Well I'm an idiot and fried some electrical. Need some help - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 06-26-2018 Thread Starter
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Well I'm an idiot and fried some electrical. Need some help

I pulled the 2 old house batteries and the starter battery. The house are both wired up to 2 and starter to 1 on the switch.

I put the damn starter battery in backwards and didn't notice. I reversed it's polarity in the process. Turned on to battery 1 and POP sizzle. I look down to see what's up and it's hot and smoking. I shut it all down and realize the mistake.

So I disconnect and reconnect it proper. Turn it on to battery 1 and then all. I hear a faint squeal from the cockpit just barely audible and then notice the alternator is smoking. I shut it off immediately.

So I disconnect the starter battery and try just 2. Same squeal and alternator gets hot again. Shut it down.

When i turn any battery on the squeal appears to be the CHARGE warning on the yanmar control panel.

I need to get this figured to at least have lights.

I'm guessing I can disconnect the alternator and bring it to a shop to fix the diode I'm assuming I fried. I'm hoping I can at least turn lights on then.

Thoughts? Mockery? Have at er
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post #2 of 12 Old 06-26-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Well I'm an idiot and fried some electrical. Need some help

Pulled the alternator and fired up. No more warning bell and no more smoke. Instruments seem ok. No way to test the engine with the alternator out so hopefully I didn't fry anything other than the alternator on it. What a night.
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post #3 of 12 Old 06-27-2018
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Re: Well I'm an idiot and fried some electrical. Need some help

I have a question. Since the positive and negative battery posts or studs are different sizes, couldn't you tell when you were putting the cables on the studs or posts that something was wrong?

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
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post #4 of 12 Old 06-27-2018
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Re: Well I'm an idiot and fried some electrical. Need some help

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Originally Posted by Guyfromthenorth View Post
Pulled the alternator and fired up. No more warning bell and no more smoke. Instruments seem ok. No way to test the engine with the alternator out so hopefully I didn't fry anything other than the alternator on it. What a night.
Take the alternator to an automotive shop like Autozone or something and have it bench tested.

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post #5 of 12 Old 06-27-2018
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Re: Well I'm an idiot and fried some electrical. Need some help

Hey,

The pos and neg on any battery I have ever used have always been same size. What batteries do you have?

Barry


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I have a question. Since the positive and negative battery posts or studs are different sizes, couldn't you tell when you were putting the cables on the studs or posts that something was wrong?

Barry Lenoble
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post #6 of 12 Old 06-27-2018
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Re: Well I'm an idiot and fried some electrical. Need some help

I've seen both- pos/neg lugs being the same size and I've seen the negative lug being a slightly smaller size but it still doesn't stop you if you *really* are determined to connect the battery backwards. All you do, is either spread the cable lug wider or clamp it down until it deforms and conforms around the smaller lug.

Sh!t happens. Next time, feel with your fingers for the raised + or - on the battery case before connecting the cables.
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post #7 of 12 Old 06-27-2018
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Re: Well I'm an idiot and fried some electrical. Need some help

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Hey,

The pos and neg on any battery I have ever used have always been same size. What batteries do you have?

Barry
You may not have noticed it, but I think if you check out your batteries, you'll see that they are indeed different sizes and as mentioned by Ajax_MD, "if you *really* are determined to connect the battery backwards, all you do, is either spread the cable lug wider or clamp it down until it deforms and conforms around the smaller lug."
If I remember correctly, the positive studs use 9/16" nuts and the negatives use ˝" nuts. The posts are also different, and quality lugs for each are usually labeled + and - and if these have studs they also use 9/16" nuts on the positives and the negatives use ˝" nuts.
I've found this standard on all battery sizes from group 27 through 8D. Perhaps side studded batteries are not this way, but all top connecting batteries I've used are, even car batteries.

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post #8 of 12 Old 06-27-2018
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Re: Well I'm an idiot and fried some electrical. Need some help

Agree with Capta. Not only are the terminals 2 different sizes, so are the lugs on the ends of the cables so they match..Colour code is handy too. If a backyard expert put all the parts together maybe a close look at the greater picture is in order. Common is the practice of cleaning out and off the corrosion with a jackknife .Eventually you crimp with visegripes and a mallet. If cables just have lug to a fitting on the post, Colour coding big red tape may be helpful and cheaper than diodes.

Last edited by Capt Len; 06-27-2018 at 05:55 PM.
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post #9 of 12 Old 06-27-2018
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Re: Well I'm an idiot and fried some electrical. Need some help

Just be glad you didn't put the battery switch in BOTH. You probably would have had a battery explode.

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post #10 of 12 Old 06-27-2018
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Re: Well I'm an idiot and fried some electrical. Need some help

Hey,

This is from Deka:
http://www.eastpennmanufacturing.com...10-17_FULL.pdf
Molded-in offset SAE post and vertical 5/16" NEG.,
5/16" POS. stainless steel studs & hex nuts

This is from Trojan
http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/dat...ata_Sheets.pdf
Wingnut Terminal
Terminal Height Inches (mm)
1.50 (38)
Torque Values in-lb (Nm)
95 – 105 (11 – 12)
Bolt
5/16”

I guess some batteries have different sized terminals but I haven't seen any. My interstate batteries use the same size lugs.

Barry

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