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Old 12-09-2008, 07:48   #1
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Electrical help needed please

I am new into sailing/boating in general and have a question about a distribution panel - or switch panel (whichever you want to call it.) I just picked up a 5amp switch panel that I am going to hook my battery up to it. I know it is on the small end of the spectrum in terms of amperage, but can I still use this switch board to run my running lights, cd radio, stereo, cabin lights, etc?
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Old 12-09-2008, 07:53   #2
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As long as no one circuit exceeds 5 amps you should be OK. I assume that the panel is rated at 5 amps per circuit NOT the entire panel. Be sure to use the correct size wire based on circuit's current and wire length (from panel to the device AND BACK).
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:03   #3
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Does your distribution panel have a single 5 amp breaker?
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:06   #4
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In my opinion, your nav lights should be on a separate breaker. You don't want them going off when the single breaker trips due to overload.
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:27   #5
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All of these items need to have their own breakers although you might be able to get away with the CB Radio and the stereo on the same circuit provided they do not exceed 5 amps....which is not much current for a 12 volt load.

Loads that relate to safety such as your VHF, navigation lights and even your cabin lights should each have their own dedicated breaker. Its also a lot more convenient wiring your different loads this way when it is necessary to work on then

My gut feeling is you need to buy or make a circuit breaker panel with a number of breakers so your boat is wired correctly and safely.
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:33   #6
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well the panel i bought, they all have their own fuses in there for each separate switch.
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:37   #7
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If a five amp breaker panel is enough then great!
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:15   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navillusdm View Post
well the panel i bought, they all have their own fuses in there for each separate switch.

Can I buy one of those small 6 rocker arm or fused panels and wire it to my main panel and slowly re wire different items from the main panel to the smaller panel?
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