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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have an Airhead Composting Toilet and we've been venting it via a solar powered vent fan, which has conked out. So, I've ordered the vent fan that came with the toilet originally, can't find mine...any way...I need to attach wires for about a 12 foot run from where the fan is to our house battery, which is an Interstate....my questions:

What guage wire should I purchase, for a 12 ft run?

And, I guess I'll just put a connector on the end of the wire and put it on the post of the battery?

Is that it?

Thanks oodles!!
 

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I think I read in the Marine wire code that no wire less then 14ga should be used on boats. There should be some kind of amp rating label on the fan but I guess it would be less then 10 amps
 

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First off, you really should have a fuse or a breaker on any line. As far as what size wire or fuse, it depends upon amperage carried. Look in the head's documentation for that information. Here's a chart to determine wire size once you know the amp amount: http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/amps-wire-gauge-d_730.html

Tod

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
The fan draws .06 amp. So it looks like I should get a 16 gauge wire?

No, a 14 gauge? Because it says to calculate the length from the source to the battery and then back again to the source?
 

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Yes. That's correct. You must calculate to and back so 14 gu. is correct. You can put a fuse in an in-line holder or add a breaker that acts as a switch. Otherwise it's running all the time (unless switched at the fan).


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The fan needs to run all of the time, 24/7....so do I still need the fuse?

Thank you so much for you help! And the chart. I'll remeasure my distance to make sure I have the correct gauge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No, we do not want a fire!

Now I have to learn how to install a fuse. Yikes!!

Can I get a fuse, and an in-line holder, and the 14 gauge wire, all at Lowe's?
 

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It's best to get it at a marine store as it will be tinned for the damp environment. If not available, get one at an auto parts store or even Walmart in the auto department. You will need to have some butt connectors and an electrical crimping tool. The in-line fuse holder is simply a tube that separates and holds a glass fuse. The holder has 2 wires (extending from each end). Install the holder in a convenient spot and put it on the positive side. The positive wire color can be any color but black. The negative should be black. If your batteries have studs with wing nuts get ring connectors that have the size of the stud (probably 1/4") and the wire gauge (14) and crimp them on the the ends so you can neatly attach to the battery. It's very easy tho do, you might get a couple wrong but chalk it up to practice.

Good luck!


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you! I had forgotten about the tinned part, I had discussed this with someone else and they mentioned that. I've made a screen shot of your advise so I can follow it correctly. I'll probably go to the marine works place at our marina and see if they can set me up with everything.

Thank you again!!
 

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Are you in a slip and charging your battery all the time? if not you might want to stick to a solar powered fan. You don't want to show up and find you have a dead battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Delta-T, yes, in a slip.

But, that does lead me to a question....is 0.06 such a small trickle that I could leave my boat for a week or two, unplugged from shore power, and not drain the battery?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Gladrags1 - That is what I was hoping for and what I thought. We are getting ready to be off the boat for 2 weeks here in a bit, and we need that fan to run, but not run down the battery. Otherwise I need to empty the composting part of the toilet. Which is no biggie, just wasteful of the coco peat composting matter.

Thanks!!
 

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To figure it out: .06 x 24 (hrs)= amp hrs per day. Divide total # of amps your batteries have by that number to get # of hrs until your battery bank is drained. If you have 1 group 24 (auto sized battery) that has say 115 amps you have that many hours.


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I would suggest connecting a small, solar panel to the fan - it wouldn't take much of a solar panel to power a fan that only draws .06 amps. You could also connect a small, 12-volt rechargeable battery to the system, so the fan runs continuously. I've done this with a 60mm computer fan and it works like a charm.

If you're going to run it directly from your house battery, that fan could literally run for weeks without bringing down your battery appreciably. And, again, a solar charger on your house batteries will overcome any drain by the fan. You can find inexpensive solar panels that will keep the batteries topped off at lots of online locations. My 100-watt panel sells at Home Depot for $139 and I made the mounting hardware from inexpensive bimini top parts and mounted it on the stern rail. It puts out 5.6 amps in direct sunlight.

Hope this helps,

Gary :cool:
 

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The correct cable to use would be 2 core, red and yellow, 14 gauge boat cable. Two cables with a white sheath for extra protection. Yellow is the official colour for negative DC, now. (not black)

Very bad practice, running cables directly to the battery. This is how old boats end up with terrible, dangerous wiring - one bodge at a time. It should be wired to a breaker in the panel. Note, not a fuse - a re-settable breaker.

Don't you have a breaker panel? Is there a spare breaker? Is there one no longer in use that can be re-purposed?

The connections should be crimped ring terminals, preferably done with a proper ratcheting crimper, not those cheap pliers ones.

I strongly suggest getting this :

http://www.alibris.com/search/books/isbn/9780071462846?ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=9780071462846

It covers wiring and a lot more.
 
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