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Old 08-07-2013, 15:34   #1
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Could it be the breaker?

The anchor light went out this weekend and I abhor going aloft. Do breakers frequently fail? I found an old breaker on the boat that appeared to have been for the anchor light, giving me hope that it had been replaced and that they sometimes fail.

Going up would give me a chance to switch to LED, but for now I would really just rather not. I suppose I could jump the breaker to see if the light comes on, but I won't be back out there until the weekend. Knowing there's at least a chance that it's the breaker might alleviate some heartburn.
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Old 08-07-2013, 15:45   #2
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Re: Could it be the breaker?

Not all that often. But bulbs do burn out or corrode.

I would suggest checking the breaker before going up the mast anyway though.
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Old 08-07-2013, 15:50   #3
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Re: Could it be the breaker?

Yes, of course there's a chance it's the breaker. But, it's a very slim one: breakers don't fail that often, especially not in low-amperage applications like the anchor light.

Put a multimeter across the wires to the anchor lite. Use the beeper function (for short circuit). If it buzzes, then the light and wiring are OK. If it doesn't, then either the wiring or the bulb are bad. If you had a TDR, you could know which without going up the mast, but you'd likely have to go up anyway to fix whatever's wrong.

Also, while you're at it, read the voltage at the input and output of the breaker.

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Old 08-07-2013, 15:53   #4
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Re: Could it be the breaker?

Put one lead of your voltmeter on ground the other on the hot side of the breaker and see 12 volts, now put it on the switched side with the breaker on. 12 volts, breaker good, 0 volts breaker bad. 0 volts on hot side of breaker, something else upstream bad.

No voltmeter, get a light bulb and hook two wires to it.
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Old 08-07-2013, 15:58   #5
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Re: Could it be the breaker?

Jump the breaker contacts with a piece of wire. If the light comes on, the breaker is bad.
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:27   #6
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Re: Could it be the breaker?

The part that is bad will be the most difficult to fix for any given boat..
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Old 09-07-2013, 13:20   #7
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Re: Could it be the breaker?

Every boat that anchors overnight should have an emergency anchor light.

They are designed to hang, usually in the fore triangle and can be made up yourself.

Bebi make a commercial version.

LED Anchor Light-Waterproof & Rugged for Marine RV and Offgrid Use

One of these old solve your immediate problem and provide a backup for the future.
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Old 09-07-2013, 13:43   #8
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Re: Could it be the breaker?

I want to beat the person that thought "Hey, lets put a light way up there so we can put our lives at risk to change it". As one person pointed out on another thread you cannot see it against a city back drop. I say we all mutiny and refuse to do it. Just put a light or series of lights on the railings. In my marina I have 2 garden variety led solar lights. Why??? I am at the end of the dock that is on a river that is not that well lit up and I am waiting for some drunk in a Donzi to come by at 90 MPH at night.
What was the question again? Oh yeah, its the beaker......
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Old 09-07-2013, 14:48   #9
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Re: Could it be the breaker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Every boat that anchors overnight should have an emergency anchor light.

They are designed to hang, usually in the fore triangle and can be made up yourself.

Bebi make a commercial version.

LED Anchor Light-Waterproof & Rugged for Marine RV and Offgrid Use

One of these old solve your immediate problem and provide a backup for the future.
Best anchor lights going! And a lifetime warranty. I wire my own and hang it from the foretriangle. To protect the wiring I add a short piece of pvc pipe.
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:24   #10
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Re: Could it be the breaker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Stocking View Post
Jump the breaker contacts with a piece of wire. If the light comes on, the breaker is bad.
If the wire melts the breaker was good.
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