Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-31-2022, 06:59 PM   #1
Veteran Member
 
City: Enfield, CT
Vessel Model: 1982 Albin 40 DC
Join Date: Nov 2021
Posts: 40
Shore Power Pedestal Tripping

Hi all. My marina installed the new compliant shore power pedestal breakers. Less mA’s to trip the shore breaker. I have a 1982 Albin 40 so… queue the problem…. When I go to turn the main breaker on to my AC panel, it trips the shore power pedestal even though no other breakers are closed on my panel. Can someone tell me where to start troubleshoot? Maybe this will give me a good chance to rewire the boat….
SeaBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2022, 07:25 PM   #2
Guru
 
porman's Avatar
 
City: Duvall, Wa. USA
Vessel Name: Beach Music II
Vessel Model: 2003 Mainship 430 Trawler
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 881
Do you have an inverter? If you do then the inverter load neutrals have to be on a separate buss. And that might not be the only problem. Lots of discussion on TF about this.
porman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2022, 07:27 PM   #3
Guru
 
twistedtree's Avatar
 
City: Walkabout Creek
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 7,928
First thing to check is whether there is continuity between the neutral and the ground on your HVAC circuit. There shouldn't be.
__________________
MVTanglewood.com
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2022, 07:34 PM   #4
Veteran Member
 
City: Enfield, CT
Vessel Model: 1982 Albin 40 DC
Join Date: Nov 2021
Posts: 40
These are great suggestions for me to start looking. I plan on disconnecting all the sub breakers and start from scratch. I guess my main question is, why would the shore breaker be tripping immediately when I close the main panel breaker, if all the sub breakers are open?
SeaBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2022, 07:47 PM   #5
TF Site Team
 
Comodave's Avatar
 
City: Au Gres, MI
Vessel Name: Black Dog
Vessel Model: Formula 41PC
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 16,398
You have something basic wrong with your boats wiring. Some of the things noted above can cause it. Do you have 2 30 amp inlets? If so some or all of the neutrals may be comingled together. The best advice I can give you is to get an ABYC certified electrician to check it out. If you are asking these questions then get an expert.
__________________
Boat Nut:
If you are one there is no explanation necessary.
If you arenít one, there is no explanation possible.
Comodave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2022, 08:00 PM   #6
Guru
 
twistedtree's Avatar
 
City: Walkabout Creek
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 7,928
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaBoy View Post
These are great suggestions for me to start looking. I plan on disconnecting all the sub breakers and start from scratch. I guess my main question is, why would the shore breaker be tripping immediately when I close the main panel breaker, if all the sub breakers are open?

You probably have a bonded neutral and ground on the boat. When running on shore power, the ground needs to run back shore in the shore cable and not be tied to neutral on the boat. This assumes no isolation transformer.
__________________
MVTanglewood.com
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2022, 08:11 PM   #7
TF Site Team
 
Bacchus's Avatar
 
City: Seneca Lake NY
Vessel Name: Bacchus
Vessel Model: MS 34 HT Trawler
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 6,575
SeaBoy
This is a fairly common problem with older boats and new marinas.
Here are some links to read about it to understand the causes and why it is an important safety item. If you are not up on the details and how to diagnose & repair it may be best to hire a pro. This should be fairly straight forward for a pro so it isn't necessarily a huge project to fix, at least in many cases it is one or two pieces of equipment. the challenge is identifying which ones and how to correct the issue(s)

https://www-passagemaker-com.cdn.amp...repower-danger

https://www.marinadockage.com/techni...s-marina-code/
__________________
Don
2008 MS 34 HT Trawler
"Bacchus"
Bacchus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2022, 04:45 AM   #8
Veteran Member
 
City: Enfield, CT
Vessel Model: 1982 Albin 40 DC
Join Date: Nov 2021
Posts: 40
Does anyone know a good ABYC electrician in the Rhode Island Area? It looks like I’m going to need a clamp on ammeter that’ll sense somewhere around .04mA to diagnose this which will run me around $500. Maybe it’s best I have someone help. I’ll take a look at my inverters to start and will likely go with an isolation transformer just to get power back onboard
SeaBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2022, 08:12 AM   #9
Member
 
