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low shore power voltage

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by old vietnam vet, Feb 13, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. old vietnam vet

    old vietnam vet

    Joined Feb 7, 2018
    6 posts, 2 likes
    tayana 37 mk11
    windship us houston tx
    Had a short in my a/c rotary switch at neutral wire which melted inside of switch. Put in new switch from blue seas, along with new wiring from switch to main circuit breaker. Put other wires from gen set and shore power in correct positions, I am only getting 70 volts on my digital multitester. Have new smart plug shore power cord and marina checked power box and shows 118volts at box and at cord end. Could problem be in the boat inlet or when the short happened it damaged my main circuit breaker. I think the short occured when I turned my cruiseair heat. The neutral wire was a bit loose at the breaker. any ideas on low voltage. I am not at boat but plan on going down to run genset and see what I get
     


  2. Ron20324

    Ron20324

    Joined Jan 22, 2008
    6,020 posts, 501 likes
    Beneteau 323
    US Annapolis MD
    I sure would not run the gen until you solve your other problem. Did you put your test leads right on the ones with the proper reading to make sure the VOM is not bad?
     


  3. Hello Below

    Hello Below

    Joined May 7, 2012
    494 posts, 33 likes
    Hunter e33
    CA Maple Bay, BC
    NO, NO, NO!
    I very very much respect the service that you have provided to your country and wish you to be around for a whole bunch longer enjoying your sailing adventures in your Tayana 37. However, because you are considering doing this, I would immediately get assistance from a marine electrician. Or at least hold off until qualified members from this forum provide that advice. Twelve VDC is one thing 120vac is another.
     


  4. old vietnam vet

    old vietnam vet

    Joined Feb 7, 2018
    6 posts, 2 likes
    tayana 37 mk11
    windship us houston tx
    Actually I've owned this boat 35 years and have installed every piece of electronics, a/c-heat, fridge, and the genset so I know where everything is and went into, the only work I have farmed out was rebuilding my perkins 4-108 and my genset and some rigging work. I was curious if others thought the loose neutral cruisair power wire would cause the circuit breaker to short out.
     


  5. SG

    SG

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    884 posts, 134 likes
    J/Boat J/160
    US Annapolis
    My immediate question -- absent something else is to check the neutral out.

    Is the neutral, really neutral? Then do you really have a good ground. I'd do that first.

    Then I would turn ALL the circuits off. I'd check to make sure that you have NO power to those items that you turned-off. Now if you have 110V at the shorepower INLET at the boat, then neutral is neutral, etc.
    • Then I would proceed to the circuit breaker or fuse for the main shorepower intlet. (If you have one between the outlet and the main AC panel.
    • I would continue to the shorepower disconnect at the main AC panel. (everything OFF).
    • You're going to continue downstream from the inlet.
    There should be a point at which something happens...
    Do you have an inverter/charger? MAKE SURE THAT's NOT BACKFEEDING SOMETHING improperly.
    You want to be VERY CAREFUL with an INVERTER because it can backfeed a system which you otherwise think is UNPOWERED. Don't become a victim of that backfeeding. Take the inverter/charger off-line and discoonect it if you have to.
     


  6. uncledom

    uncledom

    Joined Jun 11, 2011
    927 posts, 150 likes
    Hunter 41
    US Lewes
    OV, do you have an isolation transformer? You mentioned you rewired the boat, does the shore power hit an inverter and then the A/C panel or go straight to the panel?
     


  7. old vietnam vet

    old vietnam vet

    Joined Feb 7, 2018
    6 posts, 2 likes
    tayana 37 mk11
    windship us houston tx
    neutral are white wires and are correctly installed, no inverter. Im thinking when I went to turn the heat on at the smx controller the loose wire at the electrical panel breaker may have caused an arcing and caused damage to the main breaker. I am going to check the power at the inlet hot and neutral then proceed to the rotary switch then the breaker. If there is no power going from the main breaker to the next breaker then I'll replace the main breaker.
     


  8. SG

    SG

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    884 posts, 134 likes
    J/Boat J/160
    US Annapolis
    neutral are white wires and are correctly installed, no inverter. Im thinking when I went to turn the heat on at the smx controller the loose wire at the electrical panel breaker may have caused an arcing and caused damage to the main breaker. I am going to check the power at the inlet hot and neutral then proceed to the rotary switch then the breaker. If there is no power going from the main breaker to the next breaker then I'll replace the main breaker.

    There is a "rotary switch" -- which is the DC battery switch (one-both-two-off -- usually). That's on DC side.

    Do you mean the manual transfer switch - Shore-Off-Generator?

    Just start from the "root of the Nile" and work downstream. TURN EVERYTHING OFF and make sure it's off. Then just systematically run up the chain.

    If might be be damaged breaker -- but you'll figure-it out.

    SG
     


  9. old vietnam vet

    old vietnam vet

    Joined Feb 7, 2018
    6 posts, 2 likes
    tayana 37 mk11
    windship us houston tx
    shore/off/genset switch
     


  10. old vietnam vet

    old vietnam vet

    Joined Feb 7, 2018
    6 posts, 2 likes
    tayana 37 mk11
    windship us houston tx
    found the problem, a defective 30 amp inlet, called smart plug and they said my older style had a heat thermistor in it and it had burned out. They are sending me a new one without having to mail the old one back. Will now have a new 30 amp smartplug shore power cord, inlet, new wiring from inlet to blue seas AC rotary switch and new wiring from switch to main circuit breaker. I went to West Marine where I bought this and they had no record of sale, bad mouthed Smartplug, and essentially sent me on my way. This is why I buy very little at WM plus their prices are 25% higher then others.
     


    justsomeguy and jssailem like this.
  11. SG

    SG

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    884 posts, 134 likes
    J/Boat J/160
    US Annapolis
    If you used a credit card, you have a record. As for the manager. What did you want them to do?
     


  12. Ken Cross

    Ken Cross

    Joined Oct 24, 2010
    1,563 posts, 180 likes
    Hunter 30
    US Everett, WA
    It sounds like Smartplug took care of it. It's nice to hear when a company stands behind their products.
    About WM: I've found great service at some. I suspect it had more to do with the particular employee.

    Ken
     


  13. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    4,812 posts, 1,461 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    I have always had good service when I went to the local WM. Maybe it is because which boat is the managers in the marina... Not sure. Or maybe it is a PacNW thing.
    If I was concerned, I would raise the issue with the Regional or HQ management.
     



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