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Old 28-02-2009, 12:33   #1
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Reverse Polarity?

Here's a strange one.

I have a Honda EB3000 generator on the stern that I want to use for recharging my battery banks instead of using my engine.

When I'm hooked to shore power, all reads well on my circuit panel. When I hook the boat up to my generator, the 'reverse polarity" light on the circuit board pops on. If I turn off the outlet switches for the port side, the "reverse polarity" stays on but if I turn off the switch for the starboard outlets the light goes off that warns of the "reverse polarity".

I replaced the inlet for power on deck a few weeks ago as it had gotten fried since the previous owner had never screwed it shut and corrosion had taken over. I replaced the 30 amp cord to boot just to make sure I had a nice clean system so the cord I used is not the cause. Before I changed the inlet, and ran the generator, the "reverse polarity" light had come on from time to time but in more of a blinking fashion rather than on solid.

Any suggestions? I don't want to fry my system by having "reverse polarity" coursing through my boat.
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Old 28-02-2009, 13:53   #2
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Honda generator for charging batteries

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Old 28-02-2009, 14:12   #3
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Old 01-03-2009, 11:40   #4
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Further checking

Here is the results of the circuit checking I did this AM.

With shore power on, I check each outlet with one of those polarity checker that shows if it is wired correctly. All outlets when on shore power show that they are wired alright.

Shore power off. Generator on and connected:
All three port side 110 outlets show "hot/neutral reversed". Three of four starboard outlets show the same--"hot/neutral reversed". One--the one I wired with directions from a ABYC certified electrician shows up as "Hot/ground reversed".

When I plug in the tester, the reverse polarity light lights. With nothing plugged in into any plug, the reverse polarity light blinks on and off very weakly.

I plugged in the tester to the generators 110 outlet, not the round plug that goes into the boat and it comes back with "open ground" on the indicator light.

How can a boats outlets be wired alright when on shore power but vary so much when on a generator. I'm either missing something or just don't quite understand the principles of how to wore a boat(no surprise there). Sholdn't they all read the same no matter where they get their power?
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:17   #5
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Visually check your wiring, at both (supply & load) ends.

LOAD End:
The black or "hot" wire goes to the brass side screw. The white or neutral wire goes to the silver side screw (larger of 2 slots). The green Ground wire goes to the green screw on the end of the receptacle (u-shaped).

Polarized receptacles should have one slot that is wider that the other. The smaller narrower pin is for the "hot" black wire, and the larger wider one is for the "neutral" white wire. On the cord plug, the larger prong is the neutral. The grounding pin is u-shaped.

SUPPLY End:
The black "hot" connects to the breaker (fuse).
The white "neutral" connects to the neutral bus.
The green "ground" connecxts to the ground bus.
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