City: Isla Mujeres
Vessel Name: ITZAE
Vessel Model: 53 Selene
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 9
The first thing to start with is the power cord by itself. I was in one marina and i tripped it the dock hand told me he has see plenty of old power cords that trip the breaker. Unplug it from the boat and see if you still trip it.
The second thing is the lights that indicate reverse polarity. Disconect them and see if it trips. There have been brand new boats that those were causing it to trip.
boatnbump is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2022, 09:26 AM   #10
Veteran Member
 
City: Enfield, CT
Vessel Model: 1982 Albin 40 DC
Join Date: Nov 2021
Posts: 40
Okay I will check that too. Does anyone else have ideas of this to check and how to check them?
SeaBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2022, 10:12 AM   #11
Guru
 
twistedtree's Avatar
 
City: Walkabout Creek
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 7,928
Assuming you have a volt-ohm meter...


Unplug your shore cord from the boat receptacle, and set the boat's breakers the way they tripped the shore breaker. Now measure the resistance between the ground and neutral at the boats power inlet. It should be infinite. If it's zero, or a low number, then your ground and neutral are connected onboard your boat. That would be at least one problem.


If it is a problem, fixing it is not necessarily as simple as finding and removing the connection. If you have a generator or an inverter, then when either of those is your power source you DO need the ground and neutral connected onboard. There are many ways to accomplish this, but all will be very specific to your boat, and likely where you need to call in reinforcements to help figure it out.
__________________
MVTanglewood.com
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2022, 02:43 PM   #12
TF Site Team
 
Bacchus's Avatar
 
City: Seneca Lake NY
Vessel Name: Bacchus
Vessel Model: MS 34 HT Trawler
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 6,575
This Boat US article has a basic troubleshooting process that might be helpful.

Troubleshooting: Electrical Safety
__________________
Don
2008 MS 34 HT Trawler
"Bacchus"
Bacchus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2022, 03:00 PM   #13
TF Site Team
 
Comodave's Avatar
 
City: Au Gres, MI
Vessel Name: Black Dog
Vessel Model: Formula 41PC
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 16,398
Our last boat would trip the breaker as soon as I would plug it in. It had 2 30 amp shore power inlets. There were several problems with the wiring but the main reason for the dock breaker tripping was that all of the neutral wires were on one bus. Another problem was that there was only 1 main 30 amp breaker, the second inlet was wired directly into the power bus without any over current protection. I ended up replacing the main electrical panel so I had 2 30 amp main breakers. I added a second neutral bus and had to figure out which neutral went with shore power #1 and which went with shore power #2. Since they weren’t labeled and were all individual wires it took a couple of days to ring out all the wires and separate the bus 1 and bus 2 neutrals. That took care of the dock breaker tripping. A friends boat was tripping the dock breaker. It also had all the neutrals on one bus, had a plug that someone had reversed the neutral and ground wires, the neutrals for the voltmeters were off one shore power and his water heater had a short inside it from ground to neutral. We fixed those 4 issues and his boat was good.
__________________
Boat Nut:
If you are one there is no explanation necessary.
If you arenít one, there is no explanation possible.
Comodave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2022, 04:50 PM   #14
TF Site Team
 
Insequent's Avatar
 
City: Brisbane
Vessel Name: Insequent
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 50 Mk I
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 3,675
Follow advice above, and IMO get a good marine sparkie on the case early.

I had a tripping problem a while back, which might be completely different to the OP but something to consider also if the obvious checks/fixes don't work. In my case shore power would trip at the pedestal about 50% of the time on first connection. Even when all panel breakers were off.

