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Old 20-12-2012, 15:44   #1
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Finding a Phantom Load

This story is a bit embarrassing but then so are many of the other posts in this forum. There may be a lesson here for someone but hopefully you all are more observant than I was.

While restoring systems to service on our catamaran after 6 months of dry storage for hurricane season, I noticed that when energizing the port hull lighting at the master breaker, a load of about 1.5 amps showed up on the digital ammeter with all the lights and fans off. Cycling the on/off switches in both cabins and the head produced the expected current draw with each load. Very distressed, I assumed there was a partial ground on a supply wire to one of the light switches or in one of the fans, which would require laborious removal of paneling and insulation. For two weeks I worried about the damage to the interior that would occur while tracking down the phantom load. I was about to call in technical support but this morning while trying to free up the air conditioning sea water pump, I noticed that the switch on the light in the port engine room was in a strange position. (Of course the French donít label their switches and opposite to U.S. convention, the handle goes down to turn on the light.) After discovering the out of position switch, I immediately went to the master control panel and energized the port hull lights. Sure enough, the engine room light was on, drawing 1.4 amps. Turning off the light easily solved the problem and put my mind at a much needed rest.

The engine room lights are used so seldom that I frequently forget they are even there. Obviously in this case, totally forgotten.
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Old 20-12-2012, 15:49   #2
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Re: Finding a Phantom Load

Hooray! ... for procrastinating on tearing into the paneling.
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Old 20-12-2012, 21:30   #3
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Re: Finding a Phantom Load

how long is it gonna take before you do that again?
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