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Today's repair fun, macerator and running lights

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  • Today's repair fun, macerator and running lights

    My topside running light stopped working last Oct and the port red light took a couple raps to get going on those cold dark runs.

    I found that the connectors for the bow lights, wedged up in front of the anchor locker were toast. In addition as is usually the case with those freaking festoon lights; the end cap was corroded underneath at the filament contact and fell apart in my hands.

    Trip 1 to West Marine.

    The running light was weird as I had 360 degrees anchor, but light when the helm switch was set to "run". I clipped and replaced the connectors; which I had done 2 years ago. Nothing changed and those connectors were not corroded. Of course; this is the 3rd time those leads have been cut and with little lead left; I am not confident that the connections are good. Bad move on my part,

    Eventually my light went on and i started messing with the 3 way anchor-off-run switch at the help. Ding - guess what was trip # 2 to West Marine - a futile try for a Cole Hersee 3 way switch. In the meantime if I have to run at night I can always use one of my handy jumper clips. i'm now toying with whether I want to replace that switch or bite the bullet and order a new panel and rewire everything at once. 10 years is a long time in marine electrical life

    Note - if you haven't made up 1' and 3' pieces of 10, 12 and 14 gauge wire with alligator clips on either end - they are absolutely invaluable both in diagnosis and in emergency electrical repairs on the water.

    On to the port macerator which had been acting funky for 2 years; I have already replaced the starboard and the head pumps; so replacement as opposed to rebuild was well warranted. Nothing like being upside down hanging over an oily/bilge soapy area, trying to stay out of the mess; see what I was doing and use 2 hands to get the damned thing in place.

    2 notes on Jabsco macerators. The input piece of plastic has to be hacksawed down to the threaded area so the plastic elbow piece that takes the fishbox hose can be screwed on. I learned that 2 years ago. The other fun thing is that a standard Jabsco pump has its output fitting on the left side if you are facing it mounted on the transom wall. Since I was on the port side I had to get a longer piece of hose to route the hose over to the far side of the pump. More head down fun.

    I'm starting to see a lot of merit in 5 years and move up

  • #2

    Backman - I have had nothing but problems with these pumps...I am thinking of removing them, spray foaming the lids and sides of the boxes (or adding cold plates) and plugging the transom holes. I never make overnights and the holes in the bottom of the box leak into my bilge....I do like the boxes under deck though or I would just go exclusively fish bags.
    2001 28\' 230 Volvo Diesels


    • #3
      funny - I have not had problems with them

      7 years on the starboardn one, 8 on the head and now 9 on the port one. The switches and connections have to be replaced every year but that's a different story.

      I am intrigued about removing one and glassing that side over; realistically I only keep ice and fish on one side anyways and use the other for storage.


      • #4
        Been there on the macerators, both sides. Have to replace the switches this year. We also will be doing work on all running lights. The stern light is shot, I Macgivered that on an overnighter last fall. Only the front portion of the anchor light comes on and running light on the bow is hit or miss. Usually fine until we take one over the bow, which for us seems to be all too frequent.


        • #5
          Been there recently

          The running lights are grey wire/yellow line the back side of the anchor light is grey wire/white line. I'd start by checking the rear bulb in the topside light; then check the grey/white splice for corrosion. I'd avoid doing the dumb thing I did of cutting the splice to check connectivity! Take the bulb out and use a multimeter to check 12V in its pins before cutting wires!!!

          I'll bet a dollar your bow running light problem is one of the 2 connectors up front where the 2 light wires are tied together into either ground (black) or 12 V (grey/yellow).

          The power and ground comes up the starboard side and joins directly to the starboard light leads while also being tied into a short spliced piece of wire which carries the power and ground over to the port side light leads.

          The factory connections and strain relief with wire ties was really neat and nice but in my case a light pull seperated the 2 wires right out of the butt connectors - 9 years corrosion had destroyed the copper to the point nothing was left. I had to cut the main leads back a good foot to get away from green tinted copper.

          Having just done this I suspect I should probably replace both light's as those thin 18 wire leads could not be cut back as far as I wanted without making them so short as to need additonal splices.

          I wonder how long before I have to rewire the whole boat.....


          • #6

            Backman - did you have the 42s or 43s before repower? I am doing some service and wanted to ask a few questions. Thanks
            2001 28\' 230 Volvo Diesels


            • #7

              but the 42's and the 43's are the same functionally. I think the 43's improved the dumb-a** compressor pulleys; upgraded the pistons to correct the original 1997 42 piston burn problem but other than that were the same.


              • #8
                Thanks for the input. I'll probably be taking a look in the next week or 2 and it's nice to know where to focus.