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Old 17-07-2011, 17:50   #1
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Electrician

i am entertaining the idea of ripping out every wire and starting from scratch. while i am plenty competent when it comes to fixing and adding to an existing system, i think i am out of y comfort zone when it comes to installing a complete system from scratch.

can anyone recommend a SF bay area electrician. i am not opposed to having the work done in a yard but will need regular access to her and often question the finances of 'yard overhead'

lil help?

-steve
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Old 18-07-2011, 17:06   #2
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Re: Electrician

The wires are not your problem, it is extremely rare for the wire itself to cause a problem unless you have some chafing. The problem is almost always in the connections which you can access with a tester or with a piece of equipment. A good marine electrician with the proper testing equipment should be able to go over your entire electrical system for a small fraction of what a whole new system will cost. It's like ripping out the pipes in your wall when what you needed was a new gasket on your faucet.
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Old 18-07-2011, 19:03   #3
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Re: Electrician

steve, do you have a j/22 or a 45' Hinckley?

Because a competent marine electrician could easily run you $100/hour with ten or twenty hours of work to do on a boat. Or, as boats go, way way more than that.
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Old 18-07-2011, 21:36   #4
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Re: Electrician

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssanzone View Post
i am entertaining the idea of ripping out every wire and starting from scratch. while i am plenty competent when it comes to fixing and adding to an existing system, i think i am out of y comfort zone when it comes to installing a complete system from scratch.

can anyone recommend a SF bay area electrician. i am not opposed to having the work done in a yard but will need regular access to her and often question the finances of 'yard overhead'

lil help?

-steve
Thats what I did Steve...best thing I ever did.
I worked (my ass off) with the electrician...learned lots and save a lot of money...not sure how big your boat is but it can run into big $.
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Old 21-07-2011, 15:34   #5
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Re: Electrician

i also own a 400 yr old original 1 room school house. after a cosmetic renovation on the house, i decided to tackle a major reno and gutted it down to dirt and 4 exterior walls.

my lesson from the house reno was 'wow, i dont mind [fill in the blank] (i.e plumbing, electrical, insulation etc) when i am not bound to the decisions / mistakes / short cuts of the previous owner.

while i am trying to keep in mind that the boat and house are very different beasts, i cant help but wonder if in a few months, after her new sole and headliner are in, when i am ready to upgrade the lights to all LEDs if i wont regret not making the decision to start with a new panel.

i know i will pay (big) for the work but think it may be worth the price tag when i and not untying a rats next of wires when i am trying to add [fill in the blank].

maybe you all could weigh in with the notion of upgrading. tomorrow's problems include 'what if i want her to be single hand friendly',' how do i make her a more appropriate cruiser vs day sailor' and what on eart was i thinking when i didnt include my espresso machine in the refit plans'

anyone know a guy who knows a guy that will do an honest day's work for an honest day's pay in the bay area?

thx.

-steve
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Old 21-07-2011, 16:14   #6
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Re: Electrician

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
steve, do you have a j/22 or a 45' Hinckley?

Because a competent marine electrician could easily run you $100/hour with ten or twenty hours of work to do on a boat. Or, as boats go, way way more than that.

sorry, forgot to answer this... she is a 38' 3 cabin w/ 2 heads
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Old 21-07-2011, 16:28   #7
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Re: Electrician

"Why" are you contemplating this job? As has been mentioned, most of the problems encountered are in the connections. If your wiring itself is in good shape then it would be worth it to systematically go through the entire electrical system with a multimeter and a long test lead. This way you can see where the problems are and isolate and repair them without pulling the entire mess.

I just finished a complete gutting and refit of the electrical system on my old 30ft sloop. But there was a good reason, the wiring was ancient. Insulated with cloth and varnish. Very nasty stuff. So it had to go. But the job itself was not that difficult. You could pull one circuit at a time and redo it that way.

