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Old 28-10-2016, 07:08   #31
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Re: Electric Circuit Diagram Software ?

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Where can I obtain labels for the wires? I got lots, but on a forty year old C&C.... well maybe I can remember what I added....
You can use a laser printer to print labels on Write-In-The-Rain paper, & then affix them to wires using clear, waterproof, heat shrink sleeves. The laser melts the "ink" onto the paper, so the writing is waterproof. This was suggested to me by the folks who make said waterproof paper.

Or instead of creating full labels, some guys come up with a numbering system, along with a log detailing what piece of gear each specific numbered wire is connected to.
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Old 28-10-2016, 09:31   #32
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Re: Electric Circuit Diagram Software ?

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The drawing above shows one reason to transfer the drawing to a computer. They are difficult to read and get more difficult as time goes on. Of course, my eyes aren't very good these days.
I'm with you on that.

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Old 28-10-2016, 10:25   #33
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Re: Electric Circuit Diagram Software ?

I have read not to fuse the bilge pump. The worse thing that can happen is the boat sinks; that's more likely to happen if a fuse blows.
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Old 28-10-2016, 10:50   #34
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Re: Electric Circuit Diagram Software ?

I use a Brother label maker, generally with 1/2" white tape and black lettering. I make my labels usually 2 1/2" long for small gauge wire, longer for battery cables. I format my printing to have all printing on the left side of the tape, with two lines, occasionally with three (you have to change the font sizes to accommodate. I make example labels and attach them to the printer for quick reference. My labels are attached at each end of the wire. The first line is a short description, the second line is the unique code I generate for each wire that tells me what circuit, what branch, what final distribution. All of this is generated in my Excel worksheet at the very beginning of designing the system. It also allows me to calculate wire sizes, amperages, etc. The tape is wrapped around the wire as a "flag", allowing it to be easily found and read.
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Old 28-10-2016, 10:52   #35
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Re: Electric Circuit Diagram Software ?

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I have read not to fuse the bilge pump. The worse thing that can happen is the boat sinks; that's more likely to happen if a fuse blows.
What would be worse, the boat sinking or the boat catching fire and then sinking?

ABYC says to fuse the bilge pump. I will always fuse the bilge pump. To handle the extremely rare case where that fuse blows, that's the role for the secondary bilge pump.
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Old 28-10-2016, 11:53   #36
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Re: Electric Circuit Diagram Software ?

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I have read not to fuse the bilge pump. The worse thing that can happen is the boat sinks; that's more likely to happen if a fuse blows.
That's stupid. You can have a fire from unprotected wiring. Are you going to believe the ABYC or some ignoramus posting on the Internet?

If your bilge pump draws enough current to blow a properly sized fuse, it's not pumping water so what's the difference?

Keep the fuse. Find out the proper rating from the manufacturer.
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Old 28-10-2016, 11:57   #37
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Re: Electric Circuit Diagram Software ?

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What would be worse, the boat sinking or the boat catching fire and then sinking?

ABYC says to fuse the bilge pump. I will always fuse the bilge pump. To handle the extremely rare case where that fuse blows, that's the role for the secondary bilge pump.


The most likely cause for a bilge pump fuse to blow is that there is debris keeping the impeller from turning. Direct wiring it to the battery (without a fuse) isn't going to make it begin pumping, it's going to overheat the motor or the wiring and possibly start a fire.

The ABYC is collectively smarter than individual boaters. They have access to testing and information that we don't have access to. If you think you have a good reason to ignore the ABYC requirements, think again because you don't.
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Old 28-10-2016, 12:03   #38
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Re: Electric Circuit Diagram Software ?

My boat came with a detailed electrical schematic. An actual schematic, not a drawing with pictures. I have added things but did not bother to draw schematics.


I was an electronic technician for most of my career and for most of what I worked on, there were no schematics available. I learned to figure out what I was facing and go from there.


