush the wires together with a quick flick in a 12 volt circuit, since 12 V fuses are not that sensitive and need quite a bit of amps before the connection in the fuse melts.

    (I once worked as a Electronics Trouble Shooter for the USAF and 12 volt systems are child's play compared to the stuff i was around).

    I would never tell someone (especially an inexperienced person asking for help) to purposely strike an arc or cause wires to spark in an effort to troubleshoot a boats electrical system.

    A bilge fuel fume or battery explosion set off by sparks from "one quick flick of the wires", could have devastating consequences.

    Yes they are very rare, but nonetheless they can occur. And I can assure you they in no way resemble "child's play".:wink

    I say......I say son.......new & improved my tail feathers.

  • Neil E.Neil E. EsteroPosts: 13 Greenhorn
    Thank you all for your responses. I've decided to just run new wires as, from what you all have said, that is the most likely cause of the problem. The boat is 10 years old and when I stripped the existing wires to wire the new pump both wires were black. From what I have read that corrosion is most likely what is causing the failure. Thanks again.
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,293 Officer
    I would never tell someone (especially an inexperienced person asking for help) to purposely strike an arc or cause wires to spark in an effort to troubleshoot a boats electrical system.

    A bilge fuel fume or battery explosion set off by sparks from "one quick flick of the wires", could have devastating consequences.

    Yes they are very rare, but nonetheless they can occur. And I can assure you they in no way resemble "child's play".:wink

    No more dangerous then firing off a SOLAS flare, cooking with propane or with a barbecue grill, or smoking on or around a boat. And BTW i don't allow any of these activities on or near my present boat.

    If you are inexperienced and working on a live 12 volt circuit you will probably create a spark inadvertently, so you should always take precautions and make sure your bilge is clear of gasoline fumes and you are working in a ventilated area.

    That being said, i agree with your advice, So i admit "I'm BAD"!
    Giimoozaabi
  • larrywittlarrywitt Posts: 2,700 Moderator
    Did you test the old live well pump , that is hook it up directly to your batt. or any good batt. to see if it was bad?
    larrywitt
  • Neil E.Neil E. EsteroPosts: 13 Greenhorn
    The old pump was good. Ran new wires yesterday and everything is good.
  • rehartlinerehartline Posts: 786 Officer
    Good news. Tight lines!
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