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Old 25-08-2015, 18:00   #1
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Keep tripping main 20 amp circuit breaker

On a Westerbeke 20B 2M I keep tripping the breaker the engine keeps running and the alternator charges buy I loose my tach and other gauges on the panel.I have done all the battery and ground checks and everything looks fine.The boat is a Cape Dory 28.Any ideas would be much appreciated . Thankyou and fair winds.

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Old 25-08-2015, 20:42   #2
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Re: Keep tripping main 20 amp circuit breaker

sounds like you are tripping an ignition breaker?...


I doubt you have a "20a main breaker" anywhere on that boat.
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Old 25-08-2015, 21:25   #3
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Re: Keep tripping main 20 amp circuit breaker

So your instrument panel trips a 20a breaker? At least you know where to start. Pull the panel or whatever out and take a peek. It might be something as simple as a light bulb wire.
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Old 26-08-2015, 04:56   #4
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Re: Keep tripping main 20 amp circuit breaker

Thankyou

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Old 26-08-2015, 06:26   #5
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Re: Keep tripping main 20 amp circuit breaker

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, popatop.
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Old 26-08-2015, 09:19   #6
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Re: Keep tripping main 20 amp circuit breaker

Consider you may just have a faulty breaker since you seem sure you have checked the wiring well. It might be worth replacing the breaker even if only as something to eliminate? Probably two wires to connect. JMO
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Old 26-08-2015, 10:37   #7
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Re: Keep tripping main 20 amp circuit breaker

On my Westerbeke 46 engine, the line to the engine ignition switch is supplied by a 20-amp push-button circuit breaker mounted on the engine, near the preheat solenoid. Is that the breaker you mean? If that circuit breaker opens on the W46, the engine will stop, but some other engines can continue to run without that circuit energized.
There is also a 10-amp self-resetting circuit breaker mounted onto a flange of the preheat solenoid, which is only used to bypass the oil-pressure switch. It supplies power to the preheat solenoid coil, the fuel cutoff solenoid, the injection pump and the instruments during the preheat phase. That circuit breaker can open while the oil pressure switch is closed and the engine is running and will affect only some of the instruments.
If you need some more help, send me a PM with the details of your trouble-shooting.
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Old 26-08-2015, 11:06   #8
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Re: Keep tripping main 20 amp circuit breaker

Sounds like there is a possibility that this is something specific to the boat/engine but in general I would rule everything else out first. A tripping breaker is trying to tell you something. It may only be the breaker is going bad. I would replace the breaker first. If the new one still trips then you now have a good spare, which is a good thing if you have some electrical gremlin running around.

You absolutely need to find out why it is tripping. I had to replace half of an AC circuit board once because the owner kept turning back on a tripping breaker. It overheated and fried several breakers and many wires around it. They only called me in once they smelled burning wire insulation. You never forget that smell.

It could be just a loose wire too. Check all the wire terminations, starting with the circuit board. If you haven't ever done that it is a good use of a few minutes in any case.

If it is engine related, and this is common for this engine, I would seriously worry about the design of a system that trips the main breaker before it trips a circuit breaker or fuse.
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Old 26-08-2015, 14:09   #9
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Re: Keep tripping main 20 amp circuit breaker

Thankyou all for your advice and ideas.I used the wrong terminology for the ignition switch breaker.
DLLuce thankyou , I am going check for the 10 amp breaker and go from there.

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