okay, we're back now. nine weeks off island, and it's a bit of a reset coming back to the land of $6.30 diesel
Interesting footnote to above discussion. First day we were back on the island, I went over to the boat sitting on the hard
. I went into my port engine
room and flipped on the switches to turn the solar
back on. It all came up fine. I spent a few minutes there checking on bilge
, etc. No worries that I could see. Boat wasn't even musty smelling.
Two days later I went back aboard to start getting ready to relaunch it. I heard the port engine
room bilge pump
running as soon as I approached the boat. I opened the hatch
, and the smell of burnt plastic and insulation
was very strong, with the pump running continuously and also a crackling/ sputtering noise
. I wriggled up alongside the engine and unplugged and removed the pump and switch. The switch had shorted out, and gotten so hot that it melted the two wires right out of it. The sizzling noise
was bilge water
seeping into the newly melted hole and boiling away, inside the switch housing. The pump had been running dry, and was really warm. The switch was as hot as discharging 4 golf cart batteries into a switch can be. Near red hot.
I did an autopsy on the switch. I think some moisture had gotten into it, and it sat there for two months motionless, and the corrosion
closed the points on the switch contacts. Then when I reapplied power, it jumped the switch and shorted it.
This was a definite fire hazard, I have near 800 watts of solar charging
four 6 v batts, which were all shorting into these two wires. This was a relatively new switch, by the way. Replaced in the past six months.