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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems > Refrigerator off main breaker?
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Thread: Refrigerator off main breaker? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-02-2013 06:56 AM
GrahamO Brad,
What are you using to voltage control the relay? I was thinking of doing this for the watermaker to make use of surplus solar power.

Graham

Quote:
(I sometimes have a relay in line with the thermostat, when the bateries hit 13.5 volts, the compressor runs and at high speed. It works great in the summer to store extra energy. When the relay is connected, it means I have to pull the fuse. I ought to make a switch for the thermostat/relay variations, but I'm still not done designing it so the fridge doesn't get too cold.)

Regards,
Brad
10-02-2013 06:48 AM
GrahamO
Refrigerator off main breaker?

Thanks MS and thanks for all the other great information you have posted elsewhere. It has been a great help to me. If you are ever down in Portsmouth or Kittery let me know and I will happily buy you a beer or dinner.

Graham
10-01-2013 10:03 PM
Maine Sail
Re: Refrigerator off main breaker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrahamO View Post
Thanks MS,
I was not quite clear. The fridge will be off the house bank but not through the main isolation switch. It will have its own isolation switch.

I'm definitely not thinking of extended periods. Just things like going ashore for the day where I would like to turn off the bulk of the electrics but leave the fridge running.

Does that sound OK?

Graham
That is fine. I thought you were talking about leaving it on a mooring during the week etc...
10-01-2013 09:53 PM
GrahamO Thanks MS,
I was not quite clear. The fridge will be off the house bank but not through the main isolation switch. It will have its own isolation switch.

I'm definitely not thinking of extended periods. Just things like going ashore for the day where I would like to turn off the bulk of the electrics but leave the fridge running.

Does that sound OK?

Graham

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post


Graham,

Sure you can do that but there is always risk. I am not a huge fan of powering loads from only solar or wind when away from the boat for extended periods.

A lot of fridge manufacturers want to see their appliance run straight to the house bank due to so many issues with voltage drop. So long as you have a fuse that meets the AIC rating for your bank you will be fine.
10-01-2013 11:12 AM
Maine Sail
Re: Refrigerator off main breaker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrahamO View Post
I am just installing a new fridge system. The old one is tied to the main breaker but I am considering going direct from the battery through its own breaker so we could leave it on with the rest of the boat off. Is this OK?

It is for long term cruising and we have a very well insulated (4 1/2"+) refrigerator and 400w of solar.

Advice appreciated as always.

Thanks

Graham
Graham,

Sure you can do that but there is always risk. I am not a huge fan of powering loads from only solar or wind when away from the boat for extended periods.

A lot of fridge manufacturers want to see their appliance run straight to the house bank due to so many issues with voltage drop. So long as you have a fuse that meets the AIC rating for your bank you will be fine.
09-30-2013 11:57 PM
Bene505
Re: Refrigerator off main breaker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrahamO View Post
Thanks Brad,
Do you have a switch that allows you to isolate the refrigerator?

Graham
No, I pull the fuse or turn the thermostat off.

(I sometimes have a relay in line with the thermostat, when the bateries hit 13.5 volts, the compressor runs and at high speed. It works great in the summer to store extra energy. When the relay is connected, it means I have to pull the fuse. I ought to make a switch for the thermostat/relay variations, but I'm still not done designing it so the fridge doesn't get too cold.)

Regards,
Brad
09-30-2013 01:11 AM
GrahamO Thanks Brad,
Do you have a switch that allows you to isolate the refrigerator?

Graham

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bene505 View Post
We use a dedicated fuse for the fridge, wired directly to the battery. Fuses cause less voltage drop than circuit breakers. Our fridge is always on.

Actually, our compressor is well aft, far from the house bank and right near the shore power charger. I use the (now disconnected) shore power charger's wire. It's 6 gauge. Then I have the fridge fuse coming off that, to a short-ish 14 or 16 gauge wire. 5 amps load. Seafrost says to make sure the compressor gets good power.

Regards,
Brad
09-30-2013 12:20 AM
Bene505
Re: Refrigerator off main breaker?

We use a dedicated fuse for the fridge, wired directly to the battery. Fuses cause less voltage drop than circuit breakers. Our fridge is always on.

Actually, our compressor is well aft, far from the house bank and right near the shore power charger. I use the (now disconnected) shore power charger's wire. It's 6 gauge. Then I have the fridge fuse coming off that, to a short-ish 14 or 16 gauge wire. 5 amps load. Seafrost says to make sure the compressor gets good power.

Regards,
Brad
09-29-2013 07:51 PM
mitiempo
Re: Refrigerator off main breaker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Not sure what you mean by not needed. If you mean that separate breakers are not absolutely necessary to safely protect a circuit, I agree.

However, in the event of smelling an electrical fire (the most common form of boat fire), wouldn't you want one master switch to kill it all? In addition, if you're up on the hard or away or just need to kill all parasitic loads, a master is very helpful. That may not be a breaker, but often goes through a kill switch of some kind.
A main breaker is not needed because the house bank should be fused within 7" of the positive post. That fuse will protect the wire to the main switch and from there to the main DC panel, where each circuit has a breaker or fuse which it must have. Whenever the wire size drops a new fuse is required if the main fuse is below the ampacity of the smaller wire.

As I posted a sub panel or fuse block is often used for "always on circuits" like the bilge pump or refrigeration. I also said a switch can be installed to isolate the sub panel or fuse block if desired. It is a good idea but I rarely see it.
09-29-2013 04:45 PM
deniseO30
Re: Refrigerator off main breaker?

Size the breaker per unit specs.. 15 amp.. guessing again..

why is needed information always a secret with people asking for advice?
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