Boat electrical circuits are, for the most part, pretty simple. If you consider each circuit as starting from the source, there is usually a means of overcurrent protection, a switch, the device, and a return to negative. That's not hard to troubleshoot.
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Old 29-10-2016, 12:43   #39
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Re: Electric Circuit Diagram Software ?

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Originally Posted by Rhwins
I have read not to fuse the bilge pump. The worse thing that can happen is the boat sinks; that's more likely to happen if a fuse blows.
I've only had two boat fires. Thankfully small. Both caused by wiring. One was from a shorted out float switch in a bilge pump. The wires started smoking and the insulation was gone in seconds. I thankfully was nearby and ripped the wiring (now bare and red hot) off the terminals with my bare hands getting some good burns. A fuse would have avoided this.
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Old 29-10-2016, 22:10   #40
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Re: Electric Circuit Diagram Software ?

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I have read not to fuse the bilge pump. The worse thing that can happen is the boat sinks; that's more likely to happen if a fuse blows.
This is wrong.

A bilge pump, running full load (or locked rotor) will draw a finite number of Amps. The manufacturer specifies a fuse well above this rating. So the only thing that can cause the required current flow to cause the fuse to blow is a wiring short circuit. If one has a wiring short circuit, the pump is not pumping so if a fuse blows nothing changes.

If one has a wiring short, while the non-fused bilge pump is pumping out a cup of rainwater, and the boat burns to the waterline, that is BAD.

ALWAYS fuse an electric bilge pump, with a fuse rated as the pump manufacturer specifies.

Additionally, many production boats are not equipped with adequate electric bilge pump capacity to prevent sinking in the event of a serious hull breach.

A 2" diameter hole, only 1 foot below the waterline, lets in 75 GPM. That is 4500 GPH. An electric bilge pump typically puts out about 50% of it's rated flow (which is with 13.6 Vdc supplied, and open discharge). At 12Vdc and a 15 ft discharge hose with a 3 foot rise and couple of bends, output is significantly reduced. So your little 500 GPH (and even a 2000 GPH) bilge pump, is really only good for discharging incidental leakage (as from a leaking chainplate, etc.)

Not only that, but most DIY bilge pump installs I see are doomed for failure as non-waterproof connections are made at a level lower than the tops of the batteries. The bilge pump will quit due to poor installation, long before the vessel looses electrical power due to water level rise.

So for you own safety, and that of your vessel and crew, take the time to research proper bilge pump selection, capacity, and installation, or hire it out.
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Old 30-10-2016, 02:55   #41
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Re: Electric Circuit Diagram Software ?

Hello there,

Nice ideas.
Can you post an example of an excel file please, so we cn see how it's done?

Thanks in advance
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Old 30-10-2016, 09:46   #42
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Re: Electric Circuit Diagram Software ?

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Interesting wiring arrangement. Tesla investigated wireless "broadcast energy" a hundred years ago, and here we have it
An appropriate quote.
It would be preferable to show acceptable drawings.
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:38   #43
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Re: Electric Circuit Diagram Software ?

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Originally Posted by hsi88 View Post
I've only had two boat fires. Thankfully small. Both caused by wiring. One was from a shorted out float switch in a bilge pump. The wires started smoking and the insulation was gone in seconds. I thankfully was nearby and ripped the wiring (now bare and red hot) off the terminals with my bare hands getting some good burns. A fuse would have avoided this.
"Only two boat fires"?!?!?!?!!

One is one too many!!!!!!
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:05   #44
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Re: Electric Circuit Diagram Software ?

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The most likely cause for a bilge pump fuse to blow is that there is debris keeping the impeller from turning.
Incorrect!

Bilge pumps are designed to withstand locked rotor conditions for many hours without blowing the (manufacturer specified) fuse.

The most likely cause of a bilge pump fuse to blow is the terribly poor wiring that most DIYers perform on them.

