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stiffwind 09-07-2012 11:43 PM

AC power switch
I recently had a yard install an inverter/battery charger. I now notice that my main AC power switch is not functional, meaning as soon as I plug into shore power the AC amp meter shows power to the boat. Is there some good reason why the AC power switch was rendered defunct???

Faster 09-08-2012 12:34 AM

Re: AC power switch
Sounds like you need to get a wiring diagram of what the yard did, or dig out a flashlight and sort it out for yourself. Or you have a problem switch...

DannyboyUpstate 09-08-2012 06:30 AM

I agree with Faster. A wiring diagram would help, but you can start by using a VOM to check for power at the switch when on shore power.

svzephyr44 09-08-2012 09:25 AM

Re: AC power switch
They wired it wrong. The 110V input to the inverter/charger should be after the shore power switch.

mitiempo 09-08-2012 10:28 PM

Re: AC power switch

Originally Posted by svzephyr44 (Post 919769)
They wired it wrong. The 110V input to the inverter/charger should be after the shore power switch.

I agree. They probably routed the AC input directly to the inverter and then on to the panel breakers, forgetting the double pole main breaker that should be before the inverter.

Kajungizmo 09-09-2012 11:49 AM

Re: AC power switch
At the very least, contact the yard and have the person who did the actual work explain (in great detail) what they did if you were not present during the installation. If you paid someone to do this work, they should be responsible for correcting their mistakes.
The previous responses sounds like the most likely explanation to what has happened.

stiffwind 09-10-2012 12:55 PM

Re: AC power switch
Let me tell you why I will not go back to the yard for answers. They have a pattern of sloppy, and inaccurate work that shows poor judgment and the consistent refusal to take responsibility.
While the boat was at the yard for about a month, and was 3 hours drive from me, I had them do some work so that I could use my vacation to use the boat instead of work on her.
They replaced the fuel lift pump on my Yanmar 3GM30. No big deal.
They replaced all my cooling hoses, flushed the heat exchanger, and installed a new hot water heater.
They installed the Watchmate 850 AIS from Vesper, and a new active splitter that Vesper sells to compliment sharing the vhf attenna.
They installed a new 1,500watt AIMs smart inverter/charger.

Nothing was done right in my opinion.
I arrived at the yard on a Saturday and planned to depart on Sunday. I had reviewed the work and bill with yard on telephone because they were not avail on the weekend in July!!!The first night I arrived I had to turn the new inverter off because it was so hot I was afraid of a fire. Turned out it was set up on a wrong setting that prevented it from switching to "float" charge mode. Now, I realize that the wiring may be all wrong per your replies (thanks sailnet). For those who offered some advice on the wiring scheme...they also added a dial type battery switch installed in one of my cockpit lockers which I understand is the main battery feed to the inverter. Then they also have an "INVERTER" toggle on the AC Panel that is only functional when I have the Main AC Panel Switch ON. AS I said, that Main AC Panel switch does not function any longer to feed the shore power because the shore power amp meter shows power even as soon as the boat is pugged in even thought the switch is off. Then the inverter itself has "on-off", and power save mode switch. Any further suggestions on how this set up should best be wired would be appreciated.
30 min. out of the slip the engine began stalling (fuel starved). Had to return for the yard to troubleshoot for a couple hours which consisted of bleeding air, by filling the racor filter with fuel that they said was being lost? No fuel leaking! I never had the problem again after leaving so I assume the bleeding corrected the problem. Yard manager said since the fuel lift pump they installed was working properly, they did not take responsibility for the stalling (never had stalling problem before their work opening the fuel line!)
Since we had the delays in leaving could only reach Annapolis where we stayed the night. Discovered coolant leaking from one of the new hose connections they installed, AND the engine was overheating, and throwing coolant to the reserve tank. We had to keep rpm Cape May, the engine overheat alarm sounded and we had to stop, cool down, add water, and keep rpm low to finish trip later that night. I had an experienced marine mechanic check out the cooling system and he filled with coolant and made sure the hot water tank coolant was also filled, thus eliminating any air in the system and the engine now appears to be operating within normal temperature again.
When they installed the AIS, and new splitter, they left the old splitter in place!! The old splitter was installed near the bottom of the mast in a settee bench with a switch that could be accessed and was visible from the main cabin down on the settee bench. I was puzzled why anyone would leave the old splitter operational and install the new splitter at the Nav Table, behind my flush mounted VHF radio, inside the teak bulkhead panel where it could not be seen or accessed without removing a part of the Nav Table panelling!!! Plus the new Splitter had an LED feature which could identify were problems were located...of course you could not see the LED where the splitter was installed. The yard's excuse was they did not know there was a splitter in the boat?? They could have asked, or they could have looked where the vhf cable came in from the bottom of my keel stepped mast and would have seen the splitter staring them right in the face.
That's not all...the self-test on the new AIS shows there is an antenna problem, although the AIS is picking up targets and sending targets to my chartplotter.
The yard takes no responsibility for the Splitter fiasco, they say it all works anyway (they may take a different view if they had bought the new splitter for $250 to replace a 20 year old shakespeare) I have a new splitter which is going through my old splitter to the antenna...does anybody understand this judgment or oversight, or am I missing something.
So you can see why I can't afford to go back to the Yard for questions...I don't trust anything they tell me...and I haven't told you guys everything else they did wrong.!

svzephyr44 09-10-2012 03:58 PM

Re: AC power switch
You spent too much money to walk away. BTW, I would name the yard and save others the same grief.

mitiempo 09-11-2012 03:47 PM

Re: AC power switch
2 Attachment(s)
There are several ways to install an inverter with a transfer switch. The incoming shorepower first goes to a double pole breaker - your main breaker. One of the breakers on the panel feeds the inverter AC input. The inverter AC output can go to a sub-panel that only has breakers for those items the inverter is expected to power - my preferred choice.

Another option is to go from the double pole main to the inverter AC input and then feed the whole panel from the inverter. This means that items like the water heater have to be off when using the inverter.

The battery switch they added on the DC input (positive cable I hope:)) does make sense. There should be a fuse in the positive cable to the inverter as well - either a T class or ANL.

Below are 2 diagrams showing the wiring options described above.

stiffwind 09-21-2012 02:28 AM

Re: AC power switch
Brian, Thanks for the input and diagrams.

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