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Circuit breaker questions

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Wilhelm Hertzog View Drop Down
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    Posted: June-11-2021 at 6:46am
A few circuit breaker related questions, if I may:

  1. My boat was subjected to a proper backyard hack rewiring job before I bought it. I've been systematically upgrading wiring over time. Currently it does not have the 20A dash wiring circuit breaker fitted, which the TRB wiring diagram shows should be there. As best I can tell (which is not very good), the dash seems to be wired into the circuit which runs through the 40A engine breaker - so presumably the engine breaker also protects the dash circuits. I want to wire the dash up properly, but none of the usual sources (SkiDim, Nautiqueparts.com) carry a 20A circuit breaker, and the parts manual also does not show such a breaker. Why does it look like this breaker is not something which is commonly available? I assume I can just install a generic breaker, maybe like this: link?
  2. My 40A engine breaker looks like it is as old as my boat (i.e. heading for 40 years). What is the best/safest way of testing it for proper opening?
Thanks a lot for the help!
1982 Ski Nautique PCM351W RR
Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
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KENO View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote KENO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-11-2021 at 8:25am

Here's an 82 dash from somewhere on the internet. The fuse next to the key is the ignition fuse and it's 20 amps. It performs the same function as the later models with the ETA pushbutton switch/breaker. It protects the dash wiring.

The 40 amp breaker won't protect the dash because the alternator can still feed the dash and all of it's wiring/loads with the engine running even with the breaker tripped. The wiring is sized to handle the alternator output of the stock 37ish amp alternator and the 20 amp fuse will blow to protect the dash wiring and kill the ignition power which will then kill the engine.

So........having both is a good thing for protection.

If you want to test the 40 amp breaker, I'd take it out of the boat and with a couple of short 12 gauge wires attached hook one end to a battery positive post and touch the other to the negative. It should trip immediately or real shortly after that.

Give it a while to cool off, reset it and check for continuity to tell you that it reset. 

You could test it in the boat by touching the output wire to ground, but if things go wrong you could have a fire and some unwanted added excitement Wink



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Wilhelm Hertzog View Drop Down
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Joined: June-14-2014
Location: Cape Town
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wilhelm Hertzog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-12-2021 at 6:13pm
Whoop whoop, something on my boat works as it should. Thanks (again) Ken!
1982 Ski Nautique PCM351W RR
Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
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