Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Check Your Tug's AC Panel (Tuggers Vol 64)

By Ted Shann, Tug E Bear 37VT62

Pulled into our outstation awhile back and when I plugged into AC my reverse polarity light came on. Tried a different outlet on the dock with the same result. Never had an electrical problem at our outstation before. When I opened the power panel I had a big surprise looking at me in the face. My neutral wire on the back of the panel was loose and the wire was a little black from heat from the loose connection. I cleaned the connection and put things back together and the reverse polarity light went off and we were good to go. Not really sure why reverse polarity light came on. I went through the rest of the AC panel and DC panel and found no other loose connections. I know that a loose neutral is a problem and we should keep an eye on our power panels. Could be vibration from the boat or plugging into power with a lot of AC switches on and taking a surge all at once. I know when I leave the dock all AC switches get turned off, then the master, then unplug the power cord. When I hook up, just the opposite, plug in cord, turn on master, then individual AC. This affords you a little protection when hooking up in case there is a problem with the shore power. If there is a problem with shore power and you have all your AC switches off it won't get to your boat. You can tell by looking at your meter when you hook up. That's why it is a good practice to have two people watching when you hook up if you can. 

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