Bypassing the Electrical Panel - SailNet Community
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 1 Old 03-15-2001 Thread Starter
Contributing Authors
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 158
Thanks: 0
Thanked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 16
 
Bypassing the Electrical Panel

I recently read that it isn’t necessary to run all electrical connections through the boat’s electrical panel when adding equipment that has its own internal switch. Thus stereos and VHF radios, for instance, might be connected in a way that bypasses the battery switch so that the appliances are always available and controlled solely by their internal switch. Do you agree, and if so, should that connection be made directly at the battery or through a bus bar that is always live?

Don Casey responds:

As a general rule, connecting any circuit directly to your battery is a bad idea. There are exceptions. The starting circuit, for example, is nearly always connected directly to the battery. (This circuit, by the way, is usually defused, but a high-amp fuse in the positive side—now readily available—makes for a safer boat.) The automatic bilge pump is typically connected directly, with a fuse in the positive leg near the battery. Some electronics, particularly Loran, are sometimes connected directly (with a fuse) to minimize interference. And SSB radios may also be connected directly with large cables to maximize the available current for long-range transmission.

Despite these exceptions, I strongly urge you to refrain from using the battery terminals as the power source for additional equipment or circuits. The power to all onboard circuits should originate downstream of the main switch so that in the event of a short or a fire you can disconnect everything with a single switch. A bus bar that is always live represents unnecessary exposure.

If your distribution panel is maxed out, it is a simple matter to install a supplemental panel, located wherever it is convenient. Breaker panels start at around $100, or you can buy a six-circuit switched-fuse panel for about $25. If you don't need switches, a simple enclosed fuse block will serve the purpose. But in all cases, pick up the supply power from the output side of the main battery switch, or better yet downstream of the main breaker if your boat has one, but not from the battery terminal.


Don Casey is offline  
Closed Thread

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is Off
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome