110 wiring light switch without wire nuts? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 24 Old 12-21-2009
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Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
Thanks for the tips. I only use double jacketed, tinned, stranded wire for my 110 volt stuff ($$$). As for the breaker, I already have miles of wire running around and I don't expect the two devices will trip it. The 40amp battery charger would only draw 3A or so. A combination of lazyness (I hate running wire) and cost move me to try it with the 15A breaker first. If I find it is tripping, I'll replace the breaker with a 20A one.



Even though I've found a solution with the water resistant wire-nuts, it still leaves me wondering, how does the rest of the world wire up a standard 110v light switch. Do they use wire nuts for the white wires, or something else....

MedSailor
I've never seen anyone install a 110AC switch in a boat. All circuits pass through breakers which double as switches. As for you using a 15 amp breaker to handle both the charger and water heater make sure you're within the working standard amp loads. Running at or near capacity will stress your circuit. A poor connection can heat up and cause a fire before the breaker ever trips. Additionally stepping up to a 20 amp breaker is OK only if your wiring is rated for 20 amps. Otherwise you're just asking for a fire. Do it right and run a separate ciruit to each device. Your self admitted laziness may cost you your boat or worse.
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post #12 of 24 Old 12-21-2009
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yes the rest of the world uses wirenuts, but they dont have some of the issues we do on boats. i am a sparky in real life, my one suggestion is if you do want to use wirenuts on a boat put some anti sieze in the wirenut before the wires, to stop the corrosion. but you would be better with butt splice crimps. also as someone said after the wirenut is tightened you could use liquid tape to seal it.

it would probably last the life of the boat but the next owner may not like it, and it is not good marine wiring practice.
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post #13 of 24 Old 12-22-2009 Thread Starter
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Do it right and run a separate ciruit to each device. Your self admitted laziness may cost you your boat or worse.
Running a separate circuit for EVERY device is not "doing it right". Is a house wired that way? Hell no, it's not practical. Most "marine" 110 panels only have one or two circuits, yet they might power a multitude of devices and outlets. I currently have 5 circuits (and growing) on a 41ft boat which is already well into the realm of overkill IMHO. Besides, what's so bad about a switch?

Thanks for the tip about the wire sizing, I know that is important and have already checked that my wiring is sized for 20 amp so it should be fine.

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post #14 of 24 Old 12-22-2009
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My boat is 27'. My AC panel has the double pole breaker and 6 additional breakers, all 15 amp. One is for the charger and 4 are used for GCFI outlets, 1 per breaker with one spare. All stranded tinned wire. 10 gauge from the shorepower inlet to the panel and 14 gauge to each outlet and the charger. I don't see this as overkill at all.
Water heaters draw about 10 amps (Raritan). I don't know where you are getting the 3 amps or so for the charger as a Xantrex 40 amp charger draws up to 12 amps with 8.5 amps typical. So 20 amps won't be enough. They should be on their own breakers and if you're insured I would bet that they would agree. In any case I've seen too many boats burn from electrical issues not to do it properly.
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post #15 of 24 Old 12-22-2009
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Check fisrt with your insurance company! In the US most insurance companies default to the surveyor or ABYC standards. Installing switches in an AC circuit other than at the panel for energizing purposes is not in-line with the ABYC E-11 standards. Your insurance company may not look to keenly upon this type of installation should you cause an on-board fire and they may even deny coverage..

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABYC E-11
11.5.3.7. Individual circuits shall not be capable of being energized by more than one source of electrical power at a time. Each shore power inlet, generator, or inverter is a separate source of electrical power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABYC E-11
11.5.3.7.2. A means for disconnecting all power sources from the load shall be provided at the same location.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABYC E-11
11.16.3.6. Twist on connectors, i.e., wire nuts, shall not be used.

