Simple 15A Shore Power In Small Boat (Looking to install in-line 15A AC Breaker) - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 15 Old 10-30-2012 Thread Starter
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Simple 15A Shore Power In Small Boat (Looking to install in-line 15A AC Breaker)

My Nonsuch 22 has a simple 3 breaker DC panel. The marina I am in has 30A shore power connections. I would like to use a 30A (male) X 15A(female) adapter to supply my battery charger via a commercial grade temp power cord with a GFCI similar to Levition's 69591-W25. I would like to install an in-line breaker after the 30AX15A adapter since the rest of the system is sized for 15A. Does anyone know of a suppiler of 15A in-line breakers that can be used installed in a temp power cord?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-30-2012
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Re: Simple 15A Shore Power In Small Boat (Looking to install in-line 15A AC Breaker)

So you need to build a custom adapter? Does anyone sell these?

I've never heard of inline breakers but inline fuses are common. Consider going with a fuse instead with a breaker in your boat. It's fine to have them in series but if they're rated for the same thing there is no way to guarantee which will blow first - you'd want it to be the breaker.

In general for marine electrical start your search with Bluesea. I don't have AC on my boat but did a rewire using tons of Bluesea stuff. It looks like they have a full line of AC breakers but I don't think you'll find inline ones anywhere.

Circuit Breakers*—*Blue Sea Systems

Also search www.digi-key.com
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-31-2012
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Re: Simple 15A Shore Power In Small Boat (Looking to install in-line 15A AC Breaker)

This might help : Hubbell Adapter HBL105GF 15A-Adapter Hubbell

Brian
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post #4 of 15 Old 10-31-2012
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Re: Simple 15A Shore Power In Small Boat (Looking to install in-line 15A AC Breaker)

When you say the "rest of the system", I may be misled to thinking there is more going on there.

Is it this simple? You want to temporarily run an extension cord from the dock, which has a 3 prong 30a outlet to a portable battery charger that has a standard household plug?

If so, I don't think I would worry about converting the 30a to 15a protection. Your charger itself should have a fuse. I would get a heavy duty extension cord (12g min, but prefer 10g), and a pigtail adapter for the power pole. If this is your plan, you shouldn't leave it plugged in unattended, regardless of how you fuse the line.


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post #5 of 15 Old 10-31-2012
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Re: Simple 15A Shore Power In Small Boat (Looking to install in-line 15A AC Breaker)

The only issue I see is that the 3 prong connector isn't rated for 30A so without an internal fuse the adapter isn't safe. If ns22simple isn't concerned with that, and I'm not sure I would be, then I agree, just do it and trust the charger and/or breaker in the boat.

EDIT, the 10 or 12 awg wire is a good idea, but wouldn't technically take care of the connector issue.

Last edited by asdf38; 10-31-2012 at 08:03 PM.
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post #6 of 15 Old 10-31-2012
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Re: Simple 15A Shore Power In Small Boat (Looking to install in-line 15A AC Breaker)

"The only issue I see is that the 3 prong connector isn't rated for 30A"
So what? If it is connected to a system that can only draw 15A, it will never be exposed to more than 15A. that can be ensured by fitting a 15A protection device on *either* side of the 15A connector, as long as it is in the AC main line so that all current has to flow through it, just as it all flows through the connector. A breaker in this application would probably provide less protection than a fuse, simply because it is easier to find "fast blow" fuses that tolerate less overload for less time.

If the power adapter is going to be used only for the direct connection to supply power to the battery charger, and the battery charger already has a 15A fuse in it, then nothing more is needed. Although I'd add a GFI to the power cord unless the marina's power outlet already has one built in. (And even then, buy one to use at marinas that don't.)
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post #7 of 15 Old 11-01-2012
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Re: Simple 15A Shore Power In Small Boat (Looking to install in-line 15A AC Breaker)

Hello,

To be clear, in this scenario, as I said, I don't think it's a big deal. But as a general principle, you always fuse when stepping down to lower capacity conductors and that's what's happening here. For example, as you well know, it's not ok to run a 16awg wire off your battery and fuse it 20' away. That leaves 20' of fire hazard regardless of the load attached - it's not unsafe for it's intended use, but it's unsafe for UN-intended shorts. In this case, the connector itself and any 15A extension cable is equally exposed. Is this a big danger? No not really, but the principle is what I was trying to get at. Also it seemed like the OP knew this and just wanted to do it right.
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Re: Simple 15A Shore Power In Small Boat (Looking to install in-line 15A AC Breaker)

I agree. The simple analogy is that this is a household extension cord same as you would use for a tv or floor lamp. You don't install a fuse in the extension cord, there's one in the mains to protect the wall, and sometimes one in the end device, but never one in the cord itself. (Not in conventional cords anyway.)

Of course I know firemen who will say that overloaded extension cords cause fires every day, but that's not this limited use.
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post #9 of 15 Old 11-04-2012
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Re: Simple 15A Shore Power In Small Boat (Looking to install in-line 15A AC Breaker)

I installed a 15 amp shore power system. It's all I need and works just great. Found a 15 amp marine shore power box in a consignment store. Regrettably I don't think they're made any more. I got a used 30 amp cord with a broken boat-side end... cheap, and put on a 15 amp end that fit the power box. that feeds two breakers sized for a 15 amp system and by trial and error the lowest that allowed me to run my power drill. One breaker for each wire. They are ganged together so that if one trips the other does as well. I found a design for a galvanic isolator using a diode bridge and built one that carries the ground wire. You have duplicate bridges in case one faile. Remember the isolator diodes have to be able to carry the max circuit current. I ordered mine on-line.
You need the breakers as the 30 amp shore power breaker on the power pole. On thing I did was to mount the power box inside the boat and bring the cable thru a head port. While the box is designed for exterior use I liked it better out of the weather, especially when sailing.

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Puget Sound
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-04-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Simple 15A Shore Power In Small Boat (Looking to install in-line 15A AC Breaker)

Thanks for everyone's responses!

I was looking for a pre-assembled water-tight breaker that I could install after the conductors downsize at the 30A X 15A adapter. I realize that there are adapters with GFCI breakers but GFCIs protect against stray currents (i.e. shorts) and not overloading the circuit. I ultimately desire to have one duplex outlet in the boat that will supply the battery charger and and air dryer during the winter months.

Presently I am looking at a TRC temp powercord that has a GFCI at the male end and a 15A circuit breaker at the outlet box.

Thanks!
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