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Old 04-06-2017, 20:29   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Shady Side, MD
Boat: Hallberg-Rassy 41
Posts: 161
How to track down stray current

So I'm going through zincs way too fast.

Old boat, same slip = no problem.

New boat = problem.

My immediate neighbors have not changed, but 2 boats down have.

I installed a galvanic isolator on the AC system last spring (and I've verified it's working with a multimeter multiple times).

Still have a problem burning through zincs.

Could anyone enlighten me on the best / most efficient way to start to track down the problem?

This is one of those things where I don't even know where to start.

Well, that's not entirely true, I do know:
Step one: get out multi-meter
Step X: get out beer.

I need help getting from step one to step X.
mogulskibum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2017, 21:38   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Alaska for work the fleet : Garcia Passoa 50 ( NZ), DIX 38 - forsale
Boat: Dix 38 pilothouse
Posts: 324
Re: How to track down stray current

Fairly recent thread about this i think

I just bought Ed Shermans Advanced Marine Electrics and Trouble shooting book. He goes into detail on finding stray dc and ac current and explains the procedure really well.

Well worth he 30 dollars.

Id bet you have a dc leak somewhere.

I also purchase a silver/ Silver Chloride reference electrode from Boat Zinc's. Shermans book goes into detail on how to use it .

Good luck

lamadriver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2017, 21:56   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Up the mast, looking for clean wind.
Boat: Currently Shopping, & Heavily in LUST!
Posts: 5,629
Re: How to track down stray current

Even if your boat, nor your neighbors hadn't either, the amount of stray current in the water can still change. There's a lot more to it than the variables mentioned. And it is possible to measure the amount of current in the water in various locations, as well as making pretty good educated guesses as to where it's coming from.

There are a few threads on the subject, but I'm up late enough that I can't recall their titles. That said, think about what might happen to the current in the water when say an AC ground wire on a dock finger grows more corroded with time. We've all seen crreeping corrosion in wiring. That, or it could be any one of a hundred other things which can alter the electricity patterns in the area. Makes my head hurt just trying to ponder what but a score of them might be.

The Uncommon Thing, The Hard Thing, The Important Thing (in Life): Making Promises to Yourself, And Keeping Them.
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