“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

My Bride Conducts Her First Big Repair

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Last weekend we had to replace our electric pump that drains the shower sump and the refrigerator.  We found it had broke a couple weeks back while working on some spring cleaning.  I had disassembled the old pump to see if it looked like it just needed a new diaphragm but after inspecting it I couldn’t find any obvious signs of problems.  I contemplated trying the rebuild kit but that cost $90.  So instead I decided to give the Flojet Eccotemp pump a shot.  This pump only cost $57 and was Amazon Prime eligible.  This is a non-critical pump for us so it seemed like a good place to test out this pump.  If it proves to work well I will order one as a backup for our water pressurization system.  This pump did have a pressure switch but that is not needed in this application so I simply removed it.

Stacey wanted to learn about wiring and boat plumbing so this was a perfect place for her to start.  Like most boat projects the biggest issue is access.

IMG_2091

You can see the pump tucked away behind the water filters.

So the first step was to get access by taking the water filters out so she could access the pump.  The pump was held to the bulkhead with 4 wood screws.  One thing that made this project easier was that the ParMaxx 3 pump and the Flojet Eccotemp both use 1/2-inch snap-in port fittings.  So she didn’t have to take the old fittings off of the hose, just unsnap them from the old pump and snap them into the new pump.

Of course the holes for the mount didn’t match, but she was able to use two of the existing holes and drill two new ones using our cordless drill.

Then she had to tackle the wiring.  My biggest issue with Catalina on this boat is the use of non-heat shrink butt connectors for everything.  So I always take the chance to upgrade when I am doing electrical work.  So instead of using butt connectors, Stacey used heat shrink ring terminals and a terminal block.  I’ve been using BSP heat shrink terminals and connectors for the last couple of years and have been very happy with the quality for the price.  I order them from Defender.

To make the connections Stacey used our Sea-Dog Heat Shrink Terminal Crimper.  I upgraded to this last year from the Harbor Freight version and you can really tell the difference in quality.  This is still a budget tool at $35 but a big upgrade from the $10 Harbor Freight tool.  It’s a ratcheting crimper so you just squeeze until it stops clicking then release and it opens.

After making the crimping the connections my Bride used our heat gun to shrink the terminals.  We use marine grade adhesive heat shrink terminals.  That means you can tell when they are adequately heated when you see a bead of adhesive at the base of the terminal.

Image from Compass Marine “How To” Article on Marine Wire Termination

For the terminal block we always use Blue Sea Systems.  For this application we used the 4 circuit 65-amp terminal block.  We used the 4 circuit because we know that at 15 years old our freshwater pump is on borrowed time.  So when that finally gives-up-the-ghost we will use the two open circuits for that pump. The terminal block was installed high on the bulkhead with drip loops and the wires were secured to the bulkhead as well.

After she finished the wiring, she had to put the drinking water filters back in and then try the new pump.  It worked like a charm.

Great repair my Bride!

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