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Old 25-07-2012, 11:17   #1
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My 20 Amp Breaker Keeps Popping and Shutting Down Genset

My 20 amp breaker on the westerbeke 7.6 marine diesel gens et keeps popping and shutting down the generator. Any ideas anyone on possible fixes. In the Abacos and would really like to not have to run all the way back to the states with no gen
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Old 25-07-2012, 11:35   #2
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Re: My 20 amp breaker keeps popping and shutting down genset

Does it trip without any loads present or just when you are running loads? Do you have an multimeter aboard? If so, check the amps on the circuit with all loads shut off -- if you see any significant current flow then you've got a short somewhere. If not, then add loads individually and watch the meter (and the breaker) -- if a load is shorting to ground for example then you will know as soon as you add that load.

The breaker could be bad, but probably not. You could swap out the breaker to test.
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Old 25-07-2012, 11:41   #3
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Re: My 20 amp breaker keeps popping and shutting down genset

Do you have a clamp ammeter? If so place it over the Hot of the same leg of your 20 amp breaker to see if you are reaching 20 amps or more of current draw. If the current draw never exceeds 20 amps and the breaker still pops then the breaker is faulty. If you do reach or exceed 20 amps and the breaker pops then it is doing its job correctly.

You really do need the clamp meter so you can get an independent verification of how much current is being drawn from your generator. Those cheap little AC current meters on boats can go bad giving you a false reading.

Hey, it's better to have a breaker that pops at too low of a current than to have one which melts wire insulation or damages your generator.
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Old 25-07-2012, 11:48   #4
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Re: My 20 amp breaker keeps popping and shutting down genset

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Turtlep.

Good luck with your genny.
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Old 26-07-2012, 14:23   #5
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Re: My 20 Amp Breaker Keeps Popping and Shutting Down Genset

Circuit breakers, esp. in a high temperature environment, will age and their trip characteristics can change.

That said, a 7.6kW genset will output 63A @ 120VAC or 31A @ 240VAC. So that begs the question, why is there a 20A circuit breaker installed?

Unless....are you talking about the small 20A Snap breaker characterized by a red button with a "20" in white on the end that protects the control circuitry?

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