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Old 20-06-2011, 07:06   #1
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What? No negative in panel?

Only positive (red) feeds into my electrical panel. The schematic shows a negative (black) bus but I can't locate it anywhere. Is this typical? Any ideas where I should look for the bus? Please don't say it usually stops at the corner
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Old 20-06-2011, 07:31   #2
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Re: What? No negative in panel?

If your panel has indicator lights, then find and trace the negative from one of the lights. If your panel doesn't have lights or anything else that would need a negative feed, then your panel may only have a positive feed.
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Old 20-06-2011, 09:23   #3
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Re: What? No negative in panel?

Often the negative buss is separate from the breaker panel, usually behind it mounted on a bulkhead. As another poster stated led indicator lights need a negative wire but that is often a small wire brought out from the main negative buss.
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Old 20-06-2011, 09:27   #4
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Re: What? No negative in panel?

Thanks for the response...no, my panel does not have lights. Only an old fashioned fuse holder next to each toggle switch.
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Old 20-06-2011, 09:33   #5
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Re: What? No negative in panel?

is there a bus bar somewhere near the old panel?? if so, that is it...lol min eis like that--- has a negative bus bar and a positive one also.....but not in the panel. is a pita.
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Old 20-06-2011, 09:35   #6
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Re: What? No negative in panel?

Look around the engine, or follow the neg from a device, (light?). They got to be somewhere. I've seen just a copper tab molded into the frame of the boat, with a bunch of black wires screwed to it, down below, ... somewhere. Follow from the battery.
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Old 20-06-2011, 09:52   #7
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Re: What? No negative in panel?

Trace the negative leads from your batteries. There is a negative bus somewhere.
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Old 20-06-2011, 09:55   #8
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Re: What? No negative in panel?

I feel your pain. On our boat the switches and fuse box are + only too. I took a photo of the back side of the box and you can see the distribution block with a bunch of black wires screwed to it. This is the "common" negative for the panel but even then lots of wires run directly back to the engine ground directly. Good luck.
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Old 20-06-2011, 10:13   #9
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Re: What? No negative in panel?

I'm going to look in the hanging locker. For some reason I feel like it may be installed there. I'll let you all know what I find.
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Old 20-06-2011, 11:09   #10
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Re: What? No negative in panel?

The negative buss is usually very close to the DC breaker panel. DC wiring is run with two conductors in an external jacket and you don't want to have to strip off a dozen feet of external jacket to make a negative termination a dozen feet away from the DC panel and another positive termination at the DC panel circuit breaker.

FWIW there is usually another "primary" negative buss close to the engine starter and the batteries. That buss grounds the engine and also has a #8 or so gauge wire that feeds the secondary DC breaker panel negative buss. The negative post from the batteries grounds to that block as well.
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