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Old 03-05-2017, 11:49   #1
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Breaker or switch on main panel

On my 380 S2 I have a main electrical panel above the nav station. It has a bunch of switches for the water pump, nav lights, electronics, cabin lights, refrig, bilge pump, steaming lights, etc. It also has the panel meter to show the battery volt, water and fuel tank capacity.

Are those switches just switches, or are they breakers?

Below this panel, next to the stairs there is also a cutout which has a din rail bus bar. On that bar is a bunch of resettable fuses (breakers).

I am not sure if some of the devices on the main panel are just switched, and then go the breakers? So if my refrig shorts, does it turn off on the panel, or down on the bus bar?

One reason I am asking is that I am looking at putting in another refrig in the cockpit, and need to know if I used a spare on the main panel, then I would need a separate fuse/breaker somewhere else or not. Thanks.
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Old 03-05-2017, 14:27   #2
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Re: Breaker or switch on main panel

Look on the back of the panel. It will be quite obvious if they are breakers.
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Old 03-05-2017, 16:44   #3
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Re: Breaker or switch on main panel

The switches on the lower left side are labeled for AC. They look like ordinary toggle-type circuit breakers which can also be used as switches to turn circuits on and off.

The ones on the right side appear to me at first to be push button type circuit breakers where you push the button to reset a tripped breaker. However, you seem to indicate that you use them as switches so they would then probably be just push on/push off switches. There may well be a combination on/off switch push button circuit breakers but I am not familiar with that type.

Your picture looks like it came from your boat's manual. I would think it would explain the operation of the panel, especially given the reference numbers to each part.

Putting another circuit on the existing panel might be a problem and not possible. You might be able to drill a hole in it on a spot with room on the back for an identical type of switch/breaker but that is not obvious. It would be hard to make it look like it "fits" with the look and labeling compared to the others. I would look for another place to put the breaker/switch, perhaps on the other bus you mentioned or on a separate small panel. You can get them for any number of circuits, from one to more.
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Old 03-05-2017, 23:34   #4
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Re: Breaker or switch on main panel

I hate those French /euro panels. The ones in the right are only switches. Often there are fuses in the circuit board behind the panel. The left are ac breakers
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:00   #5
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Re: Breaker or switch on main panel

SMAC, thanks. I think you hit. the AC ones are probably breakers. The DC are not push button breakers, they act mechanically like a switch. There is a bus bar with resettable fuses a few feet away, but wiring is hidden so not easy to see. My thought was that these are switches that then went to to the bus bar with the blade type resettable fuses/breakers.

My next question is now that I want to put in another device that I do want a switch for, can you recommend an inexpensive panel, say with 2 to 4 slots that has a breaker type switch? Blue seas has switches for $100, then i need to run this to the bus bar. I would rather just lead the 12V up to a breaker on a panel.
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Old 04-05-2017, 12:39   #6
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Re: Breaker or switch on main panel

Blue sea do a four switch/cb panel that in uk cost £34 which probably means it is about $30 in the US. The switches are also CBs (if the light goes out when it is switched on, it has tripped and you just turn it of and on again to reset) they are made by Carling and are rated at 8 Amps@12volts. If you fridge does not draw more than 8 amps on startup , you only need to ensure your new wiring to the fridge is good for 8 Amps plus and your good to go.
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Old 04-05-2017, 12:57   #7
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Re: Breaker or switch on main panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martkimwat View Post
Blue sea do a four switch/cb panel that in uk cost £34 which probably means it is about $30 in the US. The switches are also CBs (if the light goes out when it is switched on, it has tripped and you just turn it of and on again to reset) they are made by Carling and are rated at 8 Amps@12volts. If you fridge does not draw more than 8 amps on startup , you only need to ensure your new wiring to the fridge is good for 8 Amps plus and your good to go.
Wow. If you can send me a link to that, I would be greatly appreciative. I downloaded the whole catalog and looked at panels earlier. The least expensive is this 3 position one with 3 breakers for $110USD

https://www.bluesea.com/products/802..._-_3_Positions

I was hoping to find just a blank panel and put in what sized I want.
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:12   #8
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Re: Breaker or switch on main panel

Here you go Jbini, I bought mine from Force Four Chandlery in Chichester, West Sussex but I'm sure you will find it elsewhere. As a matter of interest, I checked and it was actually cheaper to buy the panel complete and do what you want to do (mount one of the switches in my own panel) than to try to buy the switches separately. I think if I remember correctly, the switches worked out at £15 each, whereas the whole panel complete was £32 (now gone up to £34 due to drop in value of the pound) Means I have some spares to use elsewhere as well.

Blue Sea 4 Switch Circuit Breaker Panel Force 4 Chandlery

Good luck.

Martin
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