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Old 12-18-2017, 02:37 PM   #1
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Fire-Fire!!

Started up my Diesel for my weekly check last night and saw smoke coming out of the engine room within 30 seconds. A quick look revealed a small fire (looked huge but was only the size of a Brillo pad)) in the wiring hardness next to the oil pressure sending unit. Since I have 6 fire extinguishers on a 37' boat one was within easy reach. One short blast and the fire was out.

Cause of the fire was the oil sending unit went to ground as soon as the switch was made. The hot side wire of the osu completely melted and luckily no other wires in the harness were damaged.

Lessons from this? Always-always keep a clean engine room. This could have turned out to be much worse.
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:39 PM   #2
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Wow! Glad to hear you saved it so quickly.
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Old 12-18-2017, 03:09 PM   #3
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Oil and coolant alarm switches are usually powered from the engine "ignition" circuit which is fused. Yours wasn't?

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Old 12-18-2017, 03:35 PM   #4
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Oil sender lead can be grounded and all it should do is change gauge reading. Something else caused the fault/fire.
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Old 12-18-2017, 04:53 PM   #5
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+1 on Skiís comment.
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Old 12-18-2017, 07:36 PM   #6
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+2 on Ski's comment.

Keep looking.
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Old 12-18-2017, 08:30 PM   #7
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That's a great question. I'll have to check on that asap.
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Old 12-18-2017, 10:55 PM   #8
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Just curious, what kind of fire extinguisher did you use?
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Old 12-19-2017, 06:15 AM   #9
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Wow! Glad this turned out well!!! I’m changing the oils this week and will certainly keep this in the back of my mind! Great advice!
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Old 12-19-2017, 06:32 AM   #10
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Man that is why I hired a pro to wire all my 12 volt, that kinda thing scares the crap out of me. Iím glad it turned out good for you. I always looks for vibration wear in the wires, something big (amp) shorted out something small (wire ground)
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Old 12-19-2017, 07:32 AM   #11
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Is it per chance the original wiring harness? If so, maybe after half a century it abraded itself a bit too much.
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Old 12-19-2017, 08:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordic Star View Post

Lessons from this? Always-always keep a clean engine room. This could have turned out to be much worse.
I apologize as I'm a bit slow. How did an unclean engine room cause this fire?
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Old 12-19-2017, 09:20 AM   #13
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Very glad to hear you are OK. Fire can happen in the least expected locations.
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:10 AM   #14
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Shrew

What I meant by that was if my engine room had been dirty with oil, dust and grime the fire could have grown quickly.

I keep a clean engine room so there wasn't anything else the fire could spread to.
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:12 AM   #15
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I'm rethinking the cause Thanks to some great comments here. The starter wires run right through that harness so there's my first check.
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:13 AM   #16
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The more I look at that harness the more I want to rewire. BIG job but better than fires.
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:44 AM   #17
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Quote:
The more I look at that harness the more I want to rewire. BIG job but better than fires.
Glad you made short work of it.
Absolutely agree...not much worse than fire in a melting object full of fuel.
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Old 12-19-2017, 04:47 PM   #18
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Often there is an oil pressure activated switch that Is used to supply power to another device. When I purchased my current boat I found I had 1 on each engine with NO fuse. There should be a fuse at the source.

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Old 12-19-2017, 04:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordic Star View Post
I'm rethinking the cause Thanks to some great comments here. The starter wires run right through that harness so there's my first check.
That sounds much more likely.

Hopefully the fire hasn't destroyed all the clues to the cause. It is always nice to be sure of what caused a serious issue such as this.
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Old 12-25-2017, 02:55 PM   #20
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Fire Extinguisher used

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
Just curious, what kind of fire extinguisher did you use?
I used the Powder. I know CO2 would have been just as effective and a lot less of a mess but nonetheless I used the nearest extinguisher.
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