Sabre
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Old 21-07-2011, 16:47   #8
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Re: Electrician

when i got into the house's wiring i found splices with scotch tape...

thankfully i stumbled across it when opened up an exterior wall to do some insulation work and not while trying to isolate and resolve a problem.

there is just something in my head that says...

if the head liner and lockers and berth is out, why not take advantage and have a new panel put in and replace / upgrade any wire that needs it. I agree that some of the wiring can stay where it is with some attention paid to connections.

as i mentioned earlier, my house reno leads me to believe if there is open access to 'everything' it is the right time to address electrical and plumbing repair / upgrades.

are you guys telling me to get my head out of the house and into the boat?
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Old 21-07-2011, 16:57   #9
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Re: Electrician

Nope, I think you have the right idea.
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Old 21-07-2011, 17:57   #10
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Re: Electrician

I completely rewired an Alberg 30 as the original wiring had all bad connections and the wiring insulation was brittle. It was also not what today is Marine grade wire. Took me 2 months working on weekends. I used the old wire as pulls for the new wire after going through and cutting all the tie points here it was tied to the structure. All connections to the lugs were crimped soldered and marine shrink wrapped. All wiring was one oversize. Best thing I ever did.
Get a book on boat wiring, a good VOM, layout a schematic before you do it, color code and number all wire on both ends, and go for it.
12V DC is pretty simple stuff.
Something like this.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf A30layout electrical.pdf (89.0 KB, 48 views)
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Old 21-07-2011, 18:16   #11
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Re: Electrician

Wire does go bad on boats and if you feel like undertaking this project then do so. I have had to replace some of my wiring, primarily where staples were driven through the vinyl headliners, piercing the wire insulation. Over time the wire corrodes.

That said...there are a lot of differences between house and boat wiring. Here is some of them
1) Black is hot in house wiring. Its ground on a boat.
2) White is the neutral (return) in a house. White or red is Hot on a boat.

funny thing is you will have both systems on your boat.
3)Copper wire works fine in a house. Marine grade wire is silver coated or it will corrode.
4) You have AC in a house and also communications wiring. You may have AC, communications and DC mixed systems on a boat, like an inverter. It's important to prevent long runs with the AC system wires running parallel to the other systems. Best to cross at 90 degrees.
5) Wires in a house are sized by current rating. Some of the wiring in a boat is sized for rf performance...skin effect. Also, in the case of the ssb antenna wire, very high voltage (600v).
6) There are many safety standards appropriate to boat wiring. Far too many to list here.
7) An electrician, certified to wire a house, is not competent to wire a boat.
8) The communications systems (nmea, sensors like wind and compass, etc.) require special consideration in the choice of wire.

Hope you get help but choose your help carefully. A lot of hackers out there who only think they know about this subject. JMO
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Old 21-07-2011, 18:17   #12
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Re: Electrician

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssanzone View Post
can anyone recommend a SF bay area electrician.
the best marine electrician in the SF bay area is Liem Dao of L.T.D. Marine in Alameda.

I've used Liem a few times, and whenever I've recommended him to buddies they've been thrilled. He's a wizzard.

Here's his site: Home
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Old 21-07-2011, 18:19   #13
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Re: Electrician

DC ground is now yellow, but it used to be black.
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Old 21-07-2011, 18:30   #14
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Re: Electrician

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kapena View Post
Wire does go bad on boats and if you feel like undertaking this project then do so. I have had to replace some of my wiring, primarily where staples were driven through the vinyl headliners, piercing the wire insulation. Over time the wire corrodes.

That said...there are a lot of differences between house and boat wiring. Here is some of them
1) Black is hot in house wiring. Its ground on a boat.
2) White is the neutral (return) in a house. White or red is Hot on a boat.

funny thing is you will have both systems on your boat.
3)Copper wire works fine in a house. Marine grade wire is silver coated or it will corrode.
4) You have AC in a house and also communications wiring. You may have AC, communications and DC mixed systems on a boat, like an inverter. It's important to prevent long runs with the AC system wires running parallel to the other systems. Best to cross at 90 degrees.
5) Wires in a house are sized by current rating. Some of the wiring in a boat is sized for rf performance...skin effect. Also, in the case of the ssb antenna wire, very high voltage (600v).
6) There are many safety standards appropriate to boat wiring. Far too many to list here.
7) An electrician, certified to wire a house, is not competent to wire a boat.
8) The communications systems (nmea, sensors like wind and compass, etc.) require special consideration in the choice of wire.

Hope you get help but choose your help carefully. A lot of hackers out there who only think they know about this subject. JMO
Careful Careful.
Number 1 and 2 are wrong.
In the US with AC Current/Voltage Black is positive, White is neutral and Green is ground. In the US with DC Current/Voltage Red is positive and Black is negative. There is no white wire in DC wiring. Codes are different in other countries and DO NOT forget which kind of voltage you are working with. AC on a boat is still black positive.
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Old 21-07-2011, 18:34   #15
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Re: Electrician

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
DC ground is now yellow, but it used to be black.
I don't think this is true in the US. If it is, it is not consistent or there would be a yellow wire from the negative Battery Terminal to the ground buss. (and under the hood of my car)
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