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Old 03-03-2017, 07:38 PM   #1
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how to tell if the PO was a moron

what the pic shows is the rear of the inverter/shore power breaker.

about midway down on the right is the connection he made to 2 - 120Vac hot shore power wires (red ones).

The connection is made with a small wood screw to the black wire that feeds the breaker. The 3 wires were then screwed into that charred spot on the back of the door.

He kept saying over and over, "you know you're buying this as is, right?"



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Old 03-03-2017, 07:49 PM   #2
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Yeah that's a good one for sure. You have to wonder what he did that you haven't found yet?
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Old 03-03-2017, 07:55 PM   #3
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Needs a bigger screw
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Old 03-03-2017, 08:06 PM   #4
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Good grief. No spare bolt in the toolkit, so he "screwed it".
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Old 03-03-2017, 08:17 PM   #5
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That is one of the best I've seen. Could get interesting if that wire got loose and touched something conductive, you wouldn't even know what killed you. Sadly, (thankfully) I can't top that one.
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Old 03-03-2017, 08:51 PM   #6
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At least it's open so you can see it.

What scares me is a glob of electrical tape.

Kind of like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.
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Old 03-03-2017, 11:32 PM   #7
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Old 03-04-2017, 04:27 AM   #8
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Good example for stupid things people do. He could've at least used a short bolt and nut and heat shrink tube to join those wires.
AN AFCI breaker is designed to shut off the power, when it detects arcing signature in poor connections. My guess is such a loose connection would have some small internal arcing even if you don't see it.
Someday I expect AFCI breakers to be marketed to boats which will cut down on electrical fires.
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Old 03-04-2017, 08:02 AM   #9
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I don't know why they make these terminals. They are not insulated in the center. I wouldn't ever use on, There are much better ways to do it.
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Old 03-04-2017, 08:14 AM   #10
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AN AFCI breaker is designed to shut off the power, when it detects arcing signature in poor connections. My guess is such a loose connection would have some small internal arcing even if you don't see it.
If you look closely at the screw hole you can see how the wood was being burned away from the arcing. It seems to have become charcoal like.

There were several burned wires in the harnesses. A couple had gotten so hot that they melted into an adjacent wire and the wire's themselves had welded together. And butt connectors? LOL there were dozens of them to lengthen wires, sometimes 2 or 3 in a row just to add another couple of inches.

I spent yesterday cutting and stripping the boat of its wiring. All but just a couple pieces was simple non-tinned copper.
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Old 03-04-2017, 09:06 AM   #11
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I certainly can't top that but as runner-up, the PO of my last boat fastened a transducer to the transom using four 2 1/2" spiral nails. Three made it through to the inside and one pounded in on an angle went through the bottom.
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Old 03-04-2017, 09:12 AM   #12
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OK, I get that it's stupid and wrong. But, what was the real fault here? That connection shouldn't have been warm anyway. Was there a fault/overload elsewhere in that circuit - conductors too small? Was the screw loose enough - or loosened by jiggling wires, to cause arcing within the connection? Wood is a pretty good dielectric, so it should have been safe enough, electrically, if not reliably tight enough over time.

I don't much like that riveted three-way connector, no neat way to insulate it. I prefer using a butt connector whose size allows the multiple conductors in one end and the single in the other.

Could be the tip of the iceberg, if the PO liked this sort of shortcut.
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Old 03-04-2017, 09:25 AM   #13
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OK, I get that it's stupid and wrong. But, what was the real fault here? That connection shouldn't have been warm anyway. Was there a fault/overload elsewhere in that circuit - conductors too small? Was the screw loose enough - or loosened by jiggling wires, to cause arcing within the connection? Wood is a pretty good dielectric, so it should have been safe enough, electrically, if not reliably tight enough over time. .....................................
You couldn't really tighten that screw tight enough to insure good contact over time. A machine screw and nut would have been much better and in fact, I have done that myself for a temporary repair. Of course, it must be insulated with tape and preferably be fastened down somehow.
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Old 03-04-2017, 09:42 AM   #14
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I don't know why they make these terminals. They are not insulated in the center. I wouldn't ever use on, There are much better ways to do it.
The center hole is for the wood screw!
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Old 03-04-2017, 09:43 AM   #15
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I find the title of this thread borderline offensive.
It may well have been an owner who wired the boat but I have seen many "professional" repairs and installations paid for with real money that were in that class.
I have a good friend who is the second owner of a boat that has installations of equipment made by a very reputable and capable vendor that absolutely stand my hair on end when I see what was done. I mean criminal!
People assume it was an owner who was trying to save money, I wouldn't be so quick to make that assumption...
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Old 03-04-2017, 09:51 AM   #16
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Whats wrong with insulated and greased butt connectors?
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Old 03-04-2017, 10:16 AM   #17
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Greetings,
While I don't condone the "connection", I agree with Mr. BruceB. Gone are the days of expecting "professionals" to do a good job. I'm NOT lumping ALL professionals in the same category but I think we all know to what group of nimrods I am referring. By the same token, all owners are not the same either...
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Old 03-04-2017, 10:57 AM   #18
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The three-way connector is intended for use on ground wire connections only.
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Old 03-04-2017, 11:00 AM   #19
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I find the title of this thread borderline offensive.
It may well have been an owner who wired the boat but I have seen many "professional" repairs and installations paid for with real money that were in that class.
I have a good friend who is the second owner of a boat that has installations of equipment made by a very reputable and capable vendor that absolutely stand my hair on end when I see what was done. I mean criminal!
People assume it was an owner who was trying to save money, I wouldn't be so quick to make that assumption...
Bruce

+1.

My PO did as good of a job as he could, but I have found some (ok a lot of) shortcuts his mechanic took. Everyone in my home port says he's the best, of course - most common examples are wiring not that different than OP and using silicone instead of replacing a seal/gasket.
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Old 03-04-2017, 11:12 AM   #20
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6 month rule:

For the first 6 months, all problems are the result of the previous owner. After that you are on your own.
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