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Old 08-01-2013, 16:14   #1
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Why wire refrige into starting battery? Who does that?

Today installed new batteries. While reconnecting new #1 (starting battery) all of a sudden the refridge + water pressure pump come on! Master battery switch was on off. No other batteries even connected. Now I know why every night the starting battery (#1) was being drained badly even when the master switch was on #2 position (house bank batteries).
Question: what earthly reason would there be for refridge and water pressure to be connected to starting battery and wired around the master switch?
Is there something I don't understand here?
Owned four previous sailboats. Starting battery was always sacred and isolated for starting and emergency bilge pump use, ONLY!
Comments and diagnostic help, please.
Thank you in advance.
JEdward
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Old 08-01-2013, 16:21   #2
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Re: Why wire refrige into starting battery? Who does that?

No good reason, just the usual electrical nonsense you find on any older boat. Are you sure you hooked up the new batteries the same way as the older batteries were hooked up? Someone could have temporarily switched the wiring because their house bank was dead and the only decent battery was in the starting side.
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Old 08-01-2013, 20:42   #3
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Re: Why wire refrige into starting battery? Who does that?

No, I'm with you... ain't no good reason for this wiring. I would surely change it back to the normal feed from the house bank. But, I would also spend some time tracing other wiring to see if there are any other strange and wonderful deviations from good practice.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 08-01-2013, 20:52   #4
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Re: Why wire refrige into starting battery? Who does that?

i can think of one reason. when i installed my adler barbour fridge the manual actually recommends direct wiring to battery, rather than through the panel. i'm not sure why but apparently it gets higher voltage that way. of course i put a circuit breaker in the line.
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Old 08-01-2013, 21:14   #5
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Re: Why wire refrige into starting battery? Who does that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
i can think of one reason. when i installed my adler barbour fridge the manual actually recommends direct wiring to battery, rather than through the panel. i'm not sure why but apparently it gets higher voltage that way. of course i put a circuit breaker in the line.
I really doubt that they meant the engine start battery rather than the house bank. Of course, they may have assumed that (like in many production boats of yore) there were two equal banks and a selector switch between them and the loads, both start and house.

And yes, the reason for direct connection is to avoid the voltage drop in the wiring to and from the remote panel, and the slight drop in the breaker. With proper wire sizing this need not be a problem.

Cheers,

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Old 09-01-2013, 06:19   #6
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Re: Why wire refrige into starting battery? Who does that?

Thanks for your comments.
Unfortunately, I'm good with most everything on the boat except the electrical. Don't even know where to start to trace wiring. No meters or other electrical tools on board (now on mooring ball). Can I learn/do the tracing of wiring? If so, what do I need to do so successfully? Or, should I just "pay the piper" and call in a marine electrician?
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:00   #7
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If you have the money then call an electrician. But you really need to know your system. Its not hard. But I would buy a few boat electrical books there are many out there. You need a good understanding of batteries and electrical systems. Most boats are tinkered to death. It is not a house or a car and is not treated the same. There are some great classes out there. Even if you dont do the work a good understanding of your systems will help you.
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Old 09-01-2013, 18:31   #8
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Re: Why wire refrige into starting battery? Who does that?

jim cates -

you are correct. the adler barbour install manual is excellent (and i just located it). they describe battery banks and how they should be set up and sized. as expected, they specify a start bank and a house bank.

further on they describe the wiring connections. the first choice for connection is direct to the battery (inferring the house bank) with a 15 amp breaker in the positive line. and they cite voltage drop as the reason. they also recommend using properly sized cable and shortest possible cable run.

i installed the fridge to their specs and seven years later i haven't had a single problem with it....
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