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Livewell timer switch driving me insane...

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  • Livewell timer switch driving me insane...

    Hello,

    My issue is that my livewell timer will only work on manual, not on Auto. It is a TH Marine Automatic Aerator Control Switch. I have it hooked up EXACTLY as the instructions show to a Johnson 500 gph aerator pump. Red (+) to (+) on battery, Black (-) to (-) on battery and pump (-) and brown wire to brown on pump. I have also checked the battery voltage at the switch, the buss panels and the batteries themselves, and I am getting 12.4v. I returned the 1st switch thinking it was a faulty timer, yet now the second switch is doing the same thing. The batteries are 2 12v wired in tandom (pos to pos, neg to neg) and I have even tried going through the original switch and through the buss panels. No matter what I do, the pump will not come on in auto but it runs fine on Manual each time. I've switched it to auto and sat next to it for 10 minutes while it was on the "minimum" setting. Just to be sure. I feel like I'm losing it with this one, there doesn't seem to be any reason it shouldn't work.

  • #2
    Re: Livewell timer switch driving me insane...

    Lets start over. 1) There is no direct connection to POS on the battery from the timer. +12 volts goes to the center terminal on the switch. THAT connection comes from the fuse panel (typically) not directly from the battery. 2) The timer has only ONE ground wire. It goes to ground wherever you find it which can be the NEG post on the battery. 3) The timer has only ONE output and it goes to the HOT wire for the pump (brown in your case). No other connections there. 4) The GROUND wire on the PUMP goes to NEG on the battery or any other ground point wherever you find it. 5) That leaves you with one connection from the timer to the top terminal on the switch and the other to the bottom terminal. If the switch seems to work backwards then swap the top and bottom connections. The wire colors in my diagram were chosen for visibility and may not match what you have. The MANUAL setting of the switch "bypasses" the internal circuitry and therefore powers the motor directly so you have that part apparently correct. It is the AUTO wiring and/or grounding of the timer that you have wrong. It the switch has a lighted indicator then that complicates things so let us know what you have. And remember -- pictures help!~


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    • #3
      Re: Livewell timer switch driving me insane...

      Does minimum mean least off time, or least aeration? (most off time, maybe infinite)

      Just a guess.

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      • #4
        Re: Livewell timer switch driving me insane...

        Livewell timers are "TIME OFF" so 10 minutes would be off for 10 minutes, -- not RUN for 10 min.. Some have adjustments for both OFF as well as RUN time.

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        • #5
          Re: Livewell timer switch driving me insane...

          First off, let me take a quick moment to thank both of you for taking the time to try and help me, it is much appreciated.

          J Martin - In this instance the "minimum" reference is for the amount of time the pump is off, or time between aeration intervals. 30 seconds as opposed to 5 minutes max...

          Silvertip - I'm fairly certain I understand what you're saying, however my set is slightly different than the configuration I saw in your post. I have included a couple photographs to hopefully illustrate what I was trying to verbalize in my initial posting... I hope it makes sense. The colors as shown in the photo represent, red for positive, black for negative and brown for pump power, or pump positive. The photograph of the sheet of paper is the original instructions that came with the unit, and are how I attempted to wire the unit the first time around. Click image for larger version

Name:	Existing Wire Route.jpg
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ID:	7006403Click image for larger version

Name:	TH Instruction.jpg
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          • #6
            Re: Livewell timer switch driving me insane...

            I should clarify, the photo image is how it is wired now...

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            • #7
              Re: Livewell timer switch driving me insane...

              Pretty straight forward. If polarity is right, and the pump runs in run, and not in auto, something's wrong with the timer.

              I imagine if it were wired with polarity backward, the run position would work, and the auto would be screwed. (as in blown electronics)

              It'd probably act that way if you accidentally interchanged the power and pump wires also.

              Likewise if the ground to the timer wasn't good.

              One thought. Sometimes the extreme end of potentiometer travel is flaky. Try turning it just a bit off minimum.

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              • #8
                Re: Livewell timer switch driving me insane...

                Ahhh -- the details (all in one unit). I've installed several of the "all in one units" like you have and wired correctly, they work fine. The directions are clear. If you wired it that way it should work. You know it works in MANUAL mode. You know the pump is good because it works in MANUAL mode. That leaves the timer itself. The only issue is the ground for the timer module. That ground is not required in MANUAL mode because the timer itself is bypassed and essentially is not in the circuit. In AUTO mode, if the timer does not see ground the circuit can't work. Fix the ground.

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                • #9
                  Re: Livewell timer switch driving me insane...

                  Well, I'll give it a shot. I don't know what else I can ground it to though, I've tried everything else short of a nail in the dirt next to the boat. Who knows, maybe it's just possible I picked up 2 units with a faulty timer or circuit. They both came from the same place.

                  Thanks for the advice gentlemen.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Livewell timer switch driving me insane...

                    Ground is the negative battery terminal.
                    Bob, Seneca Lake NY
                    '88 Bayliner 1700 Capri bowrider, 85 HP Force O/B, "Sea Weasel"
                    '94 Grumman Fish'N Fun pontoon, 40 HP Merc
                    Want a vessel safety check? Click here. Want to join the Coast Guard Auxiliary? Click here.
                    Disclaimer: Although I am a member of the USCG Auxiliary, the opinions and advice in my replies are my own and do not necessarily reflect CG or CG Auxiliary policy or regulations unless so specified.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Livewell timer switch driving me insane...

                      Thx NYBo, however in my previous posts you will read that I've done that already.

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                      • #12
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                        Re: Livewell timer switch driving me insane...

                        Just as an update, I bought a different brand of all in one timer switch and it works perfectly, no change in how I wired it from the first couple. My local shop just got a bad batch. Thanks for the help to everyone.

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