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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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  #1  
Old 07-11-2009
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Adding 110V AC shore power

I have just purchased a '67 Cal 28 flushdeck and am starting to refurbish it.

I have already modified my priority list to move electrical wiring (and rewiring) to the top. This is the first sailboat I have owned and I am not the handiest man around (my sailing experience is 25-30 years ago and primarily I was ballast).

I have read the forums here and at a few other sites and scoured 2 electrical marine books for knowledge (so you know I have tried!).

My first project is adding shore power and wiring 110V AC into her. I have a healthy respect for 110V and therefore am using a certified contractor to do the actual wiring but I wish to minimize the cost by insuring I am purchasing the proper components and that my ideas are sound (at least in theory).

I am installing the power inlet (30 Amp 125 Volt Power Inlet Stainless Steel | Marinco) inside of the cockpit and the breaker box directly behind (within 2 feet). The breaker I have chosen is a Blue Sea 30 Amp main with 4 15 amp wired breakers (BLUE SEA AC MAIN + 6 POSITIONS 3412) as I am planning on the following distribution:
A) battery charger (sole)
B) refrigerator (sole)
C) microwave (sole)
D) cabin plugs to include lights/computer/stereo amp (shared)

Each of the A, B,C and the first of the D circuits will have GFCI outlets (West Marine: GFCI Duplex Outlet Product Display) and we are using stranded. tinned marine wire.

My questions are as follows:
1) Is there any reason to have metering on the distribution panel or is non-metered sufficient?
2) Grounding - as I have no inboard (a blessing as I have more storage space and no Atomic 4 to rebuild) AND as I am not planning to pull her out of the water until Thanksgiving to clean and paint the hull (and add a grounding plate), any recommendations on grounding? (We have a couple including a zinc strip down the inside).
3) AND this is a major question - am I correct in keeping 12V DC and 120 V AC panels separate? I have sufficient space and an old existing 12V panel (which I will need to rewire as project #2).

Thanks to any and all who read and comment. I will post pictures of current and refurbished as I do the work.

Last edited by Cal28; 07-11-2009 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 07-11-2009
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no need to have a metered panel, waste of money and space.

as for grounding the 110v ground should go to the 12 v ground bar

as for separate panels i think that is more of a personal thing, but not a bad idea for safety.

and a warning most gfi's dont like compressor ( fridge ) loads due to the way the motor works, the new code says they should be fine but we will have to wait and see

other wise it looks like you have the right idea
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Old 07-11-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyt View Post
no need to have a metered panel, waste of money and space.

as for grounding the 110v ground should go to the 12 v ground bar

as for separate panels i think that is more of a personal thing, but not a bad idea for safety.

and a warning most gfi's dont like compressor ( fridge ) loads due to the way the motor works, the new code says they should be fine but we will have to wait and see

other wise it looks like you have the right idea
scottyt:

Thanks ...

meters ... as I thought and I don't have alot of either to spare

I prefer separate as I believe it is safer (and makes more sense to me) and once the 110V is in, I have alot of work to do with the 12V as it is all original and quite a bowl of spaghetti. I just feel safer not having to touch the 110V.

as for the GFI and the frig ... does that mean I don't put the gfi plug onto that particular circuit?

Thanks
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Old 07-11-2009
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for the fridge what i would do is if the recpt is not easy to get to then i would use a single recpt, that way no extra plug to be tempted by. but that is my boat and i am a master electrician. put the gfi in and check it over a few weeks if it trips you know why then remove it if its a problem
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Old 07-11-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyt View Post
for the fridge what i would do is if the recpt is not easy to get to then i would use a single recpt, that way no extra plug to be tempted by. but that is my boat and i am a master electrician. put the gfi in and check it over a few weeks if it trips you know why then remove it if its a problem
Another reason to have it on a separate circuit (although I can take no credit for that one - I just thought it would be simplest way to go - if it trips - I know it is the refrigerator).

