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Old 14-12-2008, 20:55   #1
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Reverse Polarity??

I am sitting here writing a response to Chuck B and my Blue Sea electrical panel makes a sound. Heater goes off, and I can see a red LED. The Reverse Polarity light is lit up. I cycle the breakers and it stays on. Then it goes off. Then flickers and comes back on for about 10 mins. Now it is off and has been off for about a half hour.

Is this a marina electrical problem or does it sound like I have a short in my system? I am afraid at this point to turn the AC switch back on.

I am running on laptop battery and ship DC now.

I searched the threads here about Reverse Polarity -- but all I have read so far makes it sound like it should NOT be intermittent.

Suggestions / Ideas? I am on travel the next few days, due to leave in the early AM and this has me spooked.


Thanks

Michael
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Old 14-12-2008, 21:04   #2
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I dont get it. Cycled the breakers and when I tripped the battery charger switch, the red LED indicating reverse polarity flickered, but did not go on. Things seems to be ok now. Great.
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Old 15-12-2008, 00:24   #3
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Was the battery charger recently installed?
Do you have the wiring diagram for the charger?

It could be as simple as the black and white wire on the A/C side are switched at the charger or at the panel.

How long has this condition existed?

Did it just start? If yes what changed or what has happened recently to your boat?

Was some other piece of equipment recently installed and wired at the panel?
Perhaps a wire go out of place at the breaker or was moved inadvertently.

I would start at the charger and make sure the three wires that deliver the A/C power are in the correct place.

Next I'd go to the panel and carefully inspect that on the A/C side. Make sure no black, green or white wires are out of place. No whites with blacks specifically.

Obviously make sure you are disconnected from shore power. Bring the dockside connection onboard rather than leave it dangling at the power pedestal on the dock. That way no good Samaritan can give you a shocking surprise.
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Old 15-12-2008, 00:31   #4
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If your charger was installed long ago and this condition just stared it might have failed internally and that all your problem is. After everything has been inspected and if it appears to be in order you could have your charger checked out.

Regarding marina problems.

Ask others on your dock if possible if they are experiencing the same issue.
How are you with a meter?

With the battery charger breaker off you could energize the boat and take a reading at the panel or some other outlet and you will see if the polarity is reversed. My guess is if the light is out with the charger off that's you obvious source.
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Old 15-12-2008, 03:17   #5
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Look for a bad connection in the neutral line(s).
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Old 15-12-2008, 03:55   #6
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I recently re wired my AC system and installed new Blue Seas transfer switches and a small panel with a main and two branch breaker for the shore charger and the water heater. I was very careful, but like you one circuit "seems" to show reverse polarity... some of the time - the water heater. I say seems to and some of the time because the reverse polarity LED is not very bright and does seem to come and go.

But here's an odd thing. The transfer switch #1481 has a reverse polarity indicator and is "downstream" from the 1402 Main w/ two branch circuit breakers. So if I use shore power IE outlet receptacles get juice from Main breaker (marina supplied AC) the reverse polarity does not light on the transfer switch. This would seem to indicated that there marina source DOES NOT have reverse polarity. When I close the charger circuit no reverse polarity light. When I close the water heat a faint red shoes on the main (1402) panel which seems to indicate some sort of fault. But the transfer swtich, now in down up stream shows no reverse polarity and I would think that if something in the system had a reverse polarity it too would show it - but it doesn't.

And why if there IS a reverse polarity would the LED not shine as bright as the other ones?

And then of course the 1402 light is very dim and sometimes not on at all. This appears as some sort of intermittent condition and it may be, but the heater seems to work fine. Perhaps the heating element has a short to ground on the neutral or a bad connection. Since I am not using shore power for water heating now it's low on my priorities to check it out, but it is an oddity. I emailed Blue Seas and never got a reply.
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Old 15-12-2008, 05:32   #7
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I used the wrong product # - it's 1214 not 1402. Sorry
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Old 15-12-2008, 06:04   #8
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Happened to me just recently.........found that the shore power cord was not seated in the receptacle properly.........pushed it in and twisted to lock it , and no more red LED.
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Old 15-12-2008, 06:37   #9
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I think it might glow with poor connections as well.
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Old 15-12-2008, 08:39   #10
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Thanks for the replies. I will check the neutral ASAP. The rewire is new. Completed it three months ago. The charger is brand new. This behavior has not happened before (as far as I know). I was sitting responding to a post here and heard the heater quit, a clicking sound and looked up and there was the Red LED.

Sounds like somewhere along the neutral lines, there is a bad connection.

Darn it.

I HATE trying to fix stuff I do not understand!

Thank-you all for your help.

Michael
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Old 15-12-2008, 08:48   #11
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MV, the same problem just happened on board a week ago. I found the neutral at the main circuit breaker pulled off the end connector when I just pulled on it lightly. Crimped a new end on and reconnected it an everything worked just fine.
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Old 15-12-2008, 08:55   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Baier View Post
MV, the same problem just happened on board a week ago. I found the neutral at the main circuit breaker pulled off the end connector when I just pulled on it lightly. Crimped a new end on and reconnected it an everything worked just fine.
That is the place to start. I was working on my quadrafilar helicodial antenna cable in that exact area and I was tugging on some cables to make things fit (LOL!). I bet dollars to doughnuts I loosened the neutral.

Thanks!
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Old 15-12-2008, 08:57   #13
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It could be a false alarm or it could be real. One easy way of determining this is to go over to the hardware store and get one of those wall outlet testers with the three prongs. Plug it in and the lights will indicate what, if anything is wrong with your AC. Its then a matter of tracing down the problem. Remember to plug it in to your shore power at the dock outlet to determine if its aboard your boat or if its a shore power problem.
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Old 15-12-2008, 09:00   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
It could be a false alarm or it could be real. One easy way of determining this is to go over to the hardware store and get one of those wall outlet testers with the three prongs. Plug it in and the lights will indicate what, if anything is wrong with your AC. Its then a matter of tracing down the problem.

My little outlet plug indicated a fault until I fixed the loose connection so for this it was no help except to tell me something was wrong but not what.
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Old 15-12-2008, 09:02   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Baier View Post
My little outlet plug indicated a fault until I fixed the loose connection so for this it was no help except to tell me something was wrong but not what.
That's where you always have to start. Determining first if a problem actually exists. I did say it may be a false alarm. That possibility first has to be determined. If its not a false alarm, then you go on to methods of determining the problem...right?
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