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Old 06-12-2018, 11:55 PM   #1
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Manatee generator issues

Hi all
Forgive me for coming back to the well again. Westerbeke 5kw gen set located under the galley. Runs fine and charges batteries and runs a/c just fine, but nothing else. I have to run the inverter for any other ac power. (Inverter seems to want to suck power from both battery banks regardless of battery selected- this maybe an inverter setting causing this And this is not my issue). In looking at the scamatics it seems there should be a 30 amp breaker in the system for all circuits except the a/c. Which when tripped would cause the condition I currently have (no ac to anything but the a/c) does anyone have a clue where this breaker may be located?

Again thanks to everyone
Paul
Btw w are slogging it up the Mississippi from green turtle bay to Chicago
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:16 PM   #2
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Paul: Our boat came new in ‘87 with a single 30 amp system. Later, an owner split the system to a dual 30 with one side going to A/C and hot water with their own breakers. Lots of creative solutions to higher loads were done on these boats, but it’s best to have a marine electrician go over the system to explain those changes. A photo of your board might help too.
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Old 06-16-2018, 06:01 PM   #3
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For now, make sure the hot water heater breaker remains off Turn it on 30 minutes prior to anticipated need for hot water.

You said, you draw off both batteries? Are you talking about 2 house batteries?
One of battery switches are set up to put the house batteries in parallel with the start battery, in case the start battery goes flat. That remains Off until the start battery goes flat.
As I recall the switch for the house batteries (for a two bank battery) is 1, 2 or both. Leave it on both.
My AT has a single 3 battery house bank. The switch is only On or Off. (The AT34 has a 6kw generator and a 40 amp 3 stage battery charger.)

Load management, aka keep an eye on your amp meter.
Ideally, your amp meter is analog. You can put a piece of tape on the meter at the upper limit for a quick view. If I had any sense, because I have an electric stove, I should put an amp meter in the galley too. Just to keep an eye on the load.

Do you have a gas or electric stove?

If you do not have 2x30 amp cables, it is well worth the money to have the 2nd cable installed to run the A/C only.
Even with 2X30amp shore power cable, running the stove and the rest of the boat (excluding the A/C, which is on a separate 30amp cable) can be problematic. Load Management.

I have cured much of that by installing and inverter to run the 1200 watt microwave or 2X120vt outlets. Gotta have coffee. I keep the inverter off until I start cooking and will need 3 burners and the microwave or brew a pot of coffee. I made a mistake with my inverter when sizing it. Mine is only 1500 amps. To do it again, I would size it at 2000 or 2500 amps.

A side note, preaching to the choir: I shall use my boat as an example. I have 3x200 amp house batteries for a total of 600 amps. I think, the general rule of thumb for batteries is, of those 600 amps, I can only rely on getting 300 amps in total without doing damage to the batteries. I also have 2X130 amp solar panels (undersized). The maximum efficiency of the solar panels system, I do not know.

The lesson you learned today is "Load Management."

Why cant I give a short answer?
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Old 07-09-2018, 02:52 PM   #4
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Larry and Dan - thanks for the replies.

Answers are simple, once you get inside the head of the person who installed.

We have two 30 amp circuits coming into the boat from Shore power. One powers the A/C. The other powers everything else.

The Generator is split into two branches to power both The 30 amp breaker I was looking for was on the main panel all the time. The A/C 30 amp breaker needs to be on for the a/c and the 30 amp also needs to be on to run everything else.

Our battery charging issue was also simple to solve - Once I traced the wires from the battery charger to a breaker labeled "Converter". All seems to be working as designed and I have labeled the breakers properly.

As a side note, the work to trace the issue also uncovered a burned "shore/ship" selector switch, which has been replaced before starting a fire.

Again thanks for the replies

Paul - Oma, KK Manatee
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Old 07-09-2018, 03:11 PM   #5
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Larry and Dan - thanks for the replies.

Answers are simple, once you get inside the head of the person who installed.

We have two 30 amp circuits coming into the boat from Shore power. One powers the A/C. The other powers everything else.

The Generator is split into two branches to power both The 30 amp breaker I was looking for was on the main panel all the time. The A/C 30 amp breaker needs to be on for the a/c and the 30 amp also needs to be on to run everything else.

Our battery charging issue was also simple to solve - Once I traced the wires from the battery charger to a breaker labeled "Converter". All seems to be working as designed and I have labeled the breakers properly.

As a side note, the work to trace the issue also uncovered a burned "shore/ship" selector switch, which has been replaced before starting a fire.

