[Electrics] Switching from glass inline fuses to buss bar-style - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-11-2008 Thread Starter
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[Electrics] Switching from glass inline fuses to buss bar-style

In dissembling my pilothouse roof prepartory to its removal to get the engine out, I have been gratified to see that the PO secured the wire looms nicely, went big on the gauges and generally did a very tidy job of it. The DC panel is clean, as well, but sports glass inline fuses.

What are the pros and cons of switching to Buss-style terminal fuses versus sticking with the glass ones? I am trying to avoid the issue of sea air silently corroding my wiring in hard to reach places.
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-11-2008
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There really isn't much of a problem with the glass-in-line fuses, provided he used marine-grade fuses and fuse holders. If it is working, why change it out?

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I worded the initial post incorrectly, I think. What I meant to ask if there is any advantage to switching from a glass fuse to a "metal strip" fuse for low-draw, switchable (on a circuit breaker) circuits, such as for nav electronics, lights, etc. I am fairly clear on where and when to put in the honking big fuses and terminal blocks, but am less sure about keeping little glass fuses installed.
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-11-2008
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I prefer the ATO/ATC style fuses versus the glass ones..easier to store and the amps are color coded...as for corrosion...if you have a bus designed for marine use - should be ok, no matter which style you have. When I re-wired I went for this :



Which works nicely - and less than 50 bucks...




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Originally Posted by Valiente View Post
I worded the initial post incorrectly, I think. What I meant to ask if there is any advantage to switching from a glass fuse to a "metal strip" fuse for low-draw, switchable (on a circuit breaker) circuits, such as for nav electronics, lights, etc. I am fairly clear on where and when to put in the honking big fuses and terminal blocks, but am less sure about keeping little glass fuses installed.

-- Jody

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valiente-

On my boat, I have installed a switch panel that controls the individual light circuits that has fuses for each individual light. This is fed by a single line coming off of my DC circuit breaker panel.

The reason I did this, is partially due to the limited space on the circuit breaker panel I have on my boat, and partially to make the lighting switch setup simpler.

The switch panel I am using uses mini blade (ATM) fuses, and like the glass tube fuses, these allow you to visually see if the fuse is blown very easily. I think that is a significant advantage.



This allows me to tailor the different circuits for the different light fixtures. For instance, the LED masthead anchor/tricolor doesn't require anything close to 15 amps... so each of those switches has a 1 amp fuse. The mast-mounted foredeck light uses considerably more power, and has a five amp fuse, and so on.

I hope this helps.

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Last edited by sailingdog; 01-11-2008 at 01:37 PM.
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sd, art-
Where did you get those fuse blocks? Brand name?

Valiente-
The only problem with the glass ("old" US automotive type) fuses is that they can fail without any visible sign. The wire is soldered inside each of the end caps, it can corrode and break free and still look perfectly good. That, and sometimes the glass breaks and cuts you when removing them.
They are also getting harder to find, as cars no longer use them.

I also like the ATC/ATO type, because they are cheap and easy to find, and there are no solder points to fail or glass to break. What many folks don't realize is that if you look at the top of the fuse, on either side of the number there is a tiny hole in the plastic. That's no accident, it is there so you can run a test light or meter down both sides of the fuses to check for supply power, and good/blown fuse. (Oh duh!) It is an intentional access hole.
And if you really want to go deluxe...there are ATO/ATC "Fuses for dummies" out there. Honest, they have a little red LED installed that lights up when the fuse has blown!

I still prefer breakers to fuses (with the addition of a fast-blow fuse on each instrument) but I know, those breaker prices add up quickly.
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West-Marine is where I purchased mine - but any place that carries the Blue Sea Systems brand should have them.

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HS-

The block artbyjody posted a photo of is one I use on my boat for the solar panels, among other things, and is available anywhere that sells the Blue Sea panels and blocks, including Defender, Sailnet, and WM. The switch panel I posted a photo of has each switch fused individually, and is basically a step up from the fuse block in some ways... and is also by Blue Sea. The panel is splash proof, so it could be installed in the cockpit as well.

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Thanks. Somehow I managed not to look at the BS or WM catalogs for electricals this year, they introduced that one since I last really looked at what they had.
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