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BTW,
just noted that my first example only applies if the fuse panel is connected directly to the positive side of the battery. If connected to the negative side then the test wire should be clipped to the positive side.

Fun fact...
on rare occasions DC power can give you false readings on a meter.
One way is when there's a "short" (bare wire touching something it shouldn't) which is now connecting it to something else ("continuity") grounding or powering something.
Another is that a switch/motor/fuse can read good on a meter but under a "load" break down (stop working).
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Thanks, I've got digital meters, amp meter and the like. I have completely removed all accessories and wiring, starting from scratch. When I rewire, I'm taking one device at a time, neutral first, then hot. Check and recheck as I go.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
And I love dealing with loose neutral wires and 12v becoming 18-20 as it searches for a ground....always fun
 

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Discussion Starter #24
OK, I got started on the rewire yesterday. I will have a dedicated start battery and dedicated accessories battery. I got my accessories battery mounted in the front hatch, powering trolling motor, lights, bilge pumps, livewell and electronics (for now). Start battery will be in the doghouse. Here's where I am today.
I'm adding a second bilge pump. I've got a new pump that is both switched, and has a built in float. I'm planning on wiring it to a switch coming from the accessories battery. Can I wire the hot side to the start battery? I'll have uninterrupted power from the start battery. If i use the accessories battery, I will have to pull another run from my fused panel, and keep it powered on.
Will I damage the pump, batteries, or wiring if I wire it on separate batteries?
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Rewire is finished! Added a bow pole light/receptacle so I can keep it in a hatch and out of the way. I added a trolling motor plug and receptacle, replaced defective float switch with a second bilge pump with built in float. New fuse block and switch panels, all new tinned wire, connectors, everything on the accessories side new. I'll get a few pictures up in a few days. Rewiring is a pain....a necessary pain, but still a pain.
 
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