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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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  #1  
Old 03-07-2012
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Making a good AC ground?

Hi,
We are trying to re-wire some of our AC. We are adding a bus to connect the white(Neutral) and black(hot) wires to.

Then we want to add a new buss to add the earth ground green wires to.

There seems to be the problem, earth ground.

This boat was built in 1978 and the obviously did things different then.
As you look at the pictures you can see the ground bus was accomplished by their two mounting screws contacting the buss bar and thus creating a ground.





Now we were told the the AC ground should be inter twined with the DC ground and or go through the shaft or through hull to ground to water.

Is this too much for a topic here to ask how we to make this AC ground work the correct way for us on our 36í sail boat?

We could also buy a book like Powerboater's Guide to Electrical Systems by Ed Sherman? This will help but not for a while as we would like to get started on this and the expense of the book is a bit of an issue at least this pay period.

Is this really all that complicated?
Thanks,
Chip
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Old 03-07-2012
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Re: Making a good AC ground?

Did you check your public library system for Sherman's book?
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Old 03-07-2012
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Re: Making a good AC ground?

The green AC grounding wire should be connected to the boat's DC ground at one point only.

There should be no connection between the AC neutral wire (white) and the AC grounding wire (green) on the boat. The only connection between these wires should be at the source, i.e., at the shore side supply.

Exception: onboard generators and inverters are considered "an AC source" and often provide grounding for the neutral wire.

Bill
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Old 03-07-2012
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Re: Making a good AC ground?

Chip, in 1978 if you were lucky your household wiring had a dedicated third ground lug, so it is no surprise your boat's AC didn't.

There are different philosophies about whether and how a boat should have a grounding system, versus a bonding system, and whether the AC and DC ground should be run in common, or attached to the bonding system all as one.

I think if you search around on these topics, it will get confusing--and then clear. The decision is yours as to what to run to a common bus, but you certainly can keep it flexible by running any AC grounds to one common point, one bus bar, and then deciding whether or what to join that to.

Of course the proper way to run an AC ground on a boat is by running a suitable gauge cable to a pair of 8' long copper ground bars, and pounding that into the earth next to your anchor. (G)
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Old 03-07-2012
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Re: Making a good AC ground?

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
The green AC grounding wire should be connected to the boat's DC ground at one point only.
What is considered a good DC ground on the boat?
Thanks,
Chip
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Old 03-07-2012
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Re: Making a good AC ground?

Quote:
Originally Posted by -OvO- View Post
Did you check your public library system for Sherman's book?
OK that is a good point, I'll ask my wife (she has a library card) to check it out.
Chip
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Old 03-07-2012
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Re: Making a good AC ground?

It looks like I'll need to do some reading up on this.
I could put in a new ground buss bar and take a #10 wire and run it from the bus and then screw it into the plywood of the boat for now as this is how it has been for 32 years.
Of course the boat did not have a 2000 watt Charger Inverter and other items such as AC.
At least that would get the old buss and bad wires replaced.
We are not using the Charger\Inverter or have finished installing the AC yet so they are not an issue.
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Old 03-07-2012
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Re: Making a good AC ground?

"What is considered a good DC ground on the boat?"
There's often a good substantial bolt on the engine that is directly cabled up to the battery ground. From either one of those points, take another good cable to wherever you want the new "master ground bus" to be.
That often may be next to the master power distribution block, or the battery switch, since all the "two wire" runs can be conveniently terminated on two busses that are almost in the same place.
If you're tying the AC and DC grounds together, that big bolt on the engine probably will also be convenient to the incoming AC power line, making it a more convenient location to tie them. No doubt there's some ABYC spec for just where they want it though.
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Old 03-08-2012
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Re: Making a good AC ground?

It is best to use one ground point on the engine block. From there go to a large bus. The batteries negatives come together at this bus, as does the green ground from the AC system.

From ABYC E-11
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Old 03-08-2012
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Re: Making a good AC ground?

The West Advisor: Marine Grounding Systems
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