The solution was installing a varistor, as well as a capacitor, but varistor was the main fix. It was explained to me that because I have 2 Charles transformers (one as isolation function and one as step-up or step-down depending on whether US or EU shorepower is connected) as well as an inverter there was a large amount of iron on which electric fields needed to be established at connection. The mods noted above tamed the inrush voltage/current spike a bit, enough to fix the issue. Newer transformers likely have the necessary components built in. Mine are 10 years old. It may be similar in effect to "soft start" mods that some A/C systems need.
__________________
Brian
Insequent is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2022, 04:22 AM   #15
Veteran Member
 
City: Enfield, CT
Vessel Model: 1982 Albin 40 DC
Join Date: Nov 2021
Posts: 40
So I purchased two 30a isolation transformers (at $900 each) and this will solve my problem. I bought two for each 30a receptacles onboard. I need to tie my neutral buss to the ground bus. Then ground bus to generator ground. Then to a sea cock. I should be good to go
SeaBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2022, 09:09 AM   #16
Guru
 
City: Olympia
Vessel Name: Rendezvous
Vessel Model: Blue water 40
Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaBoy View Post
So I purchased two 30a isolation transformers (at $900 each) and this will solve my problem. I bought two for each 30a receptacles onboard. I need to tie my neutral buss to the ground bus. Then ground bus to generator ground. Then to a sea cock. I should be good to go
typically, the neutral/ground connection is made at the power source (transformer) itself, not at the buss at the panel. if you have an inverter, it should also have the capacity to make a neutral/ground connection as it would become the power source.
there has been a lot of discussion on this subject here on the forum should you choose to do a little reading on the matter.
Bmarler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2022, 09:37 AM   #17
TF Site Team
 
Comodave's Avatar
 
City: Au Gres, MI
Vessel Name: Black Dog
Vessel Model: Formula 41PC
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 16,398
The neutral and ground should only be connected at the source of power, the dock or the generator. The transfer switch should take care of connecting them for the generator.
__________________
Boat Nut:
If you are one there is no explanation necessary.
If you arenít one, there is no explanation possible.
Comodave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2022, 10:14 AM   #18
Veteran Member
 
City: Enfield, CT
Vessel Model: 1982 Albin 40 DC
Join Date: Nov 2021
Posts: 40
Is the transfer switch internal to the generator? Or are you talking about my ship to shore disconnect switch when swapping over
SeaBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2022, 11:28 AM   #19
TF Site Team
 
Comodave's Avatar
 
City: Au Gres, MI
Vessel Name: Black Dog
Vessel Model: Formula 41PC
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 16,398
There are several different types of transfer switches. One is a rotary switch. Some are on the panel itself. But the neutral to ground connection is only made on the boat when power is being supplied by the generator. This is potentially a very dangerous thing if done incorrectly. You shouldnít try doing this work if you are not pretty knowledgeable in boat electrical work, not house electrical work because it is different. I would advise you to get a certified marine electrician to either do the work or to show you how to do it. Donít rely on internet advice for something this potentially dangerous.
__________________
Boat Nut:
If you are one there is no explanation necessary.
If you arenít one, there is no explanation possible.
Comodave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2022, 12:43 PM   #20
Guru
 
twistedtree's Avatar
 
City: Walkabout Creek
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 7,928
When an isolation transformer is used, itís fine to have a single, centralized, common bonding point between neutral and ground. This works and is allowed because the secondary of the isolation transformer IS the source of power on the bot for shore power, so all the possible power sources are on board and can be bonded in once single location. Itís typically done at the main electric panel. The actual shore cord terminates at the isolation transformer, and its ground is connected to an internal shield in the transformer that is isolated from the secondary ground for the xformer. Note that is assumes you bought marine isolation transformers that actually have the separate shield. A generic transformer probably does not.
__________________
MVTanglewood.com
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Trawler Port Captains
Port Captains are TF volunteers who can serve as local guides or assist with local arrangements and information. Search below to locate Port Captains near your destination. To learn more about this program read here: TF Port Captain Program





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:55 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012