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Old 31-12-2006, 16:12   #1
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Reverse Polarity

Hello,

I went to my boat today and tried to charge/the top off the batteries with a generator
(Eu 2000i Honda) but my Heart interface 1800 tells me that I have reverse polarity. I check every thing and can’t find the problem. Could it be that elec. cord is bad?
Never had this problem before and use the gen. many times before. Boat is on the hard.
Any input or experience with this or ideas?
Many thanks in advance.
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Old 31-12-2006, 17:11   #2
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I know this has been an ongoing problem with the Heart/Honda combo and would suggest you contact Xantrex for their take on the resolution unless someone here has already solved it.
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Old 31-12-2006, 17:13   #3
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What happens when you plug the same cable you are using into the power in the yard next to the boat?
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Old 31-12-2006, 17:50   #4
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I'm to try it next sat. now am 1 driving hour from her. Do you think I should try another cord while there?
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Old 31-12-2006, 19:10   #5
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A failed power cable is possibly the problem, but not likely in my opinion. (although anything is possible!)

To be clear, a polarty reversal is when the hot (usualy black) wire is reversed with the neutral (usually white) wire. The reverse polarity indicator is wired between the neutral and ground (usually green) wire to show if there is a voltage between neutral and ground. There shouldn't be any. If there is a line voltage between neutral and ground, you have a crossed connection somewhere causing this condition.

To test it all out, you can use a multimeter capable of displaying AC voltage and test the prongs along the way. Start by testing near your reverse polarity indicator. Make sure you are reading a voltage between the green and white (ground and neutral) wires. This voltage between green and white indicates a reverse polarity situation. Keep on tracing this voltage back to the genset and/or the shore power in the marina yard. Trace your way back through the power cord, any adapters, and finally to the genset itself. (or start with the genset and work in the other direction if you really suspect the genset)

Also, before any of that, just plug the suspect cord into the marina power and see if you get the reversal. If you don't, it's the genset. You can confirm by testing the genset's neutral and ground to see if there is a voltage across them.

Hopefully this helped. Be careful though. Any time this 30A, 120VAC power goes through your body, you could risk death. Assume all wires are live, even if you know they aren't. Use extreme caution and don't grab onto any large grounded objects (like your engine) while performing the tests - for added safety.

Best of luck!
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Old 31-12-2006, 20:54   #6
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As I said previously this is a known problem with the Heart and Honda combination. Checking your wiring may show a problem but it is doubtful. This is probably an issue with the Heart. Check with Xantrex. A multi-meter test on any outlet will definitely tell you if the polarity is indeed reversed but I doubt it. Let us know what you find out.
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Old 31-12-2006, 21:08   #7
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thanks guys
happy new year
I will follow up
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Old 01-01-2007, 02:10   #8
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An ungrounded portable generator (a “separately derived system”) may provide a “floating neutral”, which allows a voltage potential between the boat’s neutral & boat ground, resulting in a reverse polarity indication.
The AC neutral and ground are not bonded aboard the boat, and rely upon shore-side (supply) bonding.

In Canada, the status of the neutral must be indicated on the generator nameplate.
To determine if your generator uses a floating or bonded neutral, perform this simple test.
With the engine off, use an ohm meter between the chassis and neutral conductors in the outlet.
If it indicates open circuit (infinite Ohms), the neutral is floating.
A short circuit (zero Ohms) will indicate that the neutral is bonded to ground.

See also, Reverse Polarity Indicators (RPI):
http://www.cruisersforum.com/gallery...age.php?i=1717
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Old 01-01-2007, 05:51   #9
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Not sure if the US has the requirement as well, but our gensets also typically indicate a neutral bonded to ground if so equipped. All 3 gensets I have had aboard had stickers on them saying they were neutral bonded to ground/frame.

Incidentally, no reverse polarity indicated on any of these three.
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Old 01-01-2007, 07:23   #10
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Chuck,

I have been on Xantrex forums and did not see any conflicts between generators and the chargers.

I did sent email w/my problems got to wait and see.
thanks.
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Old 01-01-2007, 07:37   #11
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Nelsonmoody,

I run a Honda EU2000i with a Xantrax Freedom 2000 charger (100amps) and have the reverse polarity indication occasionally. Would be interested in what Xantrax has to say. I have just ignored it as I heard from others that this happens.
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Old 01-01-2007, 07:53   #12
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Vasco,
I never ignored, but would try later w/out doing nothing and worked just fine.
I post the response from Xantrex for sharing.
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Old 01-01-2007, 09:51   #13
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God, Thanks, That was the info I had refered to but could not remember or find my referances. Getting more and more brain clouds lately.
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Old 02-01-2007, 12:20   #14
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Chuck & Vasco,

OK, I called Xantrex and spoke to the technical department.
Xantrex is not aware of any issues with their products and Honda gen.
How ever did say it may give false readings for reverse polarity and some more technical terms that I don't understand. Make a long story short my inverter/charger may be shot.
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Old 02-01-2007, 12:26   #15
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Nelsonsmoody,

Like I said earlier I ignore the reversed polarity light on my AC panel when the Honda's running. I heard from others that this happens all the time. I run the Heart inverter/charger and it charges the batteries. Why do you say your inverter/charger might be shot?
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