We All Know Boats Don't Vibrate
A prime example of improper wire support and the fact that boats DO VIBRATE!!
Lucky for this owner it was a negative battery cable and not a positive.
Remember, Boats Don't Vibrate...
As I have previously mentioned, boats don't vibrate, we know this from all the experts who tell us a boat is no different than a house when it comes to wiring...... (wink)
This owner was very, very, very happy he had properly installed battery bank fusing. This positive battery cable contacted the engine, chafed through and popped the 300A fuse thus saving his boat...
Please use proper wire support because BOATS DO VIBRATE !!!!!
And One More Time, Boats Don't Vibrate...
Of course we all know boats don't vibrate so no need for wire support...... Tongue firmly planted in cheek....
120V AC FAIL!!!!
Why the ABYC Has a 10' Rule on AC Feeds
"RC my surveyor failed our boat because the distance between the AC inlet and the Main AC breaker is more than 10', this seems stupid. Can you write a letter to my insurer for me explaining why this is not required on an older boat?"
Here's the scenario for this image:
-30A on-board Main AC breaker
-Breaker was approx 19 wire-feet away from the shore power inlet
-Boat plugged into a 50A 120V service via a 50A to 30A "adapter"
-Dock pedestal protected by 50A breaker
-12GA wire (not compliant for 30A service) feeding the on-board 30A Main AC breaker
-Vibration & chafe created dead short in the 19' of unprotected wire before the Main AC breaker.
This is a prime example of why the ABYC suggests a Main AC circuit breaker to be within 10' wire feet of the shore power inlet.
Wire Chafe Again
Anyone interested in hand-steering that last 650 nautical miles...??? Protect your wires from chafe or you may just be hand steering for the next few days on that long off shore passage........!
These wires passed through a locker and the hanging items frequently moved under sail, pulled on the wire and chafed it against the sharp fiberglass. After unloading piles of stuff from this locker, think "crammed with clowns in a Volkswagen", I discovered this chafe and could replicate it by moving stuff in the locker.. In its installed position the chafe could barely be seen but when the wires were pulled you could easily see it.
I Know It May Not Be Sinking In.....
Remember boats are just like houses. This guy on the internet says to solder the solid copper wire then use wire nuts and then there's no need for wire ties, because BOATS DON'T VIBRATE......... (WINK!)
Over Current Protection Is Not Optional
Just a few minutes before this boat erupted into flames a number of 8 year old junior sailing program kids were on-board. The wiring on this boat had no over current protection.. Scary FAIL.....
A Starting Battery & No Fusing.....
This boat is used as a chase boat in a junior sailing program... Over current protection is NOT optional!!!
How Many Times Do I Have To Explain It...
How many times do I have to say it. There's no need for over current protection, IF YOU WANT TO BURN YOUR BOAT DOWN!!!!!!
This was a DIY bilge pump install with NO FUSE!!!!!!!!!!
The wire got so hot it literally turned from stranded copper to solid copper...... It luckily fused itself, & melted in two, before the boat caught on fire..
The wire is NOT supposed to be your FUSE!!!
What's In A Picture..??
****CLICK ON THIS IMAGE TO MAKE IT LARGER****
Just from this one single picture we have:
#1 A dead short circuit that caused a small gauge wire to physically melt and almost catch this boat on fire. This melt down was cause by NO OVER CURRENT PROTECTION.
#2 Improper lug stacking in multiple locations.
#3 Extremely poorly executed terminations.
#4 Improperly wired main AC breaker. This is only breaking the HOT/BLACK wire in the 120V system. I NEEDS to break both HOT/BLACK and WHITE/NEUTRAL!!!
#5 Improperly supported/non-supported terminal strip hanging by what looks to be a 16GA black wire.
#6 Unused over current protection which has been bypassed.
#7 Complete and utter lack of over current protection where the wire gauges drop from 4GA to 14 - 16GA. Over current protection is NOT optional when wires change size. Most often the fuse or OCP for the larger wire is too large for the smaller wire to handle...
#8 A 4GA wire disappearing into a mess of electrical tape. What surprises is this hiding?
#9 No AC/DC isolation, in the form of a cover for the AC wiring/terminals, on the back of the panel.
#10 Improper use of color coding. Black DC wires connected to positive DC terminals and not marked as positive.
#11 Complete lack of adequate wire support. This may be what led to the dead short somewhere else that caused this melt down.
Image courtesy of B. Weinmann
Boat Fire Narrowly Averted !!
Here's a close up..
Three words - OVER CURRENT PROTECTION
Image courtesy of B. Weinmann