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Old 11-08-2017, 10:06 AM   #1
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Eating zincs....

I'm going through zincs pretty quickly since I bought the boat in March. Diver agrees and says I should call an electrician. Is there anything I can do prior to that to see if there is something obvious? Any standard troubleshooting steps or should my first step be to pick up a phone and call someone?!!???
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:13 AM   #2
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Go to boat zincs.com and order a silver/silver chloride half anode. It comes with an instruction book on how to test and isolate your issue. Calder’s book also covers the issue extensively.
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:15 AM   #3
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Well, if you are in a marina and keep your shore power cord plugged in all of the time, you could try leaving it unplugged. Sometimes an adjacent boat has a minor DC fault to ground which travels back to your boat through the shore power ground and causes zinc problems on your boat.

But that is one of many causes one of which is a DC fault to ground of your own. The most common is a bilge pump being wired wrong. But calling in a marine electrician is a good idea. He can test with a half cell and see what is going on.

David
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:24 AM   #4
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You can measure current leaking


Beyond the basics: Electrical problems at a boat dock


A ‘Leaking’ Boat


It is also possible that the fault is a neighbor boat or even a harbor electric platform.
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:48 AM   #5
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Use a ABYC certified corrosion tech not an electrician. We had a corrosion analysis performed by an ABYC Certified Technician in marine corrosion having the same worries a few years ago. I worked with the tech and it took one hour on site. He looked at the AC, DC, neutrals, grounds, bonding, etc. on Hobo and on shore. His primary tool was a portable silver/silver-chloride electrode.
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:21 PM   #6
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Are you at a private dock or in a marina? if the latter, what say the management and other tenants? Agree on getting a corrosion expert, not all electricians are by any means.
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Old 11-08-2017, 01:48 PM   #7
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Basics first. Be sure that you have 0 dc wires (or any wires for that matter) in your bilge water. That in itself will raise hell with zincs.
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Old 11-08-2017, 02:07 PM   #8
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#1 on the corrosion tech not an electrician
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Old 11-08-2017, 03:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
Use a ABYC certified corrosion tech not an electrician. We had a corrosion analysis performed by an ABYC Certified Technician in marine corrosion having the same worries a few years ago. I worked with the tech and it took one hour on site. He looked at the AC, DC, neutrals, grounds, bonding, etc. on Hobo and on shore. His primary tool was a portable silver/silver-chloride electrode.
Could not agree more. (disclosure .... I am an ABYC Certified Corrosion Analyst)
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Old 11-09-2017, 07:49 AM   #10
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Go to boat zincs.com and order a silver/silver chloride half anode. It comes with an instruction book on how to test and isolate your issue. Calder’s book also covers the issue extensively.
Thanks Gordon. Have the book and should...well...probably read it. Look back over my invoices I see that I am going through shaft zincs monthly. Others are holding up better so it seems centered on the running gear.
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Old 11-09-2017, 07:54 AM   #11
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Well, if you are in a marina and keep your shore power cord plugged in all of the time, you could try leaving it unplugged. Sometimes an adjacent boat has a minor DC fault to ground which travels back to your boat through the shore power ground and causes zinc problems on your boat.

But that is one of many causes one of which is a DC fault to ground of your own. The most common is a bilge pump being wired wrong. But calling in a marine electrician is a good idea. He can test with a half cell and see what is going on.

David
Thanks David. I keep it plugged in to shore due to refrigeration/freezer and of course battery charging. I could work around that if needed to see. I believe there are tests that can be done in the water to see if there are stray currents? I'm reading up on the subject and going to call someone out to check things. Just want to learn some basics so when he/she comes out I have some idea of what is going on and can maybe learn something.
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Old 11-09-2017, 07:56 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
Use a ABYC certified corrosion tech not an electrician. We had a corrosion analysis performed by an ABYC Certified Technician in marine corrosion having the same worries a few years ago. I worked with the tech and it took one hour on site. He looked at the AC, DC, neutrals, grounds, bonding, etc. on Hobo and on shore. His primary tool was a portable silver/silver-chloride electrode.
Thanks Larry. I'm going to have to start paying you and Lena for "Operational and Interior Design Support" for my boat! I will ask around the yard to see if there is a corrosion tech available. Didn't know there was such a thing.
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Old 11-09-2017, 08:09 AM   #13
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Basics first. Be sure that you have 0 dc wires (or any wires for that matter) in your bilge water. That in itself will raise hell with zincs.
Don't think I do beyond bilge pumps but will check it specifically as I haven't been down there with that in mind specifically. Thanks for the comments.
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Old 11-09-2017, 08:19 AM   #14
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Here’s an ABYC “Find a Certified Technican” guide.

Find a Certified Technician - American Boat and Yacht Council
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Old 11-09-2017, 09:41 AM   #15
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Thsnks Larry. Quick search shows that the electrician I have coming out in a week or so is corrosion certified. that works! Also talked to the marina manager and they had another complaint a few months ago and did extensive testing and didn't find anything going on marina-wise. He gave me a couple of suggestions but I will just wait for the expert to show up.
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Old 11-09-2017, 10:02 AM   #16
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The one time I had this going on, I started to evil eye the old wood boat with an extension cord running down into its engine hatches next to me. Fast forward and a month later the boat is sold and the new owner shows up, I had never seen the original owners in years. I ask him about the cord and he immediately pulls hatches and we find a proper marine battery charger. My buddy across from me catches interest, wants to know what the excitement is and we report that we thought the old boat might have had a jury rigged car battery charger in it. He asks what is wrong with that and reports he uses one without any problem for the past year. Beer was owed. Zincs were saved. Problem suddenly went away.
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Old 11-09-2017, 05:09 PM   #17
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One very easy test is to put a clamp on ammeter over the dock power cable. If it reads other than zero, there is an obvious issue. If it does read zero, then you definately need that on-site guy!
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Old 11-09-2017, 07:38 PM   #18
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One very easy test is to put a clamp on ammeter over the dock power cable. If it reads other than zero, there is an obvious issue. If it does read zero, then you definately need that on-site guy!
Beyond knowing what a clamp on ammeter is....I haven't a clue what that means or would show!
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Old 11-10-2017, 12:42 PM   #19
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One very easy test is to put a clamp on ammeter over the dock power cable. If it reads other than zero, there is an obvious issue. If it does read zero, then you definately need that on-site guy!
For some reason, this doesn't work for me. I'm thinking it has something to do with my meter(which is a brand name and works fine in every other use), but with and even without a ground wire, on the hard or in the water, I get multiple amps when I do this. Yet no problems of any kind that indicate stray current or grounding problems and no problems being plugged into ground fault outlets.

Ken
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Old 11-10-2017, 12:53 PM   #20
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For some reason, this doesn't work for me. I'm thinking it has something to do with my meter(which is a brand name and works fine in every other use), but with and even without a ground wire, on the hard or in the water, I get multiple amps when I do this. Yet no problems of any kind that indicate stray current or grounding problems and no problems being plugged into ground fault outlets.

Ken
Is this a AC/DC or straight AC ammeter?

edit: try the meter with a simple device on the counter, such as a toaster or iron. PUt the jaw around the 2 wire cable coming out of the appliance.

ps: the split core jaw mathmatically SUMS all the wire currents inside the jaw. If opposite and equal currents don't result in a zero meter reading, the ammeter is defective.
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