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Re: N28-2 factory AC wiring
Be sure to NOT inspect your mains box at your home, or office; you'll find the neutral strapped to ground there as well.
The goal is to insure that a 'free' hot wire that becomes loose, or otherwise conductive to the 'world' will encounter either 'ground' or neutral (which is the SAME thing), and 'almost' instantly blow the mains. The 'ground fault' interrupter wall sockets do the same thing, only much more rapidly, and with a 'trickle' of amperage (If it detects a current even 'through you', it will trip before you are 'tripped' for instance).
Let's say you disconnect the grounding to the your boat's panel neutral... and a Hot side line gets to your engine, or 'ground'. It now has made your entire (formerly floating 'ground' hot; but assuming salt water, then the boat NEXT to you, (and the power company, and the nearest building that has a copper spike bonding THEIR neutral to Earth Ground, (read: nearby saltwater harbor water), will be conducting to YOUR (formerly floating ground), NOW HOT through at least the prop and propshaft... and then issues will occur. If your sink is 'floating', for instance, yet now becomes 'hot' while your engine 'grounded through the prop', then feeling the 'difference' between them could be hazardous to your health... but probably not. Using a properly plugged in power tool from dock-side on your 'craft' (with an active hot on your 'ground', could be fatal however.
[But while we are speaking to 'grounding' however, it would be polite to mention your DC system, usually 24VDC. Your motor starter may dictate the choice of positive or negative ground; FACTOID: Boats will see MUCH LESS corrosion at terminals, and all things 'metal' if you can make the choice of a POSITIVE ground. Airplanes, 4-20 Current Systems, telegraph design during era's gone by, teletype, and MANY Eurpean cars used POSITIVE instead of a Negative ground, which was adopted by U.S. Car Manufacturers 'just to be different.' Go figure.]
Last edited by CaryMcDonald; 12-07-2017 at 04:02 AM.