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Old 02-28-2018, 07:43 AM   #1
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Ground connection for Windlass

I recently replaced the “below deck” components (motor, gear box, with a quick fit connector) to my MUIR 1250 Windlass. (By the way, the folks at IMTRA were fantastic to work with in this project and I highly recommend their tech support department.)

The question is to connect the “green grounding wire” to the metal backing plate (as was the original design on the vessel) or to not attach the grounding wire. Many say “ground everything or ground nothing.” All other electrical components (that I can see) have a green grounding wire attached.

It has been suggested that I do not have to re-connect the green grounding wire to the Windlass unless I plan on anchoring many days at a time on an all chain rode. With an all-rope rode or rope line attached to the chain (with the rope actually being used and not lying in the chain locker), it was suggested that I do not need to connect the grounding wire. Others have said that the grounding wire will help protect the chain from galvanic corrosion while anchored.

Any opinions on this from the group?

Steve
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Old 02-28-2018, 08:23 AM   #2
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this is where that term "electrolsis" actually fits.

If for some reason the case becomes "hot", electrolysis will happen every time you lower the anchor and your chain contacts both the winch and the water. It does not take "days at a time" to cause real damage.

ground it.

Unless of course you leave the power connections to your bilge pumps bare and sit in salt water, then of course it doesnt matter.
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Old 02-28-2018, 08:23 AM   #3
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Steve, why did you need replace your windlass? Bad ground?
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Old 02-28-2018, 08:55 AM   #4
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The boat and windlass were 12 years old when I bought the boat. The capstan and “above deck” mechanism were fine. The below deck components had flaking metal and rust. I figured a new windlass although it still worked. IMTRA first told me to consider just replacing the below deck components because my above deck components were fine, the above deck components on a new windlass were not any better (perhaps not even as quality) as my current above deck components, and the new below deck components had much better and improved corrosion and rust prevention protection.

Have to say, saved a bunch of money doing this disassembly and re-assembly over a new MUIR windlass (I did not really want to change brands of windlass).

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Old 02-28-2018, 10:06 AM   #5
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First question, is it AC or DC windlass? While AC is less common they are not uncommon. If it’s AC then you must hook it up.
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:50 AM   #6
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If it's not difficult, I would recommend connecting the green wire. There's no good reason not to (and that's what it's there for).
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:54 AM   #7
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It is a DC windlass

“If it's not difficult, I would recommend connecting the green wire. There's no good reason not to (and that's what it's there for).”

It is easy to re-connect.
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Old 02-28-2018, 04:16 PM   #8
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Ground connection for Windlass

This comment may not apply to your circumstance but is worth noting. Many older windlasses such as my good ol’ Ideal CWM use the case as the negative power return. If the negative connection corrodes or any other fault happens in the heavy gauge negative power wiring the heavy draw of the winch would try to return through the much lighter gauge green bonding wire, causing severe overheating.
Unless your windlass has a separate negative cable isolated from the case I would not connect the lighter green bonding wire.
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Old 03-01-2018, 07:45 AM   #9
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When I dis-assembled the old windlass, I did not find corrosion on any of the wire terminals: positive, negative, or ground bonding wire. The windlass worked. With the corrosion and rust on the case, I felt it was only a matter of time before it would not. When the IMTRA rep shared that the new model had much better rust/corrosion protection, I felt this was not the first time they encountered this issue. I will of course monitor the components much more closely than what I think was done by the PO. He did not even know that the case was rusting and flaking! When I showed him a pic from the survey, he tried to say I had taken a pic of another boat! He went to look then saw it.
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