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Frustrating Electrical Fault


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2 hours ago, Alway Swilby said:

Ok folks, we're going to have to guess.

My guess is "I put the battery in the wrong way round".

 

Pulled one of the leisure batteries instead of the engine battery?

 

Forgot to reattach one or both battery leads?

 

Left charger connected when measuring the voltage?

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On 12/01/2022 at 19:40, JRT said:

 3. Something stupid and embarrassing I did.

Moored at Leighton Buzzard. Turned key in ignition. Nothing. Dead. Not an electrical sausage!

 

Checked everything I could think of. Had a think. Checked everything again. Still nothing.

 

Called RCR. All local misters busy but a nice man somewhere on the Lee & Stort called me back after a while.

He talked me through everything then said 'OK. Lets get back to basics. Have you checked your battery isolation switch?'

Guess who had accidently flipped the switch off? Cue pre start beeping and engine roaring into life.

 

Me: < Offering profuse thanks and apologies for being such an idiot > 'Tell me. do you RCR misters go to the pub of a Friday night and decide on a Pillock of the Week Award?'

Him: < laughing > 'Don't worry sir. We've had much worse!'

😃

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That's nothing. When my Webasto conked out I tried everything including taking it apart, de-coking, new glow thing, new gaskets, re-routing the fuel line etc - then I got a friend to come and look and as I demonstrated how it wouldn't run it started fine. Then he stepped off the deck and it stopped. Hmm - I'd run low on fuel - same tank as engine but from higher up so I couldn't "heat" myself out of propulsion fuel. Oh well, at least I had a thoroughly serviced heater!

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5 hours ago, Victor Vectis said:

Moored at Leighton Buzzard. Turned key in ignition. Nothing. Dead. Not an electrical sausage!

 

Checked everything I could think of. Had a think. Checked everything again. Still nothing.

 

Called RCR. All local misters busy but a nice man somewhere on the Lee & Stort called me back after a while.

He talked me through everything then said 'OK. Lets get back to basics. Have you checked your battery isolation switch?'

Guess who had accidently flipped the switch off? Cue pre start beeping and engine roaring into life.

 

Me: < Offering profuse thanks and apologies for being such an idiot > 'Tell me. do you RCR misters go to the pub of a Friday night and decide on a Pillock of the Week Award?'

Him: < laughing > 'Don't worry sir. We've had much worse!'

😃

Yep, hand up I've pulled that little trick on myself, not sure it's and ageist ting or if I have always been dumb, for those that know me that's not a rhetorical point!

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Ok people I give in. I'll admit it. I reversed the polarity on the starter battery. I still had the original faults but my stupid error (and I thought I'd been so careful!) compounded things. Trouble is neither the engineer nor I could work out how on earth the starter motor etc. functioned at all....but it did!! Anyway, lesson learned and no real harm done.  

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1 hour ago, JRT said:

Ok people I give in. I'll admit it. I reversed the polarity on the starter battery. I still had the original faults but my stupid error (and I thought I'd been so careful!) compounded things. Trouble is neither the engineer nor I could work out how on earth the starter motor etc. functioned at all....but it did!! Anyway, lesson learned and no real harm done.  

I had a customer turn up with a boat they had bought and sailed up north. On their journey they had been in 3 marinas ( who will remain un-named) to try to get the electrics to charge properly. All had failed despite having two new split charge relays fitted and 3 alternators replaced/repaired.

On examination I found it had only one isolator switch, in the negative combined battery feed. Not uncommon but I don't like it.

Then it was found that the engine battery was fitted the wrong way round. No wonder the relays burnt out and the alternators kept failing.

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On 13/01/2022 at 12:14, cuthound said:

 

Not according to this site.

 

https://www.12voltplanet.co.uk/fuses-guide-uses.html

 

They say 12 volt fuses are marked at the continuous rating and quickly blow at about twice their marked rating.

 

"Fuse are marked with the current that they will continuously pass (at a specified temperature) without blowing, known as the continuous rating. It is good practice not to allow the continuous current to exceed 75% of the fuse's rated value to accommodate momentary current surges that might cause the fuse to fatigue over time or blow unnecessarily (nuisance blow)."

 

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2 hours ago, JRT said:

Ok people I give in. I'll admit it. I reversed the polarity on the starter battery. I still had the original faults but my stupid error (and I thought I'd been so careful!) compounded things. Trouble is neither the engineer nor I could work out how on earth the starter motor etc. functioned at all....but it did!! Anyway, lesson learned and no real harm done.  

I'm not understanding how you did that - aren't the terminals different sizes to make the fool proof?

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3 hours ago, JRT said:

Ok people I give in. I'll admit it. I reversed the polarity on the starter battery. I still had the original faults but my stupid error (and I thought I'd been so careful!) compounded things. Trouble is neither the engineer nor I could work out how on earth the starter motor etc. functioned at all....but it did!! Anyway, lesson learned and no real harm done.  

 

Thanks for coming clean.  You aren't the first to do this and you won't be the last.

 

I'll confidently predict that you'll never do it again though, so you have learned to double check when handling batteries.  Better the engine battery than reversing only one of the domestic bank ...

 

I vote you're allowed back on the boat :D

 

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3 hours ago, StephenA said:

 

"Fuse are marked with the current that they will continuously pass (at a specified temperature) without blowing, known as the continuous rating. It is good practice not to allow the continuous current to exceed 75% of the fuse's rated value to accommodate momentary current surges that might cause the fuse to fatigue over time or blow unnecessarily (nuisance blow)."

 

That is indeed the present  Internationally-agreed  (IEC) standard. However, it is my understanding that the motor industry has continued to adopt the old definition that was widely used pre-war. That was the case the last time I checked some 10 years ago, and I don't think the automotive  fuses I got then are any different from the present ones. I have some vintage 1 1/4" glass cartridge fuses that are marked with both types of rating, evidently to eliminate any uncertainty.   

Edited by Ronaldo47
typos
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Reversing the polarity of the type of motor where the magnetic field is generated by stator windings (constituting an electromagnet)  rather than by a permanent magnet,  reverses the direction of current flow in both the rotor windings and the stator windings, so the direction of rotation is not affected.  

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