Thanks again.
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Old 07-12-2009
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You don't need a gcfi for the charger as to the chargers I have installed (xantrex) and probably all marine chargers are hardwired to the panel not plug-in. The cheap plug-in chargers you get from Wal-Mart or similar should not be used on a boat - they leak ac and damage batteries if left on continually. You should get a good 3 stage marine charger. A good basic Xantrex charger is here: Xantrex Technology Inc. - Boats - Truecharge 10 & 10TB (90-135 VAC) - Product Information
There are other models available as well with higher amp output.
Brian
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Not only is it a good idea to keep AC & DC circuits separate, ABYC requires that if they co-exist on the same panel, the AC needs to be isolated in such a way (enclosed) as to require a tool or tools to access the circuits within.

It is not required to have a GFI at all, but if you do, ABYC is very specific about it's characteristics.

Howard Keiper
Berkeley
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My new Iota 45amp charger (well respected, not a cheap Wall Mart one) came with a male plug. I could have cut it off and wired it directly, but i liked the idea of being abke to unplug it, so I wired in a receptacle for it. I take it off the boat during winter storage, and bring it inside to charge the batteries, when they are stored (avoid outside feezing temps).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
You don't need a gcfi for the charger as to the chargers I have installed (xantrex) and probably all marine chargers are hardwired to the panel not plug-in. The cheap plug-in chargers you get from Wal-Mart or similar should not be used on a boat - they leak ac and damage batteries if left on continually. You should get a good 3 stage marine charger. A good basic Xantrex charger is here: Xantrex Technology Inc. - Boats - Truecharge 10 & 10TB (90-135 VAC) - Product Information
There are other models available as well with higher amp output.
Brian
Brian:

Thanks so much for the info ... I'm learning alot here and it is starting to come together ... slowly but surely. Your post got me thinking further along as to the 12V DC system and batteries (which I hadn't resolved yet at all). I had been thinking about using 2 ea Trojan T 105s for my battery bank (again I believe thankfully that I don't have an inboard so no need for a starter battery) and the battery charger. I came across this posting late last night/early this morning buried abit further in this forum in a discussion of batteries:

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Corny—

The battery charger is usually sized according to the type and size of the battery bank it is charging. Having too small a battery charger is as bad as having too large a one. Buying a "cheap" charger is generally a really bad idea, since it will often shorten the life of the batteries.

What you need is a good three-stage smart charger. This means that the charger will go through the bulk, absorption and float phases of charging and step the voltage and amperage up/down as the charge level on the battery changes.

You don't say how many amp-hours your battery bank is or what chemistry they are. As a general rule, the battery charger should be 20-25% in amperage capacity of the 20-hour amp-hour rating of the battery bank. For instance, if you have a house bank of two Trojan T105 batteries, that would have a capacity of 225 amp-hours, you'd want a 40-55 amp charger or so.

However, AGM batteries usually have a much higher current acceptance rate, especially some of the newer, more modern technology batteries, like the Optima Spiral cell batteries. In the case of these batteries, you might want a larger charger, due to their higher current acceptance rate in the bulk phase of charging.

You also want a battery charger that can be set for the voltage requirements of the battery chemistry that you're using—wet cell, AGM or gel. Not doing so can drastically shorten the life of the batteries as well.

A good brand of "smart" battery chargers are the Iota brand. They're quite reasonably priced and given their price, it doesn't really make much sense to get a "cheap" 10-amp charger. The 30 amp charger is about $130 and their 40 amp unit is only $145. See this website for more information regarding them.

Well as the main use of my batteries will be for running the bilge pump and the refrigerator (I managed to just pick up an old Norcold DE 400 B which is in excellent shape for $50 - yes I am on a tight budget) along with nav lights and computer AND I sometime after I get this all assembled ... plan to also add a solar panel to charge the batteries ... I figure the 2 Trojan T 105's will work for me. I also checked out the Iota chargers and am now planning on purchasing the DLS 45 with IQ4 Iota DLS-45 12 volt 45 amp regulated battery charger .

Thanks again for the info and thanks also to Sailingdog.

Last edited by Cal28; 07-12-2009 at 11:35 PM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekeip View Post
Not only is it a good idea to keep AC & DC circuits separate, ABYC requires that if they co-exist on the same panel, the AC needs to be isolated in such a way (enclosed) as to require a tool or tools to access the circuits within.

It is not required to have a GFI at all, but if you do, ABYC is very specific about it's characteristics.

Howard Keiper
Berkeley
Howard

Thanks for the info ... searching ABYC at the moment American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) - Welcome
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