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Old 07-11-2019, 03:03 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fgarriso View Post
John,
Do you have 120VAC@30A
120VAC@50A
240VAC@30A
240VAC@50A
The power pedestal is 50 amp. I have a splitter plugged into it, which feeds into two 30 amp cables going to the boat. One of the 30 amp cables is for the rear cabin air-conditioning only, and the other is for the regular house electricity. Only 120 volts on each cable.
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Old 07-11-2019, 03:05 PM   #22
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Most DVMs will not handle 100 amps
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Old 07-11-2019, 03:07 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
The meter that Capt Lee recommended above is an AC only ammeter, ie no DC amps. For a few bucks more you can get an AC and DC ammeter. On a boat I use the DC ammeter 95% of the time.


David
I did a quick review of different clamp meters, and wound up ordering a Fluke 323 because it seemed to have the best reviews for the price range, and would do what I want it to do. It is AC only for the ammeter, though, and I agree that I may wind up wishing that it would measure DC amps too.
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Old 07-11-2019, 03:12 PM   #24
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My Klien clamp goes to 400A DC.


updated version

Product Features:

  • Test leads measure AC/DC voltage, resistance, continuity, frequency and capacitance and tests diodes
  • Automatically ranging True-Mean-Squared (TRMS) technology
  • Voltage: 1000V AC/DC
  • Frequency: 1Hz - 500 KHz
  • Current: 600A AC/DC
  • Capacitance: 6000µF
  • Thermocouple probe measures temperature from -14° - 1000°F
  • Low Impedance (LoZ) mode for identifying and eliminating ghost or stray voltages
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  • Standard: CAT IV 600V; CE Certified
  • Length: 9-3/32 in.
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Old 07-11-2019, 03:15 PM   #25
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$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
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Old 07-11-2019, 03:33 PM   #26
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$109
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Old 07-11-2019, 03:34 PM   #27
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$64.49
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Old 07-11-2019, 03:56 PM   #28
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If you are referring to the earlier posted Klien...OK...but I am still with Dave that $45 buys you a more versitile tool that may be used WAY more in DC amp measuring.
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Old 07-11-2019, 03:59 PM   #29
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OK, but how does that fix John's problem?
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:07 PM   #30
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In addition to the AC vs AC/DC question, there is a wide variety of quality and price in meters found on Amazon or elsewhere.

The OP can't go wrong with a Fluke, they make some of the best. Fifteen/twenty years ago I bought an AC/DC clamp on meter from WM that was branded Ancor, the marine cable and DC component supplier. I paid about $200 for it then. It was probably made by Fluke as it looks just like one they had then.

When you turn it on in DC amp mode it is a little off zero, maybe a few tenths of an amp or so. But hit the zero button once, wait a few seconds and hit it again and it stabilizes at 0.01-0.02 amps on the 40A scale.

A few years ago I left my Ancor meter at home and needed one so I bought a cheap $65 Chinese made one on Amazon. When it first started up as above it was off 2-5 amps. Repeated zeroing would stabilize it a half an amp or so but that was about it.

So with that one little test, zeroing you can see a big difference between quality US stuff and much cheaper Chinese stuff. The Chinese meter will do ok for 90% of the things I use it for, but if I am trying to read small currents I always use the Ancor/Fluke meter.

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Old 07-11-2019, 04:10 PM   #31
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OK, but how does that fix John's problem?
Guys, If we are going to help John fix his problem, then we need to stay on point.
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:57 PM   #32
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OK, but how does that fix John's problem?
Maybe it doesn't and he has already ordered a nice Fluke AC only ammeter, so end of story.

When he gets the meter, he can then measure the actual current that his boat is drawing and that should help him identify the problem at least.

His 50A/240V shore power supply is a little problematical, but since he splits it to two 30A/120V cords and all of his power in the boat is 120V then open up the shore power pedestal as described above. Then measure the current through the black wire and then measure the current through the red wire. Add those two and that is the total 120V current he is drawing. 120 times the sum of the two currents is the total watts.

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Old 07-11-2019, 05:01 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwnall View Post
The power pedestal is 50 amp. I have a splitter plugged into it, which feeds into two 30 amp cables going to the boat. One of the 30 amp cables is for the rear cabin air-conditioning only, and the other is for the regular house electricity. Only 120 volts on each cable.
John,

I am not recommending this to anyone, but with your setup, and I was doing this to quickly find the problem. Then "I would" connect the cables back up and verify the meter is still spinning. Then go to the boat and without touching anything else, then disconnect the cable for the "rear air only", and see if you get a big spark from the connector. Then check the meter and see if it is still spinning. If you got a BIG spark or the meter stopped spinning then you know it is from your rear aircon. If not then do the same thing to the main cabin. With that you would which circuit is giving the problem.


If the meter keeps spinning without anythng connected then SAVE that meter!
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:04 PM   #34
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At our yacht club we installed electric meters on all our slips (150). After 2 years we removed them all as they were constantly failing and inaccurate.
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:29 PM   #35
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I am not a fan of spark testing as it pits your connectors usually and opens them up for corrosion.


David's checking does the same but non destructively if the marina will allow you to open the pedestal.... and your new meter should give you the answer.


If you can't get access to the pedestal, you can do the same behind your main panel, all you aren't checking at that point is a short in your cords which you can disconnect and check for any continuity between wires inthem.
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:44 PM   #36
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"I am not recommending this to anyone, but with your setup, and I was doing this to quickly find the problem".


If he didn't have an ampmeter handy this is what "I" would do to locate the faulty circuit quickly.
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:48 PM   #37
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I would bet he doesn't see a spark.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:05 PM   #38
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Personally, I'd never do the spark test as described here. The apparent presence or absence of a spark doesn't demonstrate anything.

If the air conditioner is running, or the lights are on, or whatever, we know there is power. We don't need a spark to indicate that. If it stops when we pull the plug, we know we pulled the correct plug.

If we miss the spark on a sunny or humid day -- that doesnt mean the unit was running,on maguc before and the magic coincidentally ran out!

This test can just as convincingly be conducted by flipping the breaker before unplugging and after plugging. And, with the added bonus, of providing a limited test of the breaker, too.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:36 PM   #39
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I own a few mobile homes. I experienced a similar $3000+ incident and everyone blamed me and my old mobile homes. Between me and another electrician friend, we finally convinced Duke Power (Duke Energy now) to come replace their meter. The service guy came out to meet with me. As soon as he looked at the meter, he knew it was bad. He replaced it and sent in some kind of order. My next power bill was what it always was $37.50. They dropped the $3000+ bill.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:53 PM   #40
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Don’t forget with all this clamp-meter frenzy, you can only clamp one conductor at a time, not even an AC pair. Just sayin.’

Just to stir the pot a bit, I bought a Fluke AC-only clamp meter and used it precisely once. I don’t even know where it is anymore. I finally bought a DC-also clamp meter and use it regularly, as in all-the-time.
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