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Author Topic:   Lack of Ground or Bad Wiring
Graphiterod posted 10-20-2008 11:31 PM ET (US)   Profile for Graphiterod   Send Email to Graphiterod  
1987 18' Outrage.

When the running lights are on, if I lift the stern light post out of its deck fitting the light goes out as well as the port and starboard lights. I put the post back in the fitting and all of the running lights work.

The stern light seems less bright than normal.

Is this a grounding [problem or concern], bad wiring, or normal?

jimh posted 10-20-2008 11:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The navigation lamps should be wired in parallel, and removing one lamp from the circuit should not affect the others.

From your description it sounds like the negative side of the lamp circuit is not connected directly to the battery terminal. In the stern lamp fixture there is some sort of fault in the wiring so that the negative side of the circuit is carried to the metal pole. The metal pole makes some contact with the boat's metallic bonding system ground. The ground is connected to the battery negative.

It is not normal for lighting circuit current to flow on the metallic portions of the lamp fixtures.

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