Again thanks for the replies

Paul - Oma, KK Manatee
You should also find "lock out breakers" that move AC and house loads to the generator from shore power. One switch for each AC and house loads.
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Old 07-09-2018, 03:11 PM   #6
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Do you have a bow thruster with a 1-both-2 battery switch? Leaving that in Both parallels the banks full time regardless of the other switch position.
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Old 07-09-2018, 03:26 PM   #7
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Dan:

Not sure what you mean by "lock out breakers"

I have a pair of switches that change the load from Shore to Generator. I am not completely sure why I have two. I believe one is for the AC and the other is for "Everything else", but they are wired together, so I have been treating them as one switch (Either both on shore or both on Generator) careful not to switch them when there is any incoming power from shore or the generator.
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Old 07-09-2018, 03:28 PM   #8
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Battery Switch on Bow Truster

Yes I have a bow thruster, but there is no 1/both/2 battery switch. It seems to be wired directly to the main battery charger only, as is the Genset battery.


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Do you have a bow thruster with a 1-both-2 battery switch? Leaving that in Both parallels the banks full time regardless of the other switch position.
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Old 07-09-2018, 04:03 PM   #9
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Yes I have a bow thruster, but there is no 1/both/2 battery switch. It seems to be wired directly to the main battery charger only, as is the Genset battery.
I would suggest, only suggest, one or both bow thruster and stern thruster as either both to house batteries or one thruster to the house battery and one thruster to the ME start battery.

Mine were split between house batteries (2X4D) and other to 4D start battery.
I was docking and the start battery voltage was dropping below minimum voltage (maybe 10vt) for the Cummins 380 and the ME would shut down. That was exciting.
After adding the 3rd 4D battery to the house buss, I had the bow thruster moved to the house buss. Resulting both thrusters are on the house batteries. In hindsight, I could have paralleled all the batteries together but, I forgot and I reserve that feature to start the ME.
Turns out, the start batter was baked and needed to be replaced.
Because I now have 3 house batteries, I left both thruster on the house batteries.
I dont want the ME to shut down when docking ever ever again.
I explained it to the builder and he did not see a reason why I shouldn't/couldn't move the bow thruster to the house buss putting both on the house batteries. Incidentally, the anchor windless is on the house batteries too.
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Old 07-09-2018, 06:46 PM   #10
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I currently have a dedicated battery to the Bow thruster. Another dedicated battery to the Gen set. Plus i have two 4D batteries in parallel in the house bank and one 4D to start the TAMD31A Main Engine. The House and Starting batteries are charged by the alternator or by the inverter/charger. This is where it starts to get a little weird - the Gen Set Battery and the Bow Thruster battery are charged by a dedicated battery charger (Both about standard car battery size batteries). So when the Gen Set is running, that battery charger needs to be turned on by a previously mis-labeled breaker ("Converter") to charger the gen set battery and the Bow Thruster. It is a very weird setup.

On the trip up the river, the genset cut out in the middle of the night and we could not figure out why. On final docking in Chicago, my bow thrusters cut out and needed to dock in a tight space with the Main Engine only in about a 10 KNT wind... (Single screw) that was "interesting" took me three trys to line up and use the wind to get into the slip.

On inspection after getting in, the thruster battery was down to 12 Volts, measured across the battery terminals, The House and Starter batteries were showing 13.8 Volts. I had replaced the ME alternator the week before after it failed enroute, I thought perhaps I did not reconnect a battery cable some how. It was then I realized there was no "hum" from the dedicated battery charger and went in search on how it turns on. Traced the wires to the breaker, turned the breaker on and the charger started humming. A few hours later i had both thrusters and generator again.

I like your suggestion to put in a switch to put the bow thruster in parallel with the House batteries, in case of a charging or battery failure.

I can put the house and starting in parallel with the battery selector switch and think it might be good to do that with thrusters.

Buying a 30 year old, used boat, without a good run through by the previous owner, has been a learning experience.
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Old 07-09-2018, 07:31 PM   #11
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I like your suggestion to put in a switch to put the bow thruster in parallel with the House batteries, in case of a charging or battery failure.

I can put the house and starting in parallel with the battery selector switch and think it might be good to do that with thrusters.

Buying a 30 year old, used boat, without a good run through by the previous owner, has been a learning experience.
Check around, you should have those switches now. Could be red switches that twist. Could be labeled "1, 2, Both." The 'Both', I think in this case, puts the start battery and house battery in parallel which will provide power to the engine to start it.
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