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Electrical Issues - Shocking!

Discussion in 'Catalina 30' started by EJWash, Mar 31, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Jim26m

    Jim26m

    Joined Apr 3, 2019
    40 posts, 31 likes
    Macgregor 26M
    P Cub Boo US Mobile AL
    EJ, you'll probably live a lot longer as a result of not having a cell phone strapped to your head! I hope I didn't come across as bustin' your chops. Just interested in your problem. Sorry if I inadvertently wire brushed you!
     


  2. RoyS

    RoyS

    Joined Jun 3, 2012
    455 posts, 180 likes
    Hunter 33
    US Bay Pointe, Quincy
    One more question to narrow down the possibilities. On the pedestal circuit breaker; is there a test button? Test buttons are on ground fault circuit breakers but not on ordinary circuit breakers.
     


    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  3. EJWash

    EJWash

    Joined Nov 25, 2015
    47 posts, 3 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Hoodsport
    Not at all.

    It has turned into an instant-interaction, constantly-connected world. I'm just not a part of it.

    Being that my charger is powered, and the batteries and bilge pump are good, my problem is not pressing.

    The mystery is the "all-of-a-sudden" angle of the problem. Something has changed, and it's just a matter of figuring out what. My money is on corrosion, but which electronic component? As pointed-out, the boat is thirty-years old. I expect things to age, wear-out, and fail. It's the nature of the beast.
     


  4. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    8,754 posts, 3,750 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Yes it is. And the term beast is sometimes more accurate than other more affectionate terms I use to describe my boat. But please don't tell her or mention this out loud.
     


  5. Jim26m

    Jim26m

    Joined Apr 3, 2019
    40 posts, 31 likes
    Macgregor 26M
    P Cub Boo US Mobile AL
    I would disconnect all power supplies, verify the panel in your boat is completely dead, then loosen slightly, and re-tighten every wire connection in the panel - including all grounds (per Capt Robbie). Since you are not able to trip it with a single device, I'm thinking it might be in your distribution panel. If I understand you correctly, you are still tripping the dock power pedestal breaker. I'm assuming it's ground-fault, but I don't think it's been clearly documented. This does NOT indicate to me that one of your panel breakers is bad. Exception would be if you open up the panel and everything looks like Titanic salvage.
     


  6. LeslieTroyer

    LeslieTroyer

    Joined May 20, 2016
    2,502 posts, 1,144 likes
    Catalina 36 MK1
    US Everett, WA


  7. Jim26m

    Jim26m

    Joined Apr 3, 2019
    40 posts, 31 likes
    Macgregor 26M
    P Cub Boo US Mobile AL
    That's what I would have done first. But I have an open-nose Fluke meter in my box. My thinking is, he's tripping the 30 amp on the dock. His panel is 30 and breakers are all less than that. He's getting intermittent trips even when low loads are connected. Since he doesn't seem to have diagnostic equipment, I was giving him something to try; based on the assumption of ground fault trip rather than over current.

    He probably ought to get an electrician buddy to put eyes on it. These are tough to do using this format. Had to do a house circuit using face-time the other day for a buddy in Denver. Better than text, but still not the same as being there. Hard to smell the smoke over the internet...
     


    jssailem likes this.
  8. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    8,754 posts, 3,750 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    You need to get one of those bottles of magic smoke. Set it next to the computer and it will sense the issue and give you a whiff of warning just when you need it. Real cool. Saw it in a YouTube video one late night.
     


    Jim26m likes this.
  9. EJWash

    EJWash

    Joined Nov 25, 2015
    47 posts, 3 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Hoodsport
    Is there an option to close a discussion/thread?
     


    Jim26m likes this.
  10. EJWash

    EJWash

    Joined Nov 25, 2015
    47 posts, 3 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Hoodsport
    Me: "Is there an option to close a discussion/thread?"

    "Jim26m likes this"

    Really dude?
     


  11. Jim26m

    Jim26m

    Joined Apr 3, 2019
    40 posts, 31 likes
    Macgregor 26M
    P Cub Boo US Mobile AL
    Maybe I misread you. Thought you were making a sarcastic remark about the tangential humor.
    Sorry. I truly was trying to help you work through your problem. I'm new here -trying not to tick anybody off. I don't appear to be doing a very good job...
     


  12. Hayden Watson

    Hayden Watson

    Joined Apr 5, 2009
    675 posts, 164 likes
    Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs
    US Oak Harbor, WA


    EJWash likes this.
  13. EJWash

    EJWash

    Joined Nov 25, 2015
    47 posts, 3 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Hoodsport
    Thank you Hayden. Better way to go than swapping-out breakers that may not be bad.
     


  14. JoeWhite

    JoeWhite

    Joined Mar 6, 2008
    424 posts, 6 likes
    Catalina 1999 C36 MKII #1787
    US Coyote Point Marina, CA.
    I find that sometimes when I return to dock and connect the shore power, the shore power circuit breaker trips. After I reset it it does not trip again. By trial and error I found that when I first plug in, the battery charger takes a large amount of current to start charging the batteries and this trips the breaker. To avoid this, I run the engine a long distance away and let the alternator charge the batteries first. When I arrive at the dock and plug in the shore power there is no tripping of the breaker. So it may be that your charger is working hard to charge the batteries since they may be getting old and needing to be replaced. How old are your batteries and do you check the water level regularly - every 90 days. Add distilled water if it is needed.
     


  15. EJWash

    EJWash

    Joined Nov 25, 2015
    47 posts, 3 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Hoodsport
    Joe, the batteries are at least five years old. Ya know, I haven't checked water levels in several months now. That will be a go-to.

    As far as I know, and from the maintenance records from the previous - and original owner - I assume that the battery charger is the original. Although just warm to the touch, maybe it has run its course - along with the batteries.

    Thanks for the input!
     


  16. Ron20324

    Ron20324

    Joined Jan 22, 2008
    6,786 posts, 834 likes
    Beneteau 323
    US Annapolis MD
    You should have the breakers off when plugging in the shore cord. Then turn the breaker on.
     


    Ward H and jssailem like this.


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