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Old 06-04-2019, 01:36 PM   #1
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Sequence for Switching from Shore to Ship (Genny)

What is the proper sequence for switching from shore power to Genny? I have a selector switch with three positions: Shore - Both - Ship This on a 1974 vintage boat with diesel genny.
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Old 06-04-2019, 01:44 PM   #2
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I would never combine (both) AC sources, unless they had a synchronization system, which is unlikely. With the two sources out of phase something is likely to be unhappy and possibly burn out / blow fuses. My procedure would be to disconnect from shore power then switch to the generator / ship.
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Old 06-04-2019, 01:53 PM   #3
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Seadog are you switching to generator (Ship) before or after you have started the Genny?
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Old 06-04-2019, 02:15 PM   #4
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I usually have the generator running before switching the ship to it. That way if the generator is putting out low voltage and or frequency during start up it will not affect any of the ship's electronics.
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Old 06-04-2019, 02:32 PM   #5
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Warm the generator up for several minutes. Turn off any high load items like air conditioners, etc. Move selector switch from shore to generator, load up the generator by turning back on air conditioners, etc Turn the shore power pedestal switches off, remove power cords and cap off the power inlet plugs on the boat.
When removing the electric load from the generator let it run unloaded for at least five minutes or more to cool down the electrical end of the generator before stopping it.
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Old 06-04-2019, 02:37 PM   #6
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Very unlikely you have a Shore, Both, Gen switch unless it is for battery banks (12V) on small vessels such as yours.


As mentioned, the chances you have the electrical system that could synchronize both is not likely.


There may be a shore, off, gen switch but not a both.
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Old 06-04-2019, 02:55 PM   #7
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Start generator (to warm up and look for water in exhaust)... boatside main AC breaker to OFF... ship/shore switch to off... turn off power at pedestal breaker... ship/shore switch to ship... turn on main boatside breaker
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Old 06-04-2019, 02:57 PM   #8
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psneeld - it definitely is Shore Both Ship and it looks original. Since the boat is 45 years old it may be that the boat originally didn't have a generator. There is a separate Ac/Dc switch.
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:09 PM   #9
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Is there two shore inlets? This may be the "both" it is referencing.

My boat has 2-50 amp shore cables labeled shore 1 and shore 2. Switch is shore 1, shore 2, both (1 and 2), OFF, and Gen.

Same sequence as HiDHo above...^^^^
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:19 PM   #10
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BOTH??? Wow is that wrong! Can you say KA-BLAM!!!
Hopefully everything goes dead in the Both position and it is just mis-labeled instead of OFF. Just to be safe, make sure the generator output BREAKER is OFF before switching.
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Very unlikely you have a Shore, Both, Gen switch unless it is for battery banks (12V) on small vessels such as yours.


As mentioned, the chances you have the electrical system that could synchronize both is not likely.


There may be a shore, off, gen switch but not a both.
Agree that it is very unlikely the OP has a BOTH position. Mine is ShorePower Aft/S'power Fwd (two inlets, only 1 can be selected at a time), Off and Ship. When wanting to use the genset, I switch to Off (usually already selected if we've left the dock); check that all AC breakers including charger are off, start genset and let it warm up briefly, then select Ship, then progressively turn on each relevant AC breaker starting with the charger.
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:29 PM   #12
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It is always possible that a previous owner mis-used a standard battery joining switch for the AC connection.
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:35 PM   #13
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That would be a real wiring trick.


If that's the case and it works when it is switched..... that's a huge problem.


It could only switch one out of 3 wires and that would mean the others would have to be directly connected with no interlock.
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:45 PM   #14
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Warm the generator up for several minutes. Turn off any high load items like air conditioners, etc. Move selector switch from shore to generator, load up the generator by turning back on air conditioners, etc Turn the shore power pedestal switches off, remove power cords and cap off the power inlet plugs on the boat.
When removing the electric load from the generator let it run unloaded for at least five minutes or more to cool down the electrical end of the generator before stopping it.

HiDHo has it exactly right.


If you have the shore/genset breakers lockout slide then turn the shore breaker off, push the slide over then turn the genset breaker on, always after warming it up and cooling it down after using it.



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Old 06-04-2019, 03:58 PM   #15
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I’ve never heard of a “both” switch like this, but my guess would be that “both” has shore powering some loads, and the gen powering others (probably air con). It’s probably to allow air con use when the shore power can’t otherwise handle it.
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Old 06-04-2019, 04:19 PM   #16
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I’ve never heard of a “both” switch like this, but my guess would be that “both” has shore powering some loads, and the gen powering others (probably air con). It’s probably to allow air con use when the shore power can’t otherwise handle it.
Having a hard time thinking why someone would use a switch if the panel isn't split or separate somehow...and then a "both" position still boggles the mind.
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Old 06-04-2019, 04:26 PM   #17
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If indeed you do have a both switch for the generator and shore power get rid of it. In both position you can backfeed into the shore which can be dangerous. You could potentially electrocute someone if they think the electricity is turned off on the shore and are working on the wiring and you start your generator in both position and feed electricity into the shore wiring. There should be no way for your generator to hook to the shore wiring, either your boat should be on shore power or on the generator, never both.
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Old 06-04-2019, 04:47 PM   #18
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I would highly recommend that you get a qualified marine electrician to look at your system.
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Old 06-04-2019, 04:53 PM   #19
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I would highly recommend that you get a qualified marine electrician to look at your system.
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Old 06-04-2019, 04:58 PM   #20
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Somehow this boat has survived for 45 years with the current configuration so I seriously doubt the BOTH position is true.
Turn off all large loads like the air conditioners first.
As others said, let the genny warm up before applying full load. My manual says wait until coolant temp above 150F. I try to always switch the transfer switches unloaded. The contacts will last longer that way. Once over on the genny then load it up one load at a time.
OTOH, I've watched people start their gen then throw the transfer switches immediately to GEN with no thought whatsoever of slowly loading it. Not my style!
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