Bilge pumps are among the most misunderstood, poorly selected, improperly applied, and terribly installed and maintained devices I encounter. Right up there with VHF radios. Arguably the 2 most important electrically powered safety devices on any vessel. Go figure.

I can't count the number of bilge pumps I've inspected to find speaker cord wires twisted together and insulated with electrical tape or wire nuts.

1) 50%, one of the wires is disconnected when I first see it.

2) 25%, a slight tug and the wiring falls apart.

3) The rest except for the rare few, are just a little corrosion away from falling into the first two categories.

4) Almost none have solid, water proof connections that are compliant with marine standards.

5) Almost all are wired such that if the attempted waterproofing fails, the pump will quit prematurely, (before the water level gets to the battery terminals).
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:08   #45
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Re: Electric Circuit Diagram Software ?

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Incorrect!

Bilge pumps are designed to withstand locked rotor conditions for many hours without blowing the (manufacturer specified) fuse.
I do not know of any bilge pump that can sustain a locked rotor for many hours. Seven hours of locked rotor would meet the ISO "exception" but I don't know of any typical bilge pump that actually meets the ISO/RCD exception..

The ABYC has no such locked rotor exception because there likely does not exists such a pump. Rule certainly does not make one and they insist their recommended fuse size should blow near instantly under locked rotor, and it does.

I suspect you may have mistaken the ABYC running dry requirements with a locked rotor. Bilge pumps under ABYC standards, and ISO, need to be able to be run "dry" without risk of fire for 7 hours. In a locked rotor situation the manufacturers recommended fuse (Rule, Johnson etc.) will blow near instantly.

"ABYC H-22:

22.5.5 Pumps shall be capable of operating at their design voltage and maximum amperage for a continuous 24-hour period without failure or creating a hazardous situation.

22.5.6 Pumps shall be capable of operating dry at their design voltage for at least seven hours without creating a fire hazard, or, shall be provided with a means integral to the pump to automatically shut off the pump to prevent a fire hazard.

22.5.7 If low voltage operation results in amperage high enough to create a fire hazard, means integral with the pump shall be provided to automatically shut off the pump.

22.5.8 No external temperature shall exceed 302°F (150°C) when operating at 120% of nominal voltage in an ambient temperature of 140°F (60°C) for seven hours."



I tested this a long while ago when I had a brand new Rule 500 kicking around my shop. I attached it to a fully charged G-31 AGM battery and tested a number of scenarios. Rule recommends a 2.5A fuse for this pump.

Battery = Group 31 AGM Resting Voltage 12.77V

Meter = Fluke 376 w/Inrush & min/max & Fluke 289 for voltage

12.75V Ran pump dry for 10 minutes and saw 1F rise (Fluke infrared thermometer)

12.72V - No Load (spinning in air) = 0.7A (inrush/starting current = 2.7A)

12.72V - Locked Rotor with 3A Fuse = Blew instantly (did not have any more 2.5A fuses on hand)

12.71V - Locked Rotor with 5A Fuse = Blew nearly instantly (about 6 seconds)

12.71V - Locked Rotor with a 15A Fuse = No blow 10.9A continuous, pump getting rather warm to the touch after 90 seconds of stall. Discontinued at 2 minutes and 10.7A (heat build up potentially caused stalled rotor current to drop a bit)

12.70V - Locked rotor measuring inrush with 5A ATC fuse - Inrush = 10.9A - Fuse blew (separated/burned) but failed unsafely leaving a bit of metal across tabs. This was my first live example of where the AIC (amperage interrupt current) can matter when directly connected to a battery.. Scary stuff!.. I ran the load for approx four additional minutes and the "failed unsafely" ATC fuse still failed to blow even at 10.7-10.8A. By this point the pump body was very warm when I discontinued.

Bottom line, you'll want a fuse that will blow with your pump in locked rotor mode otherwise it can continue to heat and then melt and then potentially start a fire.

The safest scenario is to use the fuse size recommended by the bilge pump manufacturer.
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