Category Archives: Breakers

Outlets Out


My 1989 280DA Sea Ray’s shore input was plugged into a 110 volt system at my house. The batteries were being pulled down all the time because I was in the process of changing out all the incandescent lights for LED fixtures, and rewiring as I went. Marinco inlet

So, I plugged a battery charger into one of my 110 outlets, and turned it on. The battery charger shorted out. After that none of the 110 receptacles worked.

I have replaced the circuit breaker on the main panel, and have replaced the GFI outlets in the boat. (One guy told me it must be the charger/converter (Professional Mariner New Pro 20/35 3 Bank) So I pulled that out where I could get a look at it. However, I get good 12 volt output from it when it is hooked to a 110v source.

I am not sure what else to do.

Any ideas? If so I would sure appreciate your advice.



Hi Ron,

I would start at the panel to see if you have AC power.

Using a meter, check for AC voltage on both the line and load side of the circuit breaker. Also, check for power when a load, such as the charger is connected. If you have power at the breaker, check at all outlets in the series as they make their way to the battery charger.

You will probably find a bad connection in the line between the ac panel assembly and the charger outlet.

Hope this helps,


Floating Green?


I have just purchased a 7KVA generator set to replace my old one on my marine electrical system. The unit is supplied connected M.E.N. internally with output supply connected to a bipole circuit breaker.

As the connections between earth and neutral is before the the breakers, there is no allowance for the earth wire from the appliance side to connect to on the genset. Should I wire this appliance earth onto the frame of the genset or leave it ‘floating’?Westerbeke Generator


Hi A.T.,

The green, earth wire from your AC system needs to be connected to the chassis of the new generator. It should not be floating. With AC systems, the neutral and ground are connected at the source of power (the generator). The neutral and ground remain separate on the rest of the boat. The neutral is connected through the breaker and the ground directly.

The reality is, once the generator battery ground is connected to the rest of the battery negatives on the boat, the green, earth wire path is complete. Your AC system green earth wire is already connected to the boat’s DC negative system. The negative generator cable is connected to the generator ground. The generator ground is connected to the generator’s earth ground.

Hope this helps,


Stop Smoking


I tore all of the boat wiring out of my 1989 Champion. I have all new gauges and a new marine electrical switch panel.

When I attempt to hook up the new stuff to the – and + battery terminals, I get big sparks and smoking.

Have you got any suggestions?Smokin'



Hi George,

It sounds like there is a directly short to ground in your marine wiring.

Follow the + wire from the boat battery to the distribution. Check for proper connections on switch lights and crossed connections on gauges.

When you fix the problem, I strongly recommend adding circuit protection at the battery. It will trip before the smoke gets too thick.

Good luck,


Easy AC Outlets?


I am converting a barge into a houseboat/floating home.

I like the Easy Add AC Shore Power system that you designed for your retail marine electrical site, but want/need more electrical outlets to power things like computers, microwave, etc., etc…

Do you have a system that will handle more outlets or can you can you point me somewhere that I can find the information.

Thank you,


Hi Tim,

The complete shore power system can be expanded to as many outlets as you wish.

The limiting factor is the 20 amp main breaker. If 20 amps is not large enough, I would take a look at the panels that are available from Paneltronics. Their systems are not snap together marine electrical like ours, but they do offer a wide variety of AC panels.

Thank you,


Euro boat on US shore power?

Hi Kevin

I brought my sailboat from Europe with me when I came here to work this year. The marine electrical is completely European spec, i.e., 220VAC-16A-12VDC. I am wondering how I can plug in to US shore power at marinas here in the US.Marinco adaptor

I do not want to completely change my boat wiring as I will eventually be returning to Europe. Also I am not a heavy user of power, I could cope with just keeping the batteries charged up.



Hi Paul,

Some of the AC components on your boat may be able to cope with the change in voltage and frequency, but not all of them and the solution is not as simple as adding a transformer to increase the voltage.

If you only want to charge your batteries, I would buy a simple battery charger and charge your batteries with an extension cord while the boat is in the states.

Good luck,


Bigger Breaker


When replacing my factory installed circuit breakers, I noticed the breaker for the bilge pump is only rated at 4 amps.

My Rule bilge pump, (also factory installed) is labeled “12 Volt 6 amp fuse”. The specifications I found on line say this pump draws 3.3A at 12 volts and 5.0 amps at 13.6 volts. I assume the boat wiring size used is typical for bilge pump installation. (appears to be 14-16 Ga.?) Carling breaker

Should I install a larger circuit breaker with this set-up? I am thinking a 7 Amp would be sufficient?

The boat is a 2002 Sea Pro 235 WA with two batteries.

Thank You


Hi Shonna,

I would go with the 7 amp breaker.

7 amps will not exceed the current carrying capacity of your wire, will help reduce nuisance tripping of the breaker under full load, but will trip under a locked rotar condition.