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Old 28-12-2017, 20:13   #1
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PLEASE HELP...! PEARSON 32 AC OUTLET OVERLOAD

...as a new FORUM MEMBER and recent owner of a 1980 PEARSON 32, I have a puzzling, but hopefully, an easy question to answer. While working below with a small space heater turned on for comfort, I tried warming my coffee in a small, dorm size microwave.
After about 15 seconds the GFCI outlet in the head popped and POW!!! no power to either AC outlets. The GFCI would not reset and after searching the manual and possible spots throughout the vessel, I cannot locate any centralized AC POWER breakers to reset or fuses to replace.
PLEASE ADVISE...my cabin 'historical restoration projects' are on hold until the AC power issue is resolved.
Thanks and...all the best,
RON
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Old 28-12-2017, 20:23   #2
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Re: PLEASE HELP...! PEARSON 32 AC OUTLET OVERLOAD

No central AC breaker? Ouch. A very dangerous boat you have there. Seriously, if you are going to use a space heater you need a REAL ac system installed.

Have you checked the circuit breaker on the dock power pylon?
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Old 28-12-2017, 22:08   #3
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Re: PLEASE HELP...! PEARSON 32 AC OUTLET OVERLOAD

I am sure you already looked at the power distribution panel. After that sometimes AC breakers might be located in the vicinity of the battery charger, or near the shore power inlet. I have seen them located in the engine room, lazarette, and any other uncommon place where shore power was added after a boat was commissioned.

If you cannot find a main AC breaker on the boat, as suggested above, check the power pole on the dock. After that, do not run two 1000W+ appliances on a circuit that can only handle one at a time.
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Old 28-12-2017, 23:15   #4
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Re: PLEASE HELP...! PEARSON 32 AC OUTLET OVERLOAD

This might be a good time to get some electrical wiring knowledge and have your work checked by an experienced , compatant marine electrician.

But, to try to help you out, start by picking up an inexpensive meter. Check that you have power at the boat end of your shore power cord. Then follow the wires from the shore power plug/socket to find the AC breaker ( I'm surprised its not o part of your DC panel).

As another thought, your AC outlets may all be fed through your GFCI outlet, they fail regularly especially when overloaded. Most are only good for 15 amps. Don't mix up the wires when you swap out the gfci outlet or you will have a hell of a time getting it right.
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Old 28-12-2017, 23:25   #5
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Re: PLEASE HELP...! PEARSON 32 AC OUTLET OVERLOAD

Just as an FYI, chances are that the GFCI outlet protected all the other outets. So, if you can't reset the GFCI you might not get power to the other outlets.
Put a meter on the GFCI input side and see if you have power - if not, look at the circuit prior to the GFCI (possible shore power overload). If you have input to the GFCI but can't reset it even though you have everything disconnected, chances are you blew the GFCI.
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Old 29-12-2017, 02:17   #6
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Re: PLEASE HELP...! PEARSON 32 AC OUTLET OVERLOAD

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Ron.
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Old 29-12-2017, 05:10   #7
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Re: PLEASE HELP...! PEARSON 32 AC OUTLET OVERLOAD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jd1 View Post
Just as an FYI, chances are that the GFCI outlet protected all the other outets. So, if you can't reset the GFCI you might not get power to the other outlets.
Put a meter on the GFCI input side and see if you have power - if not, look at the circuit prior to the GFCI (possible shore power overload). If you have input to the GFCI but can't reset it even though you have everything disconnected, chances are you blew the GFCI.
Do what he says.
The GFCI will not reset if it has no power.
My Favorite new tool is a “Toner”. Freakin’ awesome for tracing wires.
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Old 29-12-2017, 05:36   #8
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Re: PLEASE HELP...! PEARSON 32 AC OUTLET OVERLOAD

If there is no breaker then there almost certainly will (or at least should) be a fuse between the AC inlet plug and the panel. As mentioned, if not, remedy that immediately, preferably with a breaker.

That said, you overloaded the circuit which is probably 15 amps. A space heater and a microwave on simultaneously can very easily draw more than that. Hopefully you blew a fuse. If no fuse, then you literally melted a wire or connection somewhere in all likelihood.
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Old 29-12-2017, 07:47   #9
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Re: PLEASE HELP...! PEARSON 32 AC OUTLET OVERLOAD

I second the thought that the AC outlets are fed through the GFI outlet. Overloading the GFI breaker may have killed it. Outlets fed by another GFI breaker are supposed to be labeled but I have never seen that done.

Pull the breaker and check incoming power. There should be a second set of terminals for feeding other outlets, see if they have wires connected, that will tell you if it is indeed feeding other outlets.
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Old 29-12-2017, 08:24   #10
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Re: PLEASE HELP...! PEARSON 32 AC OUTLET OVERLOAD

Ron;
I think you'll have to trace your AC wiring starting with the shore power inlet. Snap a few pictures along the way to share and we'll be able to offer input for a solution.

Guy
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Old 29-12-2017, 08:35   #11
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Re: PLEASE HELP...! PEARSON 32 AC OUTLET OVERLOAD

Quote:
Originally Posted by bromhead79 View Post
...as a new FORUM MEMBER
Welcome

Quote:
While working below with a small space heater turned on for comfort, I tried warming my coffee in a small, dorm size microwave.
After about 15 seconds the GFCI outlet in the head popped and POW!!! no power to either AC outlets.
It is unlikely that the GFCI outlet is what popped and even less likely that the GFCI popped and won't reset. There is sure to be a breaker or a fuse somewhere in the shore power circuit. You will have to find it.

In future it would be wise to shut off the space heater when running the microwave.
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Old 29-12-2017, 08:37   #12
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Re: PLEASE HELP...! PEARSON 32 AC OUTLET OVERLOAD

Your boat is about the same vintage as my own Pearson, and by the same designer. Im assuming you have an on board power inlet plug in the cockpit, where AC shore power plugs into the boat.

Be very careful and have a look in the sail locker on the same side of the boat, looking aft, then up inside the combing, all the way forward to the bulkhead between the sail locker and your galley. Somewhere along there you should find a white box with a breaker, if not an inline fuse. If you keep looking you might find a battery charger and an inverter.

Do not deal with this stuff lightly because this stuff can kill you. So many older boats were in my view inadequately equipped to take on future requirements in the first place, then modified by fools and amateurs along the years.
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Old 29-12-2017, 08:43   #13
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Re: PLEASE HELP...! PEARSON 32 AC OUTLET OVERLOAD

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Originally Posted by billknny View Post
No central AC breaker? Ouch. A very dangerous boat you have there. Seriously, if you are going to use a space heater you need a REAL ac system installed.

Have you checked the circuit breaker on the dock power pylon?
it most probably has a set of AC breakers but they wont be on the 12v panel in the cabin
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Old 29-12-2017, 08:45   #14
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Re: PLEASE HELP...! PEARSON 32 AC OUTLET OVERLOAD

Greetings,

Perhaps you could find some what you are looking for here:

Pearson 323 Documents






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Old 29-12-2017, 08:48   #15
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Re: PLEASE HELP...! PEARSON 32 AC OUTLET OVERLOAD

A good way of ensuring no further problems is to get a domestic box designed for wiring garages/sheds. These should be IP67 protection and designed for outdoor environments. They usually have room for a GFI breaker and one or two circuits. Use the low power GFI breakers. They are designed to protect people rather than prevent fires. Install it right next to the shore power inlet. If you want to run a heater then put a separate power line from one of the breakers to a plug or two, preferably a different colour. That is then you high power system. It will only run from shore-power and ensures it will not corse problems in the rest of the wiring.
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