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Old 30-10-2018, 10:51   #1
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Help troubleshooting AC panel issue

I could use some help with the correct troubleshooting steps to diagnose an issue in my AC panel.

Here's what happened. Last night I was in the slip, connected to shore power, enjoying the creature comforts of air-conditioning, hot water and television. The main AC panel breaker tripped. I turned off (opened) all breakers on the main panel, and then attempted to reset the main breaker to the panel. Each time I tried to reset, the breaker trips and the red, reversed polarity light flashes. If I disconnect shore power, the breaker resets, but not when powered.

I've inspected the wiring to the appliances that is easily visible and see no obvious issue, so before I start ripping things apart, I'd like to formulate a good action plan.

What troubleshooting steps would you take?
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Old 30-10-2018, 11:19   #2
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Re: Help troubleshooting AC panel issue

I would suggest step one, try a different , known to be good , shore power cord.
Step two, a different known to be good , shore power outlet. This will eliminate the possible problem " outside" the boat.

Step three a carefull examination of the boat side shore power receptacle .

Beyond that, unless you are familiar with AC wiring, consult an electrician.
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Old 30-10-2018, 11:31   #3
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Re: Help troubleshooting AC panel issue

Sounds like you may have a reverse polarity trip on your main breaker. Not sure why it worked when you first plugged it in thou. Most likely there is connection problem somewhere between the main breaker and the pedestal (well could be in the pedestal as well technically). I have seen a bad inlet cause this issue before.
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Old 30-10-2018, 11:39   #4
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Re: Help troubleshooting AC panel issue

The diagnosis and cure depends a lot on whether you have a ground fault breaker (new boat) or a simple current limiting breaker(old boat).
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Old 30-10-2018, 14:03   #5
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Re: Help troubleshooting AC panel issue

Thanks all, turns out that I friend the boat side connector of the shore power cable.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 30-10-2018, 15:20   #6
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Re: Help troubleshooting AC panel issue

That sounds like a faulty breaker on the power stanchion. The breaker should protect the circuit, which is why your main breaker on the panel tripped. The breaker on the power stanchion should have tripped rather than allow enough amperage down the cord to fry the cord.
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Old 30-10-2018, 15:28   #7
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Re: Help troubleshooting AC panel issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailSonoma View Post
Thanks all, turns out that I friend the boat side connector of the shore power cable.

Thanks for your help!
This would be a good opportunity for you to upgrade to a smartplug.

https://www.fisheriessupply.com/smar...over-b30assynt

They are much better than the old style connector - thermally protected so they won't get hot enough to start a fire.
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Old 31-10-2018, 17:17   #8
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Re: Help troubleshooting AC panel issue

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...thermally protected so they won't get hot enough to start a fire.
I think that used to be the case, but isn't any longer. Apparently ABYC didn't like the "auto reset" feature of the (original) Smartplug thermal breaker, so they wound up removing it.
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Old 31-10-2018, 18:18   #9
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Re: Help troubleshooting AC panel issue

I second the advice to change to a Smart Plug. The AC connection at the boat is one of the largest fire hazards on a boat.
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Old 31-10-2018, 20:18   #10
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Re: Help troubleshooting AC panel issue

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I think that used to be the case, but isn't any longer. Apparently ABYC didn't like the "auto reset" feature of the (original) Smartplug thermal breaker, so they wound up removing it.


Funny, I had heard that they had trouble sourcing them.
However I suspect the cost had something to do with it. I think mine is thermally protected, but I know of no way to tell.
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