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Old 27-12-2018, 11:02   #1
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Bilge pump circuit breaker tripped

I use a Jabsco Water Puppy as my bilge pump. I replaced the impeller this past spring. The pickup hose has a Perko strainer. The bronze screen is long gone, but I replaced it with a DIY plastic sheet with similar sizes holes. Usually, this setup works fine.

However I was unable to get to the boat for about two months, and at some point the breaker tripped. Had a good amount of water in the bilge, but I just reset the breaker and it pumped out without incident. The strainer, hose and impeller all appeared clear of any debris.

One of the liveaboards said there had been a couple of brief power outages at the marina during the time I was away. Could a power outage or other shore power issue like a voltage spike have tripped the breaker?

Any other things I should check?
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Old 27-12-2018, 13:07   #2
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Re: Bilge pump circuit breaker tripped

If the power went out, and your battery voltage dropped, the low voltage could cause high current and trip the breaker.
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Old 27-12-2018, 14:13   #3
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Re: Bilge pump circuit breaker tripped

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
If the power went out, and your battery voltage dropped, the low voltage could cause high current and trip the breaker.
Makes sense. Especially if the power went out while the pump was needed and drained the battery. I only have a maintainer on the battery.

Are there breakers that automatically reset themselves? Say after a sufficiently long delay so the device would not be damaged by getting powered on again?
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Old 27-12-2018, 15:35   #4
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Re: Bilge pump circuit breaker tripped

Not to worry, your second bilge pump and its isolated battery bank took care of the problem
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Old 28-12-2018, 04:35   #5
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Re: Bilge pump circuit breaker tripped

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Originally Posted by SV Aquavit View Post



Are there breakers that automatically reset themselves? Say after a sufficiently long delay so the device would not be damaged by getting powered on again?


There are, but correcting the underlying problem is usually preferable.

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Old 28-12-2018, 05:28   #6
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Re: Bilge pump circuit breaker tripped

The bilge pump should be wired directly to the battery and fused close to the battery.
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Old 28-12-2018, 08:12   #7
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Re: Bilge pump circuit breaker tripped

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The bilge pump should be wired directly to the battery and fused close to the battery.


Why?
I know in aircraft a circuit interrupter is required within one ft of the battery for anything that stays powered on like a clock for instance, and that is logical.

However I prefer circuit breakers myself over fuses as they are resettable, fuses are not of course.
My bilge pumps are on independent breakers, I see no advantage of a fuse over a breaker?

I despise “Hidden” fuses, fuses in the power supply wires for radios etc., they make you start hunting if something stops working, a circuit breaker is visible.
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Old 28-12-2018, 11:32   #8
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Re: Bilge pump circuit breaker tripped

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
There are, but correcting the underlying problem is usually preferable.

https://m.delcity.net/store/12V-Auto...98669.h_198846
I'd say not to use these type of thermal breakers in a marine enviroment, as they are not sealed from the enviroment and can corrode and not work.

As breakers for the bilge pump should be mounted within a foot or so from the batteries, just the off gassing of the charging cycles can corrode the metal strips within the breaker.
A ventilated battery box is best, and sealed breakers are preferred.
There should be a switch incorporated within the bilge pump, it maybe causing excessive resistance in the circuit.
As well the pump may have something causing the impeller bind enough to cause an overloaded circuit.
Check your pump‼️ Trouble shoot with a known good pump.
Even wire in series an amp meter with a 1 to 5 amp sweep on the meter and check the on/off starting amps.
As always be sure your ground isn't corroded, visually check these connectors.
Don't probe wires with a test lite, cut and reconnect/ with watertight connectors the wires in the bilge area.
Be sure any wires in the bilge and hung out of the water.
Cheers
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Old 28-12-2018, 18:40   #9
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Re: Bilge pump circuit breaker tripped

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
If the power went out, and your battery voltage dropped, the low voltage could cause high current and trip the breaker.

This is incorrect. If the battery voltage decreases, then its ability to provide current will be reduced,

This is electricity 101,

As an example, consider an engine starting battery. When its voltage falls it can't supply the current required for starting.
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Old 28-12-2018, 18:54   #10
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Re: Bilge pump circuit breaker tripped

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Why?
I know in aircraft a circuit interrupter is required within one ft of the battery for anything that stays powered on like a clock for instance, and that is logical.

However I prefer circuit breakers myself over fuses as they are resettable, fuses are not of course.
My bilge pumps are on independent breakers, I see no advantage of a fuse over a breaker?

I despise “Hidden” fuses, fuses in the power supply wires for radios etc., they make you start hunting if something stops working, a circuit breaker is visible.
In marine electrical systems a circuit interrupter is required within 7 inches of the battery I think. The starter circuit is exempt. The circuit breakers that mount independent of a panel are fairly high current. The smaller breakers are meant to mount in a panel. That's the reason for a in-line fuse. I prefer breakers also but they just aren't practical everywhere.
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Old 28-12-2018, 19:17   #11
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Re: Bilge pump circuit breaker tripped

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Why?
I know in aircraft a circuit interrupter is required within one ft of the battery for anything that stays powered on like a clock for instance, and that is logical.

However I prefer circuit breakers myself over fuses as they are resettable, fuses are not of course.
My bilge pumps are on independent breakers, I see no advantage of a fuse over a breaker?

I despise “Hidden” fuses, fuses in the power supply wires for radios etc., they make you start hunting if something stops working, a circuit breaker is visible.
Oh how I agree with you on this, some idiot installed a new radio to my boat prior to my ownership, cut the wire to the old and installed the new complete with new fuse. Only problem was that they installed it after the old original fuse, so 2 fuses in series, both cunningly hidden. Took ages to find the problem.
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Old 28-12-2018, 21:26   #12
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Re: Bilge pump circuit breaker tripped

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Aquavit View Post

Are there breakers that automatically reset themselves? Say after a sufficiently long delay so the device would not be damaged by getting powered on again?
Not allowed by ABYC and with good reason.

Breaker opens so you open panel to find problem. While testing breaker automatically resets. See the problem? Could be dangerous with either AC or DC circuits.
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