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 12-22-2009 at 07:54 AM.
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post #16 of 24 Old 12-22-2009
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Doing it right

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Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
Running a separate circuit for EVERY device is not "doing it right". Is a house wired that way? Hell no, it's not practical. Most "marine" 110 panels only have one or two circuits, yet they might power a multitude of devices and outlets. I currently have 5 circuits (and growing) on a 41ft boat which is already well into the realm of overkill IMHO. Besides, what's so bad about a switch?

Thanks for the tip about the wire sizing, I know that is important and have already checked that my wiring is sized for 20 amp so it should be fine.

MedSailor
A boat is not a house and consequently not wired the same either. An additional consideration is resale value. If you don't wire per standards it will never pass a survey and nobody in their right mind would buy it. But hey it's your boat and your butt so do what you want.
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post #17 of 24 Old 12-22-2009
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Going to butt into your thread MedSailor, hope you don't mind. I am wiring new cabin lights into my boat, It requires the joining together of 2 14g wires with 1 (I'm guessing) 18g wire on the light fixture. How do I butt splice this big of a drop off? I haven't found step down units that can handle this.

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post #18 of 24 Old 12-22-2009
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Perma-Seal™ Step Down Butt Splice Connectors 22-19 AWG to 16-14 AWG

On my boat they used small terminal strips with a cover ?

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post #19 of 24 Old 12-22-2009 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Check fisrt with your insurance company! In the US most insurance companies default to the surveyor or ABYC standards. Installing switches in an AC circuit other than at the panel for energizing purposes is not in-line with the ABYC E-11 standards. Your insurance company may not look to keenly upon this type of installation should you cause an on-board fire and they may even deny coverage..
Now this is interesting. ABYC states that you can't install a 110 switch, ever? Can you point me to where it says that? Thanks for the wire-nut ABYC reference, I thought that was the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABYC E-11
11.5.3.7. Individual circuits shall not be capable of being energized by more than one source of electrical power at a time. Each shore power inlet, generator, or inverter is a separate source of electrical power.

--By installing a switch I am not creating a situation where more than one SOURCE of power can be supplied. The only way either the heater or charger gets power is from the shore power, as I don't have a generator or inverter. So I think I'm good here as well.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ABYC E-11
11.5.3.7.2. A means for disconnecting all power sources from the load shall be provided at the same location.

--I think I'm in compliance here too, as I can flip the breaker and thus disconnect "all power sources" from the load. I do find this reg confusing though as it references "all power sources" yet the one above states that there should only be one source.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABYC E-11
11.16.3.6. Twist on connectors, i.e., wire nuts, shall not be used.

--This one I'm definitely in violation of, even with a waterproof wire-nut.

So how does one wire up a simple light switch??? I used to boat on a friend's 2million dollar yacht and you can be sure we weren't turning on every 110v fixture at the breaker panel.

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post #20 of 24 Old 12-22-2009 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
My boat is 27'. My AC panel has the double pole breaker and 6 additional breakers, all 15 amp. One is for the charger and 4 are used for GCFI outlets, 1 per breaker with one spare. All stranded tinned wire. 10 gauge from the shorepower inlet to the panel and 14 gauge to each outlet and the charger. I don't see this as overkill at all.
Water heaters draw about 10 amps (Raritan). I don't know where you are getting the 3 amps or so for the charger as a Xantrex 40 amp charger draws up to 12 amps with 8.5 amps typical. So 20 amps won't be enough. They should be on their own breakers and if you're insured I would bet that they would agree. In any case I've seen too many boats burn from electrical issues not to do it properly.
Brian, thanks for the specs. I don't know where all that power is going, as 40A at 12V is equal to just over 4A at 110V. Seems like a lot of loss to me... Since it does draw more than I though I might end up flipping the 15A breaker, and if 20 isn't enough, it's surely another reason to install another circuit.

MJBrown: Can you go into more detail though on where you see the fire danger? You mentioned loose wires or bad connections causing fire without ever tripping the breaker? Can you explain that some more? Loose wires and breakers not tripping before a fire sounds like a problem that I need to be aware of regardless of how many circuits I have. Aren't poor connections a separate issue (that I have hopefully avoided)?

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